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  • Writer's pictureAria Sivick

Beginner Burnout

Updated: May 29, 2022

Before we dive deep into the story behind this title, I thought I’d jumpstart with a... *cue opener music*

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Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. This week I:

  • Had an exciting client call via Zoom, which was invigorating not only because it was a client call for a wildly fun project, but because there had not been any face-to-face interaction with this client during my first experience working with them. Looking back, given the scale of the project at that time, I am impressed by the power of direct messaging! This client also happens to be my first repeat-client, a milestone to kick off Year 2 in my business.

  • Filmed and voiced a Sailor Moon TikTok Collaboration, as well as a one-off Regina George-themed Acting Challenge

  • Prepped and brainstormed upcoming solo TikTok content, and also discovered you need at least 1,000 followers to go Live on TikTok (to both my disappointment and humility)

  • Received my first batch of business cards with my brand new logo and branding. Check out my new website look here!

  • Deep-cleaned my apartment

  • Cooked an amazing seafood dish courtesy of the American Heart Association Cookbook

  • Familiarized myself with four new 3D Modeling and Render Software for my day-job

  • Social Media marketed

  • Binge-watched Archive 81 and Too Hot Too Handle, an odd combination to say the least

  • And of course, auditioned!

This week has been one that I would safely place in the “Productive and Healthy” category!

Health and productivity are always at the forefront of my business and personal goals. It took a bit of a hard lesson to understand how to balance and maintain each of them amidst the stressors and challenges of the pandemic, the holidays, the demand of my day-job, in addition to my day-to-day strategy and lovingly stratospheric goals for my Voice Over business.

If you started out in this business from an entirely remote position and identify with any of the following traits, this one’s especially for you:

  • Rule-follower

  • Good student

  • Timely

  • Organized

  • Over-achiever

  • Creative

  • Resourceful

When I first began in the industry, I wanted to be the best new talent on the block! I wanted to stand out, be heard, and rise above the competition (to note, I think as talent, these are always our goals beginner or otherwise).

In order to achieve this, I went about it according to every recommended way out there by the pros. I:

  • Listened to endless podcasts

  • Became a sponge to learn all I could from several online VO communities

  • Practiced a collaborative attitude in workshops

  • Followed all the talent, studios, and agencies I could on social media platforms

  • Vetted out coaches like I was buying a house

  • Received my chosen coaching for months and recorded a professional demo

  • Created a brand and a website to market with

  • Practiced caution and discernment on P2Ps and other spots one may come across low-balling casting calls

  • Stayed away from Fiverr

  • Invested in marketing classes

  • Marketed via email and social media

  • Started a blog

  • Participated in Clubhouse session

  • Invested in quality gear and a home studio


Clearly I'm on a list-kick this week.

I went into Voice Over because of my love for this craft, and learned that this industry is indeed a marathon and NOT a sprint when it comes to making money. I hustled big-time, while, like many beginners, balanced a day-job.

I used my positive productive traits that had given me success in the past to build success in my present. These qualities, however, when fully unfettered, were also what led me to a taste of what I’m going to call, “Beginner Burnout.”

The steps I mentioned above are all a crucial part on the Road to Pro journey. The thing is, while I was doing everything the “right” way, I wasn’t taking the time to fully process how to maintain that approach in a physically and mentally beneficial manner. I learned that the balance and maintenance of your best qualities while pursuing the “right way” will serve both you and your clients far better than starting out too strong by wanting to be best-in-class, and losing sight of your God-given human limitations.

Any new talent is faced with a choice, and will need to discern their approach into the biz, the fast and easy way vs. the cheap way vs. the hard way vs. the inexperienced way, the list goes on and on. If you’re like me, you wanted to to go all the way, earn that A+, build yourself a great reputation with industry vets, and breed an excellent start in the industry.

I’d like to acknowledge that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! In order to succeed in the industry, you’re going to need that fire underneath you to showcase your uniqueness, motivate you, and project your desire to tell your future clients’ stories. In my book, it became about pacing myself.

At one point, I had digitally over-saturated myself. I inundated myself to a point of information-and audition overload where it felt for a period of time I couldn’t find my way back into a balanced, realistic (and ultimately fruitful) routine. Everything came to a head when the demands of my day-job stretched into extreme over-time at the tail-end of a large project for a milestone client in VO. I was so mentally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t quite regain the ideal control I wanted over my daily routine and goals in VO, or even celebrate the win!

While I definitely felt those growing pains, I was grateful that the circumstances forced me to consider that my routine had no room for the unplanned, no room for human error, no room for learning, no room for a bit extra self-care or growth, which ultimately meant no room for me.

My mindset switched to manifest the long-term effect

of a well-paced approach with a competitive edge.

I asked myself, how I can run my business when my product is too burnt out to shine?

I invite you wherever you are in your voice over business to consider your current goals, and evaluate if you’re leaving enough room for you, and what your sustainment plan will be.


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