This year I had the great joy of attending several conferences. I presented at OneVoice USA and at MAVO and I was an attendee of Johny Heller’s New England Narrator’s retreat. As a presenter at OneVoice, I sat on a Demos panel with some of the people I look up to most in the industry, including Anne Ganguzza, Clif Zellman, and J. Michael Collins. In addition with being in such good company, I try to pick up public speaking tips as well. At MAVO, I attended sessions of other industry greats like Michael Scott, and I took note of his presentation style. I also spent a lot of time talking to Joe Cipriano, who I have looked up to for many years, and learned a tremendous amount from him.
At Johnny Heller’s workshop, as an attendee, I was able to spend all my time honing my narration skills. It was nice to be able to just participate and be amongst my peers. While I did also want to network with the publishers in attendance, my primary focus was learning about the different genres and developing my skill set. The time away from my booth felt like such an indulgence and I came away feeling inspired and like I did, indeed, learn a lot.
On Awards Nominations:
This year I was nominated for a Signal award for an ensemble podcast cast that I have been part of for several years for PJ library. I also personally only submitted to the OneVoice Awards. My demo partner, All Systems GO AV, and I were elated to snag a nomination for one of the demos we did, an eLearning demo for the super talented Dallas based John Guccion. I also earned a nomination in the bloopers category which was good fun. While we didn’t take home any statues this year, I will say it really meant a lot to be in such good company and it was for sure a highlight of the year.
My coaching business has continued to thrive. As a former teacher, I really love helping people work on the voice over skills and grow their businesses. I am very passionate about my coaching and often I wake up super early in the morning with enthusiasm for my lesson plans. A lot of the people I coach have met me at conferences, and it means a lot to get to work with them afterwards. I genuinely want to help each and every coaching student, so this aspect of my 2023 work has been very meaningful.
On Travel with VO Friends:
This summer I got to go on a trip to Canada with the gals in my VO accountability group! We had been talking about going away together since before Covid. We had so many ideas, but really, the most important detail was that we were all included and beyond that everything else was secondary. To have this time together to bond and to reflect was so meaningful. We are all exceptionally close, and this trip was as wonderful as can be.
On Getting Sick and Working Through It:
Immediately after the Canada get away I got a really, really bad stomach bug. It started in late July and lasted until late October. I was profoundly ill and they did not realize that it was a food born bacterial infection until I had been suffering for several months. I was so sick when I went to OneVoice that I had to bring my son with me to help, and he was immensely helpful. I was frankly thankful I could get through my sessions. I missed uncle Roy’s BBQ which was so upsetting. I was a mess. By the time they figured out what it was I was beginning to worry I would never get better. Never was a girl so thankful for antibiotics!
On Working While Kids are in College
2023 marks the second year of working while my twins are away. While you would think I have unlimited time and could simply do as I please, having the twins in college presents new challenges. When they call I feel that I need to drop everything to tend to their immediate needs. I also certainly block days from my calendar to visit, whether it is a Friday print to parent’s weekend or a Monday post-conference. This time is precious and my fear is that it is fleeting. So while the day to day life may be freer, they certainly take up large chunks of time still. Also, when they are home, I do try to black my schedule and limit my coaching so that they have my undivided attention. I have also noticed I need to remind them of the “rules” when there are live sessions, as if they never new them. They seem to have forgotten about staying quiet or keeping away from the space over my studio. It’s funny how these things can be un-learned.
I always to people thinking about voice over that it is a marathon not a sprint, and 2023 felt like I jus kept marching along, doing my thing. Do you remember the children’s board game Candyland? I lot of times I feel like that is my life, I’m just on this sweet ride, winding around the board, wondering where I’ll land next, trying to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the people I meet along the way and the ride that I am on!