Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: Times are tough all over...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Times are tough all over...

Backstage magazine has an interesting article concerning the current state of the economy.

Despite my overwhelming desire to be snarky due to the facts and research done on this article (for example, use of stats during what is normally the weakest time of the year for actors, use of statistics that do not match case examples, and the use of two very troubled industries to correlate the rest of the economic situation), I'm going to take a more positive approach.

I know, I know, the VO actor who is also an infosec professional is going to be jocund in his posting about the economy. Sorry to disappoint, but I am.

Here's the deal, you can be in business, ANY business, unless you recognize the fact that you're going to have lean years, as well as fat years. Barring major calamity, there's about a 15-20 year cycle between recessions. The current economic climate reminds me of the late eighties, which wasn't all that different from spots in the late 60s. My point is that you can't be surprised when these things happen... simply put, the sun can't stay shining forever.

As a voice actor, especially for those who are just starting in the field (and one thing the article and I both agree upon is that there are a LOT of new folks entering the field) you've got to recognize this fact. But above all things you have to remember this one little phrase...

A career, or any long-term endeavor is a marathon, not a sprint. The sooner one recognizes this, the better you can prepare for it. This is where (for the voice actor) diversification, long-term planning (financial and professional) comes into play. Sure, the commercial market for voice acting is many areas is a bit drier than normal, but several sources (and my own experience) state that companies are keeping things more "in-house", by increasing the number of industrial voice overs that are being produced (it seems as though you can't shake a stick without hitting someone who's looking for talent to provide a voice over for a corporate presentation ).

Like most things in life, perception is reality. But if this recession turns out to be anything like the last one, you'll be hearing the stories of people and companies who not only survived this economic downturn, but exceeded everyone's expectations (Google is a great example of one of these). What's going to separate those who succeed from those who don't survive...? Simple. Those who are still around after it's all said and done will be the ones who best utilized the resources available to them and paced themselves long past the point when things are expected to get better...

not much different from long-distance running if you ask me.

A direct link to the article can be found here.


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