I had a commercial voiceover session through my local agent last week and met another one of her talent at the session. We got into a conversation about work and what’s keeping us busy. He was doing lots of video games and audiobooks, and I similarly had several audiobooks on my plate and lots of eLearning. For the most part, none of our day-to-day clients are in the same city or even state we live in.
I live in Phoenix, and beyond the local spots and campaigns for the bigger agencies in town, we’re not a huge local voiceover market. Twenty years ago, a voiceover talent wouldn’t pick to live and work in Arizona – Los Angeles or New York would be the most sensible places to stay busy in the industry. Now, voiceovers are part of the global market, you can have clients (and agents) all over the world. You could live in Clovis, New Mexico (which I did, for 10 months) and have a lucrative voice over career and rarely have to leave your house to work – never, if you had ISDN or SourceConnect.
Most of the US entered into Daylight Saving Time this weekend. Arizona, as well as a few other resistant pockets around the country, did not. I dread this time of year. It’s not due to the impending summer heat – thankfully we have a few more beautiful months before that hits. Right now, we shift from 2 hours behind EST to 3 hours behind EDT, which shifts my day and work hours by an hour as a lot of my clients are on the East Coast. It means that to keep my prompt responses and availability my clients expect from me the rest of the year, I have to “get to work” an hour earlier so I don’t fall behind at the start of the day. If they send an email when they get in the office at 8, and I’m not on email until 8 then suddenly it’s approaching lunch before they get my reply. I understand my West Coast friends deal with this 3 hour difference all the time, but there’s much to appreciate about the consistency of the same time difference all year round. As the twitter hashtag goes, #firstworldproblems
Where are your clients? The benefit of a global market is that you can work from anywhere. Outsiders think that as independent professionals we can work “whenever we want” and it turns out, that’s really not the case. Agents and producers want the accessibility of someone who’s going to quickly respond to emails and get audio back the same day or within the hour sometimes. If you find the majority of your work coming from a timezone different from your own, it may make sense to shift your working hours to align with theirs. If you’re in Arizona, one of the 12 counties in Indiana that doesn’t change their clocks, or any other place on this list, you may need to think about how you set your working hours during Daylight Saving Time and how available you’d like to be for your clients around the world. If your area participates in DST, it’s still worth considering whose workday hours are the best fit for your business.
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