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i have never been more “liked” – a heartwarming social media story

The following story has a Buffalo, NY connection to someone I do not know – because that’s how social media works 🙂

In social media terms, the more “liked” your post or comment, the better it reflects on your posts, awareness and (I guess) status as a human being.

Well I am not sure about that last part but the rest of it summarizes an otherwise long, blow-hard explanation of what the audience’s interaction with your social media posts mean (be it blogs, vlogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), LinkedIn and on).

So here’s the deal…on my Instagram, I came across an artist – who I later found is from Buffalo (Western New York) – who paints tiny outdoor art that she color matches. The art amazing and wonderfully color matched and she’s very talented. Her name is Lisa Cornwell. She has over 109,000 followers and growing, I’m sure.

instagram logoWell on a recent day, she was color matching a Ferris Wheel (that was not moving) and she was not sure the painting was coming together (but she WAS wearing her Buffalo Bills hat!). Well of course the tiny painting was terrific!

I think I was one of the first people to comment on it and I wanted to squelch her negative about her art (which is so great) so I said:

“Nice job. Don’t be so critical – it looks great as always.”

My message was for the Lisa (who I don’t know) but I forgot about her 109K followers like me. A lot of them agreed with me – as of this writing 1,349 people have liked my comment.

This doesn’t make me happy for me or for ego etc. This makes me happy because me and almost 1,400 of my closest internet friends want Lisa to know that the work she’s doing is great, it makes us happy to watch her and she should not be so hard on herself.

Also, it occurs to me that the internet and social media is NOT well know for POSITIVE comments – let’s all try and buck that trend. Join me in promoting the positive comments trend (which I too sometimes forget to do).


the unique alignment between union and non-union actors during the sag-aftra strike

SAG-AFTRA Strike PeterI’ve been asked by some friends outside the voiceover industry why I – a non-union voice actor – have posted a supportive message for those involved in the current SAG-AFTRA strike.

Kinda like – you’re not in the union, why do you care about this union strike?

Theirs was not a negative question…they were simply curious – and not really involved in the voiceover industry – so they see the two types of work groups (union/non-union) as sort of competing.

I’ve never viewed the two groups that way, but OK.

In life, I have found that when I get asked a question like this more than once (or three times), it usually means more people also have that question…so let’s address it.

My reasons as a non-union voice actor for supporting the SAG-AFTRA union performers who are on strike are both personal and professional.

First personal, which is very simple – some of the striking performers are my friends and many (whether I know them or not) have been voice and on-camera performers for many years.

These performers- working under the “TV/Theatrical Contracts” and many of whom you have likely NEVER heard of – have been underpaid (especially by streaming companies), are facing the prospect of even less work due to technology (more on that in a minute) and are currently getting NO pay and no work because they feel the need to force change through this work stoppage.

SAG-AFTRA On StrikeFor their sacrifice….on their lives, their art, their families and their well-being…I’ll gladly contribute my non-union support to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

NB: A little good news in the midst of a difficult situation – it’s been posted that the current “TV/Theatrical Contracts” dispute does NOT include voiceover work like commercials and narrations. So SAG-AFTRA members can voice commercials and narrations during the strike.

Next, professional reasons. I’ll start (and end) with this: the outcome of the SAG-AFTRA strike WILL have repercussions on non-union voiceover work.

But? Huh? What?!

A few points to clarify the impact of a new SAG-AFTRA agreement on union and non-union performers (both on-camera and voiceover)

  • The current strike specifically involves SAG-AFTRA’s “TV/Theatrical Contracts” with AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) — this contract primarily impacts starring, featured and background TV and movie performers; this contract’s impact on a majority of voiceover projects (and rates) is a fairly small part of this agreement, but not nothing either
  • Non-union VO rates have used a variety of guides to determine our fees…one of those measurements has been the SAG-AFTRA VO rates – ANY change (big or small) in SAG-AFTRA VO rates impacts non-union rates to some level
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is proving audio and visual technology that would allow producers replace actors with a person’s image, likeness and voice with something computer generated…costing the jobs of tens of thousands of on-camera and voice actors

There are many other important points of dispute of course, but the consequences of the decisions reached on the above items in any new SAG-AFTRA agreement will impact voice actors regardless of their union status.

