Monday, February 22, 2010

GKN Weekly Update 2/22/10

Well, it's that time of year: TAX TIME!!!

I'm going to see my accountant this afternoon to get my taxes done. So, for those of you who've never filed your taxes as a performance artist, let's cover the basics...

Most of the time, actors and voiceover talents don't have their taxes taken out from their paychecks. They issue W-9 forms to their clients and get 1099 forms at the end of the year. You should get one from every client who paid you more than $600 last year.

You'd be amazed at what you can write off! Among other things, I track mileage, tolls, parking, mailings, office supplies, and fees such as Voice123 membership and PayPal fees. This stuff adds up quickly!

If you work from home and have a designated office space/recording area, you can write off a % of your rent/mortgage. It's based on square footage used as office space.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I strongly recommend setting up a quarterly estimated tax payment plan. That way you won't have to pay your taxes in one lump sum come April 15. Pay around 10-20% of your income each quarter. Trust me, it eases the pain when you have to pay up!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Be a vigorous dancer. However, you’re under no obligation to join a conga line. Walker Lamond

STUFF!: Please go see "Transition" (the film I was the Assistant Director for) at the 6th NYC Downtown Short Film Festival Audience Choice Screenings on Thursday, February 25. It will be one of four films screened that evening and the films with the most votes wins a slot in a film festival! Tickets are sold out but I may be able to wrangle some for you if you want to go. Let me know...

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: Be a vigorous dancer. However, you’re under no obligation to join a conga line. Walker Lamond

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

has a voiceover recording session at home this morning for a manufacturing company. Skype rules!

Monday, February 15, 2010

GKN Weekly Update 2/15/10

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful time and got all of the chocolate, flowers, and adoration they deserve.

So, last week I sent out my quarterly newsletter, "The Rognog". It was well-received and thanks to those of you who wrote those kind replies. I had some trouble sending it out, though. My number of contacts have grown so much that Outlook/ACT! can't seem to handle it anymore. ACT! kept crashing and Outlook only allows you to send out 50 emails at a time. Fellow GKN member Jeff Kafer recommended Vertical Response so I'm definitely going to use that next time.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I really enjoy writing my newsletter. It gives me a chance to reflect on my recent accomplishments and plan for the future. I think it's really important to take stock once in a while to see where you're at. Are you ahead of schedule when it comes to your goals? Behind? What's working? What isn't?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link. Mark Twain

STUFF!: All In One Collectibles (my friend Mike's store) will be running many events this week at Dreamation, an annual gaming convention in Morristown at the Hyatt. I'll be there to help out and I encourage all you geeks to head on down!. Go to to learn more.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 8, 2010

check out my latest voiceover blog entry!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Remember, the girl you’re with is somebody’s sister. And he’s perfectly capable of kicking your ass. Walker Lamond

GKN Weekly Update 2/8/10

Happy Post-Super Bowl Day! Did you have a good time last night? I was rooting for the Colts. Alas...

Last week was pretty great. For the first time, every voiceover gig I booked I recorded from home. I know that's commonplace for many of my peers, but it's a big deal for me. One of my goals this year is to book more sessions from home instead of traveling to remote studios. No, it's not because I'm a lazy bum (I am, but that's beside the point). It's because it reflects the fact that I've broadened my client base. It's nice to see some of that cold-calling & networking pay off!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Routines are good. Comfort zones are good. Structure is good. What's even better is when you change your routine, you venture out of your comfort zone, or when you break up your structure. Your brain thrives when exposed to change. It's like trying a new type of food and loving it. Feed your brain!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Remember, the girl you’re with is somebody’s sister. And he’s perfectly capable of kicking your ass. Walker Lamond

STUFF!: Movies seem to keep popping up here but it's what I love! Last week I enjoyed "Tales of the Black Freighter", the animated companion story to "Watchmen". It was pretty good, but what was even better was the faux-documentary "Under The Hood" which was also on the DVD. It was geek-fare, but it was darn good!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 5, 2010

will be recording a voiceover from my home with a client listening in. Ain't Skype great?

Monday, February 1, 2010

is writing a comic book! Well, re-writing one...

GKN Weekly update 2/1/10

And a happy post-Grammy, post-Pro Bowl day to you! I hope everybody picked a winner...

So, the grand experiment of tracking my networking & auditions is over. Here is the grand total: I reached out to exactly 120 potential and existing clients in January. That included cold calls, query emails, auditions, callbacks, and follow-ups. That's six reach-outs a day. Is that a good number? I'm not sure. I guess the important question is: did I get work? The answer is yes. Enough work to make the effort worthwhile? Only time will tell. Sometimes years pass before a cold call turns into a paying gig. I would like to think I'm on the right track...

TIP OF THE WEEK: Some of my industry friends poke fun at me for being so analytical when it comes to running my business. I've been told I'm "anal" and "too structured". You know what? I'm totally fine with it! If you are self-employed and trying to make it as an actor, model, dancer, VO talent, etc., you are a business. Act like it! You need a business plan, a budget, a realistic vision. OK, we're artists, we march to the beat of a different drum. Fine, I get it. But that doesn't mean you have to rebel against everything that's organized because it make you feel restricted or less free to express yourself. Please.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: If you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. Conan O'Brien

STUFF!: I saw "The Book of Eli" last week. I always look forward to Denzel Washington movies because he's such a great actor and he picks interesting projects. I'm sorry, but this one was pretty bad! It was a poor attempt at going for a Mad Max post-apocalyptic setting with a religious twist. Denzel was great, Gary Oldman was great (he's one of my favorite actors), and yes, another Tom Waits sighting! But this one fell short.

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: If you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. Conan O'Brien