Tag Archive for Paul Strikwerda

Thanks For Sharing

thank you noteI want to take a moment and publicly thank all of the many people whose advice and thoughts have contributed to this blog. Many of my thoughts and ideas are personally spun iterations of common topics-we all deal with the same issues, and it does no harm for there to be more helpful literature out there. I hope that my take on things has been useful or educational to my readers-that’s my goal here. I want to continue to do so for years to come. 🙂

If I were to list every single person, this would be an awfully long post! Anyone who doesn’t get a personal mention rates no less thanks from me-these are just a small selection, in no particular order.

Misty Ellis- my best friend, and the subject of the post What Starbucks Taught Me About Customer Service, you always have a good thought or insight on things, and your customer service and dedication to what you do are amazing, as always.

Lauren McCullough & Talmadge Ragan– you guys were two of the folks who encouraged me to start writing this in the first place, thank you!

Bob Souer– Where would this list be without my Dad? He’s often given me ideas, direction, and writing advice. It’d be a different blog without him.

Paul Strikwerda– At Faffcon 3 where I got the inspiration to start this blog, Paul gave me a lot of thoughtful advice on direction, overarching goals, and a lot of his time in order to do so. 🙂 He continues to be one of my favorite content providers, and an interesting and thought provoking writer.

Derek Chappell– I met Derek at Faffcon 2, and we have since shared a lot of social media interaction. He is a great person to follow on social media, as he makes a point to share and retweet helpful content. I often seek him out when looking for good content to share, or for thoughtful inspiration for my own writing.

Amy Snively– Well, as most know, Amy created Faffcon. Without Faffcon, not only would this blog, but my business would not exist. She’s been a wonderful and caring friend since the first time we met, and has offered me tremendous encouragement and help in many areas.

Voice Awards Controversy

Lots of words have been written recently about the First Annual Voice Arts Awards. You can see their site and pretty much all the details of the ceremony and how it’s done at the presenting organization, SOVAS. (Society of Voice Arts and Sciences.) Voice Over Xtra has run a recent article interviewing Rudy Gaskins, one of the founders of the ceremony. VO Xtra has also covered other aspects of the organization, the why’s and wherefores, and so on. SOVAS has gotten press in quite a few places. They’re covered in everything from industry to Yahoo.

The reaction of the voice over community has been pretty evenly split into two camps. Some folks think this is awesome–that it’s a great investment, and a wonderful idea for an integral segment of the entertainment industry that has long gone under appreciated to finally have something to call it’s own. The other side basically sees this as being a ‘pay to play’ situation–the (few hundred dollars) entry fees being just another way to pay for exposure of your work and talents to…well, whom? They see paying to enter yourself in for an award that you’d win as self congratulatory at best.

Paul Strikwerda, the wonderful Nethervoice has penned his opinion, which covers both camps, and although he has a fair number of reservations, he says that rather than giving final judgement, we should perhaps give them a chance.

I’m not going to come down on either side of the fence. I can see both sides. Personally, I think the idea is great–why not create something to honor the hard work we all do? However, it’s the execution that has me wondering.

Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins are known as the founders of the That’s Voiceover! Career expo. The number and quality of ‘famous names’ that they have as part of their endeavors is not small. With all these heavyweight people, what I’d like to know is why they’re coming at the awards ceremony concept from this direction–putting the cost and entry on voice talent.

To clarify, Joan and Rudy and their associates know loads of voice over hirers. They know advertising agencies. They are obviously capable of getting a reasonable amount of press for their endeavor. Why not approach those people that they know in the hiring and advertising camps, and persuade THEM that this is a great idea? If the hirers were entering, perhaps in an exchange for some advertising discounts, free press, the cachet of getting in on something new, then the ceremony would move beyond just the community and become something bigger and more profound. Lots of press and notice these days is given to recognizing the ‘little guy’. Those are the stories that often go viral.

Of course companies CAN enter, and I’m sure that some of them will! But the visible effort is being focused on the community itself, not on the folks who hire them. Rather than come to voice talent and say, “Hey, pay to enter this thing and be recognized!” Instead say, “Hey, these names and companies that hire you recognize this thing we’re doing, talk to your clients and tell them about how great it would be if you entered!”

