BOSS Voces: When Things are Slow

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By Anne Ganguzza. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Although we wish it were true, companies don’t need VO produced 365 days a year. So what do you do when things are slow? Anne & Pilar have learned that the ebb and flow is all part of the biz. The amount of auditions you receive is not indicative of your worth, but it does feel good to be busy. Filling your time with classes, coaching, and market research during down time can prepare you for when the busy season comes again, but slow days can also be times to relax + restore your hard working voice, mind, and body like a true #VOBOSS.

Transcript

>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Pilar: Hola, BOSS Voces. Bienvenidos al podcast con Anne Ganguzza y Pilar Uribe.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and I am super excited to be back with special guest cohost Pilar Uribe. Hey Pilar. How are you today?

Pilar: I am good, Anne, and it's, uh, it's a little slow today.

Anne: Yeah. You know what? That happens in our industry. We have days where, gosh, every time I turn around, there's something else to do. And I love those days. They're crazy days. But then there are days when it's slow. Back in the early days, Pilar, I used to like question, oh my God is what's happening? Like, should I get out of the industry? Like I haven't heard from any of my clients. I didn't book any gigs today. So what do I even do? So that would be a good topic for discussion today.

Pilar: It's funny because I think that voice actors tend to equate their worth with the amount of auditions they get, which has absolutely nothing to do with them.

Anne: auditions and or jobs too. So don't forget about that. Right? 'Cause they're like, oh my God, it's been slow. I haven't, I didn't book anything. I didn't get any auditions. What am I doing wrong?

Pilar: Exactly. And it generally, it has nothing to do with you. There are things that you can do of course, but just remember that it's not necessarily a reflection on your ability. It's just sometimes it's the wave of what the market is doing.

Anne: Yeah. The wave of the market.

Pilar: I mean, there, there have been so many waves when people didn't know what was happening. And so clients and companies are still trying to figure out where to put their advertising dollars, and then that's when you see, well, what's happening? Why isn't, why isn't this coming in?

Anne: I know and then you immediately blame it on yourself.

Pilar: Immediately. And that's so that's so unhealthy.

Anne: Yeah. It's a good thing to remember. I tell people because we do our BOSS advertising, the BOSS Blast, and a lot of times it really comes down to like what you said about the market. It is so true. We are driven by the market, right? When the market needs voiceover, they buy, not that they're not going to completely not need voiceover any given day, but there are waves. And it's always good to remember that if you're getting auditions, or you're submitting to any particular clients, corporate clients, if you're doing your own marketing, a lot of times any one particular company doesn't need a voiceover necessarily every single day.

They're advertising. I don't really know one company that's advertising every single day, like hiring a voice talent. Sure, they're advertising, but it might be print. It might be email. It might be social media. They may not always be hiring a voiceover talent every single day. So remember when you send that email or that advertisement or that email for your services, remember that not every company has a new commercial every day or has a new e-learning module to do today. And that has a lot to do with offers that may come by. It just may be a whole timing issue.

Pilar: Yeah, exactly. And so when those days are slow --

Anne: What do we do?

Pilar: What do we do, exactly. And so one of the things that you can do is look at the business of where you are in your voiceover career. Are you sending out emails? Are you --

Anne: What's your marketing plan?

Pilar: What's your marketing plan? Are you being top of mind for certain people, without being a stalker, 'cause that's something that we have to be really aware of. If you've had a client that you worked with, let's say a year ago, and you haven't heard anything or you got a new demo and you can say, hey, I just did a spot and I have a new demo. There's certain things that you can do during the slow time, during the let's say holiday times or the winter or the summer months. I was just thinking about this one very specific, slow time of the year is let's say Christmas through New Year's --

Anne: Yup, yup.

Pilar: -- because nobody's thinking about that. Everybody's dealing with their Christmas presents or their Hanukkah or whatever they're getting into.

Anne: Well, the majority.

Pilar: The majority, true. If you're not religious, that's fine too.

Anne: Yeah. International clients might be working. So there is that.

Pilar: Right.

Anne: Yeah. But generally slower.

Pilar: It's generally slower because people don't have that. They're getting together with their families. They're planning trips. They're not necessarily thinking about the office work, and it's also end of year. So everybody's wrapping up their financial business.

Anne: Well, yeah, and anything that is needed for the new year, or to end the year for the holiday, for example, any holiday advertising, hopefully they've taken care of that months before. Right? And so during that end of the year, they're hopefully planning for what's happening, you know, in the beginning of the following year.

