The Official VOICE 2008 Review
by Todd Schick Professional Male Voice Talent

OK, here’s the Voice 2008 Review. The Voice Over International Creative Experience – the second debacle, this time in Beverly Hills.

In this article, just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse…well, you get the picture.

If I can make one opening comment about this Voice 2008 review, is that for the first (and only) time, I made a sincere effort to be “politically correct” after everybody got their feathers ruffled over the last review.

In the second paragraph I mention that James is a “first class guy.” He would later stab me in the back….several times. So much for political correctness.

Please note that a lot of the links in the original Voice 2008 review are now defunct; as is the conference for that matter. I don’t want to actively link to most of these people anyway.

So, you’ll have to use your imagination while reading the VOICE 2008 Review. Enjoy!

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The Official VOICE 2008 Review by Todd Schick

Well, it looks like James Alburger and Penny Abshire have totally taken over the reigns for the conference and there’s been a lot of changes since the last get together in Las Vegas. (Most interesting to note that Voice123 and Legend Corporation seem to be not involved, probably a good thing).

James is a first class guy and you can tell that right away by speaking to him; he knows marketing and all things business, conducting affairs associated with the conference accordingly.

That being said, James was very kind to extend an invitation for myself to attend and participate on a panel at this years shindig in L.A.; I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it down there in August, but I’ll give it my best shot.

Thank you James, for your kind invitation.

During my conversation with James, he mentioned that he had no spot for me to speak, to which I replied…..

“Well James, it will only take you about a week (if that) to fill up that speaking roster if you’re hosting in L.A….”

He quickly agreed. Along with it’s very deep talent pool, there’s an equally deep pool of coaches and VO services in the L.A. area; along with all the rest of the people cashing in on other people trying to cash in on people cashing in on the VO industry.

Case in point: Here’s a guy speaking at the conference. What’s the first thing you see here? (For you newbies out there, that kind of check is really not the norm……knock off about $24,000).

Voice 2008 Review – Let’s reflect

Before delving into details, let us take pause for a moment and reflect upon an age old adage….

“Those who CAN “do”….and those who CAN’T…..”teach.”

With that phrase in mind, how many people do you think have gone to L.A. seeking fame and fortune decided to take up coaching, when the “Fame and Fortune” thing didn’t work out as well as they thought it would…..?

Thousands upon thousands.

It should come to you as no surprise then, that the list of guest speakers at the conference there in L.A. is impressive as it is extensive – at least it looks impressive.

Face it, these people freakin’ INVENTED the concept of performance coaching, (not to mention “smoke and mirrors”) so it makes sense that James’ issue with putting together his speakers is a volume one: there’s so many people out there, which ones are the best?

Well, we can all hope and pray he’s picked a few good ones. As James has stated in previous correspondence:

“As producers of VOICE, Penny and I are very careful to only invite presenters who we believe are primarily interested in helping others to be successful….”

“Our goal in inviting people to present at VOICE is to first, look for credibility as a teacher and professional in some aspect of voiceover, and second, to determine if the subject of their proposal will be of interest to our attendees. There are many, many people who we have not yet been able to invite to present at VOICE, but whom we are keeping on file to invite to a future conference.

The people we invite to teach at VOICE are generally honored to be a part of this event and are more than willing to do what it takes to get there.”

I tend to believe him. However, even James would agree that it ain’t over til the fat lady sings.

They may have done well in the interview, but fall flat at the conference or cancel, or…..they just didn’t work out. I don’t envy his position – it’s a tough spot to be in, for sure.

On the bright side, I get the sense that he learned a lot of stuff from Vegas last year and is doing his very best to improve everything across the board.

Voice 2008 Review – Approach

A point that James and I disagree on, is my review of each speakers’ website. As James pointed out to me:

“To judge a presenter’s teaching ability or presentation quality based solely on their website is unfair….”

Be that as it may, this is the only information I (we) have to go on via the voice-international.com website.