In summation, I think Joan and Rudy and their organization has a great deal of potential. But the way it’s being presented, the way that it’s put together means that most of us would not go beyond congratulating ourselves if we won, and that we have to take their entire (unproven) premise of the value on faith. Perhaps, instead of asking if voice talents deserve their own ceremony, we should be asking should voice talents have to pay for something else to be recognized?

Blogger Profile: Nethervoice

paul sOne of my first memories of Paul Strikwerda is the interesting Faffcon session he gave quite a while ago on blogging. He caught our attention right away, as he started the presentation in Dutch, making everyone say ‘huh’? unanimously. His presentation, just like his blog had great information, and I took copious notes.

Later that same Faffcon, I confided my ambitions to start a blog to Paul, and he gave me a lot of advice on how to promote myself, things that I could aim for as far as publishing, and the places that a blog could potentially take me. His blog, Nethervoice, is a well known staple of the voice over community. He started in 2009, and has written hundreds of posts since. They cover a wide range of topics, gear reviews, advice, discussions about coaching, professionalism, social media, pay to plays, and other things. He has recently announced a new book, Making Money in Your PJ’s and has been tantalizing his readers with glimpses and the beginnings of a social media campaign to promote the book. Paul is always an interesting read, oftentimes a challenging one, and someone you should make time for in his twice weekly posts.

2012 NYC Mixer Highlights

Since so many people enjoyed my Faffcon 5 Diary, I decided to write a post of my favorite highlights of the 2012 NY Mixer, so here you are!

-Starting my day while the moon was still up
-My epic taxi and two bus trip to the airport-I got to see a really great sunrise!
-Randomly being gate neighbors with Diane Merritt, despite flying at different times to different airports and via different airlines.
-My enthusiastic welcome and lovely NJ tour from Liz de Nesnera
-Hanging out with Liz and Melissa at her house
-Dinner at Hurleys Irish Pub with a whole bunch of people, several of whom I had not seen in some time, like Kelley Buttrick and Linda Ristig, and meeting a couple new friends.
-Attending Lauren McCullough‘s Birthday Party and getting glitterpated from the box that she gave me a Voxy Lady ornament in.


-Having an outfit sharing moment and morning Yerba Mate with Melissa
-Liz and Melissa calling me serene-like Dad
-Melissa hearing a radio traffic report wrong (I have been told to add ‘as usual’ here.) and calling the reporter and telling him this.
-Having lunch at Mustang Harry’s with many friends and meeting some more new people, and our Heroic Waitress.
-Leather coat feminist soliloquy man (this sounds cryptic, but completely describes him!)
-Changing at Bish‘s airBnB apartment and seeing the interesting old building and the history therein.
-Arriving at the mixer and seeing everyone all dressed up.
-The enjoyment of the ‘voiceover christmas party’ where everyone is so happy to get out and see each other and meet new friends. (And yet more folks I’ve not seen in long while–like Paul Strikwerda.)
-The afterparty at the Green Square Tavern
-Walking to the after after party wine bar Tom Dheere found with Trish Basanyi and Jordan Reynolds.
-Falling asleep leaning on the bar while everyone was wine tasting.
-Having an interesting business and Faffcon discussion with Liz, Melissa and Bish at 2:30am in his airBnB apartment.
-Walking through New York City at 3am. (Because I can say I have done this now!)

It is such an honor to be a part of the Voxy Ladies, and I really enjoyed attending the mixer as part of the group. (They even let me in the photos even though I’m not technically voxy!) Last week I posted about the countdown to the 12 days to VOXmas that we were doing, but now the 12 days are actually here, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you where to go to learn all about it here. The prizes for the raffle are amazing and so generous on the part of the sponsors, and for such a great cause! For everyone who attended, thanks for making the last one of the best!

Since next week the deadlines are stacked pretty high for me, I’m going to skip two weeks to my next post, the Avalanche Killer.


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