Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

April 10, 2012

Ask a Busy Person – They Tend to Say Yes

No matter how busy I am, I seem to find time to say yes to people. Actually, as I get older and time starts looking shorter, I’ve actually begun to learn how to say no, and I do use the word – mostly on the business side of things – when I can see that the ROI isn’t really going to pay off.

But when it comes to the stuff that isn’t work related, I do say yes a lot – maybe even if I don’t REALLY have the time. STOP THAT! I have the time. I don’t have kids or grand kids. I have cats. My niece is an adult. Some stuff simply won’t get done – like defrosting the ice maker. And cleaning up the mess behind the garage. But, in the grand plan – for things that really matter – I have the time!

So a few weeks ago, I was at a function at Junior Achievement BizTown here in San Diego and was transfixed by the facility. I had to know more, so I started asking questions. Every day 150 5th graders show up in this functioning mini-city and take over!

BizTown is a simulated city made up of 21 shops on two levels, sponsored by local and national businesses. Students can experience working in a bank, a television station, or a retail store, to managing personal finance such as writing checks and working as a CFO. With a variety of hands-on activities, students have the opportunity to realize the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a simulated economy.

I was so impressed by the facility, I called them up and asked if I could volunteer in some capacity. They set a time for a briefing and handed me a bag stuffed full of completely organized lesson material for the JA Personal Finance class for 9th graders. This program is in a high school and is one of about 10 different in class programs for middle and high school students.

It will take about 5 hours or so in the actual classroom over 5 weeks. And the prep work involved in understanding the lessons and concepts so that I am ready for the classroom will take a few more hours. This program introduces students to the importance of making wise financial choices – something I sure wish I had learned when I was young. Each class has projects and games to help students explore the role that money plays in achieving personal goals throughout life.

Junior Achievement provides financial literacy education that empowers young people to own their economic success. Serving K-12 students in San Diego and Imperial County since 1950.

And lucky you! April is Financial Literacy Month! You can help by donating a little bit of money to help raise $30,000 to support 30 JA classes in 30 days! Just $40.00 can allow the JA to serve an additional student and give them the opportunity to learn essential financial responsibility skills.

Just say “yes!”

April 9, 2012

FaffCon 4 is History, but the Memories Linger On

Filed under: Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 2:01 pm

It has been two weeks now since FaffCon 4 in Ventura. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t have some sort of memory pop into my head. Starting with Thursday night helping Pam and Lauren write questions on blow up soccer balls. We got so good at the task that we actually did more than we needed to. We laughed a lot in the process – which is something that a lot of us did a lot during the weekend.

One of the most amusing memories was the debate over what color walkie-talkies went to whom. The sunglasses decided it.

Pam, Lauren, Eric and Amy pick out just the right color walkie-talkie

Later in the evening, I met up with a few of the early arrivals in the hotel bar – hugs all around (and my dear friend Liz bought me a nice glass of wine!).

Just a few of my good VO buddies!

Friday morning memories of endless hugs as friend after friend came up the stairs to pick up their badges, meal tickets, water bottle, tee-shirt and tote bag. Then, Friday afternoon, the boat trip on the open seas with my friend Steve Savanyu doing the Titanic pose on the bow. We saw a big bunch of dolphins, but no whales. As it turns out, a pod of killer whales popped up after the morning trip and the big whales skedaddled.

Steve Savanyo does the Titanic thing

Friday evening after the opening circle – “auditioning” for Dean Panero of Abrams during the Voice Registry Live Weekend Workout. Here is Natalie Stanfield Thomas up at the mic. If she was quaking half as much as I was, she sure didn’t show it!

Natalie auditions for Dean

Saturday was simply a blur – but oh, those adorable dolphin cookies! Audio-Technica sponsored that much needed afternoon break. Was it Saturday when Eric and Devin made a shark swim over our head’s during lunch? The mad scramble as I took pictures of door prize winners at the FaffCon Shower Curtain backdrop is forever etched in my mind.