Stay tuned.

don’t take your voiceover web pages for granted

Voiceover Workshop Peter K. O'Connell voworkshop.com

This is the graphic I created and added this weekend to freshen up the content on VOWorkshop.com

Wait a minute…don’t ignore that headline about voiceover web pages because you KNOW you do it.

Everyone who has a website usually works really hard at the start to make sure the design and content are current and laid out well and pretty. Oh how hard we work on it!

Then…we ignore it for many months and even years. Don’t deny it, yes YOU do!

As usual, I will throw myself under the bus in this regard — but I know this isn’t just me.

During this weekend, I found myself cleaning up and adding some content to my main site, peterkoconnell.com (also found via audioconnell.com). I had new information to add to some website pages, some new posts that will be added automatically in a few weeks to the main site and blog etc.

But when I looked at the website interface on all my many voiceover web pages, I realized I had not updated page for the Voiceover Workshop (found via voworkshop.com) in years. Plural! As in more than 1, 2 or 3 years. I’m still teaching all the VO stuff to the VO peoples 😉 but I hadn’t touched the web page in far too long.

Did that information change much? No…but I know it is valuable to keep refreshing a web page’s information at least a little every year..and it’s not that hard.

So to the Voiceover Workshop page, I updated some text and added a fresh, colorful graphic…simple. Now I’m happy with the refreshed page and Google is even happier

Mr. “Marketing Guru” (not at all, really) ignored his own oft quoted advice. Ok, it’s humbling and it should be for me.

But now, you can learn from my…well, not really a mistake…from my omission or neglect.

Take a look at the active pages of YOUR voiceover web site. Make an appointment with yourself…set time aside.

Sometimes you will not have to change anything…but sometimes there are reasonable and useful changes in text, graphics, headlines, alt tags or keywords, etc, that you should make. It’s easy but necessary stuff to do to keep voice actor website information fresh for prospects, customers and Google!

Voiceover Workshop website is your store voworkshop.comMy simple advice is don’t take website content updates for granted…try and schedule a 6 month or 12 month check-up with yourself. Be accountable to yourself.

Remember, in voiceover, your website is your store…and your store should be swept, dusted, vacuumed and/or mopped more than just every few years.

apply for the brad venable voiceover scholarship

Brad Venable Voiceover Scholarship audio'connell blogThe noise that surrounds the voiceover industry…from drama with pay to plays, to an endless list of conferences to social media groups to various associations and awards programs is a bit overwhelming. It feel sometimes like the “business of voiceover” has evolved into the “business of the business of being in voiceover”.

Rightly or wrongly, I try and stay away from the noise because for me, it doesn’t add much to my business…but that’s me, your mileage may vary.

What I came across recently was something that actually brought a smile to my face as it seems to be focused on actually helping new voice talents (as opposed to just trying to sell them something).

SOVAS, the group that has produced the That’s Voiceover!™ Career Expo and Voice Arts Awards since about 2013 have joined with a fairly new VO association group called NAVA (National Association of Voice Actors) to create a new voiceover scholarship.

Despite its lengthy title, The NAVA Brad Venable Scholarship in Partnership with SOVAS promises its award will ensure that the recipient receives credible, effective, and relevant training that will further their opportunities for success as voice actors.

Brad Venable and Peter K. O'ConnellOf course, what caught my attention was the fact that it is named after everyone’s friend, voice actor Brad Venable, whose untimely death a few years ago stole this wonderful person from his family, friends and the voiceover industry.

What caught my attention was Brad’s name AND the word scholarship…it took me back to Faffcon when I got to call Brad about winning a scholarship to FaffCon…he won the Fauxditions (unofficial casting call) for The Price Is Right and got to go to FaffCon 2 as the prize! He was also part of MVO and did the Movember fundraiser with us too. Then, early VO Atlantas…the list goes one.

Many more memories brought back happy times while thinking about Brad.

I think Brad would be tickled about this scholarship. He loved helping others, as he had been helped.

So if you’re new to VO and you may need a leg up, check out THIS LINK, get all the details and register if it suits you.

Brad would welcome you with open arms.