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a mother’s day surprise

My mother at me dancing at my cousins wedding sometime in the late 1980's

My mother and me dancing at my cousin’s wedding sometime in the late 1980’s

Facebook is full of surprises and I enjoyed one today when my sister posted a picture I don’t know that I ever remember seeing from my cousin’s wedding decades earlier.

Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) is always a very hard day for many people who have to recall their parents passing. This was a nicer way to remember my Mom today.

why voice-over meet-up groups are so valuable

A meeting on the Buffalo, NY Voice-Over Meetup group (from l-r) Robert W. Taylor, Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Peter K. O'Connell, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich, Randye Kaye amd Glad Faith Klassen

A meeting on the Buffalo, NY Voice-Over Meetup group (from l-r) Robert W. Taylor, Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Peter K. O’Connell, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich, Randye Kaye and Glad Faith Klassen

Voice-over talents are a closeted bunch.

Meaning whether in our homes or studios, we spend a lot of time in booths (closets) churning out voice stuff.

It’s great but who do you bounce business, technical or performance ideas off of if you work by yourself? Where are your checks and balances coming from?

It was 2009 when my friend and fellow voice-talent (the lovely and talented) Doug Turkel invited me out to his Voice-Over Mastermind Group in Miami, FL. So I hoped in my private jet that afternoon and join Doug and his pals for what was my first official meet-up group. As with most things Doug, it was terrific.

From that moment forward, I wanted to start some kind of group like that in Buffalo, NY.

But Mrs. audio’connell and I had a child. And another. And another. A bunch of FaffCons later, I still didn’t start my meet-up group. Then finally, after attending a voice-over class that just wasn’t filling my needs, I did what all good leaders do to get things done.

I delegated.

See, I was not going to be able to organize a meet-up group with my family and professional commitments. I’m the guy that had always put this stuff together but this time it wasn’t going to happen and I knew it. But it didn’t mean stuff couldn’t happen. With the advent of FaffCon, more Buffalo voice talents attended together, we realized the power of what we could do and we all wanted to do it.

So I contacted local voice talents and fellow Faffers Dan Lenard and Leslie Diamond and said “help”.

Leslie offered up her house, Dan made some calls, we shared notes on who to invite (lots of people) and in August 2013, we held our first meet-up. I think 5 people showed up. I was stunned there weren’t more with so many talents around.

What I came to understand was that these were the committed ones, the ones who wanted to try. And our monthly meetings have been going on since. And growing!

Our troupe now includes: Robert W. Taylor, >Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich and Glad Faith Klassen.

To be clear, this meet-up is not like my traveling lunch dinner tours that Bob Souer and I have made famous over the years.

The Buffalo Voice-Over Meetup Group created our own agenda: reviewing successes, talking about challenges, picking a specific industry related topic and everyone just sharing info. Sometimes one of us volunteers to talk about a subject we know a little more about. We take notes….and we work on scripts. We group direct and one on one direct.

And we remember that we are not alone. Our families may sometimes question our career choices but in a meet-up, we are among those who get it. Meet-up members understand the incurable disease of voice-over performance. And for just those few hours every month, you get to talk shop where nobody looks at you funny. Usually.

They are fragile eco-systems, these voice-over meet-up groups, because they live and die by the quality of the talent (performance and business-wise) in the group. It should be a group, not something led by one individual. Plus people come and go…the success of every meeting is not guaranteed. Which is why everyone who is in an on-going, effective and most importantly interactive meetup group should be very thankful. I know I am.

MEDIA RELEASE – Peter Has Always Had Moxie And Now Moxie Has Peter

KANSAS CITY, MO, MAY 1, 2014 – – Kansas City is not only home to some of America’s greatest barbecue but also some of the country’s most sought after voice-over talent. Building on the city’s voice-over heritage, voice talent Peter K. O’Connell recently agreed to voice-over representation with respected Kansas City-based voice-over agency Moxie Talent.

Moxie Talent Agency’s owner and principal talent agent Stacey Siegert will represent O’Connell in multiple voiceover categories with a primary emphasis on broadcast and non-broadcast productions including television and radio commercials as well as video and web narrations created by media production companies and advertising agencies across the “Heart of America”.

About Peter K. O’Connell
America’s Friendly, Neighborhood Voice-Over Talent, Peter K. O’Connell, has worked with a wide variety of companies from around the world. Some of Peter’s clients include Kraft Foods, PBS Television Network, Shell Oil, Pitney Bowes, Bacardi Rum, Highlights HIGH FIVE Magazine, Deloitte Canada, Zaycon Foods, U.S. Army, Starz Cable Television Network, BlueCross BlueShield, SunSetter Awnings, Time Warner Cable, Esker, First Financial Bank, N.A., Harlequin Enterprises, The Buffalo News, and Darien Lake Theme Park.

Described as a natural born storyteller, Peter K. O’Connell’s voice-over productions have been heard globally in radio and TV commercials, medical narrations, television infomercials, political commercial voice-overs, TV network promos, e-learning narration projects (computer-based training, internet-based training and web-based training), PSA’s, message on-hold as well as other video and media productions. Peter owns audio’connell Voice-Over Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.

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Company Media Releases ON LINE:

Company Name Pronunciation:
au·dio·o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-oh-kah-nel) or au·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

Company Name Spelling:
Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voice-Over Talent

Company Web:

Company Blog:

O’Connell Voice-Over Resume:
See resume here

only 19 states left to go


So as you may know, I do a fair bit of traveling.

There are a couple of things I try and do to keep it from being tedious.

One is I try and meet local voice talents in whatever city I am going to. Sometimes when I call and introduce myself, I end up making a new friend and sometimes a new VO thinks I’m some sort of crazy stalker — ‘who just calls strangers out of the blue like that?’

The OTHER thing I do is keep track of the states I have visited. Now my rule is that to count as a visit, I have to have stayed overnight in the state. A drive through does NOT count.

Following my stay in Overland Park, Kansas (my 31st state) I now have only 19 states left before I will have stayed in all 50 states.

I have officially visited these states in my life:

1. Arizona
2. Arkansas
3. California
4. Colorado
5. Connecticut
6. Florida
7. Georgia
8. Illinois
9. Iowa
10. Kansas
12. Louisiana
12. Maine
13. Massachusetts
14. Michigan
15. Minnesota
16. Missouri
17. Nebraska
18. Nevada
19. New Jersey
20. New York
21. North Carolina
22. Ohio
23. Pennsylvania
24. South Carolina
25. South Dakota
26. Texas
27. Utah
28. Virginia
29. Washington
30. West Virginia
31. Wisconsin

Thus, I am left with these states still to visit:

32. Alabama
33. Alaska
34. Delaware
35. Hawaii
36. Idaho
37. Indiana
38. Kentucky
39. Maryland
40. Mississippi
41. Montana
42. New Hampshire
43. New Mexico
44. North Dakota
45. Oklahoma
46. Oregon
47. Rhode Island
48. Tennessee
49. Vermont
50. Wyoming

It’s good to have goals 🙂

P.S. I just remembered I was in Baltimore for my niece’s college graduation….18 more to go!