As I sit here on my flight reflecting on my amazing weekend in Dallas, TX for the first-ever USA version of the OneVoice Conference, I am struck by how wonderful the weekend really was and how glad I am that I made the trip. From the opening ceremonies, J. Michael Collins and the Gravy for the Brain team set the tone that as a voice over community we are all better together and we are truly OneVoice. JMC made us feel inspired and proud. Having shout-outs for my panels and my own participation in the panels I was in meant so much to me personally. The entire weekend was tremendous. We enjoyed time with friends, educational panels, a beautiful black-tie gala with star announcers, and time to explore Dallas. I left feeling like I did what I came to do.
From the start, I planned to attend the OneVoice with my “VO Family,” my closest industry friends. Outside that super tight circle, many who I love were attending as well. When I say this, I mean the people that you wish you saw all the time and could see in person regularly. Just the fact that I have so many friends like this at the conference is a blessing. On top of that, I made new friends that I hope that I keep in touch with! At events like this, you just click with people.
I am so proud that I got to present on two panels, both of which were on the main stages and both were streamed internationally. The first panel was “How to Build a Kickass Career With a Powerhouse Accountability Group.” It sounds like a long name but we had a lot to get in. I was on the panel with my actual accountability partners and besties Shelley Avellino, Diana Birdsall, Michelle Blenker, and Dearbhla Trainer. Melanie Murphy was the amazing moderator. Two members of our group did not participate for personal reasons. The panel was great. We got to interact with a lot of the audience and speak to a lot of attendees afterward. I felt like we got our message across, which is that as much as you think you can accomplish alone, you will do so much better in the group!
The other panel that I was on was OneVoice’s first-ever Radio Imaging panel. I was so excited to be the only woman on this panel, and my other panelists are pretty impressive including the legendary AJ McKay, Brent “Staxx” Williams from Z100 in NYC, and SOVAS winner Paul Cartwright. This panel was both fun and informative and it went really fast.
I think I literally talked for four days straight. From meals to coffees to sessions to talking in between sessions, the “catching up” just went on and on. Whether we were networking or just being friendly, not a moment was wasted. As a working mom, I felt bad because every time my kids called I was with someone. Many of my friends made even more time for schmoozing than I did, as they were able to stay up for events like the fiesta which was after my bedtime.
One Voice 21 in Texas
While the conference in and of itself would have sufficed, I actually got to see a little of the Dallas area too! One night I had dinner with my besties out in Grapevine. Historic Grapevine is a quaint and thriving town with oodles of personality. We are in a fun place that had chili that was way too hot for this Jersey girl and got to explore the area. We also got to see McKinney, where Diana Birdsall lives. We went out to eat, went shopping, and had boozie ice cream, which is apparently a thing! I got chocolate liqueur sorbet since I don’t eat dairy. I loved McKinney. The town was beautiful and had a warmth and sophistication that I was not expecting. It reminded me of mainline towns in Philly where I am from. I was so glad to have more time with my friends, too.
OneVoice 21 Hopes
Somehow leaving home and wearing actual clothing instead of gym clothes for several consecutive days does something to your psyche that you didn’t know you needed until it happens. Being present got my wheels turning in so many ways. It already has me thinking about future conferences and how I can contribute. It has me thinking about my role in the industry. I was also left with a yearning to keep in touch. I spend a lot of time as a voice over coach helping people refine their goals and shape their focus. As I enthusiastically look forward, I need to think about what my goals really are for myself and what I need to do to get there.