Not the best marketing approach if you ask me, but “you get what you give” – so there. I’m not going to call or meet every speaker like James did, because, well….are you?

No.

If this is all the information the site is going to give us….then that’s all the masses have to go on as they hold their Visa card with the mouse button hovering over the “Book Now” button.

Let’s not also forget that these people are in the business of “communicating.” Does it not make sense then, that their website should reveal that expertise with a modicum of cogency?

A website is a “snapshot” if you will, of anyone’s character for all to see. They buy the URL, pick out a logo, the color, the content, the links, the audio and so on.

Whether it’s home made, or a professional design, the owner of the site ultimately “rubber stamps” the final product. Simply stated….a website tells you a great deal about the kind of person it is ultimately representing for all the world to see.

Also, keep in mind that some of this is my opinion/gut feeling, so keep things in perspective…. ;-)!

Like last year, I have individually reviewed each speaker as presented on the VOICE2008 website in alphabetical order. Keep in mind that I look for specific things on their website when conducting this research:

Voice 2008 Review – Guidelines

1) Content on their website on the subject they are speaking on.

The thinking is, if they’re speaking on a subject, they should be passionate about it and therefore they should have (at the very least) content on their site regarding the subject they have been graciously invited to speak on at VOICE2008.

2) Are they selling service to VO talents?

If they are, then I look at things from a different perspective. Are they in for “the money” or do they truly have something interesting and valid to offer? Their review will reflect that aspect.

3) Are they giving out “free” information?

The thinking here is, “You Get What You Give.” If they don’t have free information, or the information is skewed to get the visitor to buy their product, they are reviewed accordingly.

4) Quality.

Do the links work? Does their audio load fast? Are their demos any good? Does the site even come up for that matter….or do they even have one? General quality is reviewed and assessed accordingly.

Knowing James, we can safely assume that he’s screened everyone and there’s no big pay outs to the speakers or any crap like that.

Maybe he’s got some expenses to pay, but who cares? That being said, I’m writing this based on the premise that people have been “invited” to speak at the conference.

Voice 2008 review acronyms:

PVT: Pro Voice Talent
PC: Professional Coach.
VCW: Voice Coach Wannabe
PPB: Potential Poster Boy
PPG: Potential Poster Girl
ORG: Old Radio Guy
OTP: One Trick Pony
OMGWTF: Speaks for itself.

OK, let’s begin, shall we? In alphabetical order, as they appear on the voice-international website here’s the skinny on all the presenters in the VOICE 2008 Review!

Voice 2008 Review – The Presenters

Chris Allport

OK…..well….my first thought was that perhaps VOICE2008 should re-think the alphabetical order thing, cause this is probably not the best “first impression” of the speakers at the conference.

I tried to “Click here to Enter the Allport” but the link didn’t work. Bummer.

Then I went here because it was one of the only links that worked (most were “not ready for prime time”).

No content on the subject he is speaking on “Mastering Self Direction.” His bio indicates that he has done some voice work.

When you go here you can buy a picture of Chris! Be still my beating heart. His role in Pirates of The Carribean 3 was one of the people hanged at the start of the film.

Kinda reminds me of those guys in the red uniforms that beamed down with Kirk, Spock and Bones in the old Star Trek episodes. My brother and I always knew it was going to be a good episode when there was more than 3 “red” uniforms…..LOL!

Back to the site. You can also “buy” a demo for $1,000! Sadly, the PayPal button didn’t work. Bummer. If it worked, I could have sent Chris my thousand dollars right away and he would have got my money and I would have to………wait for it. I guess.

Hmmmm. I wonder if he has a studio or something?

Maybe I’ll just buy a picture of Chris instead….. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t say much more than that……

Category: VCW

Dan Balestrero

Well the URL says it all, doesn’t it? “masteringvoiceover.com.”

