I wrote recently about a new book that has just been published featuring day diaries from working women across the country. I've been reading this book for the past couple of weeks (a diary a day) and have to say I love learning about the different professions and what different women go through (Let me just say, I hope I never have twins! Moms are superheroes!). As you may already know, I participated in Diary Day on March 27th of last year, and I am also one of the featured diarists in Watercooler Diaries.
It was such an amazing experience to write down everything I did and everything I thought for an entire day. It was like taking a snapshot of my business as I was just going full-time with freelance voice over. I made a promise to myself that day that every year on March 27th, I would write a new day diary. This year's diary is not nearly as extensive as my first (the original was around 9 pages!), but it is a tiny glimpse into what one random day in my life was like in 2008. This will be my longest blog post ever, so just an advanced warning :)
March 27th, 2008
2:30am- The alarm goes off. I never even hear it. My husband gets up and goes into work – again, I never hear him leave. I feel bad that he has to wake up so early as a morning show meteorologist, but he loves his job!
7:45am- My living alarm (otherwise known as my dog, Macy) goes off 30 minutes earlier than normal. She ignores my cries to ‘lay down’ (otherwise known as ‘snooze’) so I get up and take her out. I was really counting on the extra sleep, as it has been one of my busiest work weeks ever. Oh well, time to check e-mail and see what came in overnight.
8:00am- Whew, no emergencies! Only a new blog comment and some spam. That means I can enjoy my morning and eat some breakfast in peace…first day this week that has happened! I’m going to take 10-15 minutes first and check the voice over message boards. They are as addictive as a soap opera…I always want to read what people are up to. My cat Storm crawls into my lap and begins to purr…
9:30am- I eat the same breakfast every morning. Boring, I know. It’s Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax cereal. It sounds awful, but tastes delicious! I also try to do at least 20 minutes of Pilates. I’ve had to skip it every day this week due to work deadlines, but today I indulge in nearly 30 minutes of exercise. I re-check e-mail and am delighted to see nothing major has popped up. I’m going to take some time now and water the plants and vegetables that have been desperately neglected all week.
10am- I have a stack of invoices from this week to type and send…I like to use Quickbooks Invoice Manager. It’s user friendly, and helps keep all my invoices in order. Of course, I prefer to keep a hand written notebook as well. I’ve never been one to fully rely on technology; if my computer crashed I’d be sunk! I can always count on my notebook for secure organization.
10:20am- I’ve just received an e-mail from a regular client. He reminds me to bring several changes of clothes to Tuesday’s on-camera shoot in Florence, SC. We will be shooting a series of :60 TV commercials for a local car dealership. I’ve been the spokesperson for this dealership for well over a year now. The sales manager is my on-air co-host. He is such a funny man; I always look forward to seeing him. We shoot on average of once a month. OK, back to invoices…
10:40am- Phone call from Charlie with GOV-TV. We schedule a shoot for this Monday at 10am. I am the on-camera anchor for a local government show called Meck Matters (Mecklenburg County is our largest county in the Charlotte area). It takes about 30 minutes to shoot a month’s worth of segments, since I am only there to introduce the stories and give contact information coming out of each packaged story. Charlie tells me the maroon shirt I wore last month blended into the background too much, can I wear a different color this time? No problem, I wanted to wear my new blue shirt anyway!
Looking at my calendar, I’ve just realized I have 3 on-camera shoots next week. GOV-TV on Monday, Florence, SC on Tuesday, and a commercial for a European video phone on Thursday (this one is a non-speaking role). I knew I should have scheduled a hair cut this week, but I just didn’t have the time! I’m looking really shaggy. Oh well, what can I do? I need to call Sherry and see if she’ll squeeze me in at some point for an emergency trim. When I decided to go full-time as a voice actor, I never imagined I would get on-camera gigs as well. They’ve really come from out of nowhere, but are fun and generally pay pretty well. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my voice over business, then why not go for all the gigs I can get?
12:35pm- I just got off the phone with my voice coach extraordinaire, Nancy Wolfson. We had an hour private phone session. I’m always amazed at how much I can learn in only an hour. Not only did we review a chapter from her course work, we spent about 20 or so minutes discussing some questions I had regarding my business. Nancy has so much knowledge about the voice over world; I always come to every session with a load of questions. I owe her so much; I’ve really seen a major impact on my audition to booking ratio in the time I’ve been studying with her. Plus, she is my go-to person when I have big decisions to make. The fact that we can also discuss clothes and shoes makes her all the more wonderful in my eyes :). We talked about demos a bit, I’m hoping to update my commercial demo soon and record a promo demo at some point. Ah, the updating never ends!
