My first paying job as a voice actor in America.

The first time I got paid to talk to myself in a padded room…..ah what a memory….At this point in time, it wasn’t even a padded room, it was PVC pipe covered with moving blankets! Fancy, I know.

Words can’t explain how excited I was when I booked my first paying job in the voiceover world. I was excited, scared, nervous, and so many other emotions all wrapped into one. Shortly after moving back to the US, I joined a group on facebook called Voice Actors of NYC. The Voice Actors of NYC group, along with voiceover camp, where I received coaching from Terry Daniels have both been incredible resources for Voiceover info and friends. Neither of these groups asked me to write about them, I am writing about them simply because they rock! If you are looking into voice acting as a career, these are two great starting points with loads of info to help you get started!

I was scrolling my facebook feed one day, and I saw a casting call in the Voice Actors of NYC group that sounded like fun. The specs for the spot were exactly what I was capable of. Excitement began boiling inside of me. I followed the instructions on the post and soon enough, I had an audition script nestled in my inbox awaiting me to come bring it to life. I can’t stress this enough. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON CASTINGS. The characters name for this role was Larry Moskowitz. I will never forget this name. He was a New York Lawyer with a vibe that was a bit grungy and rough around the edges. The name definitely brought this vibe to life. I immediately channeled my inner Joe Pesci from my cousin Vinny during the audition, and sure enough, the voice I created, is exactly what they were looking for.

After sending my audition, she quickly replied “this is perfect! Here are the rest of the lines.” I jumped back into the booth (aka my pvc pipe blanket fort) and recorded the remaining lines. They gave me both my lines, and the lines of the other characters so I could follow along with the vibe of the conversation to ensure I captured the right tones etc. Having this was super helpful. It allowed me to put everything into perspective. The whole thing took me less than an hour to record and master. I did one read of the script, re-listened, and was pleased with my performance. I had so much fun, I couldn’t believe it. I sent it off and not shortly after she replied with instructions on how to send the invoice. I thought to myself “holy Sh**” my first invoice as a business……This. Is. Awesome!

How do I issue an invoice? Luckily I knew!

I was prepared for this moment and had my billing system all ready to rock and roll thanks to the advice from my coach (Thanks, Terry.) I was able to communicate effectively with her invoice team because I knew exactly what type of business I was, and how the situation would be handled since the invoice was under $600. Funny enough. They actually asked me for a W-2 and I immediately knew they most likely meant a 1099, but since the invoice was under $600 we did not need any special forms. With all that said, I highly recommend you talk with an accountant or tax professional before you go down the road of making yourself a business. It may cost you, but in the long run, you will be thankful and so will your wallet.

In closing – follow instructions on castings, find a way to relate to the character to bring them to life, and hire an accountant. Thanks for reading.

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