It’s one of the scariest leaps that voice actors make; the jump from working part-time in voiceover to full time. Don’t start biting your nails just yet! Boss Up with this episode as Anne and Gabby break down the pros and cons of moving from one to the other. Have no fear, the ladies are here to help you transition from PT to FT as smoothly as possible. And stick around after the credits for some hilarious outtakes!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Going from PT to Ft may not be an easy transition.
Voiceover is NOT a side hustle.
While you’re working for someone else you should focus on your voiceover education and properly funding that education.
What do your clients need? Assess their needs first in determining if you should be PT or FT.
Understand the demands of the different genres.
Working from home is a big adjustment for most people.
Marketing efforts are critical to the transition from PT to FT.
Full-time voice actors spend at least 50% of their time marketing and promoting their skills.
Have a financial cushion in place for the transition.
Have an income replacement strategy.
Don’t forget about Health Insurance!
The transition involves your entire family and household. It affects everyone.
Share ideas with your own network ++
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Full Episode Transcript
Announcer: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with you host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.
Anne: Hey, guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, we want to share some bossolutions and some of the ways you can have more BOSS in your life. After an extended period of time in my studio, Gabby, sometimes I just get really dry, and my, my vocal cords are just tired. So if you guys are interested in getting some essential oil organic solutions for vocal health, hop on over to the voboss.com shop page, and you can select from a variety of different natural health, homeopathic products. We’ve got a vocal immunity blast. We’ve got a vocal wellness kit which has all the products in the line, as well as Vocal Booth Breeze, Vocal H2O, and our bestseller, the Vocal Throat Spray.
Gabby: Anne has long been supplying these products to voice actors, and I can tell you firsthand, they’re awesome, and if you’re looking for solutions to keep your instrument in top shape, this is a great way to do it. Go to voboss.com, go to the shop tab, and check out BOSS essentials.
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing, beautiful, intelligent bosstie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.
Anne: Both you and I, I am sure that questions all the time about people entering into this industry and wanting to make the transition, the big transition, from part-time voiceover to full-time voiceover, and I think it’s something that we should talk about.
Gabby: It is, and it’s, it’s funny. We actually made an attempt to talk about this once before. We had an entire episode about it.
Anne: Or five.
Gabby: We got so into the topic, we ended up with like 45 minutes of content.
Anne: I will tell you what. Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages. Obviously I’m full-time now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But there were lessons to be learned in both part-time and full-time, and I don’t know if they’re for everyone.
Gabby: Do we want to break it down pro and con style?
Anne: I think so. You know, when I got into the voiceover industry, it was on a part-time basis, while I was still working in IT. And one of the things that I found really convenient about it was it allowed me — while I started to do it part-time, it allowed me time to actually kind of dip my toes in the water, get a feel for what the industry was like — because what did I know? I wasn’t in it prior, so it was a great way to kind of learn all about the industry while being in it to see if maybe, you know, it really was something that I wanted to do on a more permanent basis. And so part-time was great. The thing that probably for me wasn’t so great was that it was time-consuming, and I think to get your feet off the ground, and get that running start, it required a whole lot more effort than I originally thought.
Gabby: I think a lot of people think that it’s gonna be no big deal. And that it’s gonna be pretty seamless, and no.
Anne: I think it’s probably even harder to break into the industry going part-time, because you are dedicating less time to it.
Gabby: Look, side hustles are very real, right? Everybody is looking for a side hustle. Everybody loves having them now, and it’s, it’s kind of a, I don’t know, I feel like it’s almost like a rite of passage now. It seems like everyone has one. But you know, we both have talked about this a lot. You can’t really look at voiceover as a side hustle. That’s not going to get you the results that you want to see. However, training, taking classes, working with coaches, developing your skills while you are still working somewhere else is pretty essential to be able to fuel and fund your education.
Anne: I think that works out to be a good strategy too, Gabby, because while you are working you have the money to be able to afford the coaching and the lessons and the preparation for getting yourself into the industry.
Gabby: Right. And then at some point you have to kind of say, what am I able to do? There are a lot of scenarios in voiceover where part-time simply doesn’t work. The clients need the content too quickly. They can’t wait for you.
Anne: You need to audition.
Anne: More frequently than you’re able to.
Gabby: There’s not a lot of flexibility, so I think you really have to strategize and map out if you’re trying to segue and, and sort of get to that place where your part-time voiceover career becomes full-time. What is going to be the most flexible equation for your clients and how is that all going to work so that you don’t lose opportunities, and they don’t become frustrated with your availability?
