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  • Cheryl

This month marks the two-year anniversary of CGP! Starting my own business and pursuing a career in voice acting was a dream come true. That first year was such a learning curve, from all the administrative details, to marketing, to sharpening my skills with each gig I booked. And I was finally feeling like I was getting the hang of it when I got sidelined just after the first anniversary.


From October to April, my life was doctor appointments, biopsies, tests and more tests, surgery, and radiation. Even if I'd had the time and physical stamina, my mental wherewithal wasn't in the booth or on the business. I was so frustrated - I'd come so far and was booking bigger and bigger gigs, and to be taken out of the game when I was meant that I lost my momentum at the worst possible time. By the time I'd recovered from radiation and finished the last of my doctor follow-ups (for the time being), I had to start over.


This past summer has been my rebuilding season - following up with clients I hadn't touched base with in months, overhauling the CGP logo and website, creating a new marketing strategy, deciding what direction to take my business in. With the celebration of the two-year anniversary comes the end of that rough second year and the brand-new beginning of the third, and while I can't keep but wonder where I'd be in my career had breast cancer not hogged the spotlight for so many months, I'm rejuvenated by the idea of a fresh start. It's been a setback, but I'd rather look at it as an opportunity - Year Three is my chance to take everything I've learned so far and use it to turn CGP into what I truly want it to be. I'm so thankful to be able to get back into the game, and so excited to think about where I'll be for my third anniversary.


You can always start over - no matter what!


Have a great week!


Cheryl




  • Cheryl

We went to the beach last week. There are plenty of voice actors who take their work on vacation with them - that's one of the benefits of having a trade that can travel; we can work from anywhere! - and I considered it, but in the end, I decided I wanted A VACATION. And when you're your own boss, preparing to be out of the office/away from the studio for an extended period of time is just as busy as when you work for someone else: there were projects to wrap up, correspondence to close out, and the after-vacation to-do list to write, so I could come back to my desk Monday morning - today - and know exactly what I needed to hop onto (and my brain is just as vacation-fogged this morning as it always was after vacation when I worked for other people, so I'm glad I planned ahead!).


There *is* one big difference when you come back from vacation to your own business, though - at least, it's a big difference for me - and that's that I was actually EXCITED to come back to work. It's the end of summer now, and my summer voiceover bucket list is pretty much complete, which means it's time for the fall voiceover bucket list, and I have the best time brainstorming where and how I want to take CGP in the next few months. I made some big changes to my business over the summer, and now I get to fine-tune it and start taking out for a spin. I don't ever want my business to stay stagnant - I want to try new things, work my way into genres of the industry that I've always wanted to get into, continue to develop in the genres in which I'm already established, and start exploring areas I know little about. I'm so lucky and blessed to be able to work for myself - it's a dream come true - and I don't take a single day for granted. I always want to see what else I can do.


Vacation is over, and I miss the ocean, but I'm glad to be back. Here in rural Pennsylvania, the fields are being harvested. The cornstalks are taller than I am, and roadside vegetable stands are starting to spring up. The locusts buzz all day, every day, and the crickets are out in full force every night. We're starting to spot a few red leaves on the trees. My fall bucket list is ready to go. I'm looking forward to seeing how far I'll get by the New Year.


Enjoy the remainder of your summer, and have a great week!


Cheryl



Summer's end can be sad, but I'm excited for fall!

  • Cheryl

During my voiceover training, I remember my instructor telling me more than once that when I was out on my own, building my voiceover business and auditioning and booking gigs, I needed to be aware that there were two times a year when things would die off: July and December. It happens every year without fail, and it's just the nature of the beast. And he was right. I do outreach every day, and for the past few weeks, I've received next to no responses whatsoever. Fortunately, thanks to him, I'm always aware and prepared for it, and I also know that things will start picking back up again soon. And also fortunately, I've had things to keep me busy during the downtime.


I started this summer with a "voice acting bucket list" - things I wanted to accomplish by Labor Day. Over the weekend, I was going through my list, and I was pleased and proud to see that I've crossed off quite a significant portion of the list. I've rebuilt my website, rebranded my business, and created, launched, and produced what will soon be two full seasons of an inspirational podcast called "Anything But Routine."


Doing the podcast is especially beneficial during downtime in the voiceover industry, because it sends me into the booth on a regular basis. It's a different kind of voice acting, in that I'm simply speaking as myself rather than a character in a commercial or a training video, but it still requires vocal care, I still read from a script, and I still need to work with the recording software and be a sound engineer. Each episode of "Anything But Routine" is my own and is produced for myself rather than for a paying client, but in doing them, I'm keeping myself in practice and on the ball so that when summer vacation is over and production companies start booking for their fall and winter gigs, I can easily get back into the groove.


Not only that, but doing "Anything But Routine" is kind of like eating dessert for every meal - it's so much fun! What I love most about voice acting is that every project is different and I get to play so many different characters, but as with any job, some work is more enjoyable than other work. With my own podcast, I already know that I'm going to enjoy doing every single episode. From choosing the subjects to writing the scripts to bringing each inspirational story to life in the booth, "Anything But Routine" is a bonus gift in my voice acting career, and because of it, I've actually gotten to enjoy the summer slowdown.


I finished the last two episodes of season two last week, and with the voiceover world still fairly quiet, I'm already starting to brainstorm for season three. I can't wait to get started!


"Anything But Routine" is available for download on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, PodBean, RadioPublic, and Spotify, and a new episode is published every Tuesday. I hope you'll tune in! #unroutineinspiration.



www.anythingbutroutine.com