Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Burning The Midnight Oil

Last night I did something I've never done...I shot a TV commercial in the middle of the night! My co-stars? A lovely lady named Greer and some animatronic swine.

I can't give too many details about the project just yet, but I thought I'd at least tell the story of my late night adventure.

It started at 8:45pm. That's when I got in my car to make the 30 minute drive to a town west of Charlotte. Remnants of Fay are providing some much needed rain to our area, and my rain gauge says my backyard alone has seen around 5 inches in the last few days. I drove slowly to my destination through tropical-like downpours.

I arrived just before 9:30pm, my call time. The reason for the overnight shoot was because we were filming in a restaurant during their off hours. One of the assistants helped me with my bags of clothes as we dodged giant rain puddles and a nice breeze that blew the water right into my face (despite an umbrella).

At 10pm, the make-up artist began trying to undo what Fay had done...and he had his work cut out for him! Once my co-star was made-up and ready (Greer, not the animatronic little beast), we began shooting. Since Greer and I are in every scene, we spent the next several hours repeating our lines as the camera caught us from every possible angle.

Now, I've shot more than a few commercials in my time, and this was the first time something horrible happened to me...the later it got- I simply could not remember my lines!! After the 2am hour struck, my brain shut off. Fortunately, I wasn't alone- the late night sleepies got Greer as well. I would mess up, and we'd start over...she'd mess up, and we'd start over. This happened for about 8 takes. Finally, we stood up- shook it off- and nailed the take they needed.

At about 3am, we broke for 'lunch'. Because the commercial takes place during the day, large spotlights had been set up outside to create the illusion of a sunny day. Sheets of paper were added to the windows to hide the massive amounts of rain falling outside. My body was completely confused. I'd been awake for 19 hours, yet it was sunny!

The shoot wrapped earlier than expected, and we were all on our way at about 4am. I called my husband as I drove home, knowing he would just have arrived at work. He kept me alert long enough to get me home safely, and I was sound asleep by 5am.

I've filmed desert scenes in 31 degree temps, I've stood in a huddle for 4 hours straight...but this was a shoot I will never forget! Despite extreme fatigue, we pulled it together and made it work (to quote Tim Gunn). The client was very happy, and we all can't wait to see the finished product!

As a funny side note...I'll let you in on a little secret about me. I am terrified of puppets, people in costumes, and things that move when they shouldn't. It's not something I'm proud of...but the Hamburgler at McDonald's seriously freaks me out! All that to say, this was my first experience acting with animatronics. I have no idea what my expressions will look like in the finished spot, but I sincerely hope my terror doesn't show! Keeping a smile on my face as a pile of silicone blinked, shed, and wrinkled it's nose may go down as one of my hardest assignments yet! I never told a soul on set about my little fear, lest it cause any unnecessary stress, but I guess it's ok to admit it now that we're done :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Adventure Continues

It's been 12 days since I returned home from LA, and I can only think of 2 words to describe those days...

Whirl. Wind.

OK, technically that would be one word, but it feels more appropriate to give each syllable it's due attention.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my husband and I have made the decision to relocate from Charlotte, NC to Tampa, FL. Things have moved at a lightning fast pace, and we are well on our way to making the transition!

After having our house repainted, and making a few upgrades here and there- we put the house on the market this past Tuesday. It had its first showing Wednesday, and its first offer Wednesday night. Seriously. We always knew it was a great house, and had a feeling it might go quickly- but...WOW! Of course, we've heard all the warnings and horror stories of 'today's market' so we are prepared for whatever may happen next. We are hopeful everything goes smoothly, and we will be able to take the next step- looking for our new home in Tampa!

Since this is a blog about all things voice over, I want to be sure I write about my experiences of trying to relocate a home studio while maintaining the same quality of service I've always provided.

Let me tell ya, it ain't easy. (Sorry, but this was a moment for a little west Texas lingo)

Throughout the past week, I have tried to call as many of my regular clients as possible to let them know about the move and what they can expect from me in the coming months. The wonderful thing about having a home studio, is that my work can truly go anywhere- so none of my clients had any concerns.