Anne: I think it’s important that you have a good idea as to the genre also that you want to be in because different genres of voiceover require different timestamps of availability, of auditioning, and you know, communication with the client. So for example I — it worked out well for me to, to do narration while I was working full-time because the timetable for completing narrations was not always the quick timetable that you need for let’s say commercial or promos or that sort of thing. So I think having your eyes open and really understanding the different genres and the demands that they place on your time is super important.
Gabby: It is. Another thing we are seeing that’s a big trend of course is people who are now working from home in other industries. If you can manage to take your existing career, your existing set of skills, the things that are paying the bills currently and transition yourself into a work from home employee, you are probably going to be in a better position to balance that along with your voice career until you get to that place where you’re really maxed out on time, and you’re able to go, “OK, I have to make the decision. I got to get rid of one.”
Anne: And you know, I think it’s good you bring that up, working from home. That in and of itself is a huge transition for some people. I know that some people like that, and some people it’s, it’s very difficult to work from home. I found that even I had to get used to it. You know?
Gabby: Some people it really is just not a good work environment for them. It’s just not a healthy set-up, and they don’t have that internal dedication and commitment to be able to really separate in their mind, “yes, I’m home, but I’m working.”
Anne: Or they work all the time. [laughs]
Gabby: Yeah, well.
Anne: Who, who could that be? [laughs]
Anne: But yeah, that, that’s a part of the equation. I’m going to say, when I started working part-time, I did not realize the amount of marketing effort that I needed to actually gain traction in the industry. And in hindsight, it was something that I should have prepared better for, or maybe, I wish that I had had somebody that could have said, “Anne, you know, you’re going to need to put 80% of your, your efforts into marketing in order to be able to really get these jobs.” And it wouldn’t have been so disheartening when I found myself in, you know, in the position of, “OK, so I’m part-time, I’m working. Where are the jobs? They are not happening, and why?”
Gabby: So, so glad you just brought that up.
Gabby: Because that 80%, that’s it, right? As a part-time voice actor, you only spend about 20% of your time actually in a booth voicing for a client. The other 80% is how you’re getting work.
Anne: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Gabby: It’s relationship building, networking, marketing, and that can be hard because when you’re part-time, and you’re, you’re trying to cram every freaking moment you have with ways to promote yourself.
Anne: And you know, Gabby, part-time and/or full-time, I think still you spend a considerable amount of time marketing. And do you think that that 80%-20% still holds true if you are full-time?
Gabby: mmm, I think it depends on what your genre is. I think it depends on what you do.
It could be that much. The best it gets is 50-50.
Anne: Yeah. That, that’s exactly my thoughts too is that you still, after how many years of us being full-time? I mean, I still spend at least at least 50% of my time marketing and out of the booth. So…
Anne: You know, I don’t know if I would want 100% of my time in the booth, to be honest with you. That, it’s, it’s physically taxing for that. And mentally, so you know, I kind of like the break when I have to do a little bit of marketing once in a while. I call that a break. [laughs]
Gabby: I’ve spent enough time in broadcasting that I am like, “look people, I need to see sunlight.” I don’t have a desire to be in the little padded box with no windows and no communication with the outside world.
Anne: Yeah, I get that too. I like to talk to, to people and talk to my clients and customers, and go to networking events, and that sort of thing. And I don’t need to be working 10 hours a day in my booth. I really don’t.
Gabby: So Anne, let me ask you, because I know it is such a constant question with this topic. What do you think are the indicators? What do you think is what a person is looking for to help them make the decision — is now the time? Am I ready to make the leap? I’ve been doing part-time for a while. I have been balancing two careers. When am I ready to finally go, it’s time to go full-time in voiceover?
Anne: I think that you need to absolutely ensure that you have a financial cushion for that leap, number one, so that you are going to be able to support yourself if you decide to give up your day job and go to full-time. You need to make sure that you have funds available to live so that you can build up your business to the point where you’re going to be able to replace the income that you were making with hopefully something that comes from voiceover and/or voiceover related uh, you know, jobs. My think that you have to have definite eyes on your financial situation, and I think you also have to have a good handle on your marketing, and I think you need to be established enough part-time so that you’re starting to see jobs coming in. Here’s an amount that I have been making for the past six months, for the past year, and I’m OK if I — I’m OK to live on that amount in case other jobs don’t come in. And how stable is that income going to be? I think you have really got to take a hard look at the numbers before making that, have yourself a financial cushion, and then take a look at the numbers that you’ve been generating for the past year, if you have been doing it part-time for a year. And, and see if there’s something that you can live on, and also, don’t forget about health insurance if you’re nonunion. Because a lot of people that are going, you know, making the jump are not necessarily union. They don’t have their health insurance covered, pension, benefits, all that sort of thing, so you’ve got to really put that in place too or think about it. I wouldn’t make that jump without thinking about it. What, what do you think, Gabby?
