Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

July 23, 2011

Today’s ROI Wasn’t About Money

Filed under: Business, Musings — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:20 pm

Had a yard sale today at my mom’s house in preparation for her move to an Assisted Living Community. She is very excited actually and chatters non-stop about it to anyone who will listen. This is actually good news, of course. Two and a half years ago, this wasn’t even on the radar of options. Frankly, 5 months ago, this wasn’t something that she would consider.

But after a few months of a home share situation – with a house mate who helped her with medication reminders and getting dinners, she learned two things – that she needed help – and that she didn’t like sharing her house. All that strange food in the refrigerator! And just which bar of soap was hers!

So next week we do the final move of the heavy items to her new apartment in La Mesa California, just down the road from wonderful Lake Murray. The dog Max already has new friends at Oakdale Heights – Sparky lives directly across the hall and Ginger a few doors down. Not sure where Cody lives yet. I imagine I will eventually learn their owner’s names, but you know how it is with dog people – we always learn the dog’s names first.

Where was I? Oh, yes…yard sale. So, today I loaded up a market umbrella from my back yard and arrived at my mom’s around 6:30 AM. Hauled out three large bookshelves from the garage and loaded them with books and sheet music. Then put out clothes, Xmas items, glassware, knick knacks, linens, miscellaneous small pieces of furniture and settled in for the morning.

I really didn’t advertise much – just a listing in Craig’s List – and didn’t put up any signs on the street, so it was pretty much drive by’s and walk by’s by neighbors. Not sure what I expected in the way of sales, but we ended up clearing a meager $160. Which, after subtracting what was my stuff and what was mom’s, I think I wasn’t even close to making minimum wage.

But it wasn’t about money – it was about moving forward and getting even more comfortable with the decision. It is a big move for someone as independent as my mom has been her entire life. We had some wonderful chats with the neighbors about the move. Discussed music. Made new friends. Let the dogs do some sniffing.

We’ll be filling up the Cruiser with the small things and taking them out to Oakdale all this coming week, with the big move on Saturday. Then another period of adjustment as she gets settled in – which should time nicely with FaffCon in September.

It’s not always about money. It never has been. But sometimes we simply don’t remember that and push aside the other things in life that bring a nice return.

Here’s to my mom and her decision. May she find that balance she needs between independence and assistance. Now, please forgive me, but I need to run. There is one little job that I really should do yet today.


January 24, 2010

VO Explained in 5 Minutes

Filed under: Teaching — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 10:29 am

This isn’t new, but I ran across the clip on the Working Voice Actor group on LinkedIn this morning.

Blair Hardman explains everthing you need to know about voiceover – and one thing you don’t – in 5 minutes. It’s accurate and funny.


October 15, 2009

Casting Reality in the 00’s

P2P is here to stay. Well, it’s here now and is such a “new” reality that no one really knows where it will evolve. But as with anything new, there are lots of growing pains – for everyone involved.

I’ve linked to the Double Dutch Blog before (Paul Strikwerda) because he pretty much always has something interesting to say and the past few days he has been blogging about P2P sites – low balling rates, etc.

One question that he has been asked prompts me to respond here. Here is the question – “How about the unions? Isn’t it their job to deal with remuneration? If you’re so unhappy with the current rates or the lowballing bidders, why not join AFTRA?”

Simple answer? Yes, the unions have established scale rates if you are so lucky as to get a job under a union contract. However, AFTRA has never been able to get you work. That is up to you.

If you join AFTRA and there are no signatories to work for you earn NOTHING. AFTRA will suggest that you wait tables to make ends meet. Even if there are signatories and union castings, we are performers – in a very subjective business. We are not carpenters who can stand in line at the union hall and get the next job.  

Times are tough – I had a retail client a few months back ask me to roll back my prices a bit. This is a long time regular monthly client, so I agreed to a temporary roll back. I’ve lost a few jobs recently because my prices were too high. Am I tempted to cut my rates? Yes. Will I? That depends on the job. If I do, does that mean that the cut is then permanent? Hard to know the answer to that isn’t it and probably the primary reason that I usually say no to a lower rate.

Everyone is sensative to the economy right now. Even some agents are apologizing for lower than normal rates when asking for auditions. While I don’t know this for a fact (and if someone does, please chime in one way or the other), I would imagine that most of the “almost” stars – the over-scale actors – are finding that the rates they are being offered is not quite as good as it once was.

Create a free website or blog at