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another reason to love ipDTL

FaffCon9 ipDTLEver since In:Quality introduced their ISDN alternative service ipDTL, life in the worlds of broadcasting and voiceover have gotten a little better.

Whether connected, with ipDTL’s web based software, to another ipDTL connected studio or bridged to an ISDN studio, the recordings just work. As simple as that sounds, it hasn’t always been that efficient with ipDTL’s competitive predecessors.

So it is with great excitement that we received word from In:Quality’s Kevin Leach that ipDTL has agreed to be the Presenting sponsor of FaffCon 9 in Charlotte, NC from September 22-24, 2017.

FaffCon 9 is the second to last FaffCon, as it has been announced that FaffCon 10, to take place sometime in 2018, will be the final FaffCon ever.

Already sold out, FaffCon 9 was the last chance for new, vetted and professional voice talents to attend a FaffCon. FaffCon 10’s attendees will consist solely of alumni from previous FaffCons as well as FaffCon 10 corporation sponsors.

Welcome ipDTL to FaffCon 9! See you in Charlotte!

#voicestrong courage

#voicestrong for voice agents

History has taught us that it is NOT easy.

Experience has taught us that it is rare.

Life has taught us that it is within each of us in large and small ways…but it IS in there.

The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

– The definition of courage

Courage_audioconnell_350

History books and movies are great at depicting amazing and even dramatic acts of courage.

But the truth is, in comparatively smaller, even daily acts, courage can be just as profound.

Profound because showing courage in almost any situation is hard.

One example.

To wake up one morning and find that, completely outside of your control, a key profit center of your business has been significantly altered in a way that is antithetical to your core business beliefs is a situation no small business in any industry wants to face.

But that’s what happened this week to hundreds of voiceover talent agencies and casting directors when a Los Angeles-based, central voiceover casting web site announced it had agreed to be acquired by a generally disrespected Pay 2 Play voiceover web site based in Canada. This Canadian company is known for and has admitted siphoning money budgeted for voiceover talent into their own corporate coffers under the guise of project management, unbeknownst to their paying clients.

Putting aside for a moment the ethical dilemma faced by agencies having to consider having business dealings with a disreputable company like that who now controls a key lead generation tool used daily by agencies, for these small business owners there is an important and hard financial decision to be made.

If agencies stay in partnership with this new ownership, they risk working for even lower commissions based on lower fees likely to be offered to voice talents on project posted by the Canadian company that now owns this popular casting site  (which is something the Canadian company, as a P2P, has been documented to do for some years now). But if the agencies drop the relationship with the new company, they will get commissioned on 100% on nothing. A key revenue source will be gone. How will they replace that lost revenue?

An ethical and financial quandary at the doorstep of voice talent agencies around the globe, all before breakfast.

These voiceover agents are small business owners just like you and me. Some are bigger than others and each has their other lead sources and contacts. Nonetheless, a decision either way impacts their bottom line.

A very hard decision, with unknown and unforeseen consequences, was before them. Take less of something or 100% of nothing.

I would like to introduce you to some people.

Erik Sheppard of Voice Talent Productions

Jeffrey Umberger of The Umberger Agency 

Tanya Buchanan of Ta-Da! Voiceworks

These are three of my voiceover agents.

Liz Atherton of TAG Talent

Stacey Stahl of In Both Ears

Carol Rathe of Go Voices

Susie DeSantiago of deSanti 

These four folks are not my voiceover agents but like Erik, Jeffrey & Tanya, each faced a very tough business decision following the Canadian company’s purchase. And decide they did.

Each has notified the casting website that they are leaving and will no longer be a paying member. Their collective lack of respect for the new ownership and it’s reputation for depreciating voice talents, agents and their services seems to have helped them make their individual decisions.

There may still be more to add to the exit list, but right there are seven (7) examples of small business owners who individually faced a business problem head on, individually had a tough decision to make and individually made the decision to walk away from a table with money still on it (less though it will likely turn out to be).

The chance for them to lose significant income is very real. So are their mortgage, car and school payments. Doing the right thing can be very difficult on many different levels.

Everyday courage doesn’t often make it to the big screen. But that doesn’t make these specific acts any less courageous.

And courage like that, from people voice talents have trusted as partners in our careers, deserves our unwavering support. #voicestrong

don’t be a $5 voice actor

Twitter adIf you are brand spanking new to voiceover, this post is for you.

If you have attended VO Atlanta or some other massive voiceover meeting anywhere in the world with stars in your eyes on how you are going to become a voice actor, this post is also for you.

If you are an experienced voice talent and you have or currently use Fiver as a way to get voice jobs, you have my sympathies for your difficult financial conditions but you’d be better off reading Monster.com or Indeed.com to find a new job than reading this blog post.

That ad at the top of this post, that’s a real ad.

Some young or stressed or imbecilic media producer may actually think they are getting a pro voice talent for that fee.

The voice (and no, I won’t say “talent”) doing the job for $5.00 for that producer may think they are a “professional” voice because they are getting paid.

Neither the producer nor the voice is correct.

I’ll make this brief.

The journey to becoming a professional voice talent is as unique as the person living the journey and no two journeys are exactly the same. There is no perfect way, mine included.

But every journey has universal pitfalls and $5 voiceover jobs…most any VO job in that range of pricing is less a pitfall or a pothole as it is an enormous moon crater that go so deep you cannot see the bottom.

Just follow this advice: don’t be a $5 voice actor.

I hope this helps.

that place

Crescent Beach 2017If we are fortunate, and sadly not everyone is, each of us finds a place outside of home and outside of work that brings us peace and joy.

Sometimes it’s a nearby place, sometimes it is a far away place.

Maybe, if you’re really lucky, you have many “places”.

Wherever it is, it is a place where you feel at ease and maybe (as in my case) you’re family feels that same peace and joy there.

Having been there, I was reminded that I should remind you…go to that place.

Why?

Because it creates in you a special feeling, new or renewed thoughts, calmness…it might even have smells that bring back or create memories.

The computer is off and the phone is away.

This is not a pipe dream but rather something quite vital to your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well being.

I’m really not kidding.

Sometimes, to get to that place, money is an issue. I respect that challenge, so I would encourage you to search for an interim place. Some place new and away from the norm that brings you peace and joy without stressing your wallet.

If you feel you don’t have time, I would like to encourage you to MAKE the time.

Life (yours or someone else’s) can end in a second.

Work is not life. Money is not life. Stress is not life. Those are mere elements of life that we each obsess over. Obsessing is not living.

Live life.

Find that place.