Pilar: Right. But they're not concerned with, oh, I need to hire this. They're not necessarily as concerned as they would be let's say in a heavier year for that particular company, that particular business. So it's a great opportunity to sit there and look at your plans.

Anne: Absolutely, absolutely. Look at where you are right now in your career and what can you do to grow? It's the most opportune time to market yourself or figure out, if you're not marketing yourself, how you can start or how you can market your better.

Pilar: Exactly. So what can you do, let's say, in those slow months? Well, you can take a class, you can work on your craft. You can look at your emails from people you've done business with, people you want to do business with, do a little bit of research. Basically we are so lucky that we live in this day and age of the Internet, because all we have to do is Google a company and see what their practices are. You can see that the health and the range of a company you're going after, you know, XYZ company, say, well, what is it that they're, they're going after? What are their spots like? What are their radio spots like? What are their TV ads? What is their marketing push, and see what could be interesting for you, let's say if you're, if you're looking at a specific company.

And then when you're looking at your own stuff, everyone has a different style. Some people are really organized. Some people are not. People have, you know, little tabs that they do. They have spreadsheets. Some people are fly by night. I'm a little bit of both. I like to make lists, but I'm not necessarily a spreadsheet kind of gal. So I'll sit there and look at -- I have a very specific list where I'll look at, you know, who have I heard from? Who have I not heard?

Anne: I think it's a really good time to, if you don't have a CRM or if you either invest in a CRM or take a look at your list of clients that you do have. I have a couple of different CRMs that I work with, one of them specifically because I do a marketing program, the BOSS Blast for other clients. So I am looking at that CRM and finding out, when is the last time I contacted this person, if they're not on the list to get them on that list. And I love what you were talking about in terms of researching companies that you might want to try to reach out to and contact and investigate like what's their market like? What are their new products? What is their form of reaching out to potential clients?

That's one of the things that I always tell my students to do is, hey, if you want to be aligned with a company, go check out their website, sign up for their mailing list. I know I'm like, I have so much email. This is why I have like 900,000 emails that are unread, but I sign up for a lot of company email lists so that I can find out how they are marketing. And this is part of my ongoing research anyway, to make sure that I'm current and relevant in the corporate realm of things, because I do a lot of corporate narration. But that also is a very good reference for commercials as well, because companies have products, and they advertise those products. So not just for corporate narrations but for commercials and basically all sorts of voiceover applications for researching companies and finding out who they're reaching out to. Maybe they're now reaching out to a younger demographic. So what does that mean for you?

So keeping that research kind of at your fingertips can really help you for when you're auditioning starts picking back up or your jobs start picking back up because you're going to be really relevant and current with trends. And I think that that's so very important that you do that, especially if you're in the middle of your career, and you may not be actively coaching with anyone right now. It's something that I do almost on a daily basis. It's market research to find out what are the trends, what are, what's getting hired? How many people that I see posting on Facebook or that are just starting off that say they don't watch commercials. Oh my goodness, no. You have to watch commercials. That's like your homework.

Pilar: Yeah. I think that that is just such a goldmine that people I don't think realize. And that's part of your homework. That's, as much as it is doing research on a company, it's being aware of like big events throughout the year.

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: Like the Olympics.

Anne: Yeah. Cultural impact.

Pilar: Like the Super Bowl. Like the Oscars, all those commercials that come on, inform us what the industries are interested in right now.

Anne: And why am I watching the Super Bowl mostly this year? For the commercials?

Pilar: Exactly. I don't want to downplay the, the actual Super Bowl --

Anne: Oh no, I'm not downplaying, but I -- look, if your team isn't in the Super Bowl, of course. Do you know what I mean? It's not, I'm not saying I'm not watching the Super Bowl for the Super Bowl, but I also, as much as I watch the Super Bowl for the Super Bowl, I watch it for the commercials.

Pilar: Exactly. And it's so interesting when there's a big event going on, you're going to see the different patterns. Like for example, if you're watching the Olympics or any Olympics or any big event, whether it's the Emmys, or Country Music Awards --

Anne: Advertising changes, yeah.

Pilar: -- they are focused. They have a very, very specific demographic that they're aiming for. So it's really key as a voiceover actor to see who are they aiming for and what is it that they want, and then contributing as part of that. Because if you don't put yourself in that whole part of the process, then you're missing out on a lot. So it's really important when you do have time to think of yourself as one of the cogs in the wheel that's getting this done as you are, you're planning your financial and your email marketing throughout the year.

