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faffcon 9 – number 9, number 9, number 9

FaffCon 9 Logo_300FaffCon 9 is upon us.

The dates are set for September 22-24 and it will be held in Charlotte, NC.

Mike Coon and I will again be your FaffCon sponsorship team and we are pleased to be joining Amy and Lauren as part of FaffCon 9.


If you need a presentation right now, it is on the FaffCon Sponsorship page: http://faffcon.com/sponsorship-info

This is a note to explain the CHANGES IN SPONSORSHIP AND REGISTRATION for FaffCon 9.

These changes are discussed in greater detail in the sponsorship kit. To receive a sponsorship kit, simply email sponsorship@faffcon.com

FaffCon 8 2016 Minneapolis, Minnesota

FaffCon 8: The Happiest Voiceover Place On Earth

If you were at FaffCon 8, some of what I am about to share with you will not be a complete surprise as some of it was discussed then.

But please read the whole thing anyway. Thanks!


• A big focus of FaffCon 9 is to welcome as many 1st or 2nd time Faffers to this conference as possible – this is a major FaffCon 9 priority because attendance at FaffCon 10 will be exclusive to working voiceover pros who have attended at least one of the previous nine FaffCons

• We are expanding the attendance cap for FaffCon 9 to 150 attendees; we want as many new, qualified, vetted voiceover talents to attend as possible and still not lose the completely unique unconference relationship offered via the FaffCon experience; again, FaffCon 9 will be a new Faffer’s last chance to attend a FaffCon

• To ensure we get as many 1st and 2nd time Faffers in to FaffCon 9 as possible, 1st and 2nd time Faffers will be allowed to register A DAY BEFORE general registration

• FaffCon 9 Registration will be held as follows:
Tuesday, June 6: Presenting, Key, Supporting, & Voice Pro Sponsors
Wednesday, June 7: First & Second Time FaffCon Participants
Thursday, June 8: Contributing Sponsors & General Registration


• After some grueling pencil sharpening, we were able to keep the Key and Supporting sponsorship pricing and benefits the same as last year

• New this year: Key and Supporting sponsorship levels will be sold exclusively to voiceover vendors

• There is a NEW SPONSORSHIP LEVEL JUST FOR VOICE TALENTS who want to support FaffCon as well as help secure their spot at FaffCon 9
* It’s called the Voice Pro Sponsor, it costs $1,000 and there are 25 Voice Pro Sponsorships available for FaffCon 9
* The purpose of this category is to leave more spots open for 1st and 2nd time Faffers; spots that might otherwise have been secured by voice talents who purchased a Key Supporting or Supporting sponsorship level (support we appreciated then and still appreciate today, thank you!)
* The Voice Pro Sponsor sponsorship category may prove popular so…IF there are more than 25 people who want this sponsorship, we will create a list of all those folks and subsequently broadcast a live, on-line random drawing where 25 names will be selected as Voice Pro Sponsor sponsors at FaffCon 9
*  This does NOT mean that those who might not be selected in the Voice Pro Sponsor random drawing cannot go to FaffCon 9, they will just have to register during the General Registration based on remaining spots available after – further, they can be a Contributing Sponsor if they like as well
* Those interested in being a Voice Pro Sponsor MUST send their email request to sponsorship@faffcon.com before Wednesday, May 31st at midnight PT

No doubt there will be other questions but we will answer those as they arise.

All of our FaffCon 9 team cannot properly express our thanks to all the voice talents who have supported us over the years.

We are so excited to welcome old AND new peers/friends to FaffCon 9.

We hope to see you…and lots of NEW faces in Charlotte!

what can voiceover talents learn from the kendall jenner pepsi commercial?

jenner_pepsiBack when I drank colas, Pepsi was my go to beverage. I drank Pepsi at least 3-4 times a day, from my high school days up to maybe 5-6 years ago. I loved the stuff, especially from a fountain. Mmmmmm!

Coke was not my beverage, always Pepsi.


One day I stopped drinking Pepsi, cold turkey, because I decided it wasn’t good for my stomach. No doctor’s orders, no major medical issue. Just a common sense decision for me.

If you still drink it, please enjoy one for me because it tastes great.

So this week when the controversy erupted over a new Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner, I was immediately interested because it was Pepsi. Then I was interested because the world was losing its mind about Pepsi being insensitive and tone deaf to social issues.

