My voiceover journey started 275 days ago
It was the first full week after my return from my research trip to Madagascar, which means I was able to enter my routine again.
This is the standard routine I’m applying to every Monday to Saturday (if nothing else is planned or scheduled) - Sunday is my off-day:
- 4.30: Rise
- 4.40: Sports
- 5.40: Tranquility
- 6.00: Breakfast
- 7.00: Work
- 12.00: Lunch
- 1.00: Work
- 5.00: Free time (walk, read incl. dinner)
- 9.00: Shut down
- 10.00: Lights off
Here’s what Frank, Hank, Jimmy and myself have to say about these past 7 days.
1/4 Worker: Frank
- Added a sub-page on stolenvoice.com showing my daily stolenvoiceIGTV show
- Produced + published daily on IGTV
- Worked on my day job daily (min. 2h)
- Published a piece that’s important too me: Living like a monk - my take on essentialism
Worked on (but incomplete)
- script 4 (demo reel)
- a light AVV for an article of a client of mine
- 5 AVRs (= Agile Voice Recordings) - I only managed to work on 1 AVR, so I think it’s more reasonable to actually work on 1 AVR per week, not 1 AVR per day ;)
- soycubano day 15–17 (days 18 and 19 missing)
Didn’t work on
Finding the right approach to script 4 of my commercial demo reel has been a big challenge. I’m still not sure what feeling I want to convey with the script and second I’m not sure what style of delivery I want to use. I’ll invest more time into it, Although I prefer to get it done quickly, I know that voiceover (acting) takes its time in order to grow to something awesome.
I observed that voiceover requires much more energy sometimes than I would think. I saw that when I had voice-recorded this one AVR (with 480 words) I felt pretty tired, my voice and body. Maybe it’s because I’ve only voice-recorded so far the short punchy scripts (around 100 words). So, that’s been an interesting observation.
The other permanent struggle is: I want to be very good (excellent) at voiceover but I also want to continue learning how to make great animations and illustrations so that I can use my voiceover skills and combine them with future illustration and animation skills, all geared towards the goal of creating AVVs for bootstrapped Indie companies.
I want to doubt less what I’m doing and just do and see what results it brings. As an over-thinker by nature this has been my permanent struggle for years (and decades). Doing voiceover/acting as my career now I have a good incentive to tame that beast.
New discoveries this week:
- My tendency to apply particular voiceover delivery to script although they don’t fit (so my weakness here is to not see when a particular style for a script is appropriate - I want to learn to see while still having room the experiment different deliveries in experimental mode)
Weakness I discovered before:
- Ending all the phrases on the same delivery of notes
- My struggle: when conversational I’m losing energy and sounding too flat/boring
- Embracing my foreign accent but not sounding stilted - a challenging contradiction for me
- Sometimes not being able to reproduce particular way or style of delivery. So, I want to be able to consistently reproduce a style of delivery
- impatience while performing - tendency is to be too fast - „let’s get it over with quickly“
- I tend to get stiff when things take too much - so I disrelax
- Speaking well-pronounced while speaking natural
- I don’t know how to speak anymore - it seems I never knew how to speak, read out loud in the first place
- „You’re not embracing your own accent" - Penny Rawlins
- I think you have a bright and friendly natural quality to your voice, you just don’t know quite how to use it just yet:) - Tanya Rich
- Sounding conversational while not sounding like I’m reading and still sounding energetic
- Forgetting to imagine who I’m to and what scenario I’m in
- „Bouncing voice“ (German: knallen) when starting a new sentence, I want to smoothen the start of a sentence more
- My non-native accent when speaking English (it doesn’t sound super German but it’s clear that I’m neither a native US nor a native British speaker
- Sounding less robotic when speaking
- Clear diction of words (no mumbling)
- Speak clear while speaking fast
- Sound like a native US-American speaker
- Sound like a native British speaker
- Sound like an English speaker with a German accent
Weakness I worked on this week:
Weakness I fixed this week:
Done next time
- script 4 (demo reel)
- 1 light AVV
- 1 AVR
2/4 CEO: Hank
How did business go?
I identified that creation of voiceover assets (recordings, videos, illustrations, marketing) is more important than making immediate money in this first business year. The money-making stressed me negatively, and there was actually no reason to be stressed because my day job provides all the money that I need to pay all the expenses plus some money to save and invest. So, although I’m running a business (not a charity) I’m not aiming anymore for the 6k revenue goal this year but for creating assets and awareness of my voiceover doing. That’s it. If people associate voiceover and empowering Indie makers with me, this is a good step taken! In 2019, I’m sure I’ll be more money-oriented then but I’ll see.
Review of worker Frank’s performance:
- 1x completed: new stolenvoice sub-page
- 4x worked on but incomplete: AVV, AVR, script 4, soycubano
- 1x didn’t work on but will work on tomorrow: studiolist
Monday was a productivity disaster (a score of 3 out of 10) because the time at the doctor took 7,5 hours incl. the drive and I had no energy left to continue.
- Tuesday score: 10
- Wednesday score: 8
- Thursday score: 10
- Friday score: 6 but still working on it, so it’ll be a 10 I guess.
3/4 Head of Sales: Jimmy
How did sales go?
- No sales
4/4 Last words of the observer: Alex (me)
What did you (as the gray eminence) get out of this week? What was remarkable?
I rediscovered my artistic mindset, which is awesome because I relaxed a lot mentally and all of a sudden new ideas came - the magic of relaxation, I’m telling you! So, I’m no longer „owned“ by the obsessive money-maker mindset, I hope. I was so obsessed with the money-making mindset that I felt like rushing things and focus on selling stuff as soon as I can. What I neglected was that importance of creation.
Sure, I was creating and I took my time, especially with regard to my commercial demo reel. But my inner voice never seemed to stop telling me „Alex, what about your revenue goal of 6k this year?“ While making money matters and is an incentive I more and more felt that it crippled my creativity and left me becoming impatient, uncalm and unrelaxed. With the beginning rediscovery of my artist mindset I’m putting my focus back on what matters initially: the creation. No matter the time it takes to create (and learn new stuff to create even more), I’m taking that time. If that means that a conflict with the tax officials (or some kind of penalty payment) because I’m not making money from more than one source/client (currently my non-voiceover freelance day job is paying all the bills), that’s ok. I’m taking that risk.
Right now, all I want is spending time with creating stuff in the realm of voiceover, animated voiced videos (AVVs), and agile voice recordings (AVRs).
I think having started reading the first pages of „Perennial Seller“ by Ryan Holiday helped me regain that conviction about „creation first, money after“.
One of those ideas was the initiation of a project on ethical salesmanship for which I bought the domain salesmanship.io (because as a voiceover I’m primarily a salesman and an actor after).
I also came up with two new voiceover project concepts (a „raw“ show on Monday, a „fun“ show on Friday) - launch date is still uncertain but I have a good feeling about them.
Also, getting up early is awesome, standing while working as well. I just felt more tired because I was standing so much and because I did a 40-minute walk each morning (incl. up-hill) and not an easy flat 20-minute walk like before.
Getting up early and brain-dumping also allowed me to pre-produce many more stolenvoiceIGTV episodes than before. Today, episode 74 is due and I’ve pre-produce until episode 84. Awesome!
Links I mentioned in the video
brand + service by naii.io