an old voice-over friend has passed

VO-BB Microphone IconMaybe you feel the same way, but I can only tolerate so much of Facebook recently, with full-blown idiots of every political persuasion hell bent on proving their idiocy to the world. Ponderous. “Hide” is a useful FB tool. Yet I still check in occasionally on FB to check on the world.

Aside from the above silliness, some sad and unexpected news made it in to my Facebook feed last week.

VO-BB_logo_VoiceoverBulletinBoardThe Voiceover Bulletin Board (the VO-BB) closed up last week. You can still read it, but you cannot post anything new. Foundress of the board and one of my absolute favorite female voice talents, DB Cooper, got frustrated at some feedback she got from a post of hers and turned over the closed sign on one of the most important internet sites for aspiring and professional voice talents.

I don’t begrudge her the right to shut the place down whenever she wanted and for whatever reason she chose. She can’t begrudge me, though, the right to be sad it’s gone.

When my friend (and another killer female voice talent, Connie Terwilliger), directed me and others to the VO-BB so many years ago, I didn’t realize how this new place would change my professional and personal life with industry news and insights, new friendships and a place to be silly (well, and plain stupid…sometimes I was stupid in my posts but an apology usually fixed that).

Thinking about the board and its members and the discussions (and jokes and rants and drama….we’re talking voice actors here…always drama), I started to piece together how so many of my current professional and personal relationships started on this board.

How?

Fellow voice talents who’s comments I read on the board; those who read my comments on the board; voice-over talents who started a business relationship with me because of the board; voice actors who I met at an industry function who knew of me through or because of the board; FaffCon (always FaffCon, which began through the VO-BB); Bob Souer inviting me out to lunch, which beget multiple meetings among VO-BB’ers for years (with more always to come).

So I’ve just made a quick list of voiceover folks I’ve met via all the above permutations that came about because of the VO-BB. Each of these folks have truly made my voice-over journey so much richer because they have been some part of it.

The list has left me a bit gob smacked (and guilty, for fear of those I have no doubt and inexplicably left off, with no malice intended). But I list it as a tribute to what DB created and nurtured over all these years, on her little plot of land on the interwebs.

In NO order of priority:

1. DB Cooper
2. Bob Souer
3. Doug Turkel
4. Connie Terwilliger
5. Liz deNesnera
6. Bruce Miles
7. Philip Banks
8. Lee Gordon
9. Peter Bishop
10. Rowell Gormon
11. Amy Snively
12. Diane Maggipinto
13. Todd Ellis
14. Mandy Nelson
15. Frank Frederick
16. Mary McKitrick
17. Elaine Singer
18. Chuck Davis
19. Anthony Mendez
20. Dave Courvoisier
21. Dan Friedman
22. Tom Dheere
23. Ben Wilson
24. Pam Tierney
25. September Day Carter
26. Moe Egan
27. Jeffrey Kafer
28. Donovan Corneetz
29. Tom Test
30. Vance Elderkin
31. Kara Edwards
32. Caryn Clark
33. Bobbin Beam
34. Terry Daniel
35. Roger Tremaine
36. Lance Blair
37. George Washington, III
38. Erik Sheppard
39. John Florian
40. CC Petersen
41. Melissa Exelberth
42. Jodi Krangle
43. Chris Mezzolesta
44. Dave DeAndrea
45. Craig Crumpton
46. Bob Bergen
47. Michael Schoen
48. JS Gilbert
49. Diane Havens
50. James Clamp
51. Trish Basanyi
52. Monk Schane-Lydon
53. Jane Ingalls
54. Paul Strikwerda
55. Bruce Jacobson
56. Darren Altman
57. Mara Junot
58. Fran McClellan
59. Dale Leopold
60. Lori Berman
61. Talmadge Ragan
62. Scott Pollak
63. Lauren McCullough
64. Randye Kaye
65. Melanie Haynes
66. Larissa Gallagher
67. CC Heim
68. Jordan Reynolds
69. Kristin Lennox
70. Martha Mellinger
71. Rosi & Brian Amador

I am at once heartened and heartbroken when I look at the list, the members of this always-welcoming club. While I expect we will continue our friendships, it seems we shall not have this special place to visit and update.

Maybe it will come back again and maybe we will appreciate it more and treat it better if it does rise again. If not, at least we had it for a time.

“And”, to quote Robert Frost, “that has made all the difference.”

UPDATE: Working with D.B. Cooper, Bruce Miles has resurrected the VO-BB so this wonderful LIVES AGAIN!

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7 Responses to “an old voice-over friend has passed”

  1. BOO! VO-BB changed my life too. I am forever grateful for all of the help the majority of the amazing souls whose names are on your list provided to me while I was deployed to Iraq and working for the American Forces Network aka AFN! I have even maintained an online friendship with all of you. MEGA THANKS to DB and all of her time and effort to run the board. Nothing but love for all of ya!

    Kasbah Out!

  2. While VO-BB was born out of the closure of ‘Sammy’s List’ (never knew who Sammy was!) it was a bigger, brighter version that took me out of my isolation as a beginning voice actor. Meeting all those wonderful online friends in person has always been a highlight. And it has always been like seeing family you hadn’t seen in a while. I remember our first in person meeting, Peter, at the first Pod Camp in Toronto. VO-BB will definitely be missed.

  3. Peter, thanks for writing about this. My feeling is much the same, especially in that I feel the loss of a specific community which I valued very much. I mean, how am I going to ever get my regular doses of Todd’s special brand of awesome now?? 🙂

    My list of valued connections and relationships begun there (many times enhanced by FaffCamp events) would be as extensive as yours for sure, with a huge overlap. You’re on it, and so is Dan Nachtrab, and George Whittam, and like you I’ve forgotten several others. DB’s shepherding of this space has had an enormous positive ripple effect through so much of the VO community.

    I would love to see some form of VO-BB 2.0, as I think there’s a real place for this sort of thing outside the walled garden of FB. I don’t know what that would look like, but I’d be glad to help with it should others feel the same.

  4. It was definitely the place to be for me, when I started out as a newbe in the voiceover business in 2003. Bernard

  5. I miss the vo-bb too. There was a sense of VO family there. I too have little use for FB and other social media. I hope there is a vo-bb.com sequel. I feel a real loss and a bit lost without it.

    I have never been able to make a Faff event (timing) or any other VO event since Voice 2008, which I found disappointing after the original on 2007.

    Peter, I know we have spoken I believe by Skype a number of years ago, but I hope we get to meet some day.

    Lifting a glass to DB and the vo-bb family.

  6. Thank you Peter for the overview of what once was. I miss the VO-BB immensely. Even now I stop by that wonderfu spotl on the web to just read familiar names and to search the archives for more happier days. I couldn’t have found a better, loving, and more generous group of individuals than I found in DB Coopers’ clubhouse. I met so many wonderful, artistic friends who willingly opened thier soundbooths, and shared thier secrets. And those same people were always there to help you when you got discouraged, picked you up, dusted you off, and pointed you in the right direction again. And these same people would also share your joys and your sorrows. From births, to deaths, and all that could happen in between. I can only close with these few words from a favorite song.

    “In short, there’s simply not
    A more congenial spot
    For happily-ever-aftering than here
    In Camelot.”

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