Dan is clearly selling coaching services and (a student, I surmise) welcomes you with open arms from the get-go. No “smoke and mirrors” here. In your face coach. Pro site, piles of testimonials. Dan markets himself well. And, there’s a lot of people smiling on his site, so he must be good……. ๐Ÿ˜

I read this on his site:

“Dan introduced me to my “Day Voice,” which is nothing more than my personality and how I communicate normally. What he did is simply show me how to use that daily skill to read even the most difficult copy….”

That statement alone tells me that Dan knows a little bit about VO coaching. I use the same technique when I critique voices – it’s one of the single most important aspects of VO training.

However, this is also the same site that has the big, huge, check on it – there could be some “dreams for sale” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Reading his Bio we note that he’s been coaching for over 25ย years….and has 22 Corporate voiceover clients.

Hmmmmmm…..that works out to……let’s see……let me grab my calculator, I’m horrible at math………Oh. 0.88 client(s) a year.

OK. We’ve done the math.

Your demo done by Dan = $1250.00.

Given that price point and his 25+ years experience, hopefully Dan will be one of the better speakers at VOICE2008.

Category: P.C.

Bob Bergen

How can you NOT like Bob? I mean really. The guy is freakin’ Porky Pig for gawd sakes…..and Tweety!

I hear he did well in Vegas…and well….I can’t say one negative thing about Bob, his website or anything else for that matter. He’ll be time well spent, I’m sure.

As Bob has quoted to me directly:

Bob Bergen’s business of the business Q&A panel will include: Adrienne McWorter, voice-over agent with Abrams Artists Agency, Mary Lynn Wissner, owner of Voices Voice Casting, Jason Henkel, casting director for Disney Joyce Castellanos, promo producer Bill Holmes, instructor and demo producer, Representatives from Voicehunter.com , specializing in radio imaging ….and more!

Category: P.C.

Susan Berkley

The whole site seems to be a touch of a sell job on VO/Presentation training (but hey, everyone’s gotta make a buck, yah know?).

It should be noted here that Susan has been around a long time and therefore, commands a certain amount of respect considering her experience…..you can’t be doing it that long and be lousy at coaching.

I’m sure her keynote address will blow you away – it should, because she coaches people to do exactly that.

Category: P.C.

Beverly Bremers

Actor, Recording Artist, Voice Over Actor, Songwriter, Teacher. Well….that just about covers it all, doesn’t it?

Reminds me…..of me 12 years ago, putting up my website for the first time….and offering about 10 different services….LOL!

Oh, the humility….

Nothing posted on the subject she’s speaking on: “The Care and Feeding of your Voice.”

I hope there’s a beer involved, that’s all I gotta say….

Category: Possible VCW, PPG

Marc Cashman

Read this guy’s credentials. Can’t argue with that. Here’s what I have a hard time getting my head around:

If Marc is an award-winning VO artist in L.A., has a first class production studio, an agent and a huge client list……well……he doesn’t need to coach, because he’s makin’ six figures easily.

So tell me, why is he coaching by the telephone for $100?

“Spock! Tell me. Where…..is…..the logic!?” (Oops…..sorry…Star Trek flashback…)

As I have noted on my site for years now, the “in-studio” experience is paramount; half the battle is getting your head around hearing your own voice with headphones on behind a sensitive microphone, behind the glass in a recording studio.

Maybe he’s just a really great guy that loves to help people out. You decide.

From what I can tell, he runs a production house that (maybe) needs new talent, so likely the coaching end of things was born from that conundrum.

Marc should be interesting given his experience…..and so far, has the slickest website of the bunch.

Category: P.C.

Joyce Castellanos

Well, I kinda blasted Joyce in the first draft of this article, but I’m going to cut her some slack after I heard from ‘ol Bob Bergen there pleading her case in his oh-so-perfect Porky Pig tones…..(you make me sick, Bob…but in a good way…)

First – get a website Joyce, or I’ll have to come down there and kick your…..microphone……

Apparently, she’s quite a gal. As Bob Bergen said:

Joyce has been a promo producer in LA for over 20 years. She is one of THE most in demand promo teachers/demo producers in da biz.