I did discover that it is impossible to work with a house full of painters, so that did put me 2 days behind. Not only are they noisy, but the paint fumes get into your throat and literally make it impossible to properly use your voice. Once the fumes cleared out, it was back to work. Only, the next step was staging and getting the house ready to go on the market. I managed to complete a couple of smaller jobs between packing keepsakes and pictures and moving furniture around- but it would be a lie to say I wasn't relieved that a larger project had been put on hold because the client took a vacation! I don't know how I would have completed it otherwise.

On Thursday I received a big audition from one of my agents, and was thankful for a few quiet hours that morning to record it. Now, keep in mind...I pride myself on always giving 100% to everything I do...but this time I really fell flat. After sending in the audition, I received an e-mail from the agent. The e-mail asked me if I could record it again, because I sounded sleepy! Oh no! That has never happened to me before, and after listening back to my audition- I completely agreed. Embarrassed, I re-did the audition and sent a thank you note for allowing me a second shot. It was a wake-up call that I can't let what is happening around me affect my work. Period.

On Friday, between taking calls from my realtor and waiting for an estimate from a moving company- I received a call asking if I could record some tags for a TV spot. Fortunately, I had a quiet house at that moment, and just enough time to make it happen. The client was happy with the finished product, which let me know I had officially beaten the 'sleepies'!

Now that the initial craziness of putting the house on the market is behind us, I finally have a week ahead of me devoted completely to getting lots of work done. I plan to spend today catching up on paperwork and uploading files to my ftp, and getting a solid night's rest tonight.

I'm also in the process of memorizing a script for an on-camera job I have Tuesday night (my call time is 9:30pm and we plan to finish around 6am- yikes!). It should be a blast to film. The next 2 weeks will be interesting as things progress with the move, as we are hoping to make the big transition sometime in the first week of October. I guess we'll see!

I'll be sure to keep you posted as things progress :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Next Adventure...

Before heading to LA and VOICE, I alluded in my blog to something 'big' going on at my house...

While many of you already know the 'news', I wanted to make it official on my blog as well. In the next month or two, my husband and I will be leaving our beloved state of North Carolina and heading south to Tampa, FL!

My husband, Chris Suchan, will be the new morning and noon meteorologist for Tampa Bay's 10 (CBS)! We are very excited about the move, and I know Chris is looking forward to his new role in Tampa. He will be heading down soon, and will likely have his first live show in early September. I will stay behind to fulfill a few work commitments and oversee the sale of our home (please send good thoughts for a fast sale!).

This will be the first time that I have had to pack up and move an entire studio, and I am hoping to make it as seamless as possible! Of course, I will blog about my experiences along the way, should they help someone else in their own move someday.

We are very sad to be leaving our dear friends in Charlotte, but are looking forward to making new friends and embarking on many new adventures!

Since returning from VOICE at 2am Wednesday morning, I have been doing my best to get back into the swing of things. I've hit a bump or two...actually six...painters that is! I was awaken Wednesday morning at 8am by six painters coming in to get the house ready to be put on the market. Trying to work through the commotion and paint fumes proved impossible, so I am glad that they were finished in a record 2 days! Tomorrow will be a catch up day for me, so I can free up the weekend for packing and cleaning out closets.

OK- onto other things!

I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to the Charlotte Observer and Vanessa Willis for an incredible article written about me and my VO business in Sunday's paper. Because I was in LA, I didn't get to see the article until I finally had a moment to sit down and read it while waiting for my plane at LAX. It is such a well-written piece, and is incredibly flattering. They even included a few photos of my home studio while I recorded! The timing is ironic with the new knowledge that I will be leaving Charlotte, but it just shows how great the VO business is...I can take it with me! Thank you once again to Vanessa, Robert, and everyone at the Charlotte Observer. You have been very good to me over the last 7 years.

