Where is everybody? Driving around the New York City area where I live, I’ve been enjoying a break from the usually heavy traffic. Work at home solopreneurs are usually nervous about taking vacations. What if a client needs something while they’re away? But we voice talent don’t have to worry.
If you choose, you can easily tuck your laptop and a USB mic into your carry-on and, as long as there’s internet, you can continue to audition and serve your clients from practically anywhere in the world.
You’ll be surprised how many far away places are wired. Los Angeles based voice talent Justin Hibbard (who has attended my marketing programs) loves to travel. He’s much in-demand and has a large client roster he serves.
While on vacation on the Indonesian Island of Borneo where he went to see the pygmy elephants, he was able to record from a jungle hut! Even though they didn’t have much, he was still able to get on line.
I spend about 2 months a year in Brazil (I’m there now) and while I’m there, I never miss a beat. Some of the time I’m in a tiny town in coffee plantation country where the streets are paved with cobblestones and milk is delivered by horse drawn carriage. But they have internet service so I can set up my laptop and portable mic and get the job done.
Here are my tips for making sure your voice over vacation time goes smoothly.
Test your equipment before you go
Set up your portable recording gear exactly as you plan to use it on the road. Send a few test files to yourself and a friend and check the recording quality. How does it sound? Any hum or other noises?
Check the internet access
Call ahead to your hotel or go on line to check internet availability in the place you’re planning to visit. You’ll often be able to find an internet café in town or service at a local library.
Carry your equipment on board with you
I’ll often pull my mic out of the bag with my laptop so it can be visualized and x-rayed without having to pull apart my bag. Make sure your microphone is well padded in foam or in a hard shell carry case.
Consider bringing an aircard for reliable internet access
Virgin Mobile has an available air card for only $40 a month with no contract, which means you only pay for the months you travel. Check the internet for their service map.
Be mindful of security
Lock your equipment in the hotel safe if you can. Never leave your laptop unattended, even for a minute. Consider investing in a laptop lock and carry your gear in something that doesn’t look like a computer bag. Back everything up carefully before you go and leave the back up at home.
Ask for a room away from an elevator or noisy pool
Sound isolation on the road can be a little tricky but you can often get an acceptable result if you set yourself up in a closet or corner away the window. Deaden the area with pillows, quilts and blankets, making sure to put a pillow or a cushion behind the mic. A car with the windows rolled up is also a great place to record.
Enjoy your voice over vacation, no matter what time of year you travel!
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
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