Wedding and Voicing and Writing Oh My!
Rather than send out two blog posts back to back, here's a sidebar announcement: Did you get my book yet? "VOICEOVERS: A Super Business ∙ A Super Life", my 310-page independently published book, is now available for order!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress.
Gone are the Days
There was a time in my life where weddings were my main breadwinner. How fun was it to celebrate someone’s union and get paid at the same time? And the food was occasionally truly awesome. Especially delightful was when the main guests were provided Lobster and Dom Perignon, and we vendors were provided a kid’s table and served cold ham sandwiches, water, and a dried-up orange wedge far away from the crowd in another zip code. Now that’s love.
I wrote about some of this in a previous blog entitled “Why I threw away $460,000” wherein I detailed why I intentionally set fire to my wedding videography career. Serving as a wedding vendor is akin to being waterboarded for forty-eight-hundred years, or forced to listen to the doo-doo-doo-‘s of Baby Shark on a punishing loop. The enjoyment level being a wedding videographer is akin to the enjoyment level of being crucified.
With that in mind, I swiftly (OK, OK: eleven years after I started) left wedding videography for the greener pastures of voiceovers. Do I regret it one bit?
Not one bit. And here’s why.
Voiceovers Rule, and Weddings suck.
Allow me to expound on this declaration to preempt any kind of Biblical rage on the part of any category of -zilla out there (there are many). The worst is the dog-zilla who doubles as the Ringbearer and is all uppity because no she-dogs were invited to get down and boogie with.
A Means to an End
Sure enough, weddings provide a great bounty of work, no matter what vendor type you choose: whether that’s videography, officiating, photography, catering, DJ’ing, floral, or bringing along your drunken, belligerent uncle. Or the grandpa whose pants always fall down while dancing. It’s pure magic. It’s truly a lucrative line of work, and you can profit off of these giddy days of happiness and celebration. No matter what economic downturns or pandemics we face, people will always get marry and be married, and thus, for a stretch, I chose to be very merry while Harry and Mary were getting married by Scary Larry.
But there’s a flip side, and, dare I say, a dark side, to all this mirth. I call it the Me Trap. It’s the inevitable deep plunge into abhorrent and rampant narcissism that makes the day all about the bride and groom, and I don’t need to justify my position with the countless available stories of terrorism conducted by brides who charge their guests admission, brides who insist on a wedding gift from their bridesmaids, or brides who intentionally fatten up their bridesmaids in the name of vanity and flattering photographs.
Basically, it’s the brides. That much is clear. All brides are inherently evil and, prior to their nuptials, should all be sent traipsing off into the Amazon by themselves on a three-week Hunger Games-like trek whilst completely naked, armed only with a toothpick and slathered with lamb juice. That'll teach 'em humility.
In over 460 weddings, there was always some kind of conflict, if even on a superficial level. This wasn’t right, or that wasn’t perfect, or why were those people invited, and where is the weed? Nothing was ever quite right, and ultimately, you could cut the palpable tension with a knife. Me, with my gregarious and disarming personality, did my absolute best to connect with clients who were on some level, prior to the wedding day, human. On the wedding day itself however, most clients bore a stark resemblance to the Wampa from Empire Strikes Back, ready to hang you upside down in a freezing cave and scarf down your Tauntaun if provoked. And that’s why I always bring a lightsaber to my weddings.
It wasn’t all bad, but *pause* ...well, actually, yes it was. “Hindsight is 20:20” they say, and now that I can look back and see through the fog, it’s clear to me that I was embroiled in a vocation where the will to live slowly ebbs away in the fiery crucible of pleasing unpleasable clients. Even while attending weddings of people I actually love (there are four), I find myself praying that it would rain, so that the couple would receive the painfully unambiguous realization that it truly is not all about them. Plus that gets us inside and to the cocktails much faster.
So, if you’re sitting at a crossroads, unsure of which direction to take in life, to assist you with the choice of whether to pursue either wedding videography or voiceovers, I offer you a comprehensive Q&A to amplify your reasoning prowess, and help you make an Informed Decision.
Q: Should I get into wedding videography?
A: Yes, if you have a letter from your doctor stating that you should engage in pursuits that jeopardize your life and could cause you to pee your pants from cold fear.
Q: Are voiceovers actually better than wedding videography?
A: Yes, in much the same sense that living in Heaven is actually better than burning in hell.
Q: I received an invitation to help a good friend film their client’s wedding. Should I help?
A: This is a trick question. A good friend would never jeopardize your life for such low pay.
Q: It sounds like one can make a lot of money doing wedding videography. Wouldn’t that be motivation enough to do it?
A: Yes, if you enjoy the pleasurable sensation of being crucified.
Q: Would you ever do wedding videography again?
A: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAH AHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! *deep inhale* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHA HAHAH HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!
Facing Voiceover Obsolescence
I hope that helps. Were I to ever return to slavery, I mean wedding videography, it would have to only come as the result of Artificial Intelligence taking over all sectors of society and running me out of voiceovers entirely. As a means to an end, yes, it was financially lucrative. However, making $300 for 3 minutes of work on an Explainer Video will always beat, hands down, serving a wedding client for an indeterminate amount of time, and having delightfully cumbersome and unreasonable demands placed upon me, such as:
- “Do this extra thing for me at no charge, or I go straight to Yelp!”
- “Give me the Silver package amenities at the Economy Pig Slop package pricing, or I go straight to Yelp!”
- “Worship me all day long! Be at my beck and call! For I am Satan! Worship me!!!”
- “Pay you for your wedding videography services???” *wicked cackle of incredulity* “Never! You shall pay ME for the privilege of serving ME, I say! Me! Me! ME!!!!!”
- “Yelp Yelp Yelp, yelp-yelp-yelp Yelp!”
- “Did I mention I’m a self-centered narcissist who knows everyone on Yelp and has the power to destroy your business unless you Photoshop my non-ideal body down to the ideal thinness of a sliver?”
- “Yelp Yelp Yelp, yelp-yelp-yelp Yelp!”
I think I’ve chosen aright. My wedding videography career is over (fist pump), and I sleep more soundly now. It’s gone (more fist pumping), and with it a legacy of indentured servitude to clients who disagree when you insist that you’re a human being and have certain rights to be treated fairly. Oh I enjoyed it on Wedding #1. But much later, after a long while, by Wedding #2 I realized that I had essentially traded enjoyment for handcuffs, and was rushing toward the cliff like a lemming to his doom. From that point on it was a careful balancing act of desperately trying to please every single client with every fiber of my being, and smacking myself in the brain with an oar.
So no, thank you, I don’t think I would ever go back to wedding videography even if voiceovers became obsolete and you paid me a gajillion dollars. I’m comfortable with my healthy level of contempt now. I would instead probably elect to be hired by a sadist, and be subjected to daily waterboarding, set to Baby Shark Music.
What the heck, it beats traipsing through the Amazon covered in lamb juice.
HEY. WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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