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 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/276/story/114530.html (I'll link to it when I get home) My HUGE thanks to the Observer and Vanessa Willis for such a wonderful article!!!!