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Advice ahoy!

OK, let's do this. I'm going to be a voice over artist. HERE I AM WORLD! GET READY FOR ME AND MY AWESOME VOICE. *twiddles thumbs... 

Like the first guest to a party, who has made way too much effort for the fancy dress theme, you can end up looking around in embarrassed bemusement wondering what to do next when you launch yourself into a new industry. You've joined the forums, the Facebook groups, G+ communities and followed a load of people on Twitter. But they're saying loads of stuff that you don't understand yet, so where the heck do you start? There is so much information to take in, filter and process.

Everyone is blogging (it's happening right now, see?!). Everyone has a 'How To...' article or a '10 Top Tips on...' feature. And everyone seems to know what they are talking about. Like a pro. So how in the name of Neumann (*in joke for all you mic buffs out there...) do you work out which bits of advice are genuinely useful sources and which are the mere ramblings of an over-confident newcomer/embittered old timer/drunken cowboy on their sisters PC? 

Well, you know what? It doesn't matter. As my wise Irish father would say, "you've got to plough yer own furrow, pet". Meaning tred yer own path, make yer own choices. Sure, ask advice, listen, observe and learn, but be responsible for your own decisions. Whether it's about what mic to buy, what course to take, which coach to approach, even what P2P sites to take a punt on. I read, watch and listen to as much as I can from various voice over folk. Some of whom I've met in person, which can help in realising the authenticity of their wisdom, others who I've made a great connection with online and feel are trustworthy oracles of knowledge due to their credentials and nifty avatar. But I can still end up with very opposing opinions from numerous strong independent business people, experienced in their field and with legitimate reasoning behind their tips.

Well, an unfortunate piece of truth is that we learn a heck of a lot more from mistakes. I'm a terrible one for getting everyone and their mothers opinion by asking tons of questions in forums and doing obsessive research on things before I make a choice. Don't like being wrong, see? (#typicalwoman) But mistakes still happen and the sooner you get used to it the easier the journey will be. So you bought the wrong editing software? And you got taken for a ride by paying for an LA voice coach who ended up being a bus driver from Slough posing as 'Jim the voice Johnson'*. Who cares. You'll live. And you might not do it again.

This isn't a blog about telling you what you should be doing. It's a reminder that only you are responsible for what you are doing. So, just bloody follow your gut and make a choice. Who knows, it may even be the right one.

(*Any similarities to real people are purely coincidental. I made the name and scenario up. I'm sure there are many honest Jim Johnsons out there. And Slough is lovely this time of year...)

By Nicola Redman

January? Janu-ages-ry

January is a funny old one. It's loooong. Except it's not. It's just the standard...(wait, "30 days has September, April, June and Novem...yep) 31 days. I've been busy which is nice. A couple of new clients rearing their heads. One of which lead to a job for which I had to say the word 'police' approximately 1600 times. If ever there was ever an exercise for practising how not to pop your 'P's', this was it. I'll tell you all about that one when it launches in the near future.

Got me thinking, what's your weirdest/longest/most challenging job. How did your year start? Do share. Always interesting to know what folk have been up to in the booth.

Ta ra for now. I'm gigging all weekend at The Stand, Newcastle, on a cracking line up, so must go and practise my jokes.



Learning the hard way...

Ah guys. Guys, guys, guys...

So, you know when you're self employed and you are on your computer all the time working from home?

And the machine is like your third arm and your contact with everyone in your professional life?

Basically, this machine holds the key to everything you require in day to day business and contains what really amounts to your life's work?

And you know when you spill a whole glass of water over said machine and the world seems to slow down as it buzzes, beeps and turns itself off and you lurch across the room for a towel or a miracle or a time machine, as you see a mornings recording and writing quite literally fizzle away from you?


If ever there was an appropriate moment for a #epicfail it was this.

Luckily the internet is there to provide you with lots of home remedies to rectify it; put it in rice in a bag in the hot press in the oven in a towel next to a chap named Steve playing the ukulele whilst singing the hit 70s classic 'All By My Self' originally by Eric Carmen but probably more famous in my generation as a Celine Dion hit! 

"But Nic, all is not lost. Sure you may have to pay for a repair or a new machine, but your data was backed up wasn't it. WASN'T IT?!" Ah Bob, of course it wasn't. That was my first job for Jan 2014 wasn't it. I was too busy building contacts and tweeting and blogging to prioritise making a copy of everything I've ever done. Every file I've recorded. Every demo I've made. Ever photo I've taken. Every piece I've written. Every canapé recipe I've collated. Oh god, I think I might hurl.

Off to the place where they have lots of experts in bue t-shirts and lanyards. To see if, through the stifled laughter at my idiocy, they can salvage anything.

To be continued...

 *This post was sponsored by my tablet. Which, although a life saver in many ways this week, does not serve as a sufficient replacement on the whole. Sorry fella.