Anne: And speaking of spending time on yourself, right, while things are slow, you can absolutely take classes. There are so many wonderful opportunities out there for educating yourself and furthering your performance, furthering your, your business acumen, all types of classes that you can take, acting classes. You know, improv, we were just talking, we had a whole episode on improv, which was phenomenal. But yeah, doing something that can help you to really get your performance kicked up a notch so that you're ready for when those auditions do come around again.

Pilar: Yeah. And even, even something as simple as yoga, tai chi, centering yourself, all of that is so important because that just adds, it just gives you colors and flavors. So when you go and you do an audition, it's basically like having your own proper tools to be able to stand in front of the booth when the time comes. Because for example, this has happened to me over and over again, where I'll get an audition the night before it's due the next day, you have to come up with this accent, or you have know about this product. And I'm like, I don't know about this product.

So for me, like what you're doing in terms of looking at all those emails, all the marketing, seeing how these companies work, it basically for our general knowledge, it's always, it's always important to be sort of on the pulse of what's happening. Because when the time comes and you have that audition, you have to be able to just produce it, just like that, snap. So whatever it is, whether it's a new accent or it's a new product, or it's a new idea, and you're like, okay, what is this? So that, you know, you quickly have to Google, you want to be Googling and you want to be interested and looking at the world, because that's going to help you when you're sitting there by yourself, in the booth going, what is this?

Anne: Oh, yes. Look at the, I like that. Look at while you're sitting there waiting, look at the world. That's such a cool concept though. Really, get out there and look at the world. And you know, what I really love too is if you're not watching television and listening to those commercials, right, which gives you a nice, I think, pulse on trends in voiceover coming up and as they are, you know, you can also go to a really great resource on the web, like YouTube or ispotTV is amazing if you want to go check out commercials. And you know what's interesting, really understanding and really listening. You know, how many times I've gone to, I spot and you listen to a commercial. You're like, okay, in my head, I hear it this way.

But in reality, if you watch it, and I noticed that you had mentioned this before is to listen with no image, right? Don't look at it, but just listen to the voiceover. And I think that's a really, really great tip. I want you to just listen to the commercial and listen to the voiceover because there's so many times where we think we hear something, but yet when you really sit back and listen without any visual, without anything else that's disrupting your focus, you're going to be able to hear those nuances. And those nuances are so, so important. A lot of times with students, I'll be like, okay, go check out this YouTube. And I don't want you to watch it. I want you to just listen to the voice and how the notes are happening and the nuances and the emotion as this piece progresses. Listen to the nuances of the voice and how they are responding and telling the story and emoting and tugging at our heart strings. That I think is so, so important. That alone, if you spent a certain amount of time per day just doing that I think would really help your performance.

Pilar: Yup. You would start knowing each company that advertises, they do have a signature. It's really subtle, but then you start learning what each company's signature is. And that's so important when you go into the booth because you know, when we go into the booth, we get a spot at 6:00, and everything's, it's always rushed. But if we take the time, when things are a little slower, and we're doing this on a daily basis -- again, I mean, I'm not saying spend all day watching TV, but you spend 10 minutes --

Anne: Consider it market research.

Pilar: -- let's say a couple times a day in market research, it's for your own benefit.

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: Something that I, I really like doing, Anne, and I do this periodically is that I go over my old conference or class notes. How many times have you opened a book and go, oh yeah. I went to this class.

Anne: That was a good class. I remember that. Yup.

Pilar: Do I remember anything about it? No, probably not. But when I go and I look at my notes, I go, oh yeah, that, they made a really good point. That's really important. And I think that it's so important generally when you take a class, whatever it is. And let's say you write notes, go look at your notes immediately after you've taken the class, and then look at them again one week later. Because here's the thing about learning. You know, this, 'cause you have been an educator for such a long time. The very first time we get something or we hear it, we may not necessarily get it fully.

Anne: Yeah. Get 100% of it. Yep.

Pilar: So to maybe see it again, we need to --

Anne: Go back, review.

Pilar: -- read it again. We need to explain it to somebody because that's when it really sinks in.

