I was recently offered 10 cents a word for recording voiceover dialogue/narration in my home studio. This could be quite a good rate (I have been paid more though). It works out at $100 for 1,000 words. Now, if I don’t have to edit the copy, then that might take me less that 2 hours (with all the faffing/getting the microphone/pop-shield set up, plus editing the audio and creating/sending/uploading the file. So I said yes. But I am assuming I will have to do some copy-editing because the client is overseas and their English might not be perfect (on the other hand, it might be fantastic, so I don’t want to pre-judge them).

Microphone, Sarah Lockett
Microphone, Sarah Lockett

The point is: I am working with a new client for a new rate/fee-structure, and may have to learn some new skills: I might have to lip-sync to video, or time my voiceover to fit with the original video (if it’s in another language). But in COVID-times, we creatives are having to branch out. Most of the media training is cancelled (not all, some is coming back, and some has gone online), most of the acting is cancelled (again, some filming has started, but there’s huge competition for the work – although most agencies are not using the over 70s… *no, I am not over 70).

But I am plugging away, looking for other sources of work, other revenue streams, and shifting my main work to delivering it remotely (Presentation Training, Media Training). And doing things which are nothing to do with work – feeding my family while they work from home, going to yoga, reconnecting with old friends. We have good weeks and bad weeks.

It’s slightly irksome when people speak about lockdown being over. Yes, the schools are back and the universities are back. The government is encouraging us to go back on public transport – but a lot of industries aren’t back, to the same extent. I know some people whose bosses are talking about going back in August NEXT YEAR. Offices build for 2,000 people have a rule that only 42 people may be in at any one time. My husband went into his office to get some papers – and it was him and the security guard. It’s going to be a long road.

Final thought (in my slightly rambling post, sorry): some of us have had to branch out, look further afield, work for less money or change direction entirely. Just hold the line, keep going, keep faith and hope for the best.

Get in touch :

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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