Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell Gets A Facelift

Revised Peter K. O'Connell Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent logoI love me a good headline but no, I didn’t get a facelift.

My voiceover logo got a facelift.

So I designed my new logo back in December on my Mac using Powerpoint.

I will now allow all the logo designers reading this to scream and throw their computers.

I get it.

What’s important to remember is that I wasn’t originally trying to design a new logo in December….I was only playing around and it just sorta happened. Kinda like how babies are made (or so I’m told).

Anyway, everybody seems to either like the new logo or not hate the new logo and life goes on.

Being technologically inept in the graphics part of my life (PowerPoint, for goodness sake, even I’m a little ashamed), I needed some adjustments made to the logo and I had to call in the calvary (i.e. Ann Hackett from aHa Designs).

I am her least favorite client because I am very specific about how I want things done AND I change my mind alot. She charges me triple her going rate but I still come back for more! Might be like 3 decades working together…I’ve lost count.

I sent her all and I mean ALL the darn specs/files I had on my logo (including the fonts) so she could recreate it with the changes I needed.

But her Mac and my Mac or my PowerPoint and her WhizBang graphics software don’t always play nice.

The outcome was she came up with my logo design kinda close but then made some minor changes and created a tweaked 2nd version that I really liked. So that was the facelift of Peter K. O’Connell, Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent.

I’m sure I’ll tweak it more as time goes on but I am very happy with this outcome on the revised logo.

Hope you like it too.

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell’s Interview with VoyageRaleigh

What a nice compliment for me to be invited to an interview with VoyageRaleighVoyageRaleigh Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell about my voiceover business!

VoyageRaleigh is part of a group of publications around the country whose mission is to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make each city interesting.

The interesting part for me was that they listed my interview under the section of “Rising Star” – some 40+ years into my voiceover journey!!! I’ve decided it’s better than being listed under the category of “Falling Star”.

At any rate, thank you VERY much to the VoyageRaleigh team for spending time with me.

A 40+ year reminder that words matter

WHEN SOMEONE YOU NEVER MET emails you today and says that something you wrote in 1980 at the age of 15 is still making an impact in the life of his family right now, what do you say?

Well this weekend it happened to me and I am still not sure what to say…I started with thank you (and that feels woefully inadequate).

Let me tell you what happened.

In 1980, when I was a sophomore in high school, our English teacher had us write an essay on a topic that mattered to us…it was basically a creative writing exercise.

I wrote an article basically saying don’t always follow the pack, don’t be afraid to *not* conform sometimes and the cool kids really don’t know anything more than anyone else.

In essence. – ‘Don’t bother to try and keep up with the Joneses’.

My teacher liked it and asked me to submit it to our local newspaper, the Buffalo News. They published articles written by local high schoolers every month. For my efforts, I got a gift certificate from a local record store.

I’d long ago forgotten all of this.

What my younger self didn’t take into account was just how big that newspaper readership was…or that many people I never met would read my story.

Fast forward to this weekend when I got an email from a gentleman named Eric, whom I have never met or communicated with previous to this weekend.

In his email, he introduced himself and included a photo of my actual article, cut out from the Buffalo News by his Mother in 1980. His Mom gave my essay to him because she thought my high school words would resonate with him. It did.

He held on to the article all this time and has it posted in his house for his own children to read (that’s a picture of the article from his house).

Wow. This humbled me so greatly I was speechless.

But the greatest message for me, besides his compliment of keeping my article, was this: we just don’t know how what we say or write can help or hurt people who we’ve never met.

Conceptually we all understand this, but Eric’s email made it real in a way I could not know until I felt it.

I will share now that I will work to make my words more positive (in person, in emails and online) because when people experience what I say…it can have a bigger impact than I might have first considered. I will work (cause I’m not perfect) to lead with positivity in what I say, whenever possible.

Bring others up.

 

 

“SPEECHLESS” Voiceover Podcast to Celebrate 100 Episodes on April 18, 2024

Speechless Voiceover Podcast 100th Episode - Peter K. O'Connell VoiceoverIn almost all of broadcasting, be it radio, TV or cable, making it to the 100th show is a milestone.

The same is true for podcasting and it’s especially true for voiceover podcasting (says the blogger/podcaster who couldn’t get past 3-4 episodes back in the waaaay early days of the medium).

Seriously, I’ve heard and long forgotten a large number of VO podcasts from producers who seemingly lost interest in the medium.

