Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions? Day in, day out of wanting more but not quite understanding what it is you feel you’re missing out on? You may from time to time dramatically throw yourself to the ground, look to the sky and say WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?! Okay, I took that to a weird place, but you know what I mean.
Major life changes can be initiated in hundreds of ways. For one incredible mother of three, her life changing event came in the form of a car accident. I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, I didn’t realize I had started reading an article written by Debbie Downer.” Keep reading, I promise it gets better.
Christy Fabbri was a mother of two children at the time of her accident. She was in her seventh year of working full time in radio and had been doing voice-overs on the side. Christy suffered extensive injuries in the accident and was required to take a full year off work to recover. She spent that year reflecting on her life and vowed to spend as much time as possible with her family moving forward. With the support of her husband, she quit her job and decided to take on voice-over full time so that she could work from home and do just that.
In order to make any business venture work, you have to crunch the numbers. Christy worked out a specific number she would need to bring in each month in order for their budget to balance. She auditions for a minimum of 100-120 jobs per month (which works out to auditioning for 12-15 jobs per work day as she is currently working 2 full days per week). If she’s been working steadily on projects she’s won, she will push extra hard when she has free time to ensure she’s still pumping in auditions. Christy’s perspective? “The harder I work, the more money I can make. That’s a great motivator.” One of the most important lessons to learn in voice-acting is to not spend too much time celebrating the wins, because while you’re celebrating, your project pipeline may be drying up. Christy’s system has been successful thus far as she typically exceeds her minimum monthly goal. She’s even doubled, tripled and quadrupled it!
So how do you know you’re ready to take the leap into full time voice-acting? Christy started out doing voice-over on the side. She would work at the radio station all day, and audition for voice-acting jobs on evenings and weekends. Once she established a client base and saw a peak in demand, she knew transitioning to full time was a viable option. How to get there? “Invest in training yourself to be better,” Christy says. “The better you are, the more you can charge for the quality of work and experience you provide.”
Balancing the budget isn’t the only thing Christy takes into account. I wondered how she balanced her impressive work schedule with family life. She was quick to respond, “They say it takes a village, and BOY is that true!” A typical work day in Christy’s life involves waking up between 6-7am to tend to her newborn, (on lucky days she has time to sneak back to bed until she needs to get her girls ready for the day and drive her oldest to school). Her mom or mother-in-law will then meet her to spend the day with her youngest two while she signs into her Voices.com account in her home studio a floor below. She’ll start off answering messages regarding current projects and then jump into auditioning for jobs that show a match to her unique voice-over talents. Christy is right at home voicing projects in need of a friendly girl next door vibe (which is a huge trend in the industry right now). She also loves doing character voices and finds great joy in playing the cute ladybug, nerdy little kid or a beautiful princess, just to name a few! She’ll audition until about 1pm when she breaks for lunch. From there she’s back in studio working until about 4:30 pm. Once her daughter and husband are home from school (did I mention he’s a teacher?), Christy soaks up the family time. “Our kids come first, and time together is a must. We do the work that we do to provide for our family, and so making sure that they feel that they have quality time with us, and all together is so important,” she explains. If she has any loose ends to tie up in the studio she’ll wait until her children are in bed to head back down and finish up.
Being a stay at home mom comes with its fair share of challenges. Christy struggled a lot with the guilt of not meeting the societal standards of being that “perfect” stay at home mom. You know what I’m talking about, the Stepford Wives type lifestyle where the kids are pristine, the meals are gourmet and the house is sparkling (*eye roll*). That lifestyle is all well and good but just isn’t feasible all the time. Christy came to the same realization and has found a lot of peace in giving herself grace for these pre-programmed ideals of stay at home perfection. She instead chooses to focus on the amazing possibilities voice-acting has opened up for her family. With access to thousands of potential clients around the globe at her fingertips (and from her basement at that), she’s capitalized on the opportunity to not only double her former income, but also the time spent with her young children.
So what’s in store for Christy? If you ask me, her future is looking bright. Once all of her children are attending school full time, she’ll be able to put in 5 full work days per week. The possibilities that time will open up on her career and home front are endless. One thing that seems clear is that she’s never looked back since making the decision to quit her job and focus on voice-acting: “It’s so wonderful to be able to do what I do. Not everyone can do it. It’s an incredible blessing to be able to do the thing that I love most and be with the people I love the most, all at the same time”.