This has got to be my overall favourite piece of PR that I have ever done simply because my beautiful little girl gets to star in it, and she really does steal the show with her happy radiating face! This article was born in such an unusual manner and addresses balancing the voiceover life. In the spring of 2021, just before the FIFA European Tournament started my phone went off it was a production company that liked my look and asked if I was available to film in Manchester in a few weeks’ time for the upcoming football tournament. I took the job, and shortly after, my phone went off once more!
This time it was a company looking to see if I could do some toy voiceover and facial recognition in the studio, but the problem is it was on the same day as the football job. Weirdly it was in between the two big UK lockdowns, and that was the only time in 2021 I actually went into a studio, whereas I visited multiple filming sets. So, what did I do? Here is the problem – how was I going to do both jobs? I am a voice actor, NOT a magician, I can’t be in two places at once! Or can I? Stay with me! A few days later my phone goes off AGAIN… oh no! I know what you’re thinking! Fortunately, this job was not on the same day but a few days later, in London! This was for a Daddy-Daughter audition for Nintendo.
Dad, Husband, and Voiceover Life ALL AT THE SAME TIME
This particular week was a logistical nightmare with spinning all the plates. All my usual commitments came in to play along with a few extra ones, which all aligned at the same time. In entertainment, it is funny how you can go weeks without an acting job or a voice over job, and then all of a sudden, you have jobs crossing over each other! You can almost guarantee the latter will happen when you are super busy with life. Why can’t all the work come in when we are quiet, right? Learning to prioritise is so important! For me, my faith and my family take the top of my priorities, if those two things are not looked after, then I don’t even think about doing anything else. Good and strong foundations make for a better, more confident, disciplined, and strong actor and voiceover artist/voice actor. So, what did we do with the above situation? I am the dad of a very excitable nearly 1-year-old who was hugely dependent on Mummy (my beautiful wife Molly). The casting director wants me and my daughter Grace to travel to London. Meanwhile, I have other jobs to knock out! So, what did I do?
Making Voiceover Life Work
I sat with my wife and asked her what she thought about taking Grace 200 miles south for an audition. Like me, she was excited about the prospects of a big fun adventure, so I invited her to come with Grace and me to London. Why? Well, the number one reason was to do this together as a family, but number 2 was to ensure Grace was well supported. So going back to priorities, family time and well-being comes first!
We did the trip, had a wonderful time, and it was such a fun audition. Grace and I had a blast, and the casting director and team all adored her. For her, it was just an exciting adventure filled with play, and really, to be honest – she is right! Acting is just an exciting adventure filled with play! Whatever the genre is, we are playing around with our imagination, and we should be having great fun!
So, what about the other two jobs? Oh boy…
On-Screen, Behind the Mic, Balancing Act
I managed to wrangle the two jobs to shoot at various times of the day. I needed to be on set in the afternoon giving me all morning for the voiceover toy job. I had the joy of being a dinosaur, a pig, a dog, a sloth, and a lion all in this morning session. One problem! The tech broke, and the session ran an entire hour behind! They were desperate for me to finish the session, but with the pressure of the upcoming filming shoot, I negotiated with them that I would return after the shoot – like it couldn’t get any worse right?
So, I arrive at the film set for this football shoot, and they are running an hour late! I am face-palming myself at this point, thinking, ‘ARGH, I could have stayed and finished the toy job!’ But this stuff happens, right? So, I did the shoot, it only took a couple of hours once we got on set and got through all the covid testing and paperwork. Again, it was great fun, and I loved having that credit associated with my name.
In a true happily ever after format, I went back to the voiceover/facial recognition job and finished that last character, and that was it, DONE!
All-Around Performer Spinning All the Plates
Though I am a performer, I am not referring to the physical plates but the hypothetical ones describing how we often have a lot going on. The key is to prioritise and negotiate. I first prioritised my family and the audition with my daughter, THEN focused on the two jobs on the same day. Once I got those, I took the TV job first to honor that but managed to organise it around the second, which was a voiceover and facial recognition job. When that one went over, I agreed to go back after filming. So, I really did work and negotiate with both companies to give them what they needed across the available time frame. Of course, we also had to negotiate the cost of going back for that extra session, although they offered to compensate on this rare occasion! That doesn’t often happen, right?
So, to close, make it all about them and not about you!
- Family first
- Look after the client
- Go the extra mile
- Oh, and have fun!