You don’t see all that much on her as far as advertising because, frankly, she doesn’t have to.

Everyone who studies promos studies with Joyce. And she’s a go to person for promo demos by all the LA agents. AND (are ya ready for this??) she’s an awesome cool gal!!!!!! Just as sweet, down to earth as they come.

Huge heart, but also an amazing pro who knows her stuff.

OK, Bob. You gotta contain your excitement there. Look at those exclamation marks! Take a valium or something will yah?

“Bob….you’re vibrating……easy buddy…… “

Well, I can’t say what Joyce will be speaking on, but if Bob likes her….well….Bob’s yer uncle. Joyce, you owe Bob….and me, a beer. I drink Stella Artois….. (slurp).

David Coleman

Well, it appears that “Advances In VO Technology” comes down to one product “Soundstreak.”

The software is free, based on a pay-per-use fee system. No prices posted at time of publication. No info on David at all, other than he’s the CEO of the company and….well, I’m loathe to say who said who about what, when, how and where, but……rumour has it that he’s an upstanding guy that just may have something with his software.

Look for a speech on his software and hopefully David will toss in some tidbits on setting up your own home studio. If he designed software, he’sgotta know a thing or two…….yah know?

(While this is all that’s on voice-international.com from a technical standpoint, James adds this:)

Regarding technical stuff: we will have more than just one presenter talking on the technical side. Marc Graue will be discussing some technical stuff during his program as will some of the other presenters.

We’re also planning some additional panels for Sunday afternoon, one of them to be specifically focused on technology. In addition to that, we are planning to have a number of equipment dealers in our exhibit hall who will be available for technical questions. Oh, and they’ll be selling stuff too! ;-)…”

Pat Fraley

I remember this guy from last years article and boy-oh-boy has his website changed since then…..way more content.

He gets extra points for putting some free stuff on his site, some of which is good. He’s prone to using a sesquipedalian style which can be confusing…..(your gonna laugh when you go here).

Oddly, his use of certain verbiage tends to make his overall read un-natural……like he’s…er…..reading.

The man who claims has created 4,000 voices, “has the only character voice curriculum ever to be accredited at the university level……” (I’m not sure what that means) will coach you over the phone for $130.00 an hour.

More expensive than Dan, but quite reasonable considering his credentials, wouldn’t you say? Apparently, he’ll even remove his sunglasses, which adds a nice personal touch…… ๐Ÿ˜

For the record, I can do 4,657 voices, there “Patio”.

OH! The avuncular jocularity….! Jolly good fun.

I have heard some positive things about Pat; I’m not thrilled with his site and presentation thereof, but I get a feeling he may be a player and could be someone to take interest in….and, he’s been invited back by James which can only be a good sign…..

Maybe we should go for a beer, Pat. Get to know each other…..knock around 8,000 voices…..invite Porky Pig over to the table for leftovers…..oh! Zing!

Category: P.C.

Marc Graue

Wins the award for having the “busiest” website of the bunch so far. Whoa. Hang on….I gotta wait for my eyes to adjust after that assault on my corneas……

I wonder if he sells fridge magnets……? Kidding, Marc…..just kidding, buddy.

I’ve often visited Marc’s site to hear some outtakes (William Shatner in particular is pretty funny).

I’ve heard quite a few people mention his name to me and he seems to be well liked out there in L.A., which says a lot.

Since Marc has been around Since The Beginning Of Time I’m sure that he’ll be bringing some interesting stuff to the podium.

I couldn’t find anything on his on the subject he’s speaking on “VO from both sides of the glass” but the title is catchy……keep your fingers crossed.

Richard Horvitz

OK, whenever I see a person’s name super-imposed on The Universe……my first thought is: “Galactic Ego.” But…I could be wrong……

“You will cry as you learn about Richard’s early years in the sweat shops of Panama….” says the opening monologue. OK……..hmmmmm……

I went directly to his coaching page and clicked on each link there. Check it out for yourself.

