Entries Tagged as 'VO Atlanta'

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.

coronavirus notes from the flying voiceover

VO_Atlanta_LogoMost everybody in VO knows that I am on planes…alot. Travel is part of my marketing life just like voiceover always has been a part of my life.

I’ve traveled through most of the major modern health and terrorist challenges America has faced over the past 2-3 decades.

I go to two or three big conferences each year. Many of them during prime cold and flu season.

On many trips, I see my VO pals for lunch or dinner.

Cars, planes, trains, hotel rooms & people…germs everywhere. Sometimes I get sick (not yet, knock wood). Maybe you do too? Imagine that.

Oh, and I live with three little germ factories too. I love ‘em.

I respect the reasonable concern about the Coronavirus…but for most us, health-wise the virus would be manageable…based on the stated, published insights of real medical professionals.

So watching people, groups, events, financial markets and even countries go quite nuts about the Coronavirus has been kinda disappointing.

Unless your health is compromised by age or special disease states…the Coronavirus will be only an unpleasant flu. Not enjoyable but far from deadly. Yet panic has reigned and that panic is causing bigger problems.

While basic hygiene and thoughtful, simple behavior will help keep us all healthy, people aren’t emotionally handling this virus very well.

My point?

As everything does in this blog, my point about this virus comes back to voiceover.

Peter K. O'Connell Moderates Voice-Over Agents Panel VO Atlanta 2016

VO Atlanta 2016’s Voice-Over Agent Panel. L-R Peter K. O’Connell, audio’connell Voice-Over Talent (Moderator); Erik Shepard, Voice Talent Productions; Jeffrey Umberger, Umberger Agency, Tanya Buchanan, Ta-Da Voiceworks; Marci Polzin, Artistic Talent; Susie De Santiago, De Santi Talent and Ralph Cooper, Capital Talent Agency./i>

Soon voiceover event producer Gerald Griffith is set to host VO Atlanta, a voiceover conference in like it’s 8th year now. I’ve been to VO Atlanta twice…I even accidentally hosted a voiceover agent panel once, because….Jeffrey Umburger.

But Coronavirus is causing what I imagine is a big business headache for small business owners like Gerald and hundreds of (small business owning) event producers like him right now.

It’s small business guys like Gerald who really take it on the chin in situations like this…there are many of these event producers who are in a no-win situation because of this darn bug. Gerald’s got hundreds of people coming to Atlanta…two hotels involved, I think…untold airfares booked, hotel fees charged, food contracts signed, talent fees accounted for and no doubt some panicky sponsors whose checks have long ago cleared. Now Gerald and event producers like him have some tough business decision to make. Go or no go?

I don’t have any inside info on any of this regarding VO Atlanta…I’m not attending the show and I am not involved with it in any way. But I know business and I know event planning. So I have been quietly praying (on behalf of all the small business “Geralds” out there) that each event producer has a good event disaster insurance policy.

For event planners, it would seem the Coronavirus scenario now before them is a business nightmare that I envision being second only to what faced the event and travel industry with the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak I remember from the 1970’s. Two different health situations yet both impactful to the event and travel industries.

I gotta say…I’m indifferent about the financial impact on the attendees or sponsors of a possibly cancelled VO Atlanta (if it comes to that whether by a personal attendee’s decision or if the event calls off). The financial impact of a cancelled VO Atlanta on those folks will likely be annoying but absorbable (unless they financially over extended themselves – and then, they made a bad business decision…we’ve all been there, done that). Costly yet that’s the risk inherent in owning a small business.

The financial impact on an event producer, however, could be significantly more overwhelming.

Do me this favor, keep a good thought for those who have taken the biggest financial risks in these scenarios….the event producers out there.

We hope they have insurance, we hope their risk is manageable and we hope they will be financially OK with whatever decisions they have to make.

For them, the panic of the Coronavirus I think is like the (hopefully never realized) unpredicted Category 5 tornado bearing down on our  neighborhoods…and we cannot get out of its way.

off to vo atlanta

VO Atlanta audioconnell

What’s your agenda when you attend a voice-over conference?

I think most people would answer – ‘whatever is on the agenda’ is on their agenda when attending a voice-over conference.

One assumes people look at what’s planned for a conference and decide based on that whether the event is worth attending.

That’s fine. I also think it’s lazy and unproductive. (Uh oh, here he goes again!)

Look, if you want to be led around by the nose by whatever is put in front of you in the banquet of conference classes, that’s OK.

It just seems to me that to get your true money’s worth out of a conference, you need to set personal objectives – to be achieved as a result of your attendance – that will help move your career further, no matter what stage you find yourself in your career.

I’ll give you a personal example.

Outside of FaffCon and FaffCamp, which remain my favorite professional voice-over events, I haven’t been to that many voice-over conferences. I’ve presented at some but I don’t attend that many.

Time is one reason but the bigger reason is I don’t feel the content at most VO conferences will add significantly to my current knowledge bank. That doesn’t mean I’m better or smarter or that the content isn’t good. It means I don’t feel like I’m the right audience for most VO conferences.

When you’ve worked in a business (any business) for 34 years, that’s going to happen. Someone with none of my experience, half of my experience or even more than my experience would likely see many VO conference agendas differently than I do. It’s a personal career decision.

But it is also true that after that much time, I’ve come to realize that I know how much I don’t know. And you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. The tricks had just better be spectacular.

The tricks at FaffCon and FaffCamp, because of the level of professional, experienced talent in attendance, have always been pretty spectacular and helped in my professional growth and development.

I am a newbie to VO Atlanta, which is now in its 3rd year. There are a significant number of folks new to the voice-over industry that will be in attendance and certainly some of VO Atlanta’s content is geared toward that audience. That’s cool.

Unique this year at VO Atlanta is the attendance of a great number of casting directors and voice over agents. This has piqued my interest.

It pleases me to already be working with many (but not all) of the agents at VO Atlanta including Erik Sheppard from Voice Talent Productions, Jeffrey Umberger from Umberger Agency and of course my agent and long time Toronto pal Tanya Buchanan from Ta-Da Voiceworks. I would like to at least meet a few of the agents and casting directors that I don’t yet know.

Further, there are a couple of sessions on Saturday (the day I’ll be there) that I would like to listen in on. Although I am not interested in the concept of X-sessions, which requires an additional fee for each session on top of the initial conference fee. Not judging, that’s just me.

Also, I’ll be in attendance at VO Atlanta with some of my fellow MVO: The Voice-Over Guys including Dan Friedman, Brad Venable, Jordan Reynolds and Dustin Ebaugh. That’s always fun!

Will there be Voxy Ladies there? Nah, ya can’t never find them anywhere. 😉 (ducking).

Finally, there are at least 25 of my longtime VO friends who will be in attendance, whose company I enjoy and who are always generous with their insights and advice.

Too, there are new friends to make at this new-to-me conference.

So not a lot of my objectives for VO Atlanta have anything to do with the agenda. But I do have specific objectives for my attendance.

My suggestion, if you are going to this or any other VO conference, is to think about what your goals and objectives are for attending…then think bigger – whatever that means to you.

You’re the student.

I hope this helps.