the voiceover agent series: how I partnered with Ta-Da Voiceworks in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Editor’s note: Often times I get asked by both new and experienced voiceover talent “how do you get a voiceover agent?” Or “how did you get signed with a specific voice talent agency?” It occurred to me recently that there are some interesting and fun stories about how I have partnered with my voiceover agents. Everybody likes a good story so I thought I would share a few of them in something I’ve entitled “the voiceover agent series”.

Voice Talent Peter K O'Connell Ta-Da Voiceworks 19

I had to go all the way to Los Angeles to get an agent in Toronto, even though I lived in Buffalo, NY at the time.

Confused? Well, that’s just good story telling!

When I first met Tanya Buchanan, the owner and head agent at Ta-Da Voiceworks….she wasn’t the owner of an agency. She wasn’t even an agent. She was (and still is) a voice talent.

From my records, it looks like I first met Tanya in person on June 1, 2008 as a Toronto voiceover seminar hosted by Debbie Munroe. I believe Jodi Krangle was at the seminar and possibly also Elaine Singer. I knew Elaine and Jody virtually via VO-BB.com and I think I knew Tanya via there too.

But Tanya was a pistol right out of the gate and she was a presence in the room…in a good way.

Fast forward 4 years later in Ventura, CA, about an hour northeast of LA where Amy Snively was hosting FaffCon 4. Amy had brought some agents into the event and one of them was…Tanya Buchanan?!

Clearly I was Captain Oblivious (yet again) because I had no idea Tanya had started a boutique voiceover agency in Toronto. I was flummoxed mostly because I had no idea she harbored such aspirations (when we first met, she might not have…but we all evolve).

Starting a creative…anything in Toronto is NOT for the faint of heart because that’s akin to an American business person trying to start a boutique voiceover agency in New York or LA. But Tanya is a doer and she was making it happen in the biggest city in Canada. That impressed me.

During FaffCon, I wanted to talk with Tanya about her voiceover agency and whether it would be a fit for us to work together. I had spoken previously with the only other reputable non-union agency in Toronto and he wanted nothing to do with me…the American thing threw him.

Back in Ventura, Tanya and I were both kinda surrounded by VO’s and it wasn’t the perfect space for that kind of one on one business discussion. But my dislike of vegetables offered a solution.

One day during FaffCon, Amy had scheduled a salad lunch…salad….no sandwiches, no soups….just vegetables. In the Peoples Republic of California, a visitor sometimes feel like they are encountering the Borg (think like we, think, act like we act, eat what we eat, join the collective…assimilate!) ?

I knew I would need to find something else to eat. Fortunately, right across the street from the hotel was the west coast’s iconic In & Out Burger restaurant. So I asked Tanya if I could buy her lunch. She agreed. Some how Graeme Spicer ended up joining us for lunch too because I think he wanted to try this burger that was so famous.

Ta-Da Voiceworks 2014 Holiday Party (l-r) Tanya Buchanan, Darryl Hogan, Peter K. O’Connell, Bill Hunt, Graeme Spicer and Debra Scott

Ta-Da Voiceworks 2014 Holiday Party (l-r) Tanya Buchanan, Ta-Da Owner/Senior Agent, Darryl Hogan former Agent and Ta-Da Voiceworks Roster Voice Talents Peter K. O’Connell, Bill Hunt, Graeme Spicer and Debra Scott

Well good news, bad news. Bad news was the food was passable at best. I’ve no idea what all the fuss was about In & Out Burgers. McDonalds is a thousand times better. And yet anything was better to me than a salad bar lunch. Note to Amy: do not pull that again! ?

Good news was between the milkshakes and fries, Tanya figured we should be able to work together, especially since I was in Buffalo and that’s all of two hours away from Toronto. In TO, they still like VO’s to record in person there so if I had to go up, I could make that work.

So I guess 7 years, some voiceover jobs, some FaffCons and even some voiceover conference panels later, Tanya must have forgiven me for subjecting her to a greasy fast-food lunch by the ocean. We’re still working together and I’m glad for that.

Be Sociable, Share!

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment