Just to be clear, I'm the one on the right. :)
TLDR: I need help buying equipment and retraining into a voice-over career after losing my job during the pandemic and using up most of my savings during knee surgery recovery.
For over a year now, I have been looking for a suitable work from home since I got furloughed last year and, ultimately, let go from my job as a chef. This was made a more complicated by the fact that we don’t own a car, so any delivery job or ride-sharing was out, and I am also in a higher risk group for coronavirus so that basically eliminated all the retail jobs available at the time.
Then I managed to stupidly slip in the kitchen and dislocate my knee in a way that required major surgery and at least 8 months of rehabilitation.
The costs around the surgery and the fact that I was no longer able to reduce living costs by doing food prep put additional strain on our finances and it meant that I would not be able to do even non physically intensive jobs for at least 4-6 months.
Yum, hospital food
Then my laptop broke down and decided to take a 3-month tour around different repair shops until they finally let me know it’s not repairable 2 weeks ago.
Then someone decided to eat some pigeon feathers on a Saturday evening, developed gastroenteritis, and prompted a trip to the emergency vet which wasn’t covered by his insurance plan.
Aww, who's a little garbage scavenger?
Fortunately, by then my rehabilitation progressed to the point where I could do sitting work without issues and stand for 2 hours while wearing a leg brace.
But, I was still not getting any calls back from the work-from-home jobs I applied to, and more and more of those kinds of job ads were turning out to be scams.
At that point, around 3 months ago, I noticed an increase in demand of voice-over services and I decided to take what little savings we had left, use the spare room in the house we were using as storage and convert it into a recording studio.
This room is full... of potential.
I've been interested in working as a voice-over artist for over 10 years now, but back when I first looked into it, it was a much more difficult industry to break into, and almost impossible if you were not willing to move somewhere with professional recording studios. Well, in the meantime it actually became much easier to get a viable home studio set up and now the pandemic has made clients realize that those home studios can perform to their standards.
I managed to get the basics set up so I could start my training and recorded several non-paying jobs. But to actually start getting paid I need to finish sound treating the studio, upgrade and fill gaps in my equipment, pay for several hours of professional voice coaching to see what I need to work on (and to take the edge of my Slavic accent which started to rear its head more prominently during the pandemic), and pay to have a professional demo produced.
Studio mostly set up
To finish the sound treating of the studio I need to buy the extra set of bass traps, an extra set of foam wall panels and the spray glue to put them up. Not that costly, altogether around £80.
Because my laptop died and is not salvageable, I am currently using an 8 years old Toshiba which has a bad habit of turning on its fans at inopportune times so I need to use noise filtering on my recordings which reduces the overall sound quality and I think has already cost me some work. I was hoping to replace it with the cheapest model of Mac Mini which goes for £699 because they are the most affordable option generally used in recording studios due to their low noise.
For the microphone I’ve been using the Samson SAC01 which is decent, but still has a relatively high built-in hiss and is a bit sharp when recording sibilants which makes me sound a bit lizardy in my auditions. I am hoping to get it replaced with something like a Rode NT1A, but that, along with the better stand and the pop shield, is low on the priority list.
High on the priority list, and the highest expense of all, are the coaching sessions, training, and the demo production. These would set us back at least £1200, but after that I would be able to actually start applying for some higher paying jobs.
Anything we get over that would go towards additional coaching and, you know, groceries and utility bills.
I know this is a lot to ask, especially in times like these when a lot of other people need help as well, but these days there is so much paid voice-over work out there, and the industry is still growing at a rapid pace, that I know that if I clear these initial costs and focus on improving my skills, we will be much better off in even six months.
And only 3 more months of being low-budget Iron Man
I would really like to be able to offer something tangible in return for your help, but for now I can only offer you our thanks and, hopefully in the near future, services of a fully trained voice-over artist.
Thanks for reading all the way through and take care.
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