Entries Tagged as 'faffcon'

voiceover has changed, fortunately faffcon has not

FaffCon 9 Peter K. O'Connell badgeAt the end of FaffCon 9 this weekend in Charlotte, NC, I again did what I have often found myself doing at the end of a FaffCon…trying to take mental pictures of the people there while trying to harness the positive energy in the room.

The faces and energy of the people in the room fills me with hope for my voiceover industry.

Professional voice talents came from all over the country to FaffCon 9…maybe even further, cause I wasn’t checking passports. They each had all kinds of business challenges and insights to share as fellow voiceover business owners. They asked questions, they shared answers.

Some had been in the business as long or even longer than I have been. Some were only 3-4 years into the journey.

FaffCon 9 was wonderfully populated mostly by first and second time Faffers, including the most first time Faffers at ANY FaffCon event, even FaffCon #1.

FaffCon 9 Lunch, Peter K. O'Connell, Tracy Lindley, Debbie Jackson, Mike Lenz, Melanie Murphy, Christi Robbins Bowen

A pre-FaffCon 9 lunch with (starting on the left and going around the table) voice talents Peter K. O’Connell, Tracy Lindley, Debbie Jackson, Mike Lenz, Melanie Murphy and Christi Robbins Bowen

Even though FaffCon had vetted them long ago, some new participants felt, at the beginning of the unconference, that they didn’t belong at FaffCon 9 and that they would be found out to be voiceover frauds. They belonged, of course…they were just initially overwhelmed.

They were not frauds and to Sunday’s closing circle, each new Faffer brought with them a new confidence in their talent and their ability to run their voiceover business.

That’s one of the many wonderful things FaffCon does for every Faffer.

Of course, there are plenty of frauds in voiceover.

There are people who plug a microphone into a computer and with no professional voiceover or technological training (and certainly little discernable VO talent) call themselves a professional voice talent, usually at a dollar a holler.

There are companies within the voiceover industry who lie in wait for those brand new people who have a true desire and calling to be in voiceover but don’t yet know the pitfalls of running a voiceover business. Those disreputable companies (the number of which grows almost weekly) take the money of the well meaning, new VO people, promising them riches and successes that the disreputable companies never provide these new voice actors.

Inexperienced people passing themselves off as pros as well as disreputable companies making promises to new voice talent, taking their money and delivering nothing in return are both changing and hurting the voiceover industry.

FaffCon, to me anyway, is an island of legitimacy in a sea of voiceover frauds and wannabes.

2018 will bring the final FaffCon, FaffCon 10. I will look forward to that special, final event and, for now, try not to think too much about life in voiceover after that.

faffcon 9 charity


Most everyone in voiceover knows about FaffCon, which starts this Friday. It’s a participant driven educational and networking event that positively impacts just about everyone who has ever attended a FaffCon.

Faffcon9 ipDTL

But beyond the learning and fun, FaffCon has had a charitable component to it. Often, we focus on an important charity within the host city where FaffCon is taking place. Simply put, we pass the hat, with no expectations and seriously no pressure.

The second nicest man in voiceover, Bob Souer, has been the leader of FaffCon’s fundraising efforts pretty much since the beginning…the beginning of FaffCon, not the beginning of time.

In 8 Faffcons, we have raised nearly $30,000. To me, that is wonderful and amazing and generous and and and and.

I bring this up not as a part of the FaffCon team but rather as an individual who is attending his 7th FaffCon and is gobsmacked by the generosity of people who give what they can, because they can. Not everyone can and that’s absolutely OK.

Give the timing of this year’s FaffCon, we are focusing on providing funds for those folks who are trying to recover from both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We will be making our FaffCon donation to Comic Relief USA’s Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief. Our donation to this fund will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund, United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save The Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas as well as The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Foundation).

Working together, these groups will ensure those most impacted by these Hurricanes have the help they need.

So if you will be joining us for FaffCon 9, you are not expected or commanded to participate just because you will be at FaffCon. No. If you do not want to or cannot or already gave….you need not be concerned. All is good. If you can support our charity efforts with whatever amount you are comfortable with…that would be OK too.

POST SCRIPT: At the conclusion of FaffCon 9, the voiceover unconference among it’s participants, had raised $10,100.00 for the charity…a new FaffCon Fundraising record.

another reason to love ipDTL

FaffCon9 ipDTLEver since In:Quality introduced their ISDN alternative service ipDTL, life in the worlds of broadcasting and voiceover have gotten a little better.

Whether connected, with ipDTL’s web based software, to another ipDTL connected studio or bridged to an ISDN studio, the recordings just work. As simple as that sounds, it hasn’t always been that efficient with ipDTL’s competitive predecessors.

So it is with great excitement that we received word from In:Quality’s Kevin Leach that ipDTL has agreed to be the Presenting sponsor of FaffCon 9 in Charlotte, NC from September 22-24, 2017.