He does get extra points for offering an audit of his course…..but, there doesn’t seem to be a button to click to book that. I guess you’ll just have to send him an e-mail…. ๐Ÿ˜ .

I don’t get a “bad” feeling from Richard……in fact, I get the feeling that he’s…..a nice person. I don’t know why. You see….there’s no “sell job” here, so that counts for a lot…..in my opinion, anyway.

This is your opportunity…..to see Richard. I can’t say if he’ll be good or bad. I hope he’s good.

Category: Possible VCW, PPB

Steve Hudson

Love the flags. Obviously a Voice123 fan.

Listen to the audio (you may have to click the play button a couple of times). What Steve has purported to do in 4 hours….I can do with someone in about 20 minutes; providing they have a modicum of talent.

The thing is, where are these people going to be when they head into the studio and have to voice a Radio :30 in the first or second take, without 4 hours of Steve’s direction?

Answer: Pretty Sunk, Really.

I’m sorry, but the last time I checked there’s no “magic bullet” or “method” to acquiring the talent for VO, other than a lot of practice and experience. However, perhaps Steve will have a tidbit here and there that might

be Pretty Super Really.

“This program may contain scenes of utter nonsense. Attendee discretion is advised….”

Category: ORG, VCW

Stefan Chinell

I’m not sure why Stefan’s name appears out of alphabetical order; maybe it’s a Swedish thing…… ๐Ÿ˜

Apparently, Stefan will give us his view on “the real secret to voice acting, to sound good when you feel bad….”

OK. I’m going to hope and pray that James made a good choice here….

Category: ORG, Possible VCW, PPB (VOICE2008 needs someone in from another country other than Britain thus the “International Creative Experience”)

Joe Klein

Joe was one of the few people who actually took the time to drop me a line and we chatted on the phone.

Joe is an old-school radio guy who thoroughly embraces his past and looks to New Media in the future. In speaking with him, I discovered that he’s not selling anything at the conference, but rather giving freely of his knowledge…..kudos to Joe.

From what I can gather, Joe has had his hands in a wide variety of disciplines surrounding the world of VO, self-taught in many of them, which makes the infomation he brings to the table much more valuable to the attendee; hands on experience is always better. As Joe mentioned in some previous correspondence:

“James approached me and expressed his strong desire to have me present there due to my success producing stuff for new media.

At first we thought that my presentation should focus on how to get the biggest and best sound when recording voice-overs, but then decided to shift the emphasis to the evolving relationship between new media and old skool production. I am in the early stages of mapping out my 70 minute presentation, but I think it will be interesting and fun and will stimulate some relevant and meaningful dialogue….”

(Wow. Isn’t that great….someone actually gave us a description of what they’ll be speaking on….. ๐Ÿ˜

Maybe if the rest of the presenters read this, they’ll get the hint……nah. That’s wishful thinking. Better stick to being realistic……)

I also noticed…..man, can he ever talk. Barely got a word in edge-wise during our conversation……and that’s not a bad thing.

The more a person talks, the more information you can get from them. In this way, taking into consideration that Joe has spoken at many conferences before, has a great deal of knowledge and isn’t selling a course, book or DVD – I’m confident that Joe will be a highlight of the conference.

Category: ORG

MJ Lallo

An obvious “free” (watermarked) music bed loops constantly and there’s no way to shut it off. Even when you try to listen to the demos posted, the music just keeps going and going and going……AAAH! Stop!

Please fix that MJ….

From what I can “see” MJ offers coaching and if you want to book a session there’s a convenient PayPal button for each price range.

There’s a nice long list of clients, but no real indication of her experience or talent.

I don’t know, I’ve heard some positive things about MJ, but know one is willing to give me some serious details, so, I’m waiting…hey! She might just be uber fantastic – time will tell.

Category: VC

Larry Maizlish

Larry runs a VO Talent website “Voicesoncall.com” which seems to be pretty well done.

The writing is solid and it looks like he runs a pretty tight ship. I get the feeling that Larry gets asked a ton of questions, because he’s put every possible answer to any possible question about his service on the website.