On another note, if you are looking to buy a home in the Carolinas, I can help! No, not by selling you my own house (though- let me know if you are interested- hah!), but by guiding you through the Prudential Carolinas Realty website! Just go to and click on 'Tour Our Site' in the 'One Search' navigation bar. I will then pop up and explain the site! There are a total of 10 videos, and my feelings will be forever hurt if you don't sit through all 10. OK, not really :)

Finally, I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to James and Penny, the creators of VOICE. It was an incredible week filled with incredible connections, and new life-long friends. Thank you for keeping us inspired!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

VOICE 2008- Day Five

Currently, I am sitting at LAX waiting for my flight to take me back to North Carolina. I will spend most of the day on a plane, and won't arrive home until close to midnight my time. In the past hour, I've had to avoid the paparazzi as they chased some gorgeous blonde through the airport. She's now sitting a few feet from me in an airport coffee shop. Part of me wants to ask who she is, but most of me guesses she would prefer to just be left alone. A few minutes ago, I was approached by a woman wanting to know why young people wear high heels on airplanes. Sadly, since I'm a die-hard flip flop girl, I couldn't help her. Another young girl just sat down next to me and asked where I was headed. We talked a moment, she has been in LA for 6 months studying English and is headed back to her home in Mexico City. It occurs to me that the last hour pretty much sums up my time in LA...amazing people, amazing stories, a few strange and random moments...and lots of pictures!

Looking back over the past week, I am so thankful I made the decision to come to LA. I've been here many times before, but there was something special about this trip- something almost...magical.

I decided to sleep in a bit yesterday, as sleep is the one thing that has been missing this week! In the afternoon I headed to Studio City for a private class with Cynthia Songe. Cynthia's name jumped out at me about a month ago as I was looking online for coaches in the area. I'm someone who believes nothing is an accident, and I must always go with my gut. So, I contacted Cynthia who listened to my demos and agreed to drive down from her beach house for an hour session. Well, the hour was actually two hours (Cynthia was so kind to extend our session!), and we had a blast! Since she had already listened to my demos, she decided we should stay away from characters I'm used to voicing, and go for the characters no one would ever picture me voicing. It was wonderful practice, and reminded me to never shy away from a role- I'm more versatile that I give myself credit for!

As I was leaving the studio, Cynthia asked if I wanted to use the restroom before departing. I did, so we said our goodbyes and I went into a different section of the building. As I was leaving, the studio engineer Alex asked how my session went. I told him all about it, and he asked if I knew 'Chuck'? I didn't- so 'Chuck' and I spent a few minutes chatting. He was one of the most fun and completely cool people I've run across in a long time. He asked for my card so he could check out my demos online. Of course, I gave him one! As I was walking to my car, I looked down at the card he had handed me...the name? Chuck Doran!! That's when it hit me who Chuck was- he's a fantastic demo producer Nancy Wolfson had mentioned to me as someone to possibly produce my promo demo. Like I said, there are no accidents in this world, and it was a pleasure to meet Chuck face to face.

After that, I drove a few miles to Wally Wingert's house to tag along with him to his Bleach session. It was a pleasure to see the studio and meet Wendee Lee, the director of Bleach. We had several friends in common, and spent a few minutes chatting before Wally got down to business. Well, it is no doubt why Wally has the reputation as one of the best in the biz- it was incredibe how believable and in the moment his characters are. Plus, he's a total blast in the studio- so I can see why he's cast again and again!

Following that session, we drove to another Studio in Burbank so Wally could preview the trailer to a DVD project he's been working on. When I get home, I will be sure to post links to some of his work on YouTube...Wally is a genius!!

Afterward, we had dinner and I can say that Wally has forever changed the way I look at voice over. We discussed VO, unions, and voice matching. I'm keeping our conversation just between us- but Wally truly inspired me...I can't wait to get home and get to work! I still can't believe Wally took so much time out of his day to hang with me...he really has a heart of gold.

Before heading back to the hotel, I joined my dear friend Kyle Hebert for dessert...that ended up lasting over 2 hours! I caught Kyle up on the week, and took the time to congratulate him on all his success since moving to LA. I'm so proud of my Kyle!!!

I finally made it to bed about 1am, and got up this morning bright and early to get packed and head to the airport. I was shocked when I went to check my e-mail and had very kind notes from Joe Cipriano and Beau Weaver...have I mentioned how much I love this business? Well, I do.

Like I already said, this was a perfect week. I networked, I made new friends...and I find myself renewed in my own passions for voice over. What stuck out to me the most is how wonderful the people are in this business. Joe, Beau, Wally, etc, etc, do not need to take time out of their very successful careers to help others, yet they do. They give back, and I believe that's what makes them truly great.

