|Posted by frankjamesbailey on September 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM|
Calling In sick…to yourself?
I’ve been working on my own for a while now. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. Just like a few days ago I was hit with a sore throat. Now what?? I have a few clients that NEED their work done soon!!
When I worked for a radio station (or any company for that matter) if I was sick, I called off. Simple as that! Now that I’m working for myself, who do I call off to? Do I tell my clients…sorry, I can’t do the work now because I’m sick? This could mean lost money for me!!
On one hand, I know a lot of people that go to work sick because they don’t have any sick days and they can’t afford to call off. I remember in 1999 I was working 7p – 12am at a radio station in Youngstown, OH and I was working on the air. Even though I had a major case of the flu, I had just started there and I needed the money to pay my rent. Sick or not! I needed the cash!! Of course, working 7-12 you can get away with a little more than usual. For example, when I was sick, I just didn’t talk as much, maybe twice an hour. They didn’t have voice tracking back then or I would have voice tracked my show and left.
Anyway, if you’re working on your own, you can’t really call off if you get sick. Especially in the line of work that we do as voice actors! We need to sound as good as we can possibly can be because we make money with our voice! If my voice is “cracking” because of a sore throat, it’s not going to sound good in a demo or to a paying client.
I know…everyone will get sick sometimes. This will happen to ALL of us. If you work on your own and paying companies despond on you to deliver the best quality voice over, what do you do when this happens????
A few people have said to me…”this is where your “voice over friends” comes into play.”
I’m talking about networking. Yes…you need to network with ALL kinds of people, male and female, in the business of voice overs! You never know when you’ll need a favor. Like…when you’re sick.
The only problem I see with this is two things. Money and trust.
MONEY: Money because I might charge a costumer $100 for a 30 second fully produced radio commercial. But the person I need to fill in for me (because I’m sick) might charge more. What if they charge $150 and they tell me…”oh, I’m sorry. I can’t help you for anything less then what I charge!” Now you’re out $50! Of course, it works the same the other way around too. If you charge $100 and the person you want to fill in only charges $75. Do you pocket the extra $25? Or do you give the extra $25 to the person helping you for helping you out in you in your time of need.
TRUST: Trust because, what if I just lie to my helper and tell him or her I charge $100. When I actually charge $150. I could easily pocket $50. I’m sure this happens all the time…everywhere! Oh, and of course there’s the trust of hoping this “helper” will not try and steal my client away because I’m sick. This “helper” could easily tell my client, “Mr. Smith’s Audio Repair, why do you want to pay that guy $150 when I’ll do it for $75!”
Can we say…undercut!
It’s great to have an agent or to actually work for a “company” of some sort when you get sick. You can just…call off! But a lot of us are in business working for ourselves and we do voice overs on our own. We need to help each other. Don’t ever burn a bridge or stab someone in the back. It might turn around a bite you in the ass later.
There are a few voice casting sites (and other web sites) that give a good guideline as to what to charge a client for what you offer. Be it a TV or radio commercial, a narration project, an on-hold message, or radio imaging. Some people think these web sites guidelines are to high. Some think they are to low. Again, they are just a guideline. You charge what ever you feel is good price for your product.
Finally, I was a little sick last week. I got better and my costumers waited for me. So calling on someone to help me out was avoided. My costumers got the voice they hired. ME! Frank James Bailey!
But…if I continue doing this line of work on my own, I know someday I’m going to be very sick and I’ll need a “helper”. This is another reason why I use facebook, Google Plus, twitter, and other networking sites like them. To stay surrounded by people / friends who are willing to help you in a time of need.
Thanks everybody…in advance.