FaffCon 9 is the second to last FaffCon, as it has been announced that FaffCon 10, to take place sometime in 2018, will be the final FaffCon ever.

Already sold out, FaffCon 9 was the last chance for new, vetted and professional voice talents to attend a FaffCon. FaffCon 10’s attendees will consist solely of alumni from previous FaffCons as well as FaffCon 10 corporation sponsors.

Welcome ipDTL to FaffCon 9! See you in Charlotte!

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!

faffcon 8

FaffCon 8 2016 Minneapolis, Minnesota

FaffCon 8: The Happiest Voiceover Place On Earth

I’m not sure where to start.

Really, I feel like there are so many pre-event, in-event and post event stories that it would make your head spin to share them all or maybe even bore you or…if you wanted to go and didn’t then you might be envious or annoyed.

I don’t want any of that for you.

So I will just list some of my notes (in no special order) in the hopes that it will give you a taste of some of the moments that made FaffCon 8 special for me.

There are over a hundred stories just like this.

My story isn’t special. All of them are.

•   Maybe not to the point of jumping and singing (because that might cause the police to be notified) but I was so full of joy at how many first time Faffers were in attendance at FaffCon 8 — each of you deserved to be there

•   FaffCon simply does NOT happen for me without my wife taking up the parenting slack for a long weekend and my kids giving Da a weekend pass, thank you loves

Voiceover Talents Peter K. O'Connell, Kelly Brennan and Dan Hurst

Voiceover Talents Peter K. O’Connell, Kelly Brennan and Dan Hurst at FaffCon 8

•   I came into this FaffCon with the goal of listening — one of the people I always try and listen closely to is Dan Hurst; because I listened to Dan at his FaffCon 8 presentation, my professional life will get better…thank you Dan, yet again…I needed to hear your words, yet again (Kelly Brennan also understands this)

•   The purple FaffCon 8 t-shirt was my idea…totally

•   If you were at FaffCon 8 and did not meet Kelly Kelmolin, you missed a HUGE opportunity to meet someone who could have your golden nugget — I’ve lost track of how many I’ve received over the years —so you need to make a point to call her and introduce yourself in the next week

•   Frustration is the emotion I will share with you to describe my feeling as to why the world doesn’t understand that Natalie Stanfield is one of THE most talented improvisational actresses and teachers we have on our earth – wake up world, she’s right THERE!

•   Best audience member for my presentation: Jodi Krangle

Buffalo Voiceover Meet-up at FaffCon 8

The Buffalo Voice-Over Meet-up Group “Heard Around Buffalo” at FaffCon 8. Front Row: Natalie Stanfield, Fran McClellan, Maria Pendolino; Middle Row: Fred Filbrich, Dan Lenard, Peter K. O’Connell, Bev Standing; Back Row: Patrick Sweeney

•   I’m not going to brag but I will say only this: Maria Pendolino, I do not lie and now you know the truth of my words…do not miss FaffCon (Buffalo Voice Over Meet-up Group Represent!)

•   Energy and impact awards for F8: Celia Siegal, Brad Newman and Tracy Lindley – they make things happen

•   Two words: Dan Friedman

•   One word: Yeni

Voice Talents Bruce Miles and Peter K. O'Connell

Voice Talents Bruce Miles and Peter K. O’Connell at FaffCon 8

•   Most glad to see award (besides everyone): Fred Filbrich, Bruce Miles and Amy Taylor Fernandez (tie)

•   Melanie Murphy could take over the world with her charm and street smarts – you have been warned

•   Faffers are generous with their time, talent AND treasure as evidenced by the $8,000 donation to Breanna’s Gift — generous work done in support of the families and young children with cancer and other serious diseases…heartbreaking and soul crushing to imagine what these children and their families have, do and will go through

Peter K. O'Connell at FaffCon 8

FaffCon 8 Emcee and Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell

•   So personally and unpredictably heartbreaking that on my final and unexpected appearance on the mic as emcee, after the Breanna’s gift check presentation, to end FaffCon 8, I could barely (and I mean quite. literally. barely.) speak: verklempt — critically sick children are my emotional kryptonite, even now – sorry about that Faffers

•   There are many valuable reasons for businesses to sponsor FaffCon and Edge Studio had good cause to be FaffCon 8’s Presenting Sponsor…but I hope they truly understand (beyond money) how genuinely valuable their sponsorship was to supporting the true mission of FaffCon for the voiceover community; thank you David and Graeme

Thank you EVERYONE who sponsored FaffCon 8

•   Best Church Buddy: Anthony Gettig

•   Mike Coon is a talented and underated voice talent – but sponsorship sales for FaffCon would simply not be successful without him, period

•   Amy Snively and Lauren McCullough had many unique and completely unnecessary challenges from those outside and inside the Faff Circle since the last FaffCon and leading into this one (adults behaving badly on a multitude of levels will be the broad brush stroke I shall use here) — it might have led less hardy souls to quit but they did not quit and for that I am grateful

•   To those who were at the Thursday meeting: thank you and thank you again

•   To everyone whose name is not on this post – you were only omitted here but not forgotten here

•   Note to self, there are only two FaffCons left: live these days like they are “the good old days”, because they are and they are slipping away

an old voice-over friend has passed

VO-BB Microphone IconMaybe you feel the same way, but I can only tolerate so much of Facebook recently, with full-blown idiots of every political persuasion hell bent on proving their idiocy to the world. Ponderous. “Hide” is a useful FB tool. Yet I still check in occasionally on FB to check on the world.

