5 Ways the Voice Actor’s Life May Change Because of COVID-19
A lot has changed since COVID-19 first appeared. The world is a different place than it was at the beginning of 2020, but for voice actors, their professional world remains surprisingly similar. In fact, there is more opportunity for voice actors than ever before.
Read about five things that are different now for voice actors and how to best navigate these trying times as a professional voice actor working from home.
1. More Auditions, New Clientele
One major benefit to voice actors during the pandemic is that clients who wouldn’t have normally posted their jobs online are discovering tools and adjusting their workflows to meet their new Work From Home (WFH) reality. Just a Google search away, Voices and other casting sites are being found, tried, and adopted in record numbers. We’ve had a notable increase in new business over the last couple quarters and this trend shows little to no sign of turning back.
There is also more voice over work happening specific to COVID-19. You may have noticed job postings that are expressly about COVID-19, whether that’s for HR training, compliance videos, advertisements, medical professionals, public service announcements, updated IVR recordings, or more.
Something else we’ve seen is more talent getting invited to jobs and hired straight from the search results.
To make sure you’re not missing out on this influx of clients seeking talent based upon search queries, here are a few things you can do right now to improve your opportunities for being found and considered:
- Update your profile
- Add more demos and tag/describe them well
- Audition more for jobs you’re best matched to
2. Less Travel, Greater Home Studio Expectations
Not that voice actors traveled much for work much before COVID-19, but any studio trips you do go out for will be fewer and farther between. Remember that nearly everyone in the creative world is working from home these days, so the membership of the club you joined pre-pandemic as a WFH voice actor has just ballooned to include all kinds of creatives, from copywriters to graphic designers to videographers to audio engineers and more.
You might have also observed that as a result of the pandemic, professional voice actors who weren’t already on casting sites are joining them now. There are also more people looking to get into voice acting in general.
To remain competitive and to get an edge on the competition, it’s a good idea to up your home studio game. Take an inventory of your gear, assess your recording space, and see what more you could do to get that perfect broadcast-ready sound.
On the directed session front, you’ll want to make yourself familiar with tools currently being used by ad agencies and creative producers during the pandemic. Not everyone is using Zoom, so do your homework on what’s what.
Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, invest in a good bridging software for remote sessions and check the strength of your Internet connection. You may need to upgrade your Internet package if it’s not just you working from home anymore (we’ll touch on that in a few paragraphs!).
A sturdy Source-Connect connection will do you a world of good (don’t rely only on FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts). It can connect you to clients who already use Source-Connect and keep professionalism trending high for your business.
3. Fewer Colds, More Focus on Mental Health
Not going out as much and social distancing has its benefits for your health. The same is true for washing your hands more, using hand sanitizer, and touching less surfaces when out and about. You may be feeling healthier than you have in a long time.
That said, while you may not be catching the common cold or flu as easily as you would have before such hygienic measures were so greatly adhered to en masse, what you do need to do is monitor your mental health. Anxiety and depression are nothing to sneeze at. At no other point in the history of the world has there been more to deal with all at once and on so many levels.
Continue the good habits you had pre-Covid, like getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy meals, drinking water regularly, maintaining good vocal health, and exercising as directed by your family doctor.
4. More Stress, More Need to Decompress
There’s a lot going on in the world and a 24-hour news cycle can create undue stress that affects you and your wellbeing. Stress strains your immune system.
To help combat this, limit your daily exposure to news and commentary, be it online, via television, radio, podcasts, print, or otherwise. Cutting back on social media is also helpful, as is less screen time in general. Consider going on walks and admiring nature. Fresh air and a change of scenery is good for more than just your body. Going on walks creates space for you to decompress, to get your mind on something different, and often results in more creativity.
Feeling lonely? Just because it’s called ‘social distancing’ doesn’t mean that you need to cut yourself off socially from those you love. Be sure to connect with at least one friend or family member a day to create more balance. If you have a pet, spend more leisure time with them, it will do you both good. Putting your loved ones first and creating space to enjoy life is vital.
5. Busier House, Busier You
In many households, everyone is home. It’s not just you working away in your quiet home studio. It’s possible that you’ve had precious little time to record without interruptions, whether that’s from family members checking in or neighbors deciding it’s time to mow their lawns.
Living in an apartment can be extra challenging, especially if those on either side, above, or below your apartment are having to navigate their own COVID-19 work/life changes. For best results, show grace and have patience with others. This too shall pass.
What else should you be concerned with? The general running of the house and the schedules of everyone living in it.
Since you work for yourself from home, you are probably missing what life was like before the pandemic. Everything you did workwise was generally within your control, including your schedule and demands on your time. You’re your own boss. That may not be the case for everyone you live with. Be aware of this dynamic and offer to help where you can so that everyone can do their work. Being thrust into a work from home situation isn’t easy and not everyone finds it to be the best thing ever. As the entrepreneur, you have more freedom and flexibility. Be sensitive to the needs of others in your home and try to adapt gracefully to your new normal (and theirs). There should be some give and take. When you need to work, others should be likewise able to accommodate you. This will take some planning.
If you have children at home or family pets, factor in the caring for and supervision of children, your pet(s), errands or taking family members to appointments. If you have small children, you may need to take shifts for who can work when. Do your best to separate work and home, even though they are under the same roof. Limiting work activities to particular parts of your abode will go a long way to preserving the boundaries between work and home.
What Does Life Look Like for Voice Actors After COVID-19?
As we discussed earlier, not much has changed for voice actors, and much of what has changed will become part of regular life.
To recap, here’s what’s changed for voice actors during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Professional voice actors are working almost exclusively from home
- Producers new to online casting are posting jobs at Voices and are developing new workflows
- Many producers who used online casting as a backup are now switching to online casting as a primary source of talent
- Voice actors are investing more in their home studios to remain competitive and meet the needs of clients
- Voice actors who weren’t using online casting sites before are joining them now. New talent are entering the business
How has life been for you during the COVID-19 pandemic? I’d love to hear how you’re doing and what has worked for you.