I’m going to blow right past that last part about Pepsi being socially insensitive, thus having to avoid reminding people that almost every brand is only as interested in an issue or position (social or otherwise) if they think it will somehow help them make money or save money.

Rather, I’m going to go to the lessons in this debacle that can be learned by voiceover talents because, really, nothing else matters. 😉


No, we’re not really attractive and wearing Victoria Secret underwear on stages. Only some of the voice guys do that. Allegedly!

But we, like Kendall, are given a script to follow, we agree with the concept, are unsure of how it will all turn out but have faith in the producers and directors we work with that they will perform professionally and responsibly. With that faith in hand and our God-given talents, we perform the job to the best of our abilities.

Sometimes the finished production is a masterpiece that we are proud to have our voice (if not our face) associated with. Sometimes it is so terribly produced and embarrassing that we are ashamed to even cash the check.

There are risks in every job and for voice talents and on-screen performers, that’s one of ours. Rarely when the finished project goes badly is it our fault and in this particular case, it’s not Kendall Jenner’s fault either. Note to KJ: cash the check kid, the embarrassment will fade and you’ll be fine.


Copywriters, executives, directors and producers get input into scripts, visuals, music and even what voice to use on commercials and narrations. The talent just performs as directed. Many a voice talent can tell you horror stories of a script that had such amazing potential but must have been “committeed” to death after the talent heard or saw the finished project. But their voice was still in there and there was nothing left to do but quickly and quietly move on to the next project. Note to KJ: do that. Move on to the next job. But if SNL or Kimmel calls you to do a spoof ad…if it’s written well, consider doing it.


Voice talents and actors perform our work to the best of our abilities and we take our jobs seriously because we like the responsibility established when clients and brands entrust us to perform.

But let’s not take ourselves TOO seriously.

We love and respect our voice acting and on-camera acting professions because they are noble ones, but our work has little (not none but little) significant impact on our world. We educate, we inform, we lobby, we sell, we entertain.

But our work is highly unlikely to prevent or cause the end of the world.

This Pepsi ad wasn’t so much insensitive as it was just…a crappy ad. That point has nothing to do with any talent shown in the spot.

The visual message of this Pepsi ad tried to commercialize the nation’s highly charged opinions (bad starting point) into a marketable, happy, non-political spot. The only nice thing I can envision for the brand on that point is that Pepsi may have meant well.

But the spot failed well beyond people’s hurt feelings. And those failings are the reasons the spot should have never aired, beyond the politically charged subtext.

The spot didn’t influence the audience, it didn’t build up the brand and most importantly —above everything else…it didn’t sell any soda. Had that spot run for a year, I doubt it would have move any cans off the shelf.

Pepsi’s job is not to bring about peace. The product satisfies a physical thirst. Sell THAT guys!

Capturing the modern zeitgeist may have been Pepsi’s objective, tying the brand in with the target audience’s desire/demand for justice and equality.

They just forgot to sell the soda.

And selling the soda, not selling world justice, is Pepsi’s only real job.

That’s our job too.

That’s it.

award season? again?

Voice Arts Awards 2017It’s award season again and that means the start of the great voiceover debate.

There is only one real all-encompassing awards program for all voice talents, produced by the Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences. In its 4th year, the Voice Arts Awards allow voice talents, producers, engineers et al to submit their works for judging and possible award recognition.

There was skepticism when this award program came out (including on these pages) because (not unlike other awards programs) the nominees submit their works and pay a submission fee and fees to buy their awards. The skepticism and debate surround whether hubris or public relations was better served by such an opportunity.

And there will again be debate; there will again be questions as to why anyone would do this. And there will again be lots of people submitting their work for awards. I noted a while back that if this Awards program can outlast the critics and last some years, the debate will be quelled because such a program will just become the new normal.

Unless there are indignant voice talents with ferocious opinions (and usually not enough voiceover work to keep them off social media), people move on with their lives. Programs like these just need to outlast the skeptics.

If people feel the need to pay and submit for an award, ok. If you don’t want to, ok.

As for myself, I’m not submitting. That’s not an indictment, I just don’t feel the need. To each his own.

However, I might consider buying a ticket to go to the show? Why?

Well, last year, they did the awards on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. Have you ever been to the WB lot? I have and it is amazing. Uh-mazing. So many famous backdrops from so many movies and TV shows. It’s such fun.

The Voice Arts Awards web site has not yet announced if they are going back there this year but if they do….I gotta give that trip some thought.

You guys enjoy the award show, I’ll be touring the back lot!