Entries Tagged as 'commentary'

local saturday is more important than ever in 2020

Everyone seems pretty up to speed with how badly almost every American small retail business has fared during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Don’t even get me started on the small Mom & Pop restaurants impacted by the pandemic…too often, that news is like reading the obituaries.

The chain stores are doing OK and the on-line stores are through the roof with amazing sales. I am sincerely pleased for all of them.

But the small retail stores, those that have remained open in our communities thus far (and many have closed up forever) they are about to have something amazing happen to them.

Something amazingly good or amazingly bad. The decision is up to you and me.

I fully respect that many national chains have had sales dry up and they have closed – leaving landlords and employees scrambling for new tenants and new jobs. Those situations certainly negatively impact a local economy. Such closures hurt people and communities.

But situated in an even more precarious position as we head into the critical holiday shopping period are America’s small retail businesses.

You know who they are in your city and towns and suburbs. Maybe you’ve driven by them and always wanted to go in a look around.

I am asking you to please do that and do one more thing. Buy something at that store.

Black Friday, which will also change in 2020, led to a new inititaive some years ago called #localsaturday where shoppers are encouraged to buy from LOCAL merchants the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I’m asking you to please to this…and more

Buy ALL your gifts for your family and friends this holiday season 2020 from your local small businesses.

Online will thrive for all the chains…the local stores NEED YOUR HELP TO STAY OPEN.

Think of your local purchase as being a life giving blood donation to a local neighbor deathly in need of blood.

This holiday, don’t only think of others who you want to buy a gift for…think of the business itself, the LOCAL business where you buy that gift.

Help that local business stay open and help your truly local community THRIVE.

Thanks.

V.O. North 2020 was Virtually Great

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover V.O. North 2020This past weekend’s V.O. North was my first virtual voiceover conference. It worked out well.

Look, nothing will ever be as much fun an in-person conference. The interactions and the spontaneity of in-person events cannot be matched.

What would be worse, though, would be to not have ANY voiceover conferences at all and I believe that was Tanya Buchanan and Dervla Trainor’s thinking in going ahead with V.O. North 2020. They were the event producers.

Me and 250+ of my closest friends all agree theirs was the right decision.

From the execution of the web-based seminars (which was technically pretty much flawless) to the content and even the evening parties…we all had a great time.

Tanya invited me to moderate 4 seminars this weekend with a total 14 presenters and they were all so (individually and collectively) terrific! The content was practical and applicable, the information shared was thoughtful and insightful and the presenters very willing to share their knowledge. Of course all the attendees were extremely nice.

Special thanks to my panelists:

  • Tanya Buchanan from Ta-Da Voiceworks (full disclosure, my Toronto-based Canadian agent for at least 8 years and friend for longer)
  • Roger King from PN Agency
  • Carol Rathe who is now retired from Go Voices
  • Roberta Romano who is the director of the Voice Department at Fountainhead Talent
  • Erik Shappard from The Sheppard Agency (full disclosure, my agent for at least the past 12 years, maybe more and friend for longer)
  • Ralph Streich from Vancouver’s RED Talent Management
  • Long time friend and fellow voice talent Bev Standing who now heads up the Canadian division of Gravy for the Brain
  • Voice talent David Toback who also oversees GVAA
  • Vancouver-based voice actor Noel Johansen who runs On The Mic
  • British voiceover artist Rachael Naylor who owns The Voiceover Network
  • Los Angeles-based voice actress Rachel Wohl
  • Audio producer (and Calgary Flames hockey fan) Bruce Crews who work with On Air Studios in Calgary
    Long time friend and voiceover talent Liz de Nesnera
  • Los Angeles-based audio producer and sports ball fan Andrew Silagy, who is the terrific Talent and Production Manager for Snap Recordings

Y’all made my job very easy. Thanks!

v.o. north 2020 adds voice actor peter k. o’connell to the presenters’ roster


Peter K. O'Connell V.O. North 2020 Toronto Voiceover ConferenceWe’ve all had some weird things happen to us in 2020. Well the hits just keep on coming.

Four years ago, we packed up the O’Connell Conestoga Wagon and traveled from way up north in Buffalo, NY to the southern climes of Raleigh, NC.

Now, I’m moving back north….even MORE NORTH than Buffalo which is weird cause everyone used to tell me Buffalo was “the end of the line”. Bah!

This time I’m off to Toronto, Ontario, Canada…which is fine with me because my Grandmother was born there and we had a house in Fort Erie, Ontario for over 4 decades.

So Toronto it is.

Only for a weekend, though.

Peter K. O'Connell V.O. North 2020 Voiceover ConferenceI’m not sure whether it was being housebound during COVID that impacted Tanya Buchanan’s thought process so much but she pinged me the other day and asked me to be a part V.O. North 2020, taking place October 16-18 in Toron….puter…screens. 😉

That’s a Canadian city you might not know about, Toronputerscreens….but that’s where you’ll find me for V.O. North 2020.

I will be a moderator for sessions where otherwise well meaning voiceover panelists, sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics, must endure me slinging questions at them on topics that may or may not have ANYTHING to do with voiceover. 😉 This is the kind of zaniness that takes place when you put me in charge.

I have not participated in V.O. North yet, so I am very excited to see how this will work.

Obviously, we would ALL prefer V.O. North take place in person in Toronto but something is better than nothing and V.O. North meeting promises to be something else…in a most wonderful way!

voiceover north 2020 toronto canada peter k. o'connellYou do NOT need to be Canadian or even know a Canadian to participate….so sign up! V.O. North 2020 has waaaay more impressive presenters than me. Check them out.

I look forward to seeing and speaking with you there.

