Here in Charlotte, NC we are now in what is known as an 'exceptional drought'. It is the worst drought anyone I know has ever been through in Charlotte, and 'exceptional' is the highest label any drought can achieve. We are on a major water restriction, meaning absolutely no sprinklers allowed lest you want a ticket and a fine. You can water your potted plants from the hose, but that is it.
I am an avid gardener. Having my hands in the dirt for 9 months is what gets me through the 3 months of hard winter. This has been a heartbreaking fall for me. No cabbage, onion, or peas in the veggie garden; no violas or pansies at the front door, no mums near the window. To make matters worse, we are having record breaking high temps this week. A sad fall indeed.
Today I was at our neighborhood nursery looking at a corn plant for the corner of my living room. I've wanted one for some time, and figured this would lift my spirits of not being able to enjoy the outdoors. As I wondered throughout the store, I noticed the vegetable plants were on sale for 69 cents each. I can't remember ever seeing vegetables that cheap! Even the decorative kale and cabbage were on sale for $2 a pot! Goodness!
Of course, the reason for these prices is obvious, no one wants to buy plants they can't water! This started me thinking...
I've spoken with several of my fellow voice actors and many of us experienced our own drought this summer. There were considerably less VO opportunities and jobs than in other months. In fact, I know several whose work drought has continued into the month of October.
I began to wonder if any of my fellow actors had considered their own version of a vegetable sale. Is it reasonable in the midst of a drought to offer your services at a lower price?
There are many positives and negatives to this solution. The positives include having an excuse to e-mail your regular clients, offer a 'special', and remind them you are available. The negatives include possibly locking yourself into a lower rate for good.
In business, each of us make decisions as to what works best during a drought. Do you conserve your voice and wait for the rains to come?
Unlike the vegetables, voice overs are not perishable. I did not lower my prices during my VO drought, I waited for the work to return. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
All I know is when it comes to work and flowers, I'll just keep praying for rain...