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faff camp is for every voice-over professional

You’ve seen me post about FaffCon which is a professional development event for about 100 working, professional voice-over talents who register for the now yearly event. Not everyone gets to go FaffCon because of its limited attendance and its attendant criteria. That made some folks both sad and frustrated…and that was not ever supposed to be an outcome of FaffCon.

So Amy Snivley conceived an event, different from FaffCon, but still allowing its focus of helping voice talents learn from and network with each other.

The gestational period is over – the new baby is born and her name is Faff Camp.

Now some of you are just going to click on the Faff Camp link to register. I understand that feeling completely and feel free to read all the detailed Faff Camp information in the web site link. Just understand that Faff Camp registration for the May 3-5, 2013 event is not open yet. But relax, there is NOT a 100 person limit to Faff Camp. And when I know about registration opening, I’ll spread the word. But there is a Faff Camp Facebook page (isn’t there a Facebook page for every darn thing?) where you can stay up to date on Faff Camp news.

So what IS Faff Camp?

Faff Camp is a peer-to-peer professional development conference for working voiceover pros (not just voice talents, voice actors, and narrators, but ALL PROS who do work related to voice overs). It’s participant driven and highly interactive, just like its sister event FaffCon. But unlike FaffCon, most of the Faff Camp agenda is set in advance, which makes it possible for Faff Camp to welcome a larger group.

Plus Faff Camp incorporating some exciting new elements like Topic Tables, Birds of a Feather sessions, Adopt-a-Question, and Lightning Talks.

Also new to Faff Camp is a Table-Top Trade Show. Friday only, you’ll get to see cool gear up close, get answers from providers one-on-one, and see live demos of solutions in action. There will be content woven throughout the day on the expo floor.

Friday evening, a panel of top pros answer the question What Does it Really Take to Make it in Voice Over Right Now?

If you’ve always wanted to come to FaffCon, but haven’t been able to get in, Faff Camp is for you. If you’re a Frequent Faffer, come get your Faff fix to tide you over until FaffCon 6 (October 4-6, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas)! And since we’re not limited to 100 this time, we can make this the biggest Faffer reunion ever–everyone in one place at one time!

voicebank’s featured voice talent is very cute

Now if everybody goes to Voicebank.net all at the same time to view my listing as the featured voice talent of the week, you may crash their servers and they’ll find a way to blame me for that and the fiscal cliff.

So visit it when you get a moment, just not all at once, to see me as one of this week’s featured talents…then if you have a job for me, call my agents over at Voice Talent Productions (where I am, ahem, NOT a featured voice talent) so we can make sure the Sheppards have a Merry Christmas too.

It’s possible that you may have to refresh the screen to see my listing as it’s one of about 4-5 in rotation this…listen to all of them as they are all very talented voice-over artists.

the new york city voice-over mixer 2012 diaries


My agent Erik Shepard from Voice Talent Productions created the New York City Voice-Over Mixer five years ago and it has become THE voice over party to attend. But I imagine it is a boat load of work to put together so this 2012 version of the party will be its last. The agency itself continues to thrive but the party is kaput.

While I understand the “whys” of its pending demise, I am very sad because it’s a great weekend of networking and I like seeing my friends.

So this final event gave me the idea to craft a diary of this weekend’s activities so when I get depressed next December I can remember this trip….and be more depressed.


9:30 p.m. – Came home late from an event. Need to organize my stuff for the trip to the 5th and likely last New York City Voice-Over Mixer (unless somebody else picks up the mantle here). Decided not to pack my recording gear after looking at my trip schedule…what’s the point? Plus, I think I have just a few recording resources I can call on in NYC. This allows me to bring just the shoulder brief case not the roller brief case cause I’ll have less stuff to carry. I’m already feeling more relaxed.

10:15 p.m. I need to make my reservation for the NYCAirporter Shuttle from Laguardia to Penn Station. $23 round trip…easy peasy and cheap. Did it last year and liked it. Plus my flight lands at 7:00 a.m. so I can get into the city early.

11:00 p.m. Head upstairs to pack my suitcase. Oops, Mrs. audio’connell has turned off the lights and is sawing logs. Usually she falls asleep with the TV on, allowing me to pack with the glow of the TV. Now I have to pack in the dark. I hope I don’t mistakenly pack a pair of her underwear…again.

11:30 p.m. Whether or not they match with anything, clothes are packed. Now I need to shave off the goatee that I grew from Movember. The vote was pretty much to get rid of it (with the O’Connell family leading all ballots). I think briefly about waking up my children to let them watch this de-fuzzing but decide the penalty from Mrs. audio’connell will be too severe. I take pictures of me with a mustache and then cleanly shaven with Mrs. audio’connell’s camera phone and send an email to alert her to the good news. This way I’ll have one less thing to do in the morning at 4:00 a.m.