Anne: Sure, if you have to teach -- that's so funny that you mentioned that because one of the things that I used to do when I was a teacher in front of the class was we would have project days where the students would propose to me something that they wanted to do for their grade, like a project. And so a lot of times I would say, all right, if you want to learn this, then I want you to teach it to me, teach it back to me. So that's a really great tip there is to go back and review because you'll, you'll get all those nuances that you might've missed the first time. It's like watching a great movie, right? When you watch it a second, third, fourth time, you get all the other nuances that you miss the first time. And that I think is a great analogy to reviewing your notes. And even if you have a recording of the session, I get a lot of conferences where I get the recordings, which I can look at later.

Now how many times have you ordered a course online and then you forgot about it. Right? I actually have multiple courses. I actually have a bookmark of places to go where I've bought courses that I need to go and take, or I need to go back and listen again. And so I'm going to say probably that's going to be one of the biggest, best tips that we can give, because I know it's not just me that's kind of addicted once in a while of I want to learn this, let me buy this course. And then I promptly make a log-in, a password, and then I forgot about it until three months later. And then I'm like, oh wait, I bought that course. Let me go and actually take it. So that's a perfect thing to do when things are slow, make sure you have a place -- you know, I just have a bookmark of, of courses. And so it just reminds me to go back and revisit those courses again and again, and get my money's worth.

Pilar: And get your money's worth, but also for me, it's always about how can I use it in the booth because it's that moment -- you know, VO BOSSes, I know you faced this. You're sitting in your booth and you're going, I don't know how to relate to this copy, or I'm tired. I want to go to bed. I'm falling asleep, but you have to push through because it's due at a certain hour. So it's, it's basically having those tools. And that's why it's so important to listen over and over to these things again, because they're all there to help you give your best performance in the booth, whether you're auditioning or whether you're working, we talk a lot about auditioning, but then you get the job, then what you do? So you, you have to be able to have all those tools at your disposal. So having that downtime enables us to be able to kind of just sort of hone them. It's kind of like, you know, filing your nails.

Anne: You know what's so interesting too? You know what else you can do in your downtime?

Pilar: Yeah?

Anne: You can actually like take some downtime.

Pilar: This is very true.

Anne: That is actually going to -- like for me, like I'm working, working, working, working, working, and then all of a sudden, whoa. Now what? Actually, like, I don't know, take a nap, go play with your fur babies, watch a great movie. I always love to watch good movies to get inspired, listen to great commercials, that sort of thing. I watch the Dodo videos, which are all about animals, you know, being saved and helped and goodness with animals. And that always just gets me emotionally, and it makes me happy. And believe it or not, that helps my performance in the booth. So yeah, take some actual time for yourself as well, because it's important for you to refresh. Whatever, whatever it takes for you to feel good, go for a run, get on the treadmill, go floating, so many things, right, that can really just help you refresh and be -- live in the moment. You know, spend time with your family, go on a vacation.

Pilar: And also it's knowing that slow time is not a reflection on your performance or your ability or anything, any of that.

Anne: Right. Unless that slow time is extended like for six months or so. I mean, you, you want to make sure that that slow time -- but you know, I'll tell you what, a few days here and there a week, you know, it's, it's very, very common. So I remember those first in my career, first of all, if you can stick out your career, right, and you're in it for the long haul, you'll start to learn that these ebbs and flows are normal, and you'll get more used to them. You'll get better at, I think, working through them. But in the beginning, guys, it's okay. It happens. I know so many people that will come to me, like, I don't know, what am I doing wrong? It's just slow. And I'm like, well, you know, it's been a little bit slow. So, you know, give yourself some grace, right? And in the meantime, here's what you can do.

The first thing is always educate, educate, educate, right? Educate yourself. Either build a CRM, educate yourself about your clients, educate yourself about the market, what's trending, take a class. Right? All of the things that we've already talked about, work on your marketing that can help you to educate and grow. It's just the best thing that you can do, whatever you can do to grow. Even if that means taking some time off, right? To relax and get your mental health back because it's so delicate, I think, in the beginning for people who are not used to this industry, right? It's very much a mental game, very much a mental game of confidence. And you need to know that it's okay, that you will have slow days, and you need to be able to do what you can to push through them, to build up your confidence, to build up your performance, do whatever you can to grow, grow, grow. And don't let it, you know, don't let the mind start to play tricks on you.

Pilar: Something, I think that's also really important is reaching out for help.

Anne: Oh yeah.

