faffcon 3 – day three: goodbye until next time

"Voice Over Talent Peter K. O'Connell"

Last Thursday night and Friday morning on the drive down to Faffcon 3 with my friend Ed Thomas, I reminded myself to enjoy this part of the trip, the anticipation, the excitement, the beginning of Faffcon 3. I did this because I knew, like Faffcon 2, it would be over MUCH to soon.

As it always does, Sunday came and Faffcon ended. Oy, I hate that feeling. Not that I don’t want to go back to my great family (Happy Anniversary, dear) but rather I want to not be so darned rushed in my time with all these other voice over people. It’s like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and the VO’s are the Oompa-Loompas (only happier and only slightly less orange). But I suppose like to much of a good thing, we’d all get sick of each other after a few weeks.

So without giving out information that ought to remain among those who shared great stuff, let me offer these thoughts about Faffcon 3.

– Thank you Amy. I can’t write more because it will take the entire blog post but if you know anything about Faffcon you know of whom I speak.

Philip Banks is a voice talent from the U.K. and a friend of mine for some years now thanks to the VO-BB. He does OK for himself and doesn’t need to spend the hours and money traveling to and from his home to come to Faffcon, but he did anyway. He hosted a session that helped me tremendously. And he spent most of his time outside of the sessions – talking and listening to others who sought his counsel, who hoped a bit of his magic or at least his insight would rub off on them. He didn’t have to do that….yet that’s a pretty simple (and powerful) example of the Faffcon attitude.

Connie Terwilliger and Pam Tierney are Miss Amy’s right and left hands (which makes shaking hands with Amy mighty awkward as you can imagine). There are other volunteers as well like CC Heim, Natalie Stanfield Thomas, Bob Souer (actually ALL the Souers) and others who I’ve insulted unwittingly by thoughtless omission but I tell you Pam and Connie are Captain Amy Picard’s Number Ones (you’ll either get that Star Trek reference or you won’t but I’m not spending any more time here esplainin’).

– My friend Bob Taylor came down from Buffalo from the Faffcon 3 waiting list – he got in and I don’t know if I could have been more excited for him…he was concerned to be on the wait list and I so wanted him to experience this event. I hope it really had some wonderful insights for him. I didn’t get to ask because he got on the road before I could say goodbye (as was true for so many folks).

– Thanks to some direction from my friend, teacher and agent Toni Silveri, I managed an Improv class that was very well received for many folks who had NEVER done improv before (they may now be addicted to the resulting endorphins). As I told the participant on both days (yes they asked me back for a second day because more people wanted to do it) Faffcon gives you a place to safely succeed or fail, privately in public. That’s the gift of Faffcon for voice talents and those participants in that Improv class – sharing their thrilling talents in my forum, were a gift to me.

– You see that picture in the blog….the crazy popular voiceover blog laureate Paul Strikwerda took that picture doing one of my improv sessions. Sorry to sound like a more egotistical twit than usual but isn’t that a cool picture? Thank you Paul.

– So my big idea was to have the improv sessions recorded, which turned out not to be necessary but my friend Dan Friedman agreed to help me out with the audio…while he easily could have been a part of other sessions. But he stayed for both and better yet…participated. I am so glad he is my friend and I have Faffcon to thank for formally introducing us.

Doug Turkel taught an incredibly insightful and helpful class on marketing and I spoke much too freely in it, but let there be no doubt (and I don’t think there was) Doug is so on his marketing game and I learned a ton. He’s a great friend and stellar professional example. Plus when you’re in LA, chances are he’ll have a truck and he’ll take you around to places like the Don LaFontaine Voiceover Lab…it’s so nice when the upper classman give the younger students like me a ride.

Rowell Gormon allowed me to participate in his performance class and for as long as he has been my friend, I never really knew what I kick ass director he was…just terrific! No other forum (save for a paid gig) would allow me such an opportunity except Faffcon.

– Faffcon helps hold voice talents accountable for their actions and results. Two examples: I wanted my new voiceover web site to be online by the start of Faffcon. That was my goal and it went live Friday. The second example is that there is one particular voiceover talent who shall remain nameless unless she wants to out herself who WILL have her new voiceover web site live by January 1, 2012. Goal: set.

I would like to name about 90 other people individually (basically every person there) who by sharing a little time with me made my Faffcon experience so awesome. And countless others who wanted to be there but could not – yet had me thinking about them all weekend. But that’s too much work and I’m a lazy voice talent. I do want to say I am grateful to be able to share this voice over journey WITH EACH OF YOU! Because of each of you I am truly enjoying the ride.

Thanks again Amy.

5 Responses to “faffcon 3 – day three: goodbye until next time”

  1. One of the great joys of Faffcon is getting to interact with voiceoverist friends, and you are right there at the top of the list. Oh, who am I kidding — just about everybody involved is at the top of the list!

  2. Hi Peter,

    Your improv session was one of the many highlights at Faffcon. Most voiceover colleagues are comfortable in the privacy of their own booth, and some get nervous as soon as they have to perform in front of others.

    From the start, you created a fun and safe environment in your class and your suggestions were spot-on. Every participant walked away with a great feeling of “I never knew I could do this!”

    I hope you have started a new tradition!


  3. @ Lee The feeling is mutual. We’re lucky to be a part of such a great troop.

    @ Paul I’m truly glad you and everyone enjoyed the Faffcon improv session, especially all those (and there were many) who had never tried improv before. Watching them come up front terrified and leave with the universal “I did it!!!” satisfaction was, selfishly, thrilling.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  4. Improv was awesome Peter. I really enjoyed it and you were a great host! Let’s talk again soon.

    “Just put it on the bush” – BWAH! HAHAHA!!!!

    Dan Friedman

  5. Gotta love her ability to go for comedy! Priceless!

    Thanks again for all your help and incredibly gracious recognition.

    Best always,