With over a decade of experience working in law and after 5 years working as a barrister, I quit pursuing my passion of becoming a video games voice actor, game enthusiast, and actress. When I made this change, however, I had to quickly learn about all the equipment I would need and how to get it on a budget!
Like many individuals setting themselves up as an artist, I worried about the and costs involved when starting out. But I soon realised that my new career path didn’t have to be an expensive venture.
If you’re savvy, there are numerous ways you can get the equipment needed at an affordable price. Some of my tried and tested tips for getting all the tech for next to nothing are:
- Remember the industry is small, and forging good relationships is important. If you have worked on film sets, volunteered your time to help with a demo reel, and/or other industry work, you will have met people who have access to equipment. Don’t be shy to ask for help, you can often negotiate a fair exchange, such as offering services on their next project or referring paid work to their studio.
- If any of your crew is enrolled in a film course, ask if the school has equipment that can be borrowed out. Often schools will have equipment such as lighting and stands and even cameras available.
- Realise everyone here is looking for work or is in-between bigger-paying gigs. Many people are understanding about financial hurdles, so are willing to let you use their equipment at a lower price. Offering to pay something, even though it isn’t the big money, shows you are looking to contribute with what you have. Like many creatives, sometimes a string of regular but small paid jobs help us stay afloat!
- Get creative! I was able to source everything needed to build a sound booth from eBay for under $AUD150. I ordered a Japanese room divider and super-glued audio foam squares onto it so that I could move the booth around and stop unwanted sounds/room echo. You can also create a microphone pop shield with a sock and it does the same job.
There are always alternatives to spending big straight away, without compromising on the final product. If you use your connections and are willing to get creative, it can save you in the long run.
More About Gemma Laurelle
Gemma has a passion for adventure, on and off screen. From conquering video games to international husky dog racing, Gemma brings her sense of fun wherever she goes.
A former criminal attorney, Gemma’s analytical skills and charm blend perfectly to explore characters with strong, engaging presence. Her love of working in the thriller, sci-fi and action drama genres means Gemma uses her near 6-foot stature to performance advantage, smoothly adapting from an of air of mystery and grace, to intense and formidable demeanor.
Her curiosity and excitement about learning new skills, lead her to pursue training in the use of multiple weapons and firearms, along with experimenting with a variety of martial art forms, including Muay Thai, Kick-boxing, Kung Fu and 17th Century sword method for screen. Gemma is experienced in unarmed stage combat technique, enjoys wire work and motion capture.
Gemma’s low-pitched, smooth voice gains attention, placing her in demand for video game character voiceovers, film narration and educational voice work.