12:01 a.m. Good night.

4:00 a.m. Crap, it feels like I just said good night. This sucks. What idiotdecided to book a 6:00 a.m. flight into the city. Oh wait.

5:30 a.m. Board the plane, Delta not U.S. Airways because U.S. Airways traded gates with Delta at a couple of airports…it’s the airline equivalent of draft picks I guess. Bottom line is no direct flights to LGA so I burned some Delta frequent flyer miles for the trip. There are seats available in First Class but didn’t ask about a pity upgrade (as I don’t have status on Delta); I was too tired and it’s only an hour flight. Time to rest my eyes.

7:00 a.m. Good morning New York.

7:15 a.m. I’m taking the NYC Airporter bus into Manhattan but I missed the most recent bus by about 3 minutes so it’s a half hour wait. This too shall pass.

7:40 a.m. I believe someone forgot to install shock absorbers on this bus. At least traffic’s not bad.

8:00 a.m. The bus drops me off at Grand Central Station though I want to go to Penn Station because it’s a bit closer to my Sister-in-law’s apartment. I didn’t understand that I would have to transfer. I’m thinking with morning rush hour, maybe it’s better to wait for the transfer.

8:40 a.m. I think I’ve waited enough and no one from NYC Airporter knows where the transfer bus is….or speaks English. Time to hoof it.

9:00 a.m. Arrive at the S-I-L apartment. Time to check e-mails.

9:15 a.m. Seeking facebook suggestions for lunch in NYC. Amazing ideas, abundant suggestions, great kindnesses. Thanks all!

9:45 a.m. Time to head to the Hollywood Diner for breakfast. The place makes me feel like I’ve finally settled in New York.

10:15 a.m. Walked over to Union Square because some idiot forgot that he was out of CD cases until he realized it late last night and delivering CD’s (no matter how nicely printed) without a jewel case doesn’t cut it. And they are the last 5 demo CD’s I have so note to self: print more.

10:45 a.m. Time to plot my studio drop-by course. In this city, it always seems to be an abundance of riches. But I know that about 5 stops are all I can handle in an afternoon when you factor traveling and talk time.

11:45 a.m. The “studio drop-by” map indicates I would be wise to start by Rockefeller Center and my Christmas Tree shots for #1 child. Friday will be MUCH more manageable than trying to do this on Saturday. Off to the subway.

12:15 p.m. Who’s the smartest Da in the world?! Oh yeah! Very manageable human traffic around the tree. #1 will get more than her share of pictures.

1:00 p.m. Walking 6th Avenue around the Rock, I get the tiniest bit hungry. At the same time the smell of chestnuts roasting on a hot pretzel cart hits me like a nosegasm. Thanks for the lunch suggestions but I think a hot NYC pretzel and an ice cold Pepsi will serve me well. I sit in front of the stacked giant tree ornaments facing Rockefeller Center’s Avenue of the America’s entrance, watch people and look in to the office to see if see anyone I know.

1:05 p.m. Should I have gone to work at NBC? It’s a question in life that will never be answered. The history of the place fascinates me.

2:00 p.m. The drop-bys begin.

4:00 p.m. I started at 38th Street and finished at 16th; not a straight shot by any means -walked the whole damn thing. My body aches.

4:30 p.m. Back to the apartment for a rest.

4:45 p.m. S-I-L back from work, gotta say hi. So endeth the rest

7:15 p.m. Call home to say good night to the kids. The boys are acting up, being little boys. Much paternal guilt.

7:30 p.m. Crossing Broadway at night is visually stunning, no doubt about it

7:35 p.m. Arrive at Hurley’s for Trish and Tom’s pre-Mixer dinner. Wonderful space, nice food, great friends. Very grateful they put this together.

8:00 p.m. Many bigger tables but I choose a small 4 top to sit at; I am joined by my friends Christian Rosselli, Andy Danish and Debbie Irwin. We can actually have a conversation! What fun, what a gift!

10:00 p.m. The walk over to Lauren McCullough’s post pre-mixer dinner party party begins. The bright lights of Broadway and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree light the way. My thought of the day continues as I see more nighttime holiday sights- my children must see New York at Christmas time.

11:00 p.m. The voice-over troupe arrives at bar. Many interesting stories are shared along the walk over, most of them non-repeatable, which is what makes them so interesting.

11:03 p.m. I haven’t been in a late night bar in a long time. I remember why now. If it weren’t for so many friends to see, I’d go home right now.

12:00 a.m. I have hit the proverbial wall and decide to head home. I’m going to treat myself to a cab because walking any further to the subway might cause my legs to detach from my body and run the opposite way.


7:30 a.m. I am awake but I know I’ll need a nap soon. I also know I probably won’t be getting one.