So when I saw a post from my voiceover pal (and fellow Faffer) Natasha Marchewka about the upcoming 100th episode of her SPEECHLESS voiceover podcast with Kim Wilson (on April 18th), I know it promises to be a big deal.

Over 2 (maybe now 3) seasons/years, Kim and Natasha’s SPEECHLESS podcast has been a behind-the-scenes take on real life in the voice over biz! The good, the bad and the ugly.

SPEECHLESS Voiceover Podcast with Natasha Marchewka & Kim WilsonIt takes true production commitment and focus to keep a podcast (or any media program) on-air for ANY length of time. Guest aren’t always great, ideas aren’t always flowing….but if you have the determination, producers like Kim and Natasha fly over the problems and focus on the good stuff.

If you get to 100 episodes, that means the audience likes all the good stuff and wants you to keep going.

And that there (as we say in the south) is the greatest cause for celebration there is!

The Madness of March as Experienced Through an Alumni’s Eyes

For schools, especially colleges and universities, I can’t imagine anything much more annoying than alumni.

Whether the alumnus is a big donor (not me) or a little donor (sometimes me), donors always seem to want something.

I love UD - University of DaytonI want some wins for the University of Dayton in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (well, wins for ALL their men’s and women’s sports but focusing now on men’s basketball).

The great news today was that Coach Anthony Grant’s 2024 Flyer’s had a very strong season and became one of two Atlantic 10 teams to punch their ticket into the big dance.

All that means for me is that the Tournament Madness is a little more fun for me and my family.

No, we are not a big basketball family but UD helps make this time of year more fun when they get in the tournament. That’s all.

And the days before the tournament starts (like the days before the regular season schedule of my Buffalo Bills), we can each dream big and imagine all the possibilities of winning it all! 🙂

That’s the way it is with most annoying alums like me. 😉

For the players, staff and families of the team within my Catholic university, I hope they all enjoy this time in their lives in the same way I enjoyed my time at UD in the 80’s (especially my time at WVUD-FM {where this broadcasting and voiceover journey all meshed together with me and UD} – that’s me on-the-air in the back of that graphic).

Win or lose, #GoFlyers // #LetsFly .

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell Releases New Character Voice Demo

Peter K OConnell Character Voice Actor

Truth be told, this new character voice demo was a long time in the making.

A loooong time…like 18 years.

You read that right.

Why so long?

I kept getting hired off the 18 year old demo.

LISTEN TO PETER K. O’CONNELL’s 2024 CHARACTER VOICE DEMO BELOW:

Then the character voice demo evolved – there were character voice demos, then just animation character voice demos, then video game character demos. Then offshoots and collections mixing all that stuff. Oy!

I wasn’t sure how I should roll with these changes. I can do voices and voice acting for all those genres.

I even worked on one of the early famous video games (with a boatload of audio files) – Bioshock. But when I saw the game, I didn’t really like the story and visuals…they creeped me out, honestly. Clearly there was a huge audience for it but that audience didn’t include me.

Plus, I realized if I played in those video game voice acting waters…I’d likely be faced with that same gut/moral conundrum more than a few times. I don’t mind ceeding artistic control on most projects…but video games could get really weird really fast for my tastes. Not judging others but it was not for me.

I decided I was more of a commercial and animation character voice person. Plus there are a ton more talented than me video game voice actors in the world.

Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell - Buffalo Bills fanThen there was the paralyzing (for me) question of what to include in a new character voice demo. I can do and have done a ton of unique and familiar characters…I became overwhelmed.

It was a terrible but very real feeling about this inconsequential character voice demo (inconsequential when compared to the big picture of life).

I talked to some character voice producers (smart, talented folks) but I didn’t feel confident enough in my choices and the direction I wanted to go in for my demo to make it a worthwhile partnership to invest my money and their time.

Then a few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday doing a deep dive into the archieve of ALL the character stuff I have voiced. I sensed a direction and felt a great confidence to begin assembling, writing, voicing, editing and mixing.

One of the great benefits of working professionally in voiceover for over 40 years is that you become friends with very talented people who opinions you respect and who you know will lend a helpful ear and thoughtful, smart feedback.

I am so grateful for the help of my friends Bruce Miles, Steve Pogatch and most especially Rowell Gormon – who together easily total a century’s worth of professional character voice performance and production – for their insights. If you love the demo, it’s in large part because of them. If you hate, that’s on me.

I hope you love it.

And I hope there was a wonderful reason in God’s big plan that I had to wait 18 years between character voice demos. Cause I’m not sure I still be around if I have to wait ANOTHER 18 years for the next one! 🙂