Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

May 25, 2012

Have you checked off the To Do List on your FaffCon 4 (or should I say 3?) Post Card?

Filed under: Business, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:33 pm

OK, so a few months before FaffCon 4 in Ventura, the post card I filled out in Hershey arrived in the post. It was a complete surprise and I was a bit anxious when I flipped it over. For there on the other side was the list of things I wanted to do – without fail! I’m pretty sure I blogged about this unexpected stress the last time the card came. Well, not really stress stress – hyperbole – sorry.

I’m still not up to a passing grade yet, if you simply are checking off the 5 items on the list. I’m not nearly as upset with myself that I haven’t finished the items from FaffCon 3 as I was over not finishing the list of items from FaffCon 2. If Ventura was your first venture into FaffCon, you will soon understand what I am talking about.

The items on the list are still relevant and I would say item 1 out of 5 is complete, or nearly complete and when that is done, item 3 will be done as well. And items 4 and 5 have shown some pretty good progress. One involves investing some dollars and while I have the dollars to spend, the economy and the trends in our business make me a bit more reluctant to spend money…unless, of course, I can see a clear return. So item 2 is in limbo for the time being.

Yes, I am being a bit cryptic, because it is my list! And if this was an Intranet of just FaffCon’rs, I would be a bit more forthright about them, but since all of these nuggets or ideas were born at FaffCon 3, I’ll keep it in the family.

A lot of other priorities popped up immediately after getting back from Ventura. And I hope to be pleasantly surprised this time when my card from FaffCon 4 arrives with it’s call to come to Charlotte NC in October (12-14, 2012) for FaffCon 5.

There must be some things on there that I have started or finished. Trouble is, right now, I couldn’t tell you even one item on that list.

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!

January 8, 2012

The Cost of Doing Business

Filed under: Announcements, Business — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:01 pm

Esteban Valdez Pots for sale
They say you have to spend money to make money. I would agree with that. Unless you dig clay from the earth, use your hands to form a pot, grind rocks to make paint, gather wood to build the fire to bake the pot and then stand by the side of the road to sell the pot, you probably have to spend at least a little money to be in business.

I had a chance to meet Esteban Valdez at his family compound just outside San Miguel de Allende Mexico a few years ago. He does just that. At his age though, other people are helping him gather the materials, so he probably has to pay out a bit in payroll these days in order to make his pots.

Esteban Valdez at work

I’ve been doing voiceovers now for quite a while and I have spent a lot of money on my business. Training, equipment, marketing, software, telephone, etc. And I will admit that training has not been a huge part of the expense. The few classes and workshops I have paid to attend have been valuable, but I have found that the lone class I teach at San Diego City College – an introduction to voice acting – is like taking a 5 hour per week class in the Spring and Fall. Not only do I learn more about myself and my craft, but I get to perform before a live “studio” audience. And for those of us who spend a lot of time locked in our own little vacuum, interacting and getting that instant feedback is a wonderful thing.

Over the past two years, I have found a “training” expense that seems to offer the right amount of bank for the buck. A conference focused on the professional working voice actor. It is called FaffCon. The next one coming up March 23-25, 2012 in Ventura Beach CA is number 4 and as of right now there may still be a few places left. Attendance is capped at 100 and as of my last peek at the website, there were 92 people listed as coming.

FaffCon 4

The list of attendees is impressive and the information we will be sharing will no doubt be as valuable as were the first 3 FaffCons. What we will actually do there is always a mystery and is at the whim of the participants. But with a list of seasoned pros and enough repeat Faffers who know the drill, the results of FaffCon 4 will be stimulating, motivating, inspiring and just plain fun.

But even more so, I will have a change to renew personal friendships that began at previous FaffCons, finally meet some virtual friends face-to-face and get to see people who I have gotten to know over the years at other conferences, workshops and gatherings.

So, if you are a working pro – and want a huge jump start to the 2nd Quarter of 2012, get over to FaffCon.com and get yourself registered!

It is part of the cost of doing business.

February 12, 2011

Thinking about FaffCon 2

Filed under: Announcements, Business, Techniques — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:03 pm

Just about 2-weeks now before FaffCon 2 – this time tagged with Electric Boogaloo – so I am trying to find appropriate clothes and platform boots. I do have a pair of macrame earrings from the 70’s so those are going into the suitcase.

The trip to Atlanta will be a double treat because prior to the weekend conference, I will be able to spend some time with a friend who moved there several years ago. Hope that it warms up a bit there over the next week or so!

No doubt, FaffCon 2 will have a completly different vibe* than the groundbreaking first unconference for working voiceover pros, but I am sure that information exchanged will be equally valuable – perhaps even greater in value because of the lessons learned. Prior attendees may be more prepared to lead and/or contribute to the posted sessions – and will be able to jump right into posting session topics and encouraging new attendees to do the same.

If you are on your way, be sure to pack those business cards, comfy clothes and an open mind. Stop by the FaffCon 2 website to check out the session ideas that have been posted so far – and add one or two of you own on topics you want to know more about. Or perhaps you have some special area of expertise you want to share. In that case, be prepared to lead a session! You actually don’t have to know a lot about something to lead – you can just start the conversation and moderate.

It really is free form chaos that somehow seems to work really well.

Safe travels all and see you on the 25th in Hot-lanta!

* Clarifying what I meant by “completely different vibe” – since there will be a different mix of people with different backgrounds and experiences and in a different place, the way everyone works together will simply be different. Perhaps the adverb “completely” is too strong a word. Yeah – too strong – let’s just go with different – but just as fun, just as informative, just as much of a bonding, growing experience as the first FaffCon.

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