Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

August 3, 2009

Gah! August Already!?

Filed under: Business, Musings — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:20 pm

Yikes! Where did the year go? Most of us are probably wondering the same thing as we move into back-to-school time.

And what did we accomplish so far in 2009 so far? Is everyone on track? Do we know what track we are on? Do we know which track we want to be/should be on?

I use Outlook and have set up Categories so that I can make notes in my Calendar about how I am spending my time. Recording is Green, Marketing is Gold, Training is Yellow, Business is Blue, Volunteer work is a lighter Green and Personal stuff is Orange…that sort of thing. The Orange is winning by leaps and bounds since April when my mom moved out here from New York State.

But it’s not all mom time. Some of it is morning coffee time with my friends. Some of it is exercise time. Some of it is theater time – and lately a lot of it has suddenly been blog time. But the good thing is that despite this increase in time spent on personal things, my income is holding steady.

After being in the voiceover business – on and off full-time since the early 80’s – I am only recently realizing the problem with trying to be all things to all people. I am versatile – no doubt about that – but I am finding that because I have been doing so many different kinds of things for so many different people, the sheer number of clients I have is daunting.

It is hard to keep up with everybody and remember what kinds of projects I’ve done for them – especially those who I haven’t work for in several years who suddenly pop back in. Especially if it was a very small $$ job. One where I had to quote, record, edit and invoice. There is research involved – looking up past invoices – checking email threads – to be sure who the person is on the other end of the phone or email – so that I can then quote, record, edit and invoice. (Not that there is anything wrong with invoicing! Or recording! Or even editing.)

But it really is time to start capitalizing on my talent and experience, so the Gold (Marketing) and the Yellow (Training) categories have been more visible in my Calendar as I hone in on the areas that will help me keep the Green ($$) coming into my bank account as the level of Orange in my Calendar increases.

July 16, 2009

Made a new website this week

Filed under: Marketing — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:03 pm

I had a long conversation with a career coach this week and was inspired to redo my website. My last site was pretty packed with information (much of it not really related to earning money) and in effect tried to do far too much.

The new site is cleaner and more focused on marketing me as a talent. As a talent working the higher paying jobs. At least I hope it is. It’s probably still got a few bugs to check, but I got on a roll and managed to design and create it in a relatively short period of time.

New website

 The basic design is from a background collection from Digital Juice. The inner pages were created using the colors and basic idea of the circles and lines. I wanted to keep a lot of text on the inner pages. There are some little issues and one crazy page with some links that need to have their color changed, but I think you can check it out at www.connieterwilliger.com

I’m also going to rework my commercial and narration demos a bit to bring in some national TV spots and more finished narration work – as well as seriously developing a promo demo. The one that is on the site is a placeholder. But the ball is rolling, so I imagine that I can get something fairly nice in pretty short order.

All of this is gearing up to do a full court press on agency representation in the larger markets. The last agent I had in Los Angeles was before getting ISDN lines – and the relationship severed during my multi-year diversion into full-time producing and writing at a major corporation. It’s time to get back on that horse, but the rules have changed over the years and the competition is fierce.

So I guess I should actually fork over some bucks to get some good coaching and demo assistance. Maybe even for the website. Let me know what you think.

July 10, 2009

A Day in the Life of a VO Talent

Filed under: Musings — Tags: , — connieterwilliger @ 6:02 pm

At coffee – the BlackBerry rings – it is an agent from the other side of the country. “Got a job for you today if you are available. Don’t know what the pay is or anything much about the job, but they have to have it on the net tomorrow.” I ask if it is ISDN (yes, it will be) and assure her that I can carve out some time today to do the session.

Walking back from coffee – the BlackBerry rings – it is the agent from the other side of the country. “OK, how’s 2pm? It is about a 10 minute corporate piece for a hospital. How’s $800?’ 2pm is fine and $800 is fine.

Back home and in the studio, I start working on my In Box – it needs attention – sorting email, following up on auditions, confirming upcoming work and reviewing the scripts. Some prep work for a regular client who sends scripts in crazy formats that need to be converted to something managable for my telephony software.

Then a long chat with a career consultant about what it might take to advance to the next level of voiceover success. Gleaned some great ideas during that conversation and will actually spend some money for a longer more detailed analysis and game plan next week.

Refrigerator repair man shows up – we have been turning on and off the main water flow since last week due to a hole in the ice maker hose. Can’t easily get under the house – easier to turn the water on and off. He says “Oh, you have a Northstar – we don’t repair Northstars. But here is a tube connector that might do the trick.”  The rest of the middle of the day was consumed by phone calls (my grad school development director wondering if I really AM going to kick in some extra bucks this year), a few auditions and volunteer work for a professional association – a board meeting is set for later in the day.

2pm – the ISDN unit is turned on. The phone rings with the audio engineer on the line wanting to connect. Producer is late, so we have some time to figure out why his system doesn’t want to talk to my system. He is inside a large corporate switchboard, so he needs to use a long distance code before he dials my numbers, so digits have been flip-flopped and no connection is made. Finally Producer arrives, we get connected and in less than an hour, the tracks are recorded.

Immediately, the board meeting starts…technical issues here as well. GoToWebinar is acting funky and everyone has trouble getting logged in and then we all be bumped off – but eventually we are able to see and hear almost everyone. Phone rings constantly while in the conference – forcing me to step out to handle some “mom” business briefly.

An hour and a half later, we all say goodbye and I turn my attention toward yet another audition. An audition that isn’t for a job, but to be listed on a new website as a Certified Professional.

In between all of this is constant email flowing into my In Box with questions and leads and jobs. Looking over at my job board, there are 5 jobs to be done by Monday or early next week. One I can push off for days, but others that need to be expedited. Not all pay $800 of course. ;-)

This is a strange and wonderful job.

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