Saturday Afternoon break sponsored by Audio-Technica

Sunday flew by too fast and suddenly it was over – until the next time. Thank goodness our friend Dave Courvoisier sponsored the notebooks in our tote bags, or I would forget all the great things I learned during the sessions even before the faffterglow wears off.

The word faffterglow was coined by someone shortly after FaffCon 1 and will soon be entered into the lexicon. I don’t think anyone leaves a FaffCon without that faffterglow. And it has a way of sneaking back into your mind long after the event is over. If you were there for the first time, just see what happens when your little postcard to yourself arrives. Like a magic carpet, you will be back in Ventura.

My faffterglow hasn’t been all warm and fuzzy, it included losing my camera somewhere between Anaheim and my house. I either lost it on the train somehow, or it ended up in the trunk of the gypsy cab that I managed to take from the train station. So all of my Sunday pictures are lost. But we will survive. The event has been thoroughly documented. Check out the FaffCon Facebook page for right now, but the FaffCon 4 Gallery will be up on the website in a few weeks.

Set your computer clocks to remind you about FaffCon 5 in about three months. That is probably when past Faffers will start getting notices to be ready for our early opportunity to register. With four of these under our belts now, and the pool of past Faffers growing, there is a good chance that FaffCon 5 will sell out in the pre-sell!

April 7, 2012

Matching Your Delivery

Filed under: Musings, Techniques — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 11:40 am

The other day I had three sessions in a row with repeat clients for whom my delivery is just slightly different. Pacing, placement, energy, warmth, etc. just a bit different for each project.

One client found me 3 or 4 years ago because they had lost track of the voice they had been using and wanted a voice match. Actually, they THOUGHT I was the same person and after I told them that I wasn’t, they asked me if I could match a sample they provided. I did and we have been doing updates every 5 months or so. This voice is in a slightly different place in my head than my usual signature sound.

Another project was 3 word changes and a new paragraph for a project originally completed about a year and a half ago. The read on this was soft and comforting.

And the third project that day was the 4th iteration of an eLearning project where I needed to match the other half-dozen projects for the same company in brisk tone and perkiness.

I keep everything in folders on my hard drive of course, just for times such as these. All it takes is a 2 or 3 second listen to what we did before and I slip right into that particular zone.

Most of us do this, of course. Really – it’s simply part of our jobs. Something we need to do to keep our customers happy. Remarkable only in the fact that it was three repeat clients with three different approaches.

April 6, 2012

Check the Mute Buttons!

Filed under: Recording — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:15 pm

So, I had a phone patch session recently with a new client. It was a no audition job through one of my agents. Love those. But instead of ISDN, it was a phone patch project using my Gentner.

The client called into my system and he could hear me fine, but to me he sounded like he was calling me from Mars – a tinny little voice way in the background.

My eyes crossed as I tried to figure out what the problem might be. I checked the sketch the engineer left me the last time he was here. But with the client on the line, my stress level was such that I was not going to figure it out. We agreed on a short break to see if I could reach him my engineer. If I couldn’t figure it out, we would use a work around, which is not my preferred way of working.

A couple minutes later, after a quick phone call, everything was working correctly – my client called back in and our session went great from that point.

So, what happened? Cats is what happened. Try as I might, I simply cannot banish the critters from my studio entirely. So at some point, in the process of trying to crawl behind the equipment cabinet to a nice warm spot, my little Lista must have depressed a couple of mute buttons.

Louie reading the VO-BB and getting ready to record

While I can record broadcast quality sound in my home studio, I do so miss the days of going to someone else’s studio and letting them worry over the technical issues. An engineer can see those depressed mute buttons with his eyes closed.

And while I want to THINK that I will remember to check the mute buttons, the next time something like this happens, I can’t say for certain that I will. That’s why I keep the phone number for Pro Sound and Music handy.

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