Let's Hear It For VO Moms!
In honor of Mother's Day, I had a few friends take some time out of their HECTIC schedules and let us take a peek into their daily lives. How they juggle all the hats of being a professional voice actress AND a full-time mom still boggles my brain! You ladies are killin' it! Thanks so much to Nazia Chaudhry, Kara Edwards and Lindsay Sheppard for helping me out with this one.
2/9/17 – Full-Time Voiceover Moms Tell All – 8:52
Gabby: Hey, it’s Gabby. So the businesswoman in me, the voice actress in me, the entrepreneur in me is completely fascinated by this incredible group in our industry. Not a very small group, mind you, but a really, really fascinating group of individuals: full-time voice actors who are also full-time parents. Dun dun dunhh!! Specifically the ones with new babies that are doing it all, all the time, and I am in awe because I don't know how they do it! I think about my workload, and I think about my day, and I go, "I can't even imagine what it would be like to throw a baby, an infant, a toddler into that mix." But it’s very common, and it’s done all the time.
As a matter of fact a lot of really amazing voice actors were previously on camera actors and theater and stage performers who left that world for voiceover specifically because voice allows them to be at home and to raise their kids. So I wanted to talk to some of these folks. I’ve got three women lined up for the rest of this video that are absolutely incredible. I'm very proud to call them all friends. To me they’re just incredible. These are the model mommies of voiceover, if you will. So I'm going to shut up and let them talk and tell you all about what it’s like, what their day is like, how exactly they go about making it all happen. Plus they’re all pretty hot and in their own right they actually literally could be models.
Lindsay: Hi, guys. Lindsay Sheppard here. Going to talk to you about being a mom and voice acting. So this is my baby girl, that’s Charlotte. She's four months old and I also have a 10-year-old little boy, so things get kind of crazy around here. So how do I do it? Multitasking, outsourcing, lots and lots of babysitters and just making use of every single moment honestly, every nap -- hello. [laughs] Naps are a great time to get work done. Oh no, no crying! If I have an audition come in last minute, I have an awesome husband who works from home with me also.
The biggest thing I have learned since having this little one is be super, super picky. I turn down so much stuff now, and honestly it hasn't affected anything. If anything the past two months have been the best two months of my entire career. They’re the only little for so long. Don't be afraid to say no. Outsourcing is huge. It’s a great timesaver. I make sure to only audition for stuff that I know is going to pay for babysitter and editor. I’ve been focusing on narration work a lot lately. And that seems to work really well because you get to pick your own schedule for it. Baby wearing, definitely, definitely baby wearing. It’s pretty much the only way I can answer my emails, and market, and do all of the la dee da stuff. Make sure to save lots of time for kisses.
Nazia: Work-life balance, being a mom in voiceover, amongst other things like I coach, I am a singer, I do live performance, I'm an on camera actor, so I am spread pretty thin as it is, and adding a six-month-old baby boy, Sammy, and a four-year-old girl, Rania, adding them in the mix just make things, makes things a little crazier. As far as like work-life stuff, I would say a shared Google calendar is a really good place to start. That way your spouse or significant other kind of has an idea of what you are doing audition-wise, time frames of those auditions that are due, when they’re due. But I do have also a task list that I write out, handwritten task list, and I get to all the important items at the top of the day, like phone calls, emails, anything that’s immediate that has to be done, I try to get to that at the top of my workday.
As a mom, you know, you’re being pulled in so many different directions, and you know, taking time out for yourself is so important, and I'm learning that more and more as I go along. Really understand that things aren't what they used to be. You know, now I have to juggle things. And sleepless nights. That's it. I mean, sleepless nights, that's what it boils down to. You don't get a lot of sleep. You know, we have a lot of demands as talent, and it is important to understand that there are times when you’re just going to have to give up your sleep. Oh well. Small price to pay. But you know, I don't forget to take that time out for myself now. That really has made a difference I think in my life as far as balancing family and kids.
Kara: As a full-time voice actor and a full-time mom, yes, we definitely have some challenges that we face. I have a unique situation in that I’m also a single mom. So for the first 12 months Michael refused to take a bottle, which meant that I was nursing him every three hours. And that meant during my workday as well. So from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, I would work in the studio while he went to a day care or school. And now he’s climbing on the chair. Then I would go up to his school, and I would nurse him. And then from 2:00 pm [laughs] So then from 2:00 to 5:00, I would work, and then I would go pick him up, and that would be the end of the day. Now my schedule is a little different. I actually take him to school at 9:00 am, and then I work until 4:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, I go and I pick him up, and then I’m full-time mom. That gives me seven hours in the day that I do all of my auditions – [baby cries] Going to go take a break.
Hi, we’re back and everybody's fine. Michael just started walking a week ago, so sometimes he takes little spills now and then, and it’s also now time, so we’re a little bit moody. So as I was saying, yes, it definitely can be a challenge. My work day is seven hours a day approximately from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and during that time, I’m recording, I'm invoicing, I'm marketing, I'm working with my agents and doing everything that I can for the business. It’s also the time that I clean my house, and I cook meals, and I do the things that we need to be able to function throughout the day.
So how does anyone get that done between 9:00 and 4:00? First of all, it is not easy. And second of all, I do have help because the bottom line is we work in an industry that you have to be flexible. Things don't always happen on a schedule, emergencies happen late in the day, and you need to be able to record. I'm extremely fortunate. I have amazing neighbors, friends, family, people nearby. They come and help me out, and so… we’re going to wear Mommy's hair. Yes? So I do, I have people that help me out, and they make this possible, and without them, I don't know what I would do. So I am able actually to record at last minute's notice, and that's basically how I'm able to keep doing this full-time. So I think that's kind of my job in a nutshell, and my child, and my dog, and my life in my house. [laughs] Yeah. We’re going to go take a nap now. Can you say bye-bye to everybody? Can you say bye-bye? Yeah? Not in the mood? There we go. Bye-bye, everybody. [laughs] Thanks a lot.
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