It's been an an interesting year. Lots of challenges balanced by unexpected gains.
The biggest challenge and change was moving my studio in the middle of the year. I've welcomed a more relaxed (and quiet!) space for my studio and a (slightly) bigger voice booth and the pleasure of finally being able to offer clients a cup of tea! (the previous studio had no kitchen facilities).
I've missed working in Shoreditch more than I thought I would and although I've gained an extra 1.5 hours which used to be commuting time, I've lost a gym I loved (it's too far to justify a daily visit now) and a reason to get out of the studio! It's taken a diagnosis of severe Vitamin D deficiency to realise this is a bit of an issue. 2015 goal: more time outside, more sunshine.
I did a lot less travelling than I hoped (none, save a trip to Hebden Bridge to host a workshop), and I also gained more friends than I expected. One of my 2014 goals was to make more of an effort to get out and meet people, and joining The Voice Over Network was one of the best business decisions I made this year. Thanks to all the voice over people I've got know this year, there's too many of you to list and you're all awesome.
I also joined Sound Women, which has been on my list for a while, and I'm planning to get more involved in their events next year.
Voice over can be described in one word for me: steady. I've added a few bigger names to my client lists (IKEA, Cap Gemini, Swiss Post, Bank of New Zealand) and I've had more work in Australian accents, which is something I've been working towards after deciding to embrace Antipodeaness in general. I've finally accepted that outside of Oz & NZ (and it hurts to admit this) we sound the same to most people.
Voice reel production has really taken off for me this year. I reached my 100 voicereel milestone in October and it makes me proud every time I've heard about a voice reel client signing to a great voice agency, or landing a great contract with an audiobook agency, voicing a character in a video game or being chosen to voice a national commercial campaign. I'm flattered that Loud and Clear Voices have chosen to work with me this year as a preferred supplier, and I look forward to working with them (and United Voices) in 2015. And I wrote a bit for Actor Hub.
Schedules and locations moves meant I produced fewer Sounding Wilde shows than I wanted, but we've built a solid foundation for expansion next year, with our show about voice agents proving our most popular one yet!
I had a bit of a focus on passive income this year, which led to the creation of my Create Your Best Ever Soundtrack Ecourse, aimed at performers who want to learn how to edit their own music for their acts. I poured a lot of time into it and I've added new skills and learned a lot about marketing, so in terms of my personal growth alone, it was worthwhile.
On the sound design front, I drowned myself in the bath for Murderer (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, March),
matched Borodin with Lana Del Rey for Marriage (Jack Studio Theatre, June),
blended politics with modern jazz for An Ideal Husband (Tabard Theatre, June)
and created Arabic mobs from British voices for Warehouse of Dreams (Lion & Unicorn, November).
I also contributed sound recording & mixing skills to the House of Burlesque season at London Wonderground.
So that's it: my 2014. I've skated over the setbacks, the disappointments and most of the challenges, because I feel I've done a lot of sharing of the lessons I've learned throughout the year: in my regular Sunday Sound and Creative Business Tombola rondups, in my Working for Me series and in my twice-monthly Awesome Voice Over Stuff Newsletter.
2015 has already started for me, I'm sound designing A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Arcola and Boris Godunov at the Jack Studio Theatre, both of which open in January. After that, I have no idea where 2015 will take me. And that's just fine.
I wish you glorious and safe NYE celebrations, wherever you are in the world, and a positive start to 2015.
P.S. That's a Studio Ghibli soot devil in the top photo, in case you were wondering. I haven't replaced Bess the studio cat, she just wouldn't sit still!