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 on...it 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!