There is little on the site to glean about Larry himself as there’s no “About” page or anything like that, so there’s not much I can say here about Larry.

I did, however, send him my demos to get an idea of what’s up with his site and service. Stay tuned.

Category: Not sure.

Lee Marshall

First thing you see is a picture of Lee along with a reference to God. Lee welcomes you by saying:

“Hi, I’m Lee Marshall, thanks for visiting my website”

Given the biblical reference, I’m really surprised that he doesn’t say:

“Hi, I’m Lee Marshall……and you’re not.”

OH! A solid flurry to the midsection from the Canadian! Todd’s Chick is bouncing around the ring…..Lee is getting up……he looks….determined…..

Arguably, the guy has a killer set of pipes and a ton of experience, just listen to the commercial reel. And by looking at the references, attendees are in for a hilarious romp…..

“Lee Marshall is like the smartest, funniest man at a party. All the guys want to be like him, but they know they can’t….”

I hope Lee lives up to his references and slays us all.

Category: PVT, ORG, PPB

Deb Munro

Deb is a pretty solid voice talent, good range, good acting ability.

I recently had a chance to sit in on her workshop here in Toronto. She often says that she’s the “Energizer Bunny” – and while the reference is close, the bunny bangs on a single drum; Deb is more like someone bashing furiously on a drum kit.

After a nice chat and a couple of hours watching her work, I’d have to say that she’s quite a good coach and her strength seems to reside more in the Character Development realm.

She also is quite creative from a technical standpoint and I was impressed by the way she ran her workshop from a tech perspective.

Deb mentioned to her students during the workshop that getting training from a bunch of different coaches was a good thing and I agree.

With that thought in mind, Deb brings her own unique skill set, energy and thoughts to the table that will be well worth your time seeing her in L.A. – definitely a “must see.”

Deb, you’ve got piles of energy and you’re more like Speedy Gonzales than the Energizer Bunny.

Pull it back about 30% so we can absorb everything you’ve got to say, because we don’t want to miss anything…LOL!

Category: PVT, VC.

Gabrielle Nistico

Quite a few people have said that Gabrielle has been around for ages and is a “cool person.”

I’ve never met nor spoke to her, but if enough people say she’s cool……she wins the “cool” award.

Whoa. Cool.

Link points to voicehunter.com. A VO marketing service. Like Gabrielle, it’s (apparently) been around for ages.

Gabrielle contacted me recently to say that she’ll be speaking on Radio Imaging and how to break into it, along with sitting on Bob Bergens panel.

I’ll take a wild guess and say that likely, Voicehunter specializes in helping people break into Radio Imaging…… ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, this much I know: Gabrielle is cool. She’s going to talk to you about breaking in Radio Imaging (Hint: It takes a long time….) and Voicehunter, because that’s where her link points to.

I hope this helps.

Category: Marketing Service for VO Talents.

Raleigh Pinskey

Here’s the name of the website: promoteyourself.com .

Take a wild guess what Raleigh is going to talk to you about.

Go ahead. Guess. Come on……just try. I’ll give you a dollar. OK,OK,OK…I’ll give you a hint by cutting and pasting something off her website:

Raleigh R. Pinskey’s Branding, Publicity, PR Tip of the Day:

March 23, 2008
“Design your own Calendars for the New Year…”

Good god! The woman is absolutley BRILLIANT! Why didn’t I think of that? And it’s March! A perfect time of year to think about a New Year Calendar.

Category: The woman who authored the book “101 Ways to Promote Yourselfโ€ She could be great or…..you’ll hear someone in the audience saying: “This hotel has a bar, doesn’t it…?”.

Karley Rothenberg

Ah HAH! Now here’s someone with chops. Listen to those demos. Now there’s a REAL pro kiddies. “That’s GOLD Jerry…!”

Why can’t everybody speaking at the conference be like this? Teaches at her alma mater The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Los Angeles.