My thanks to James, Penny, John Florian, Bobbin Beam, and a hundred others for your hard work...but especially for your friendship. Here's to VOICE 2009!

On a different note, while I was away in LA- my local paper, the Charlotte Observer wrote a feature on me in Sunday's paper. It can be found online at (I'll link to it when I get home) My HUGE thanks to the Observer and Vanessa Willis for such a wonderful article!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

VOICE 2008- Day Four

I made a goal this week to blog every night before bed. I almost made it! Unfortunately, I was just too tired to even see the keyboard last night!

Yesterday began for me when I attended a session with Joyce Castellanos. Joyce is a promo and trailer VO expert, and I was really interested in hearing more about voicing promos. Joyce is one of the sweetest, most wonderful people I've ever met. You would never guess her incredible knowledge of the industry until she starts to speak! Joyce defined the main differences between voicing promos and voicing trailers (promos are more personal, the VO must have an emotional connection to the story and speak with a broader band of inflection, while trailers are more objective with less inflection). She spoke on the differences between comedy, dramady, and dramas. She also said that if you want to get into promo VO, research is your best friend. The more you can research the different types of shows, the better the chance of understanding the script when it is handed to you. Some of my favorite advice Joyce gave was that all scripts are stories, with a beginning, middle, and end. When doing voice over, you must commit completely to your decisions, but be willing to change with direction.

Sadly, since no time had been given for lunch, I had to miss Larry Maizlish's session. Instead, I ran to the food court for a wonderful lunch with Bob and Eric Souer, Bobbin Beam, Chris Rollins, and several other VO's.

When we returned, we met up with Caryn Clark to stake our claim for a front table during Joe Cipriano's promo panel...and what a panel it was!! Joining Joe was Paul Pape, Kat Cressida, Melissa Disney, Beau Weaver, Stew Herrera, and Townsend Coleman. A funny moment happened when Don LaFontaine tried to call in, and no one had a phone with good enough reception to talk to him! The panel was fun and informative to say the least! At the end, I got up to ask a question...I was curious about the one job they each had wanted but it got away. Beau answered, saying if he thought too much about it- he would go crazy. So, he always just let's it go once the audition is sent.

After the panel, I ran back to the hotel for a quick change and headed back for the celebrity banquet. Caryn Clark and I were joined by our dates for the evening, Bob and Eric Souer. Dinner was great, though we had a good laugh when my vegetarian meal looked like a pie crust, fortunately, it was a veggie pot pie and quite delicious! A magician warmed up the crowd, and then Dick Orkin and Christine Coyle took the stage along with James and Penny for an interview. It was a lot of fun, but did run a little long. Afterward, Caryn and I headed upstairs for a cocktail before calling it a night.

Since I have a session today with Cynthia Songe, and am tagging along with Wally Wingert to a VO session, followed by dinner with my dear friend Kyle Hebert- I opted to sleep in and call this a great ending to a successful conference!

Hopefully Pat Fraley will understand :) Something tells me his session this morning was packed and full of fun! I will be sure to blog about today's happenings before heading back to North Carolina. In fact, I've already booked up the rest of the week with work when I return...hope I'm able to catch up on sleep while flying home tomorrow!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

VOICE 2008- Day Three...and a Half

As I sit down to write out my thoughts and experiences of the's dawned on me that I actually have to flip back through my program to remember where I've been today! Sad. But- it was another incredible day at VOICE!

My first session today was with my voice coach, and branding extraordinaire- Nancy Wolfson! Nancy can explain branding, and the importance of good branding like no one else. It was fun to watch the faces of the folks around me as they 'got it' (Nancy is responsible for my branding, FYI). Nancy talked about the importance of having a strong commercial VO core before plopping down tons of money on branding. Find out who you are as a voice artist and as a person, then hire a professional to guide you through the branding process. By targeting exactly what your sound is, and what you offer- you avoid confusing the consumer by being too broad and all-inclusive. She used cereal boxes to help demonstrate the point. You wouldn't want to open a box of Cocoa Puffs only to find it packed with wheat bran, would you? Same with voice over. Don't put up pictures of rainbows and unicorns on your website if you have a deep, rock and roll sound. Just because you like it, doesn't mean it's 'you'. She also had a variety of t-shirts and we went around the room finding the perfect voices that matched the shirts. I was matched to an adorable pink and purple girly t-shirt with sparkly stars. Not only did it match my voice- it's pretty cute!

