As a diverse millennial voice actor for almost four years, I often get asked by friends, family, creative directors, and producers about a typical day. Do I work around the clock? Do I voice animation? Is it exhausting? I’m happy to share a typical day in the life of a voice actor.
Creating Good Voice-Over Habits
Each day starts differently depending on priorities. A typical work day starts with waking up and checking my phone for urgent emails. After sifting through the requests, I get up, wash and brush my teeth, and I like to splash my face with cold water. After getting dressed, I start my day with a glass of warm water with lemon. Sometimes I will add 1 tsp of baking soda or have a glass of warm water with Apple Cider Vinegar. I find that brushing my teeth leaves my mouth sort of dry, which translates to mouth clicks and sticky sounds that resonate in the microphone. This concoction alleviates the feeling of stickiness. These three drinks are suitable for general health, immunity, cleansing your liver, and eliminating mucous in your throat.
Next, I’ll have another glass of warm water and add 2 tbsp of flax meal. This drink is loaded with nutrients to start my day, rich in fiber, and high in omega-3 to aid in concentration. It helps reduce high blood pressure and stabilizes blood sugar. Both drinks give me a great start to my day, which helps me to wake up! Next, I will make myself a green or black tea with a bit of caffeine to wake me and my voice up. I notice that my voice is at its best around 10:00 a.m., so I try not to schedule directed sessions until that time. Fortunately, many casting directors, video producers, and agents are on Central Standard Time or Pacific Standard Time, and I am based in Eastern Time.
Let’s Hit Those Voice Over Emails
I then head to my office to review my earlier emails. If clients are looking for a response, I get back to them immediately. If a client or agent is looking for an audition, I put those at the top of my to-do list. Once I have addressed the crucial emails, I log into my online casting sites. Currently, I am registered on voices123 and voices.com. I will check both accounts to see if I have any messages from clients looking for an audition, a pick-up, or a general inquiry. Then I review the auditions on the platform and prioritize them by budget, time frame, or deadline.
Warm-Up-Time is Vital in the Life of a Voice Actor
Once my emails are out of the way, I warm up my voice. Usually, I give myself 5 minutes to warm up. It can be a combination of voice exercises, blowing through a straw, singing or even doing push-ups, stretching, or going for a quick morning walk. Anything to move around those muscles to ease any stiffness that may have occurred during the night.
Online Auditions for Casting Sites
Once I’m warmed up and feeling limber, I start to audition! I usually try to knock out 10-30 auditions a day, depending on my schedule but I find auditioning a good warm-up for any jobs I have to record later that day. I then go into my voice-over booth and record 7-8 auditions. I will say the name of the job in the microphone and let the recorder run so that later when I split the files and edit, I know which audition I have recorded. After I’ve recorded the files, I will sit back at my desk and begin editing. It takes about 10 minutes or so to edit 7-8 files.
Voice-Over Agent Auditions
I will review my agent auditions again and spend time dissecting those scripts. Agent auditions are incredibly competitive, so it requires total concentration for auditions. Agent auditions take a little longer to record, as you want to get it right, so I will record a few takes and try to sound perfect and unique. I also add a slate at the beginning or end, then one second of silence, then the take. If two takes are requested, I’ll leave a second of silence in between each take. I try to create two takes that sound distinct from each other to demonstrate range. Once I am happy, I submit it.
Essential Break Time
After an hour or so of auditioning, I will have breakfast, take a short break and head back to my office. I will review again if there are any auditions to do urgently. If not, I will begin recording any jobs I have for the day. I used to leave recording jobs at the end of the day but felt my energy was low, and it was difficult to give it my effort, so I found recording jobs around 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. the best for my attention and energy.
Voice Over Auditions Genre Breakdown
There are different patterns, flows, and rhythms for performing each genre. Voice over coaching has taught me to switch rhythms like a musician to provide a professional recording. I have gone from a crazy character in one breath to a corporate voicemail recording in the next. Most of the auditions I do daily are for:
Scheduling Marketing into the Life of a Voice Actor
Once I have completed my auditions and jobs for the day, it’s around 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. I am continually checking email for anything urgent, so it’s time to do it again. Then I start working on market projects while eating my lunch. I review my CRM for clients I need to reach out to and check my Linkedin and Facebook to accept connection requests.
This is the time of day when I feel I can relax a bit. I put on some music to help me relax, concentrate, or get pumped up if I’m tired. I am such an oxymoron with my music range. I will play Binaural Beats, Classic or Coffee-Shop Jazz, Chill House, R&B, and LoFi-hip hop if I’m in a chill/concentration mood. Or Deep House, ’90’s-2000s mix, Tropical House, Summer Mix, The Beatles, Soul Music, or Elvis if I’m looking for a pick-me-up.
After an hour or two of marketing, my brain is exhausted. I will finish by heading outside if the weather is nice and relaxing on my hammock in the backyard. Sometimes I listen to a voice-over, business, or health podcast to relax my mind. In the winter, I may relax by watching TV or doing a workout.
Variations on a Day in the Life of a Voice Actor
Some days instead of email marketing, I will focus on other tasks such as social media engagement, collecting payments, bookkeeping, and writing blogs for my website. I recheck my email in the evening, around 9-10:00. I review my online casting sites once more to see if anything else urgent, such as a private audition or an agent audition, has come in. If I have enough energy, I will quickly jump into my booth and record the audition.
Then I shut off the computer and don’t think about VO until the next day! I hope this small glimpse into a day in the life of a voice actor accurately and interestingly demonstrates my job as a professional, diverse millennial voice actor. What does a typical day look like for you?