I feel beyond guilty about my lengthy absence from this blog, but I am thrilled to announce I finally made it into our new house in Tampa, FL! My studio is up and running, and my ISDN line should be connected in 2-3 weeks. All is finally good at home and at work.
Monday was my first day back after a near 2-month absence from full time VO during our relocation. I completed two voice/production projects, and an audition for a national spot. A good day back I believe. Today was busy as well! Between unpacking boxes and asking my husband, "Do you know where...", I managed to finish a lengthy project for a client.
Since this was my first relocation in which my belongings didn't fit in one car, there were a lot of lessons learned along the way! Many things I did right, many things I did very wrong (but learned something in the process!).
Since this is a VO blog, I thought I would post the top 10 things I now know to do when relocating a voice over business long distance. Some of these I did do, some I plan to do next time :)
1. Communicate with your clients. Don't be afraid to send e-mails explaining that you will be away for 'x' amount of weeks. Let them know how things are progressing so they don't forget about you during your absence.
2. Keep e-mails as brief as possible. I have a bad habit of wanting to explain everything going on in my life in a single e-mail. I have to remind myself that no one cares. Just the facts are needed, no embellishments.
3. Research local studios in the area you are moving to. I had 3 big projects I had to complete in the middle of my move in addition to needing to record 13 episodes of Raggs via ISDN. Since I had called ahead of time, I already had a studio lined up that I could call in a moment's notice. It was a win-win for me- I had a studio to use, and they have since called me in for work here locally!
4. Check the location of your temporary and permanent housing closely on a map. How far away is the airport? What direction do the planes fly? Is there a train that runs by the house, a major highway? Boy, if only I had done this- those 6 weeks in temporary housing would have been much less stressful!
5. When tearing down your studio, take lots of pictures of how the wires were connected. Document the levels on your mic-pre, etc. Doing this made re-connecting everything so much easier for me. It also ensured I had the same consistent sound as my previous studio for projects I had to do pick-ups on.
6. If possible, move your studio equipment yourself. After seeing how many boxes arrived upside down and slightly jostled, I am very thankful I drove my equipment down myself. As I always say, should something happen to my studio, I really need it to be my fault (everyone around me always agrees- hah!). Seriously, I had fantastic movers but it just wasn't worth the risk.
7. One thing I'm thankful I did when I originally purchased my studio equipment is keep all the original boxes and packaging. It made it super easy to pack things up- and I didn't have to worry about anything moving around in transit.
8. If you need ISDN in your studio, start the process well in advance of your move. It is much harder to get ISDN than ever before, so you'll need to find out what the policies are in your new city and state. Who is the carrier, do you need to be incorporated to get it? Ask lots of questions, and make sure you explain exactly what it is you need (Most people will not understand what you are asking for- find someone who does!)
9. Speaking of ISDN, once you know who your carrier is ask if there is someone you can send potential new home addresses to in order to make sure ISDN is available. ISDN is run on copper wires, and many carriers are making Fios the new standard. Fios is run on optical strands, and won't work with our ISDN codecs. I am thankful I double checked each potential home we looked at, as a few were instantly ruled out for this very reason.
10. One thing I wasn't entirely successful at was staying calm. When our temporary housing ended up being next to Tampa International Airport, I freaked. As it turns out- everything was fine. I still got my work done (thanks to that local studio) and it was only 6 weeks out of my life. Moving is stressful, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to take it one day at a time. Make lists, keep things organized, and it will all be just fine.
Of course, if you do find yourself relocating sometime in the future, don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail! Having chosen to marry someone in television, I have a feeling I may one day be able to right a book about how to move your voice over business anywhere in the world- hah!