I turned a job down last week. It didn't meet the rates that I had been honing for the last three years, the turnaround was too quick, the script too long, the subject too boring, so I just...turned it down. It felt really good, as I'm pretty sure I've never done that with a voiceover job before.
I've also taken a vacation recently for the first time in years (that didn't involve a convention in some capacity). Another one's planned for November. Work's been coming in practically on its own all year, mostly from repeat clients I've built up campaigns with for the last year or two. Marketing is more for fishing for new clients rather than an urgent desire to survive; I even rejoined Voices.com, mostly out of boredom (plus they offered a huge discount at the time).
Oh, and I bought a new car when our old one died a couple week ago. I've never even bought a car before. My one steady gig isn't exactly what I'd call stellar work, but hell, I know I'm not going to starve. And after doing it for a year, the benefit of having a baseline has prevented me from ever having to get a side gig to make ends meet.
Life is good. And all it took was ten years of research, two moves across the country, and becoming increasingly unemployable for years to get me to start on this path. It took my friends in Baltimore building a theater company to get me to consider trying out acting at 27. It took the love and support of my wife and our family and friends, to keep us afloat as we readjusted to living in Baltimore again. It took a credit score I don't know how I earned to buy my first studio setup (which is due to be fully paid off sometime in the 2030's) when I decided I'd rather be homeless than work in an office ever again.
Well, I guess my home studio is basically an office, but I only have one office mate and he rules.
It was years of risk, and hell, it could still all evaporate next week and I'd have to start over again. Not from the bottom per se, but this isn't exactly a stable industry.
A lot of people ask me how to get into voice over. Giving advice is not one of my fortes, and also I'm pretty insular and shy/an asshole, so if you've tried getting in touch with me and I haven't responded, I apologize. But also, this blog is basically the answer to that question, so...you know, start here.
I'm going to take another swing at hewing down my advice into a logline:
Do your research, buy a mic, get good, find work. Continue ad nauseum until it works.
And get a good studio cat.