8:30 a.m. Breakfast over at the Hollywood Diner. Same waitress I had yesterday, she asks if I’ll have the same order from yesterday and I do. Nice customer service. It occurs to me if I lived in NYC, I’d want to eat here every morning. Then I remember I lost the Powerball lottery. Back to my New York Post.

11:00 a.m. Meeting THAT Patrick O’Connor at Rock Center, we grab a hot chocolate in a shop before he heads off for the day. Always a good laugh with Patrick and I am glad I got to see him.

12:00 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There is scaffolding everywhere as they proceed with reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Cathedral. I hope they work on the altar area as the stone there always looks so dark where it should be bright and magnificent.

12:45 p.m. Sometime during my childhood on a trip to New York City with my parents, my Father bought me my first hot NY Pretzel and Pepsi from a vendor outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It tasted amazing. Every time I go back to NYC I try to get my pretzel and Pepsi right there and today I do again.

12:55 p.m. I am terribly sad as I leave St. Patrick’s and walk to the subway. There is no reverse position in the space time continuum.

1:30 p.m. I arrive at Mustang Harry’s (not Sally’s) for lunch with the VO-BB crew. There are VO folks in attendance who aren’t on the VO-BB. We let them stay cause that’s how we roll, but we will try and stick them with the bill. 😉

3:15 p.m. After more unrepeatable and generally hysterical discussions with many friends old and new. I walk with Dan Friedman and Elaine Singer over to Edge Studios open house.

3:50 p.m. OMG, this place is a palace. David Goldberg has designed a very lovely place and the booths are wonderfully treated. Silence is golden and one of their audio engineers, Mick, pulled me into to do a sample recording in one of the booths. Raging party outside the booth, peace and quiet inside the booth. Awesome. I’m so happy for David at how well this studio turned out, I know it wasn’t easy.

4:35 p.m. I exit the open house to grab a subway home. I am tired.

6:00 p.m. The mixer started at 5:00 p.m. but I am not going that early. And I can also walk to the mixer this year from the apartment. Lucky me. Time to shave and get dressed. I am a good ironer.

6:40 p.m. As I arrive at the location, I come upon the smoker’s outside including our host, my friend and agent Erik Shepard who discusses his one-time dreadlocks and his affinity for cowboy hats. It’s going to be that kind of evening and I laugh. My friend Bobbi Owens sneaks up behind me as she arrives at the party, which is a very nice surprise. This happens to me with many friends and colleagues throughout the night.

Various times: Many people come up to me and introduce themselves and offer mind blowing compliments – I didn’t know they knew me. Many people also want photographs with me; I warn them about the dangers I present to camera lens but they are not deterred. Some folks say we met last year and I advise them that I can’t be held accountable because I suffer from forty-heimers and three kids disease. The Voice Talent Productions voice talents are summoned to the photography set for our annual (and now last) picture. I will miss this. There are many, many people taking pictures and I don’t know where to look. After a while my retinas go into flash bulb shock.

10:00 p.m. Like every good NYC Voice-Over Mixer of yore, we are politely thrown out of Slate so they may welcome the REAL party crowd. We go down the street to the Green Street Tavern. It might have been Green Square. There was green in the title. I need to eat.

10:30 p.m. The wait staff seem way overwhelmed at the influx of hungry voice talents. I grab a table with the lovely and talented Chris Mezzolesta, whom I have known for years. Our conversation gets progressively more animated as the food arrives. Energy has returned. Briefly.


12:15 a.m. Clearly, I am depleted. I know it’s going to take a while to complete the goodbyes so I’d better start now. I’ve tried to share my appreciation with everyone. Many of these people I will see at FaffCon. Most I may never see ever again. This is life.

1:00 a.m. I begin my short walk home. I pass by the location of the mixer. Slate is awash in beautiful people and thumping music with a long line of people waiting to get in. Our mixer isn’t even a memory for that place…poof, it’s over. That’s New York City and that’s how it should be.

Life goes on.


There was a lot to remember and be grateful for during this weekend. New business opportunities, meeting new friends, visiting with old ones and organizing plans in my head for my own future. A slight down side (missing my flight (no more NYCAirporter) turned into a slight positive as I got to see Delta’s very snazzy Terminal D (iPads everywhere, for everyone!).

Part of the reason for this diary was to practice what I preach: ‘don’t take anything for granted’ and ‘enjoy the moment’. As I reflected on the past Mixers, I settled into a great routine but routines are the devil for those of us who don’t want to take things for granted. Faced with this last mixer, I can see how I always that it would be “this way”; now, it won’t be.

Another challenge I have is dreading the end of something I’m looking forward to…thinking about the emptiness of the thing being done versus living a bit more in the moment. I tried to do that ALOT this weekend.

It’s over now, but I will remember the friends, events and activities that this event has offered me over the years.

Fortunately, I will never be over that.