Pilar: Because for years I didn't have a voice over agent in Miami. I just basically found the jobs by myself. I had an on-camera agent, but I didn't have a voiceover agent. So when I came to Los Angeles, I got a voiceover agent really quickly. And then I noticed that I, I worked and worked and worked on my auditions, and I started thinking, oh my gosh, what's, what's wrong? So I actually reached out to my agents and I said, okay, I'm not booking, what do I do?

Anne: What a great idea.

Pilar: And so they were so helpful, and they each had just one or two lines. I mean, you know, they're so busy. It's not like they have a whole bunch of time, but they suggested I get with a few coaches. I had actually gone to one or two that they mentioned, but then I went to some others. They had some really good, it's very short sentences of critiques. And I just took that. And I was like, okay, great. And I'm going to work on it.

Anne: Yeah, I love that.

Pilar: And I worked on it.

Anne: I love that you reached out to your agents. I think people tend to forget that it is a two-way street. You guys are partners. And you know, I think it's wonderful. If your agent can take a moment and give you feedback. And I think any good agent will do that to help you, because you guys are partners. I mean, you help them make money. They help promote you. So I think that it's, it's important that you do reach out for help. And you know what, reach out for help from your peers too. I think peer groups can really help when things get tough --

Pilar: People that you trust, people that you trust.

Anne: People that you trust, and when you get down on yourself or maybe you're, you're lacking confidence, a group like that can help. It's one of the reasons why I put together the VO Peeps group so long ago. We were also isolated and it was to have a community which we could lift each other up. And I think that that is, that is absolutely important, when things get slow and you start silently going, oh my God, do I even belong in this industry? That's time to reach out, you know, reach out to your community, reach out for help. We're all here for you. BOSSes. We're here for you. So you can always reach out and come to us for encouragement, confidence to lift each other up.

Pilar: And if you don't see something like that in your community, go ahead and start one.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: Because for example, I, I, one day I just kind of lucked into this play reading class. They read new plays. It's every couple of weeks. And I go and I read. They give me a role and I read. Is there any monetary gain? No. Do I get a lot out of it? I get to read out loud. That's just priceless. I'm going to start another new reading accountability class.

Anne: Yeah. I love that. I love that.

Pilar: Just to read. D

Anne: Don't let your auditions be your practice ground. Do you know what I mean?

Pilar: Yes, yes.

Anne: Like I think that, you -- remember, your auditions or your work so glad you brought that up because you know, like I tell my students every day -- I give them enough homework, you know, I just like, I don't want you to be bored ever. You need to do something every single day that is voiceover related, and you need to practice. I think if you're at a certain level, it's wonderful to have that support of the community and to be able to work out and perform in front of each other. Be careful because depending on the group, you want to make sure you have somebody that has some experience in there that can give you some critique that is valuable to you. I think if there's a ton of, you know, maybe beginners in the peer group, it may not be as effective as it could be with somebody that has some experience in casting or directing. But it is so very valuable for you to practice that read every day. And don't let that be on your auditions. Really.

Pilar: Yes.

Anne: If you can spend 20 minutes a day just reading scripts, I think that that really, really helps, and also working out, it's another, again, another reason why I have VO Peeps, and we have workouts every month. We have a couple of different workouts every month. It's just so, so valuable to keeping those, those skills honed, and you know, and in check. So.

Pilar: And I will give a tip that I think is probably the most important tip that I will give. If you have a cat, you can read to him.

Anne: I love it. I love it. Yes. You can read to your fur babies. And your babies.

Pilar: I just did that last night. I'm preparing a monologue for an audition. And I was like, you know what? He's right there. What the heck, why not?

Anne: They're our biggest supporters.

Pilar: They are.

Anne: What a great conversation, Pilar. Great tips. Thank you so much. I'm excited. So remember guys, when things are slow, they don't have to be slow. You've got a lot of, you've got a lot of stuff to do. There's a lot of alternatives here.

Pilar: You have a lot of homework.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: That's important.

Anne: There you go. So I would like to give a great, big shout-out to our sponsor, 100 Voices Who Care. This is a unique chance, guys, for you to use your voice and make a difference and give back to the communities that give to you. You can visit 100voiceswhocare.org to find out more. Also love to give a great, big shout-out to our long-time sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect, and network like BOSSes like Pilar and I. Find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys, have an amazing week. We'll see you next week.

Pilar: I'm so glad we had this time together.

Anne: Good bye, goodbye.

Pilar: Goodbye.

Anne: Bye, guys.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at voboss.com and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.

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