Gabby: I would look at pressure. Time crunches motivate me. Deadlines motivate me, right, and when I feel like I’m overloaded, or I have too much to do, I’m actually pretty much on my game. That’s, that’s kind of where I thrive.
Anne: Yeah, me too.
Gabby: What I see happen for a lot of folks is that they get one opportunity or one job as a part-timer that really cuts into their free time, becomes a bit of a commitment, becomes a bit of a sacrifice, and they go, “OK, that’s it. I’m going to make this leap.” If you’re not frantic, if you’re not [laughs] You really in my mind should be at the point where you’re like, “I cannot possibly schedule one more thing.” You have to be almost at that break point of having a day that is so full and so packed that you go, “OK, I have to do something dramatic. I have to do something drastic to fix this,” and that drastic move in that case is dumping your day job and going full-time into voiceover, because I feel like if you haven’t lived that for at least a year, you don’t have consistent enough data or work to sustain yourself.
Anne: Yeah, not just one day. You’re talking about having consistent work for days.
Anne: Yeah, for about a year.
Gabby: I think — yeah, I think you’ve really got to resign yourself that you’re going to go through a year of hell.
Anne: Yeah, I think that’s, no, I think that’s a really good guideline is a good year. Because that means that you’re work is coming in somewhat consistently enough so that you can, you can live on, we hope, live on that income. It really has to come down to, can you live on this income, and if you have a family to support, right, can, can, can that support your family as well as pension, health — all of that is so important if you can handle those expenses as well. I know a lot of people, they think it’s so glamorized about the industry that they make the leap, and then they forget. God forbid something happens, and I had something happen healthwise that cost a lot of money. And so I was thankful that I had had the resources that I did in order to handle that. But I think that you really, when you’re making that leap, you’ve got to be able to, to understand that you can afford those things that are necessary and support your family and yourself and your family.
Gabby: Yeah. I think stage of life is really important too. I always say if you’re younger, you’re going to be in a better position to make that leap. If you’re older and you already have retirement income or pension income somewhere else, you’re in a better position to make that leap.
Gabby: Folks who are in the middle, you know, married, mortgage, two kids, a dog, all that fun stuff, you’re going to have a harder time making that transition because you need that stability of income more so. So it’s really about planning. It’s also about taking your household into consideration, you know, your spouse, partner, whatever their situation looks like, and working together as a team, because please don’t think for one second that going from part-time to full-time is just a you decision. It’s not.
Anne: Absolutely. Oh, thank you for saying that. It’s very true, and especially make sure that your eyes are open going forward in this industry the way that it is progressing. We are currently in this economic time where — we’ve actually created an episode on it — that we need to really pay attention to what’s happening to the industry, what are the, you know, what’s happening to, to how you’re getting jobs, the rates you are being paid, and you know, what sort of longevity are you seeing for yourself for this industry in the future? I think you have to take a hard look at it.
Gabby: I agree with that big-time.
Anne: To stop short of being a complete Debbie Downer, but hey, I, I want to be real about this. I try to be as real as possible. There’s, there’s just so many people that are sold so many dreams. It’s hard. It’s [laughs] but it’s the best thing you’ll do I mean if that’s what you’ll find in your heart that you love doing, I think it’s going to be one of the best choices you’ll ever make, but boy is it hard.
Gabby: If we ever do a part two to this episode, it might as well just be titled “AAAHHHH, what did I do?!” [laughs]
Anne: It’s hard, it’s so hard, Gabby. [fake crying]
Gabby: There is a moment where you go full-time, and you are like, “what have I done?
Am I insane?”
Anne: And it becomes more than just like, “I lost the gig. I auditioned and I didn’t get it.”
Anne: It is such a more volumetric level than that. It really is like “oh my God, like, oh, I wasn’t thinking about that.” [laughs] “Oh, and we got to think about that too, wow.”
Gabby: But know that there are loads and loads of voice actors who obviously have done this. They have circumnavigated this process.
Gabby: Talk to them. Talk to other people who have gone, who have made that transition. You will gain a lot of valuable advice from them.
Anne: Oh, absolutely. Great advice. I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, our amazing sponsor ipDTL for this quality, beautiful recording of this podcast. You can find out more at ipdtl.com.
Gabby: And for all things BOSS, my goodness gracious, you have every social media ever devised as well as Google Play, iTunes, Sticher. So yeah.
Anne: iHeart. Yeah, all sorts of good stuff.
Gabby: If you are not awash in BOSS, you should be.
Anne: Alexa, play the “voe” BOSS podcast. [laughs] Hopefully everybody’s Alexa is now playing.
Gabby: We have to tell her voe.