Aside from the above silliness, some sad and unexpected news made it in to my Facebook feed last week.

VO-BB_logo_VoiceoverBulletinBoardThe Voiceover Bulletin Board (the VO-BB) closed up last week. You can still read it, but you cannot post anything new. Foundress of the board and one of my absolute favorite female voice talents, DB Cooper, got frustrated at some feedback she got from a post of hers and turned over the closed sign on one of the most important internet sites for aspiring and professional voice talents.

I don’t begrudge her the right to shut the place down whenever she wanted and for whatever reason she chose. She can’t begrudge me, though, the right to be sad it’s gone.

When my friend (and another killer female voice talent, Connie Terwilliger), directed me and others to the VO-BB so many years ago, I didn’t realize how this new place would change my professional and personal life with industry news and insights, new friendships and a place to be silly (well, and plain stupid…sometimes I was stupid in my posts but an apology usually fixed that).

Thinking about the board and its members and the discussions (and jokes and rants and drama….we’re talking voice actors here…always drama), I started to piece together how so many of my current professional and personal relationships started on this board.


Fellow voice talents who’s comments I read on the board; those who read my comments on the board; voice-over talents who started a business relationship with me because of the board; voice actors who I met at an industry function who knew of me through or because of the board; FaffCon (always FaffCon, which began through the VO-BB); Bob Souer inviting me out to lunch, which beget multiple meetings among VO-BB’ers for years (with more always to come).

So I’ve just made a quick list of voiceover folks I’ve met via all the above permutations that came about because of the VO-BB. Each of these folks have truly made my voice-over journey so much richer because they have been some part of it.

The list has left me a bit gob smacked (and guilty, for fear of those I have no doubt and inexplicably left off, with no malice intended). But I list it as a tribute to what DB created and nurtured over all these years, on her little plot of land on the interwebs.

In NO order of priority:

1. DB Cooper
2. Bob Souer
3. Doug Turkel
4. Connie Terwilliger
5. Liz deNesnera
6. Bruce Miles
7. Philip Banks
8. Lee Gordon
9. Peter Bishop
10. Rowell Gormon
11. Amy Snively
12. Diane Maggipinto
13. Todd Ellis
14. Mandy Nelson
15. Frank Frederick
16. Mary McKitrick
17. Elaine Singer
18. Chuck Davis
19. Anthony Mendez
20. Dave Courvoisier
21. Dan Friedman
22. Tom Dheere
23. Ben Wilson
24. Pam Tierney
25. September Day Carter
26. Moe Egan
27. Jeffrey Kafer
28. Donovan Corneetz
29. Tom Test
30. Vance Elderkin
31. Kara Edwards
32. Caryn Clark
33. Bobbin Beam
34. Terry Daniel
35. Roger Tremaine
36. Lance Blair
37. George Washington, III
38. Erik Sheppard
39. John Florian
40. CC Petersen
41. Melissa Exelberth
42. Jodi Krangle
43. Chris Mezzolesta
44. Dave DeAndrea
45. Craig Crumpton
46. Bob Bergen
47. Michael Schoen
48. JS Gilbert
49. Diane Havens
50. James Clamp
51. Trish Basanyi
52. Monk Schane-Lydon
53. Jane Ingalls
54. Paul Strikwerda
55. Bruce Jacobson
56. Darren Altman
57. Mara Junot
58. Fran McClellan
59. Dale Leopold
60. Lori Berman
61. Talmadge Ragan
62. Scott Pollak
63. Lauren McCullough
64. Randye Kaye
65. Melanie Haynes
66. Larissa Gallagher
67. CC Heim
68. Jordan Reynolds
69. Kristin Lennox
70. Martha Mellinger
71. Rosi & Brian Amador

I am at once heartened and heartbroken when I look at the list, the members of this always-welcoming club. While I expect we will continue our friendships, it seems we shall not have this special place to visit and update.

Maybe it will come back again and maybe we will appreciate it more and treat it better if it does rise again. If not, at least we had it for a time.

“And”, to quote Robert Frost, “that has made all the difference.”

UPDATE: Working with D.B. Cooper, Bruce Miles has resurrected the VO-BB so this wonderful LIVES AGAIN!