The summer has come and gone… a new set of holidays is just around the corner and with that comes the peak season for voice over work, so if you haven’t taken some time off yet, this would be the perfect time to start planning.
Yeah, you may say, “I do freelance work anyway… I’m always at home, manage my own time, it is like having my own little holiday.”
Nah! It doesn’t work that way. Whether you are a full-time voice actor, or working in and out of your home studio or the conventional brick and mortar, even workaholics like you need to let go of your mic and extract yourselves out of your four walls once in awhile.
As this is a physically and mentally demanding work (yes it is, so don’t argue) it is important that you are always in your best mental and physical health!
By NOT taking the time off, you are setting yourself up to failure and possibly damaging your career, as an over-worked, tired voice over actor would lose the precious commodity – focus and voice.
A regular vacation or time out of your busy schedule is needed to renew and rejuvenate both your mind and body, and yourself. It will do wonders for your creativity, stamina and for your sanity.
One of the biggest fears of voice over actors whilst taking a vacation is that they may be missing out on some important work.
Here is a list of things to consider to ensure that you set up yourself for success, be worry free whilst you are away, and truly enjoy your holiday:
1. Tell everyone important in advance.
Tell everyone advance that you’ll be unreachable, especially your regular clients, so if there are projects that need to be done, you can work together on the schedule. After that, make yourself really unreachable.
2. Do your work ahead of time.
Connect with your regular clients to check in if there are any work that needs to be done and if it can be done in advance. If you write articles or blogs, plan out your content and finish up some articles in advance so that nothing is disrupted whilst you are away. Do two weeks worth of desk work in the week before you go on vacation.
3. Change your passwords.
If you have a manager, agent or an assistant (or even your wife, husband or partner) ask them to change the passwords to your email and even your social media accounts (yes, even your social media). This will reduce the temptation to check in all the time. You can always post your photos and read all those emails (if you have done no. 1, you may have not a lot to read) when you return from your holiday.
4. Put your phone away.
Again the temptation to check in with work is too hard to resist with you carrying around your smart phone whilst on holiday. To get the most of your vacation, put aside all technology except for 30 minutes a day.
5. Bring a camera.
Why a camera? So you’re not tempted to take your phone with you everywhere you go, simple as that!
6. Best time to test your team.
If you have team, regardless of how small it is, this will be a great time to test how capable they are in helping you manage your voice over business. It will test their decision making skills, resourcefulness, management and organisation. Delegate tasks, leave instructions, so that when things come up that needs attending to, they won’t need to come running to you for help.
…on planning your holiday
7. Choose something relaxing to do.
If you are taking a short break, try something relaxing to do instead of a physical, strenuous adventure. Try a holistic retreat that offer meditation classes, spa sessions, special interest workshops, and immerse yourself in a calming environment. It would work wonders on your focus and your voice.
8. Don’t be too much of a tourist.
When travelling be sure not to overschedule. Try to plan no more than one official excursion per day and leave the rest of the day for wandering, sitting, exploring.
9. However… do something wild and different.
However, you can still look for a unique experience that is truly different from your day to day life. Experience something that can cultivate your creativity; allow to lose yourself to experience a new culture and new surroundings.
10. Return on a Saturday.
Schedule your return from your trip on a Saturday instead of coming home by Sunday. This will give you to time to organise yourself back into your work world and time to settle down before you return to the grind on Monday.
11. Front load your indulgences.
This maybe the time to loosen up, take away the stress, but you should also be mindful that as voice over actor, you need to protect your health, most of all your voice. Focus the last third of your holiday on wellness, so even if you party, indulge in eating and drinking early into your holiday, it isn’t how you should end your trip. Have fun but don’t be sick when you get back home
The purpose of a vacation is not just to take a break from the small urgent problems of the present, or to break away from your daily routine, it is most of all to reward yourself for the hard work you have done. Stepping away from the four corners of your recording booth, away from your microphone will gain you greater perspective on what you want to do with your career, with your life. Your dreams, your vision are often overlooked when surrounded by the urgency of your everyday life, but they are crucial in building a stronger voice over career and business.
So have you taken some time off lately?