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requiescat in pace travis davis

<em>Voice Actor Travis Davis</em>

Voice Actor Travis Davis

I opened up Facebook today to see a post from VO Planet’s Donna Summers announcing the passing Monday of voice talent and actor Travis Davis from a 15 month long battle with stomach cancer.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children. There is a foundation set up to help the family.

Until this day, I never knew who Travis Davis was.

But I have a wife and two young children and right now my heart is racing and not in a good way.

If you’d be willing to forgo the morning Starbucks for a week, it might make a nice donation for a family that just lost their Da.

tooned in is traveling

<em>Emmy Award Winning Female Voice Actor Stevie Vallance</em>

Emmy Award Winning Female Voice Actor Stevie Vallance

I trained with Stevie Vallance at her “Tooned In” Workshop about two years ago in Toronto and it was a good experience. As you might guess by the name, Stevie’s focus is on animation voice over, a field where she has been an Emmy Award winning performer and producer for many years.

This week, unbeknownst to me, the Ottawa International Animation Festival is taking place and I’ll let you guess the city. Stevie has advised:

I will be in Ottawa teaching a workshop at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. On Wednesday, October 14th, I’ll be turning the hosts into ‘Toons’, on the A Channel’s Morning Show (aprox 7:30 am).

Sign up for my 2-hour Animation Voice-over Acting ‘Drill’, at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, on Thursday October 15th, at 7:00 pm, in the Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave, Ottawa. There is a $15 dollar walk-up entry fee, based on availability.

On Sunday, October 18th, I am teaching the ‘original’ Tooned In! Animation Acting Workshop, from 10am to 6pm. This event will take place in a state of the art recording studio, in Ottawa. ‘Animation acting’ experience is not required. Class capacity is limited for quality control and to ensure ample mic time for all participants. This workshop is 8 hours of intensive voice workout and participants will leave with a rough demo.

She noted she also has upcoming workshops in Owen Sound (Nov 1), New York (Nov 8), Toronto (Nov 29) and Vancouver (Dec 13)

For details or to register visit http://toonedin.ca

18,000 servings per second


It should not come as a surprise to you, gentle reader, that I love design and specifically advertising and marketing design. Visuals that must convey meaning and message in a short amount of time (usually) and birth an emotion and/or action within the viewer.

From a world wide perspective, there is no bigger brand in the world than Coca-Cola. My preference in cola leans directly toward Pepsi but business is bidnez and Coke is it. To wit:

With 450 brands operating in 200 countries, and 20,000 retailers selling 1.6 billion servings of Coke products per day — that’s 18,000 servings per second — it would be hard to find a bigger canvas on which to explore design as an enterprise function. (He) oversees a team of 50 designers within Coke and works with some 300 agencies worldwide.

With the curtain is pulled back on the recent design activities of the world’s largest brand, I think it’s worth a read.

And according to the story’s protagonist, the process may involve design but it isn’t about design – it’s about selling stuff.

Darn tootin’!

deb monro in toronto november 7th & 8th

<em>Female Voice Talent and Voice Over Coach Deb Munro</em>

Female Voice Talent and Voice Over Coach Deb Munro

Just got pinged by Deb Monro following her high seas voice over adventure that she’ll be in Toronto on November 7th and 8th with Dave McRae (voice talent and coach I’m told) and Roger King from PN Agency (Roger wasn’t able to make it to our class when I studied with Deb a few years ago).

The two days will cover Selecting Styles & Talking Audio Voice Workshops. The weekend will cost you $395 but she’s told me that you’ll get a discount if you tell her I referred you AND she told me I’ll get $25 for every person I refer who registers for the event until October 23rd.

BUT because I am a nice guy, ask Deb to please credit MY $25 to your tuition on top of the discount she gives you. I do not want price to be a barrier to your training opportunity. Contact Deb via email (workshops@micnme.com), phone (604-459-5559) or web (www.MicnMe.com).

Enjoy your training with Deb, I know I did. And tell Roger I said hi.

rethinking the commercial


Fellow voice over talent Roy Bunales introduced me to something on his Facebook page that I thought was very interesting. It was a video that I guess has been around for over a year and has had close to 2 million views. The video is below, it’s four minutes long and I’d like you to STOP reading now watch it and then return back here for a second for a brief discussion below the video.

Let me ask you honestly…did you see that ending coming? I didn’t see it coming but on Roy’s feed, their was no title. If you were watching on TV, you wouldn’t have seen that coming either.

What a story.

Were you bothered by the length? I wasn’t at all, I was engaged, yet its payoff very much made it a commercial.

What a story.

And that’s the message for you today: story.

We went through a time and place where if an image was on a screen for a half second, that was too long. Then it couldn’t be just one image, it had to be multiple images.

Now we are an audience in throes of on-going sensory overload. We tune out advertising more than we tune in.

How, then, do you make an actual impression in the viewer or listener’s mind: story.

Share a story (not tell).

Offer a message (not promote).

Develop a relationship (don’t talk down).

Create a community (not build an audience).

It will resonate with the viewer and they will bond with the message, the product or service. I will not soon forget this brand…nor will you I think.

Not all stories are great but a great story will fill an enormous void. When was the last time your advertising or marketing shared a story? Funny or dramatic?

What’s your reaction to this? Am I being unrealistic? Or did this message find you more deeply engaged than most advertising?

P.S. So a bit after I published this, I came across the following video that I think illustrates my point even more…by helping shift the way consumers might think about a company…German engineering made “fun”.

i-post – voices.com mixer in toronto october 24th


i-posts are short updates written on my i-phone using my wordpress blog app.

Things like this always happen. October 24 when I’ll be in Atlanta at a Marice Tobias workshop (which I am very much looking forward to) there will be a networking mixer in Toronto hosted by Voices.com.

But just because I’ll be unable to attend doesn’t mean you should miss out.

Below is the link to the facebook invite I received. If you’ve never been to Toronto, it’s a great excuse to check out a great city.