I just got back from a wonderful family vacation for Thanksgiving. We traveled up the coast to charming towns like, Santa Barbara and Solvang, at tourist town known for it’s Danish heritage. Being a female Voice artist, I’m always a little nervous about traveling, due to the fact that some of my jobs, are last minute, as in, “Need you to record in the next hour.” That extreme time frame isn’t common, but as a general rule, most voiceover jobs such as commercials and narration, radio imaging etc… are the last part of the project, and when they book, it’s usually in the next day or two at the latest. And being available is an important part of my success. Promos in particular, which are the “commercials” for Networks, are by nature the most last minute. I’ve been doing promos for different networks for over fifteen years now, and many of my jobs are booked the same day within an hour or so the call. That can be challenging when traveling.Thankfully, because of technology, it’s much easier to go on vacation and still be able to work.
Between the relatively new technology of a product called Source Connect, which allows me use my computer to speak directly with a client as if I’m in a recording studio using an ISDN box, to just being able to record mp3s and email my jobs, it’s become a lot more doable to “Work on the Go!” That has been a great blessing when traveling.
I just pack up my equipment which is basically my microphone, (mine is a Senheiser Mk 416 shotgun) my computer, (a Macbook pro) a pre amp which allows me to connect my microphone to my computer (mine is the Apogee One), record into a program that makes mp3s ( I use Sound Studio), Have a good Wi Fi connection, and I’m “good to go” for emergency auditions, or jobs that may come up…which of course it did… on my vacation… on Wednesday.. the day before Thanksgiving, when the whole industry is mostly shut down… mostly.
There I was, inside a wonderful Solvang tourist shop that sells Cuckoo Clocks. My agent called me to see how fast I could send a couple of five second spots for a network I’m doing promos for, and as I have many a time in the past, I became “Super Female Voiceover artist!” Able to slip out of the store.. run back to my hotel, set up my “super equipment,”cover myself with a towel and some pillows ( to muffle the room noise), record two five second “billboards,” and send them to my agent, all within an hour. Then, back to the store ready to meet up with my family, as regular…Super Mom once again. Granted the “voiceover gods” were with me, and I was very close to my hotel and not in the middle of the local production of the Nut Cracker. It’s not always that easy, or convenient, but it is overall manageable, and this flexibility has made it possible to balance my career, which I love, with my family life… which I love even more.
So, if you’re a voiceover actor, and you’re thinking about traveling and want to have the piece of mind to be able to audition, or even better, work “On the Go,” you might want to look into getting yourself set up with these types of equipment. I’ve shared the websites at the end of this blog. There is a range of prices for all of the tools, so you have to see what fits your budget. It’s an investment, but if you’re a working voiceover artist, it’s an essential piece of the puzzle, to stay competitive while traveling… and might even allow you to buy a top of the line Cuckoo Clock