Nathan Beatty Voice Over

This site is where you can find more information about Nathan Beatty, an experienced voice over actor based in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Nathan has been a stage actor for over a decade working both on and off stage in over 50 different productions.  Nathan's voice is the neighbor next door.  The friend you trust.  A casual guy.  His voice can also be the young boy hero ready for adventure.  The old jaded mentor.  The silly friend who's sole purpose is to make you laugh. Nathan has worked on various web videos on a number of topics and multiple sales oriented audiobooks. With a wide range of vocal talent Nathan is more than capable to help you with your project.

Good Days & Bad Days...

Just recently I was having a really good day.  Some of my leads were starting to pan out, my site was getting more traffic, and an old client got in touch about a new project.  It was a good day.

But because my brain has a vendetta against me a thought crossed my mind as the day drew to a close:

"This isn't going to last.  Sometime soon you are going to have a bad day.  You don't know when, but it's coming."

This is true.  It wasn't going to last.  Someday sooner or later I was going to come across another bad day.  We all do.  Unfortunately for some there are more bad days than good ones.  That's how life is sometimes.  But there are two things you can try and remember to keep the bad days from burning you out:

Bad days, just like good days, don't last forever.

AND...

Don't get too comfortable.

You are having a bad day.  Your leads have disappeared, you don't get the job, a longstanding client informs you they will no longer need your services.  What is the saying, "This too shall pass." Frankly most days will be somewhere between the good and the bad.  But on the unfortunate occasions when you are just having a bad day remember that it will be over soon.  Just say to yourself:

"This isn't going to last.  Sometime soon you are going to have a good day.  You don't know when, but it's coming."

Just by changing one small word that makes that thought so much more hopeful.  But just as important as it is to think that to yourself during a bad day, believe it or not it's just as important to say it to yourself on a good day too.  It's a reminder that while this day is awesome, it's not going to last.  Why is that important?  

Because it's a reminder to yourself that you can't get too comfortable.  

Awesome! You got the gig.  That's great.  You start work on that and get it out the door.  Your most recent lead has asked for a quote on a fun project and you are pretty sure it's a lock.  You find a twenty dollar bill in your jeans.  It's been a great day all around and it's only noon!  

Here is where it's a good time to remember that while this day is great and you should enjoy it as much as you can, you still have half a day left to make sure tomorrow is going to be a good one too.  Find some more leads, follow up with some old clients, do what you have to do to ensure you have as many good days as possible.

Whether a day is good or bad is often out of our control.  But a surprising amount of it is in our control.  Much like last week's post about baby steps.  There are small things you can do every day to make sure that you having as many good days as possible.  

Leave a comment below or drop me a line at nate@nathanbeattyvo.com  Thanks again!

Busy Week...So Let's Talk about Motivation Again!

So this week has been a bit busy so I haven't had a chance to write up a full post.  I still wanted to put something up today so I thought I would throw together a quick entry about motivation.  Recently I posted about staying motivated and how it is one of the hardest things we have to deal with as, well, humans.  It's so easy to just shirk your responsibilities for whatever it is that is striking your fancy that day.  

The other day I ran across this video on YouTube:

Doing the Hard(er) Thing...

The above linked video is about how this guy forces himself to get out of bed in the morning to take a walk.  And how every fiber of his being wants to stay in that warm bed.  We all know that feeling.  This very thing happened to me on Monday.  Sunday night I declared with an air of determination, "I'm going to the gym tomorrow morning.  Honey, please wake me up at 5:30 so I can do so."  

Fast forward to Monday morning:

My Wife: "Hon, get up."

Me: "Hungrbrbthsp."

My Wife: "Do you want to go to the gym or not!?"

Me: "Hmrrrrrr....no....hmmmm"

And that was it.  An hour later I woke up, still sleepy and bummed I failed to do something I really should be doing for my health.  The video doesn't propose any answers to how to overcome these issues and frankly neither do I.  But know that everyone struggles with them.  

I guess the only way I know how to handle it and the only thing that has worked so far is take it slow.  Baby steps.  One day at a time.  Every little thing you do be it practice for 20 minutes today, or spruce up your website, anything at all that helps you grow your business or achieve your goal is one step closer.  It may be a small step but that doesn't matter.  It only matters that the step was taken.

Leave a comment below or drop me a line at nate@nathanbeattyvo.com  Thanks again!

 

A Huge Project! What Should I Charge?

Deciding your rates are, as with most things, a balance.  You want to be sure you are charging enough to be worth your time and effort but not so much as to price yourself out of a sale.  There are loads of articles that address standard rates all over the internet.   

But what happens when you have an opportunity to audition for a massive job.  An audio book or an ongoing project that spans weeks or months and will require hours of your time.  The client lays out the specifics and asks what you would charge.  The moment of truth.  