After lunch with 'the girls', I attended the session with Randy Thomas. She spoke about the imprtance of dreams, and how being willing to let life guide you can take you to new heights. She was joined by Ariel Ford who taught us how to meditate in such a way as to bring about positive thoughts and feelings, which can help jump start positive changes in your life. Martha Quinn (original MTV VJ) was also there and spoke of her journey through the business. It was a wonderful session, and truly inspiring!

Following Randy's session was a panel with Bob Bergen, several LA agents, and casting directors. They spoke about their perspectives on the VO biz and took several questions from the audience- great stuff!

The last session of the day was one I had really been looking forward to. It was the profesisonal's panel with Peter Rofe. Also on the panel was Terri Apple, Rob Sciglimpaglia, David Guzzone, Keith Arem, and more! But- the man I had really been looking forward to meeting was VO talent, producer, writer, etc, etc- Wally Wingert! Wally does voices on Family Guy, Garfield, and many many more. ( The panel took lots of questions from the audience, and gave out great advice. Following the panel, I hung around with my friends September Day Leach and Caryn Clark, waiting for a chance to speak to Wally. He couldn't have been a more humble, wonderful human being!! No one would ever guess the amount of credits on this guy's resume by the way he instantly draws everyone to him. No ego at all!! He even went so far as to invite a few of us at the panel over to his house to have some pizza! So, we drove to Studio City (thank goodness for the rental car) and got to tour Wally's museum...ahem, house. He has autographed and collectibly EVERYTHING! He has letters written to him by Andy Kaufman, Adam West (a good friend of his) and just about every celebrity you can imagine. He also collects movie memorabilia, his place is just too incredible to describe! When Wally found out I had done anime, he invited me to sit in on his next Bleach session this Monday- you better believe I'm gonna be there!!

So, it was another successful, exhausting, overwhelming, fabulous day!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

VOICE 2008- Day Two

Between you and me, I considered putting this post off until tomorrow, as I'm just plain beat from another amazing day! But, I figured it best to put pen to paper..ahem, fingers to keys while the memories were still somewhat fresh in my brain!

The day began at 8am. I received a phone call from my local newspaper with some follow-up questions to an article being written (details to come on Sunday!). Then, I had some other work to take care sadly, I missed both morning sessions at VOICE. Dagummit!

I arrived at the Hyatt at noon, and joined Bobbin Beam, Rick Reid, and a few other voice actors for a quick lunch. After some chit-chat, I went to my first session with Gabrielle Nistico from Voice Hunter. She spoke about the ins and outs of radio imaging. It was truly fascinating, and incredibly informative! Sitting next to me was Rick Party from the VO Universe, an imaging VO extraordinaire! I kept looking over to him for his reaction to Gabby's presentation. It was awesome to see him mouth, 'she's REALLY good' over and over :) I wish I could write out everything she taught, but honestly- there was so much info, it would take me the rest of my time in LA! One of the points she did discuss is the time frame to use when marketing to radio stations. She said most imaging contracts are up in the 4th and 1st quarter of the year, therefore- target most of your marketing in the 3rd and 2nd quarters, just before they are looking for voices. She also showed us how ad-libbing in radio imaging can really raise your value with a station. Great stuff all around!!

After an intermission, I attended the session with Richard Horvitz. My friend and voice coach, Nancy Wolfson had mentioned that Richard's session would be right up my alley, and she was correct!! Richard is so full of life, and really had everyone waiting on the edge of their seats to see what he would say next! It was such a fun session! Richard discussed his daily mantra, "I am enough because I am a human being". I think I will be borrowing that from him! My other favorite thing he mentioned is that there is no right or wrong way to do voice over...only a healthy and un-healthy way. Meaning, if we spend our time second guessing ourselves, or talking ourselves down...we will never be as great as we could be. He was such an inspiration!! After the session, I took a quick photo with Richard and spent some time chatting- what a great guy! I plan to make it back to LA at some point to study with him further.

