“Should I stay or should I go?” Is retirement in the cards?
Well, for the time being, I am staying. I have lots of regular clients who I love working for and will continue to do so until I find that my voice just isn’t the same.
What I am finding as I contemplate “retirement”, is that it is a lot easier to pass on auditions. Used to be I would do anything that came across my eyeballs. Different ages, characters, accents – I’d push myself to find a voice that would “work.”
But today’s castings are evolving into being much more targeted with an emphasis on being real and true – age, ethnicity, heritage.
Sometimes it is an easy call – when I see the specs for a 20-something, I immediately hit delete – I never sounded like a 20-something – even when I was 20-something.
Mom’s in their 30’s with young kids? Probably not. Especially when the rest of the spec calls for diversity. But age is relative and what is “old” to one person isn’t “old” to another. Especially when you consider the average age of a producer these days. (Many of the producer’s I have worked with over the years have actually retired!)
Believable business woman from 40 and up. Yep. Bring it on. Unless there is an emphasis on being all-inclusive – which is basically the same as seeking diversity (see previous paragraph). My producer background kicks in and I just know that my voice is probably not the voice in their head. Now, I could be wrong – way wrong – but since I am able to think about retiring, I usually pass and let some of the newer voiceover folks submit for these opportunities.
Animation – absolutely! Video Games – only if I get to play a character that doesn’t die – the stress on the vocal cords is intense.
Other things that will get me to pass on an audition is a product that just isn’t me. Or copy that doesn’t flow off the tongue. Budgets out of line with industry minimums. (Another evolving area of what we do – unfortunately going the wrong direction.)
All of this means a slight decrease in the amount of time I spend in front of my computer or in my recording booth. This is a good thing. I get to work. I get to audition for fun things. I get to walk the dog, take classes, sing, dance and chill with friends. All good things.
So, no, retirement is not imminent – and will I ever fully retire? As long as I can remember how to hit the record button and edit and name files, I suppose you will find me in my padded room at least part of the day.