Of course, we’ll get the “Union” spin on things from Karley, but hey – I’m sure she’s going to be great. Well, I hope she is, because I’ll look like an idiot if she bombs.

Don’t disappoint me, Karley….

Category: VC, PVT

Randy Thomas

This just keeps getting better. Another pro……and nice microphone there, Randy. Gotta love the Manley. Personal fave.

Damn! She’s got a pic with Eric Idle…..I’m green with envy (I’m a HUGE Monty Python fan – which may explain my tendency to be a touch sarcastic…?).

This gal…..should be worth every minute. Hmmmm…..maybe I can get a pic with her…..then I’ll be that much closer to getting a pic with Eric…..hmmmmm……

20 year veteran. Oooooozes professionalism. Don’t miss her.

Category: PVT, VC, PPG (Only you gals WISH you could sound like her…)

(James, can you see the problem with the “alphabetical order” thing…..?)

Julie Williams

Look at this URL: http://www.voice-overs.com/

Talk about envy. 27 years in the business. One does not have that URL and NOT be a pro, I’ll tell you that.

These women sound fantastic! If Julie coaches as good as she sounds and presents herself on-line, she’ll be worth the entire price of admission…

Don’t disappoint me, Julie…. ;-)!

Category: VT, VC, PPG

Nancy Wolfson

Life at The Bottom Of The List. It’s lonely down here, isn’t it Nancy? I feel your pain – “Schick” doesn’t fair well either…. ๐Ÿ™

Even more lonely when you know damn well you should be at the top given your experience and qualifications…..all because your last name starts with a “W”. Bummer.

Alphabetical order sucks, James. You really should change that….

Love the site. Now here’s a woman who helps VO talent brand themselves……and has a great website to prove it!

How remarkable! What a concept ๐Ÿ˜ (….and we all had to wait until we got to the Bottom Of The List). Do you see my point here people? The Website? It’s good?

She sells branding so……duh….her website is branded very well…….? Hmmm? Catch my drift?

She certainly has a pile of really positive testimonials and her rates are very reasonable.

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this woman from many, many different people (of course well after I wrote the original article – this is an eye-opener for me as well; sorry Nancy, I was tired……I was at the Bottom Of The list, what can I say…?).

Nancy gets huge points for having the savvy (or should I say “Marketing 101” fundamentals) of dropping me a note directly and clarifying a few points, namely – the fact that she’s not a VO talent at all (I was confused by a reference to her voice – go to About/Nancy and read the testimonial to see what I mean).

She’s not a VO talent; she sees it as a conflict of interest….duh.

No, Nancy has more experience in the VO industry than the lot of them I imagine – and from all areas too: Casting, Agent, Producer, Talent Manager and much more – the gamut.

Now I don’t want to scare off the newbies here, but I’m guessing that Nancy is a “go to” gal for the pros in the industry….or at least those that have some previous experience.

So, if you want her to hear your home-made demo you did a couple of weeks ago……she’s likely going to point you to my website to read up on the VO industry….right Nancy? LOL!

Key player. Should be at The Top Of The List. To make up for that, put her on the Top Of Your List.

Category: VC (along with several other categories I didn’t think about, but didn’t need until I got to the Bottom Of The List…)

Voice 2008 Review – Attendee Information Breakdown

Details: $600.00 to attend, rooms are $200 a night (double occupancy) banquet $85.00, parking $20.00 a night.

It’s not cheap.

It would cost me (I live near NYC) about $2,000 – $3,000 to attend. Others, not so much if you live closer. The hotel looks great, you can’t go wrong with the Hyatt Regency.

James quotes:

You’re correct in saying that it can be a bit expensive to attend VOICE. However, the cost of attending VOICE is a fraction of some conventions that have less to offer over a fewer number of days.

We researched a lot of events before determining our price point. We also spent a lot of time negotiating with numerous hotels to get a decent room rate in LA. FYI, the average Hyatt Century Plaza room rate is $269 per night. Our VOICE rate is $169.