After the final session of the day, I ran upstairs to check e-mail. While trying to figure out why the wireless internet wasn't working, I ran into Bob Bergen and Deb Munro who were headed to dinner with Marc Cashman, John Taylor, Stefan Chinell, Steven from Audio Technica, and a few others. They were kind enough to invite me along, so I decided it was a great time for some food and great company! Bob had to leave during the meal to attend the AFTRA evening panel. The rest of us chatted, ate, and had a wonderful time. Following dinner, I snuck into the AFTRA panel, where the voice cast from the long-time series "Land Before Time" were speaking. It was wonderful!

At the panel, I ran into Caryn Clark, who was coming back from dinner with Randy Thomas and Peter Rofe. We all hopped over to the bar for a drink and a chat before calling it a night. Peter is a hoot! I can't wait for his panel on Sunday! I've already let him know that he simply must introduce me to Wally Wingert :)

Needless to say, it was another fantastic day here in LA! I'm exhausted (again) but looking forward to tomorrow!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

VOICE- Day One

Well, it's finally here- the VOICE conference is officially in full swing- and what an event this is shaping up to be!

Let me start from the beginning of this amazing day...Since I was still on east coast time, I woke up around 5am and struggled to lay in bed until 7am. Just before 8am, my phone rang and it was my friend and fellow voice actor Caryn Clark. Since she is very close friends with Randy Thomas (voice of the Oscars, Emmys, Hooked on Phonics, The Insider, ET- and everything else you can think of!), she had been invited by Randy to visit the LA set of The Insider and ET. Caryn and I had made plans to tour LA today, so Caryn asked Randy if I could come along. She said yes!!

So, we arrived at Paramount Studios around 10am and went to the set to watch Randy record the voice over for that day's shows. It was an incredible process to watch. I learned a ton, and developed even more respect for Randy than I already had, which I didn't think possible! We had lunch on the lot, and then Randy took us to the new set of The Insider and ET over at the Studio City lot. While there, we met Kevin Frazier who couldn't have been nicer. It was a great day!

Once we got back to the Hyatt, we registered for VOICE. In the lobby we ran into September Day Leach, Terry Daniel, and Erik Shepard. I ran back to my hotel for a quick shower before the red carpet event.

The red carpet event began at 6pm. The first person I recognized was Beau Weaver as we arrived at about the same time. We chatted a bit, and then went downstairs to where the event was held. I saw Pat Fraley, Bob Bergen, Melissa Disney, Joe Cipriano, and old pals like Bobbin Beam, Julie Williams, Larry Wayne, Bob Souer (and his son Eric), Nina Baeza, Dave Courvosier, Gabby from Voice Hunter...honestly- this list can go on and on and was nearly 3 hours of meeting, greeting, chatting, laughing, networking...and lots of other 'ings'. Really, it was so wonderful to see old friends, new friends, and soon to be friends!

When my feet could take no more, my long-time friend Kyle Hebert, Caryn, fellow anime voice actor John, and I went down to the XBar for some food (since they only serve apetizers, we ordered about 6-7 different ones to make a meal). Kyle and I told lots of stories from our days working together at Radio Disney, probably boring Caryn and John to pieces! It was a great cap off to a great evening.

However, even having met tons of people, I know there were many I missed- so I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend and the chance to meet even more people!

As I stood outside waiting for my car at the end of the night, a guy asked me what I was in LA for. I told him a conference for voice actors. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was...a voice actor. He asked if he had heard my voice and I rattled off a small bit of my VO resume. He stood shaking his head, and finally said, "I really like the Simpsons". I told him I had recently won a contest for the best Lisa Simpson sound-a-like. As my rental Kia pulled up and stopped, I had to admit, "and yet clearly...that's nothing compared to being the real thing..."

So here's to a great weekend and making that one connection that earns me at least a rental Honda by VOICE 2009!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

VOICE 2008- Day Zero

Since VOICE doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, I decided to label this 'Day Zero' as it is my first day of this trip.

It began at 5:45am EDT when I woke up and finished packing for my 8:40am flight out of Charlotte. The flight was delayed, making my connection in Atlanta a rather tight one! Fortunately, I made the plane, and despite the passenger seated near me smelling like cat urine- it was a rather harmless flight. I must say, I am oh-so impressed with the cool new touch screens in the seats! I killed the four hour trip by watching re-runs of Curb Your Enthusiasm and some awful movie starring Ashton Kutcher.

