The GKN Weekly Update 11/13/12 – To Work Or Not To Work: Is That The Question?

Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you enjoyed your day off (if you had one, see below) and remember those who have sacrificed so much for us.

ANNOUNCEMENT!: The Infinivox audiobook “The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 2” is out!

I narrate “Angel of Europa” and “Kiss Me Twice”. That’s the one where I had to do a Mae West impression. It’s now on sale at Audible (click on the image above to check it out).

Speaking of Veteran’s Day, fellow voice talent Dan Hurst posted an interesting question in the Facebook group “FaffCon Friends”. He wrote:

“Hey, just curious. How many of you are working over the Veteran’s Day holiday? I always struggle with this. I’d like to take normal holidays like everybody else, but it never seems to work that way. How ’bout you?”

Good question, Dan! Almost everyone answered that they are working. Ah, the perils of being a freelancer. No holidays for us!

The question made me curious about what it means to be a freelancer. How our world is different than those nine-to-fivers. I looked up the origin of the word “freelance”.

Freelance: The term was first used by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) in Ivanhoe (1820) to describe a “medieval mercenary warrior” or “free-lance” (indicating that the lance is not sworn to any lord’s services, not that the lance is available free of charge).[1] It changed to a figurative noun around the 1860s and was recognized as a verb in 1903 by authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun (a freelance) into an adjective (a freelance journalist), a verb (a journalist who freelances) and an adverb (she worked freelance), as well as into the noun “freelancer”.


Medieval mercenary warrior, huh? I like the sound of that! Sir Thomas of the Shire of Parsippany, voice talent errant!

It also made me wonder about holidays and the work week. Do you know why we have an eight-hour day, forty-hour work week? Henry Ford! Before that, you started work when the sun rose and stopped when the sun set, resting on the Sabbath or Sunday, depending on your religious affiliation. At least until some other guy named Edison came along. My point is that for better or worse, voice talents are largely outside of this structure, and it is sometimes difficult to get things done when you’re “not supposed to”. Is this a bad thing, a good thing, or just a thing?

TIP OF THE WEEK: I think it’s as bad or good as you let it be. One of the keys to being a successful freelancer is to know when to work and when to not work. When to buck the trends of the normal work week and when to set work aside for another day so you can spend time with your loved ones & recharge your batteries. It’s tricky, but it’s really important!

So when do you work and when do you rest? I can’t tell you! It depends on your situation and everybody’s is different.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Anyone who makes up their mind before they hear the issue is a fool. Chris Rock

STUFF!: Veterans Day and Memorial Day always get me thinking about serving my country. I did not serve in the military, but I toyed with the idea when I was in high school. Desert Storm struck when I was in college and there was talk of reinstating the draft. Despite being an acting major surrounded by some who regarded themselves as conscientious objectors, I had decided that if I was called, I would go. I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if I served. Would I have become a voice actor? Where would I be living now? Would I even still be alive…?

So do you know how I serve my country? By being a good citizen, paying my taxes, working hard, obeying the law, giving to charity when I can, and being there for my friends & family. Just doing my part the only way I know how!

From my one-bedroom castle, this is Sir Thomas of Parsipanny: GKN News…

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2 Responses

  1. Adela says:

    Dear Tom,
    thank you for that instructive bit of etymology!
    I hope you find yourself well in Sandy’s aftermath…
    I’m trying to catch up here in Teaneck.
    Warmest regards,
    Adela

  1. November 13, 2012

    […] Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you enjoyed your day off (if you had one, see below) and remember those who have sacrificed so much for us. ANNOUNCEMENT!: The Infinivox audiobook “The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 2″ is out!  […]

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