 

 

start with love…I dare you

Love One Another John 13:34

As incredibly complicated as everything is right now…love is the most fundamental first step to beginning…anything.

Those who know me understand that, with all my foibles (now THERE’S a list), I come from a place of love for people. That’s where I also try and start with each brand new “hello”.

Certainly over 5+ decades, there have been regrettable times where I’ve neglected that love…but I remember, I repair, I restart.

Maybe that same neglect has occurred in others too?

I think it has.

I think it is.

Love is strong and positive. Love is far from powerless and is worth defending.

Love easily trumps hate and anger…if we share it.

Our lives may feel more intense and complicated than merely beginning with love.

But pause for a moment, please, and consider love’s real and universal possibilities.

Watching the world around me, I believe all our lives would be vastly improved if we focused on founding each one upon a gift as simple as love.

Everyday.

I hope this helps.

MEDIA RELEASE – First Bank Invests in O’Connell’s Character…Voice

First Bank Raleigh, NCRALEIGH, NC – June 1, 2020 – – Character voice actor Peter K. O’Connell was voice cast as a humorous, headstrong cohort in a new instructional video for First Bank, a regional bank headquartered in North Carolina.

The employee training presentation creatively reinforced important, customer-centric principles the bank was founded on in 1935 and how those values are successfully implemented daily.

About First Bank

First Bank is a state-chartered community bank that operates 88 branches, with 75 branches operating in North Carolina, six branches in South Carolina and seven branches in Virginia, where First Bank does business as First Bank of Virginia. First Bank also has loan production offices in Greenville and Charlotte, North Carolina.

About Peter K. O’Connell

Multi-award winning male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with companies around the world. In addition to this recent regional training narration for First Bank, Peter’s commercial and narration clients also include brands like Crest Toothpaste, IBM, Duracell Batteries and Kraft Foods. O’Connell owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.  He can be reached via peterkoconnell.com.

– 30 –

NOTES FOR EDITORS

CONTACT:

Peter K. O’Connell

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent

audio’connell Voiceover Talent

P.O. Box 5493 | Raleigh, NC 27512-5493

PH. +01 716-572-1800 & +01 919-283-1516

EM. peter@audioconnell.com

W. audioconnell.com

COMPANY MEDIA CENTER

http://www.audioconnell.com/media

PETER K. O’CONNELL VO CREDITS

VO Credits Link

COMPANY NAME SPELLING

Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voiceover Talent

COMPANY NAME PRONUNCIATIONau·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

another way voiceover has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic

Ta-Da Voiceworks Toronto Voiceover Town HallEvery business, every industry and everyone of us has changed either a small or large part of our lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That includes voiceover.

When the pandemic first started, advertising trailed off for a while, brands and corporations shifted from a marketing attitude to a survival attitude. Consumers seemed more focused on toilet paper than a new car or going to the movies…which they couldn’t do cause anyway because all the movie theaters shut down.

We did get more telephony work (those of us that do that kind of voiceover work) for businesses that wanted to talk to consumers in their on-hold messaging about how their business WAS going to work with customers during the crisis – new protocols etc. Or for business that needed to shut down — their message on-hold addressed how to best communicate with now work-from-home employees.

Voice talents too changed the way they communicated with clients and prospects, I think. I know I found myself calling to check on the people more than checking on new business opportunities. Recording studios and ad agencies were among many industries who suffered a round-house economic punch from COVID-19 and I’ve worked with many of these folks for a long time.

It feels now like we are rebounding, day by day, little by little. How we move forward and what is ahead is not certain but as Churchill said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” So we keep going, us people folk.

There ARE some positives for the voiceover business that have come from the pandemic. One of them is that we have been forced to be better communicators – in how we talk to our peers, our vendors and our customers.

One big way I saw this was with one of my voiceover agents, Tanya Buchanan of Ta-Da Voiceworks in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Voice Talent Peter K O'Connell Ta-Da Voiceworks 19Some weeks ago, she called a town hall of all her talent – the majority of which are Toronto-based or living in and around the GTA (Greater Toronto area). She does have some American talent on her roster as well and I am one.

This online meeting was more than just a Zoom voiceover meet-up.

The focus of that first meeting was to help many of the Toronto talent figure out how they were going to record either auditions or jobs during the pandemic. Toronto is a unique voiceover market in that many media producers there much preferred voice actors to record at local studios versus recording in home studios.

In the U.S. many voice actors record from their home studios regularly, but trust me, we LOVE going to outside studios to record. There, we just record the voice and don’t have to do any post-production….it’s heaven! Plus those recording studios have free snacks!!!!!!

With the pandemic, many of the voice actors in Canada’s largest media market immediately had to learn about building home studios, having Source-Connect, buying the best types of microphones etc. It was a lot for any group of people to learn and digest in short order.

Tanya wanted to help ease the stress for her talent, provide resources for them and ultimately serve as the calm voice of reason. She was.

In short, Tanya smartly managed her voice actors…who ARE her business. Questions were answered, apprehensions were calmed and some of the more experience VO’s on the call (who have home studios, etc.) could share their knowledge with their voiceover peers who were less experienced this particular area. She further built her team.

From that first COVID-19 town hall, Tanya has smartly grown these Zoom meetings into monthly, lunchtime Ta-Da Voiceworks talent meetings where trends are discussed, agency policies are updated, local knowledge is shared among talent all while Tanya further cements her credibility as a top Toronto agent who has her talent’s back.

Her communication is solid and her roster clearly appreciates it.

All that, created from the ashes of the pandemic, has bred a significant amount of loyalty from her talent. I can assure you, after almost 40 years as a professional voiceover talent, that kind of loyalty to an agent is not always a given.