I arrived in LA around 1pm, and grabbed a rental car to head to my hotel. I am not staying at the Hyatt where VOICE is being held- I'm just down the road at the Marriott. It's quite nice!

After a quick bite to eat and check of e-mail, I headed over to Nancy Wolfson's house for a private session. I've been studying with Nancy over the phone for about a year now, and this was my first time meeting her face to face. My first impression was that she is really beautiful! I would kill for that bone structure...but I digress. She is as dynamic, informative, and fun in person as she is over the phone. We worked on mic technique- and I really learned a lot! In fact, I'm anxious to put my new 'stance' into practice when I return!

When I got back to the hotel, I gave my friend and fellow voice actor, Caryn Clark, a call. She also arrived in LA today, and we agreed to meet for dinner. It's always fun to see the 'face behind the voice' and we had a great evening!! In fact, we've already made plans to hit Rodeo Drive and the pool tomorrow :). Since the Marriott is only about a half mile from the Hyatt, I decided to walk. I don't think I'll do that again. The distance is fine, but these are big streets and the cars everywhere scared me! Plus, it's never wise to walk alone at I'll just have to pay the extra parking fees at both hotels. Oh well.

All in all it was a great first...ahem, zero-eth day! Since it is now around 9pm on the Pacific coast- that means my body thinks it is just after midnight. I am exhausted! I am so tired in fact, that I don't even plan to double check this post for mis-spellings and gramatical appologies!

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's red carpet event, and I'm really wishing I had had the time to get that pedicure I so desperately need. Oh well, hopefully no one will look at my feet.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Headed to VOICE

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me to say the least...the details of which I will delve into in blogs to come.

However, in my immediate future I will be heading to LA for my second VOICE conference. 2007 was a huge success, and I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones again this year.

I fly out this Wednesday, and am really excited to finally meet my long-time voice coach and friend, Nancy Wolfson, in person. I've scheduled a private lesson with Nancy just hours after my plane arrives in LA. Then, it's off to the hotel for a bit of rest before the festivities begin on Thursday evening with the red carpet party.

I'm planning to attend sessions with Nancy, Gabriele Nistico from Voice Hunter (you can check out my new Voice Hunter page here!), Chris M. Allport, Julie Williams, Randy Thomas, Joyce Castellanos, Larry Maizlish, and of course all of the keynote speakers and panel guests! I'm also very excited about meeting some of the people I've previously only known online.

Here's the best part, John Florian from Voice Over Xtra has assembled what he calls his 'Dream Team' of bloggers to fill everyone in on the week's festivities. You will be able to read about VOICE from 5 different perspectives (including John's). I am very honored that I have been asked to be one of the contributors, along with Bob Souer, Dave Courvoisier, and Bobbin Beam.

You can read more about it here...and be sure to check the front page of Voice Over Xtra starting this Wednesday and going through Monday. Whether you are at the conference, or you are unable to attend, I hope you'll take a few moments to read the blogs and tell us about your experiences as well!

On a side note, I alluded at the beginning of this post to having a hectic week outside of heading to VOICE. I'll be going into details when I get back from LA, but thought I would share an amusing story in the meantime...

As I was sitting at my computer this evening printing out scripts and checking e-mail, I heard a scratching sound behind my desk. Looking around, I noticed that my dog and two cats were all accounted for, so no- it wasn't coming from them. I heard it again, and immediately ripped everything out from under the table to get a good look and saw...nothing. Then it happened again, so I grabbed a flashlight and alerted my husband that there was clearly a rat under my desk and it was probably going to eat through all the cables of my recording gear. He reminded me that we have two cats, and it was unlikely that a mouse was living in my studio. Then, I heard it again- and with my nerves rocked to the core, I began to pull the desk (computer, mic-pre, MBox and all) away from the wall. That's when I saw movement...

No, it wasn't a mouse or a rat or a vermin of any was a piece of paper in the printer that had come out slightly crooked and was scratching against another paper each time the air conditioner hit it.

The moral of the story? In between sessions at VOICE, you most likely will find me relaxing by the pool with a lovely umbrella is time for a vacation!