During my session with Nancy, my phone kept ringing. It was my local acting agent, her message said Thursday’s shoot date has been changed to the following Tuesday. Now I’ll have a shoot Monday, Tuesday, and Friday of that week- whew! I’m going to have some very late nights trying to keep my voice over work pile under control!
I call my local agent back to let her know I got her message. She reminds me not to get pregnant anytime soon, I’m on a roll with bookings. We have a good laugh, I love having her as my agent.
Ten minutes to 1pm…I need to finish up my taxes so we can drop them off with the CPA at 5pm. First, I have 3 voice auditions I have to record for one of my VO agents. Oh man, I’m starving! I need to eat lunch too. Auditions first, then food, then taxes.
1:40pm- I’m figuring a few final things on taxes and eating Spaghettios at the same time. I never eat Spaghettios, but I didn’t have time to fix something healthy. I’ll make up for it with dinner. My cat, Xen decides that at this very moment he simply must have some attention. I try to shoo him away, which gets my puppy Macy all wound up. They start wrestling. The busier I get, the more attention my animals demand. I think they are trying to push me over the edge. It has to be a conspiracy- it just has to be!
1:45pm- E-mail from my local acting agent. I now have a rehearsal on Wednesday for the website video shoot in 2 weeks. I’m supposed to have a 5 page script memorized by then. Oh my. How will I ever swing this one? I’m an auditory learner (not sure if I’m saying that right), so I have to hear something to learn it. Therefore, I will record the script in my studio and then load the .mp3 into my iPod so I can listen to it on loop. Looks like I’ll have an exciting weekend ahead of me now (said with a touch of sarcasm).
1:55- An e-mail arrives from one of my best clients. It is in regards to a very large project I am helping them with. The e-mail includes 3 pages of notes for production changes. Wow. I love that they are so specific; it makes my job much easier. It is sinking in with me now that this is going to be a very long weekend. Production by day, memorization by night. He asks me to call him so we can discuss the notes. I realize that if I’m going to fit a shower into this day it better be now…or never.
2:30pm- Showered and refreshed. My hair can drip dry while I call my client to discuss the project. I’m hoping I’ll have time to put on a bit of make-up before we meet with the CPA. OK, time to call…
2:35- It goes straight to voice mail, he must be on the other line. I hate how I ramble on when leaving a message. I’m a professional voice actor for crying out loud- it shouldn’t be so difficult! I better double check and make sure all of my tax stuff is ready- I may not have another chance.
3pm- My client calls to review the notes he sent. All the changes he wants make perfect sense, and overall everyone is very complimentary of the first draft I submitted. My husband comes home from work while I’m on the phone, and I wave hello as he passes by my studio door.
4:15pm- We are on our way to the CPA’s office to drop off our taxes. Since 2007 was my first year as a full-time business owner, I have a million questions to ask. I hope I remembered everything!
6:30pm- We are done with our meeting and all of my questions were answered. I’m starving and we decide to try a new pasta place near the house.
7:50pm- I arrive home and find a CD with my newest headshots in the mail. I recently had some new pictures done for my local agent, and I’m anxious to see how they turned out. There’s also a check from a recent job- I love getting money in the mail!
7:55pm- I’m completely bummed to discover that some stupid basketball game is on in place of Survivor. Even Lost is a re-run tonight! Where is the humanity? My husband is thrilled because he can have the big TV to watch his game. I’m just not a sports person; I don’t get it at all. I’m heading upstairs to look at pictures.
8:30pm- Yay- a few of the pictures came out pretty good! My agent will be happy. I was really tired the day we took them, so I’ve been worried about the bags that were under my eyes. You could definitely tell in a few pictures (it may actually just be my age finally catching up to me, who knows), but it wasn’t as obvious in all of them.
9pm- Chris is heading off to bed. It’s been a long day for him. I’m still checking e-mail and printing out the notes for tomorrow’s project. I have an audition I need to record, but it will have to wait. I’m worn out and would just sound tired. I’ll do a better job in the morning after a good night’s rest. I have some new comments on my blog I need to respond to now.
10:30pm- I’ve decided to post a few of my headshots on the VO-BB. Many of the folks on the message board are also on-camera people, so they are great at choosing which pictures would work best. I’m not so great at choosing, so I lean heavily on the opinions of others. I think I’ve messed around on the computer as much as I can for one day. I’m off to dream land now. I’ll have to read a bit in order to fall asleep, it’s the way I’ve always been. I guess I’ll need to practice that script I have to memorize as I drift off. They say you obtain the most material right before bed. At least that’s what I think they say.
Alright, come on Miss Macy, time to call it a night.
11:45pm- Lights out.