"Dear (Supervisor): I'm not coming back in today, tomorrow, or ever again. Life is too short."
With that short e-mail, I changed my life for the better. Even though my bank account doesn't seem to think things are better, my Stage 1 hypertension, previously treated with prescription medication, is gone. I haven't had a BP reading above 120/80 in weeks. The persistent scabs on my forehead from digging my nails into my skull have all healed. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I could swear my hairline has stopped receding and may even be marshaling its forces for an advance. Somehow, even with the stress of attempting to launch a new career, of wondering when we're going to be able to buy toilet paper next, I am psychologically and physically healthier now than I was before I sent that e-mail to the supervisor at my former job, doing phone tech support at a call center for various ISP providers.
To anyone who hasn't worked in phone tech support, it might not seem that difficult. And I suppose it's not. But it is completely soul sucking. I'd describe it, but Cracked writer Ian Fortey describes it quite well here and here. Looking back on it, I wonder how I lasted as long as I did--or rather, how my body didn't spontaneously combust.
Really, it was my wife who finally gave me the push I needed to get out of there. She's said that the only times she's ever seen me truly angry were after particularly bad nights at work. By the time I left, I was like that almost every night.
However, as I said before, my bank account really doesn't like this new situation. My wife and I are working full steam ahead on a nonpartisan (yes, really!) political philosophy book, which I'll post more about before the October 23rd publication date (we're self-publishing through Amazon). Mrs. Geiiga is a student, so while she goes to class and studies, I've been attempting to launch my voice acting career. I've got a great sound studio set up in our second bedroom, and I did submit a few auditions to a site that posts voice acting jobs, but to no avail yet.
So my question here: Does anyone have advice for me? I'll talk some more about what I've got set up already after the fold.
As it shows right on my Kos profile, my main labor of love up to this point has been "The Adventures of Luke and Joe," an internet cartoon I've directed, produced, and occasionally co-written. I also do many of the voices of the characters in the Luke and Joe world. Now I want to lend my voice acting and video production talent to other projects--there will be new Luke and Joe coming soon(ish), but our next project is a feature film with preproduction scheduled to begin after the election, so I don't expect it to be released before late spring.
So I've set up my own Web site, AshMcGonigal.com, which includes a few voiceover demo videos I voiced, wrote (or adapted), animated, and produced, along with my filmmaker reels. And, probably most importantly, there's a neat form you can fill out to inquire about hiring me.
In addition to that, I've ordered some business cards to give to people to get my name out there. I'm also going to send my demo reel to some local talent agencies.
The problem now is that time is a major factor. If I don't get a paying gig out of this soon, I'll need to go back to the regular 9 to 5 (probably tech support again, since that's where I usually wind up), and try to launch my voice acting career later.
The avenues I've tried thus far haven't started working, so it's probably time to think of something different. What I need from you guys is advice. Do you have any suggestions for breaking into the voice acting business? Do you have any contacts who might be looking for vocal talent or video production? Any input would help a lot.
To leave you with some samples of my work (and an explanation for the title), I'll close here with two things I put together from my home studio. The first is a pair of political ads, one a parody of a Tea Party ad made for the 1856 election, the other an adaptation of a John Kerry ad set even earlier. The second one is a bit more excited pitch for a fictional restaurant.