Anne: You have to say voe —
Gabby: Stupid Alexa.
Anne: Alexa doesn’t understand that V and O are separate. Anyways, guys, have a great week. Kick buck. Wait, don’t kick buck. Wait. Guys, have a great week, kick butt, and rock your business like a BOSS.
Gabby: [laughs] See you later, guys. Have a good one.
Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.
Anne: Kick the, kick the buck because — [laughs]
Gabby: Whose buck? I mean, it’s almost hunting season.
Anne: I know, I was just going to say. It’s almost hunting season. Who is Buck? I had an Uncle Buck. [laughs]
Gabby: No, you did not.
Anne: I did. Yeah, Jerry’s Uncle Buck, and he gave actually the toast at our wedding.
Gabby: Did he look like John Candy?
Anne: You know, he kind of, he kind of did, Uncle Buck. Uncle Buck.
Gabby: Oh my God, that’s amazing.
Anne: Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my beautiful cohost, Gabby Niski — oh my God. There’s a, there’s a bleeper.
Gabby: Right, her.
Anne: You know that girl?
Gabby: Protect yourselves, kids, protect yourselves.
Anne: Stay prot — yeah, protect yourself. [laughs]
Gabby: Always carry protection.
Anne: Are you keeping that in? You always — are you keeping that in the podcast? Because that was just like, I don’t know how that came out of my mouth.
Gabby: I don’t know either.
Anne: Stay protected, be protected.
Gabby: Stay protected. Right.
Gabby: That’s pretty funny.
Anne: You know what, you don’t know what’s stopping you from receiving money until you really can kind of go back and think about um different situa – here, wait, that’s going to be a [bleep] edit.
Gabby: I love you.
Anne: So yeah, I was going to say my stomach might be going [growls] because it is tearing up the steak that I just ate.
Anne: Do you know what I mean?
Gabby: It’s a very violent precursor to this podcast today.
Anne: It is very violent. Now we need to talk about —
Gabby: Stomachs are tearing and ripping flesh and meat.
Anne: Well, it’s meat.
Gabby: You do realize —
Anne: And it’s like a vagina. [laughs]
Gabby: No, it’s not like a vagina. It’s not, it’s not like a vagina.
Anne: Hold on.
Gabby: It uh, I don’t know how you just got there, but no, not like a vagina. So let’s see. Single-handedly with that sentence, I want you to understand that what you’ve done is you’ve alienated any and all possible vegetarians or vegans that were in our audience.
Anne: Well, ‘cause I —
Gabby: You just compared vagina to steak.
Anne: I compared the blood —
Gabby: No, that’s so wrong. Now you just grossed out men, so men are gone. Like you just took out our whole audience.
Gabby: Good job.
Anne: Are you recording this right now?
Gabby: Why did you do that?
Anne: Are you recording this?
Gabby: Of course I am. Of course I’m recording this.
Anne: I am recording. I am —
Anne: Hold on.
Gabby: You know —
Gabby: The people that get to tell me to hold on this much are people I sleep with.
Gabby: Says a lot about our relationship, just sayin’.
Gabby: Can’t have non-freaky people on our staff, I mean although Diana takes the freaky cake, but still.
Gabby: Oh by the way, we bought beach chairs. We have our beach chairs now. Now we must find the umbrella. It has to be THE umbrella, but I’m very excited. I have the chairs. We had to sit in them in the store. We had to like, like we had to set up our mock beach in the store. And I was like, “OK, is this Jerry approved? How’s your ass feel? Is this good? Is this, is this, is this the appropriate height for a good prosciutto lounge? What have we got here?”
Gabby: I want to talk about robots.
Anne: I could talk about AI. OK.
Gabby: I know you can. I’m like, “oh, there’s a pretty robot.”
Anne: So we are going to talk about —
Gabby: I’m like, “oh, there’s a pretty robot.”
Anne: I’m so excited. I started doing some research on like all the technologies and companies that are, you know, currently, you know, working with it, and like tele-robotic surgery, and all that good stuff that use the unholographic lenses from Microsoft. It’s so cool.
Gabby: You are so over my head right now.
Anne: Oh my God. It can’t just be about my tech, you know, fetish, so, I’ve got to, I’ve got to figure out like, OK, so what companies are in need? There is — every company wants to get on the augmented reality like, you know, I mean like Snapchat and, and, and um Facebook and you know, wherever you can insert real video with like, you know, the poop character. That kind of stuff, and the go — Pokémon Go, all that stuff. That’s the fun part of it, but there’s such a good educational and medical um —
Gabby: On today’s episode of “VO BOSS After Dark,” Anne talks tech fetish.
Gabby: Anne, talk techy to me.