You are looking at the details of the job and seeing how massive it is.  Dollar signs are floating over your head.  Then you think, "Wait, if I give them my 'standard' rate, they are going to walk.  This is a huge job.  I could probably cut them a break on my pricing...."  You may even have gotten that "vibe" from a client while they were discussing the details with you.  You distinctly get the impression that they feel since they are giving you a crack at such a huge gig you are going to "thank" them by giving them a discount.  

STOP!  Before you tread that path any further, there is one very important thing to remember: You are not a factory!  What I mean by that is "bulk pricing" does not apply.  My other business is hand made leather goods.  In my shop I became accustomed to lowering my prices as the quantity of product purchased went up.  When I had someone request 100 units of a particular product, I was happy to cut them a 50% discount because I was getting a 75% discount on supplies because I was buying in bulk.  And because I was making so many I could "conveyor  belt" the work and I got through making all those products in a decent span of time compared to making just one or a few.  This is standard in most manufacturing and retail situations.  The more you buy, the less each unit costs.  (Sam's and Costco work on this philosophy as well.  Buy more, pay less.  Per unit anyway.)  When I first got into VO I learned quickly how this is a concept that does not translate very well into VO.  

While we often say our voice is our product, and this is true, we are fundamentally a service.  This is an important distinction when it comes to pricing.  Just because you spend 100 hours on a project doesn't mean you should be expected to charge less per hour as if you spent 10 hours on it.  

A project of 7800 words is about an hour of finished audio give or take.  So you need to factor that it will probably take one and half to two hours to record it.  Then it will take you three to four hours to edit that audio.  So that one project is four and half to six hours long.  And that is if everything goes smoothly.  Now imagine you land an audio book on ACX.com that is 78,000 words.  Fifteen to Twenty hours of recording.  Thirty to Forty hours of editing.  See what I'm getting at?  If you give that audio book a 50% discount you are essentially doing 60 hours of work for the price of 30.  Manufacturing and retail discounts large orders because they are easier and cheaper to fulfill.  That is absolutely not the case here.     

Wanting to cut a client a break because they are giving you an opportunity to work on a large project is fine.  But be sure to be reasonable and not undercut yourself.  I haven't even touched on how if you do undercut yourself, this client will expect similar treatment in the future.  And if you feel a client is pushing for a discount on a large project, I suggest sticking to your guns.  Give them your rate, reasonably discounted or no, and stick by it.  If they walk, then they are a client you didn't need anyway.  Remember, what you do is worth money and you should be reasonably compensated for your time and effort.  If a client does not agree then they are not worth either.  

What do you do in a situation like this?  Leave a comment below or drop me a line at nate@nathanbeattyvo.com  Thanks again!

Staying Motivated

Like with most things in life it is hard to stay motivated sometimes.  Sometimes you don't want to do the thing you need to do.  Whether it is going to the gym, cleaning the bathroom, or even getting in the booth to practice.  

In voice over we are told we shouldn't do this for the money.  (And that's true!) We need to have a passion for what we do and do it because we love it.  But you know what, I love a lot of things but sometimes, I would just rather sit and watch a Murder, She Wrote instead.  There is even a great saying that puts some perspective on this quite nicely:

An amateur is someone who does something they love whenever they want to do it.  A professional is someone who does something they love even when they don't want to do it.  

I can't remember where I got that quote from (and if you recognize it and know it's source please let me know so I can give credit) but I think it perfectly encapsulates what being a professional is compared to having a hobby.  There are sometimes when I don't want to get in that booth.  I've had a long day, the kid was fighting tooth and nail to not go to bed, and dammit I just want to play a video game and go to sleep.  I'll admit there have been some nights when I've done just that.  But you know what, if you are truly committed to making this your career then you will set the distractions aside and do what you need to do.  Whether it be market research, training, practice, a job that needs done, whatever.  

How do you stay motivated?  I don't know, how do you?  That is a question only you can answer.  There are hundreds of ways you can try to stay motivated and 99.9% won't work.  It's finding that 0.1% that is the tricky part. 

For me, it's my failures.  Confused?  Let me explain.  When I think back on all that I've done, be it in voice over, my "day job", etc I inevitably think about my failures.  Why?  That's a question for my therapist but for today's purposes I have found that it can actually help motivate me.  When I think how I didn't work hard enough at that job, or I messed up my chances with a specific client, or how I didn't practice and played video games instead I think, "Never again."  I'm going to pick myself up and use that failure as a reminder on how not to do things.  While successes are great, it's your failures that can teach you so much more.  

I realize this might not be for everyone.  It can be all too easy to fall into a spiral thinking of how much you screwed everything up.  But for me and my twisted psyche I figured that my brain is going to focus on those things anyway, I should use it to my advantage.  So far, it's done quite well.

How do you stay motivated?   Leave a comment below or drop me a line at nate@nathanbeattyvo.com  Thanks again!