After taxes and hotel charges, the basic room comes in at about $200 per night, which is very reasonable for LA and especially reasonable for Beverly Hills!

“Swimmin’ pools…….Movie Stars……The Beverly Hillbillies….!”

I digress….a lot. LOL!

From what I can tell (some links didn’t work) of the 24 speakers, 15 of them are coaches who teach a class or sell a service.

There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of technical stuff to learn, but James insists that there’s more.

We’ll see….

Yes, there’s a lot here to learn, but keep in mind that it’s not the road to “Fame and Fortune” and there’s a disclaimer on James’ website saying:

“This is not the Road To Fame And Fortune”

Kidding, James….. ;-)!

It’s the road to Los Angeles. There’s lot’s of traffic and someone trying to sell you something at every turn.

Also, don’t forget that like last year, pretty much everyone speaking turns a buck from VO talent and they’re not going to be giving away ALL their secrets in one speech; you’ll have to pay for that, thank you very much.

On a more positive note, it looks far better organized than last year and some of the folks speaking look/sound interesting. Key words there: “look” and “sound.” That’s all you get before you fork out for your pass, travel and accommodations.

Some folks may offer up some really good stuff, others may be downright boring (as James points out, that’s tough to avoid in anyconference) thank goodness the Hyatt has a nice bar or two for those people.

Voice 2008 Review – For the Newbies

From the newbies perspective, this conference has far more meat to it than Vegas last year.

Face it, there’s some pretty talented folks down there in L.A.; indeed, that’s why they are there in the first place: Talent. If nothing else, the newbie will have a grand opportunity to check out a bunch of coaches all in one spot in one weekend, which in L.A. can save you a pile of time.

There’s also the school of thought that a person has to “like” their coach in order to learn the most from them. In this way, newbies will have a chance to meet some of these folks and decide if it’s a good “fit” for them.

There will undoubtedly be much information to glean, given the depth of the speaking roster alone, but temper your expectations. Like any conference, regardless of the format or content, there is only so much you can take away from it.

Voice 2008 Review – For the Professionals

From my (professional) perspective, the only way I would ever take a course from a coach in L.A. was if I was moving down there to go after some of that nice, fat Animated Feature Film VO roles that only the Tom Hanks of the world get.

It’s how things work down there.

You pay for a coach, they connect you with some people who know people who know other people that know some people over there……you get the picture.

On the flip side of that coin, be careful not to fall for the old “If you get your demo done here I can pass it along to a few people I know…” salespitch. You’ll here that one a lot, trust me.

Last time I checked, I had no plans to move to L.A…..!

Bummer. I guess I’ll have to settle for the living I make here in Hollywood North. Oh well. No superstardom for me today…..

I need a beer…..eh? LOL!

Voice 2008 Review – Final reflections

On a personal note, I’d be interested to speak at this conference, but truthfully, I’d have to attend it first before I made a commitment.

What strikes me as odd is the fact that not a single presenter has taken the time to place something on their website (posted on the voice-international website) about what they are speaking on at VOICE2008.

For instance, if I were asked to speak and subsequently asked what subject I was speaking on…..well, I would take the time right then and there to put a page on my site and forward that link to voice-international.com.

A total no-brainer if you ask me.

Maybe that will change in a few days, eh James? Eh? Did you get the Canuck “Eh?” Reference? Pretty catchy……eh?

OH! Zing……!

I will try to get down there this year if I can find the time and make good on James’ kind offer…..and spend the bulk of my time observing rather than participating…..mostly because I have nothing to sell.

If you’re going, drop me a line and let me know – I’ll do my very best to talk to anyone and everyone who takes the time to approach me and say hello.

Thanks for reading! Now go have a nice cold beer…..eh? ;-)!

So concludes the Voice 2008 review. If you have any thoughts or comments please feel free to drop me a line. I sincerely hoped you enjoy the Voice 2008 review. Thanks for reading!

Voice 2008 Review Beverly Hills sign

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