FaffCon 3: the Voice-Over “Un-Conference”

This weekend, I attended the voice-over “unconference,” FaffCon 3 in Harrisburg, PA, along with 100 other professional voice talents from the US and Canada, plus Scotland, Tokyo, and Australia. Now, if you look at the dates of my blog posts you will notice that I haven’t posted since April. Honestly I have been very busy with work (I’m not complaining). FaffCon 3 was just what I needed to get myself “unstuck.” It was THE best thing I have done to improve my business in years.


An “unconference” is a relatively new concept. Rather than having paid guest speakers (who usually have a book and DVD set to hawk…), this was “By the Talent, For the Talent.” Anyone could sign up to lead a breakout session on the topic of their choice, even if they were not an expert on it. So some sessions, for example “Branding and Marketing” were led by a VO marketing genius like Doug Turkel (“The Unnouncer”), others were led by someone who was simply willing to lead the conversation. This was a very talented, generous, and intelligent group of voice talent who were able to check their egos at the door, and the result was a veritable treasure trove of knowledge that was shared freely by all. I am leaving FaffCon 3 with page after page of “Golden Nuggets,” tidbits of advice that will help improve my business and performance TOMORROW!


So many nuggets – SoundCloud, QR (Quick Response) Codes, how to optimize my efforts on LinkedIn, the best place to buy promotional pens, IABC, SBA, Action Plans, my Mission Statement – I’m still sorting through all of my chicken-scratched notes!


I decided to take the plunge and stepped forward myself and agreed to lead a discussion about how American voice talent can get more work internationally. The collective wisdom of the 20 or so talent who participated was eye-opening. I was left with many unanswered questions (such as “do we need to re-tool our American-style VO demos to suit the needs and tastes of international clients? And if so, how?”). I hope to find a lot of answers to those questions by approaching international agents and producers, and I will share my findings here and with other blogs and VO-related websites.


Near the end of the day on Sunday, I was asked my thoughts about the weekend as an audience member on the live “East-West Audio Body Shop” filmed by Dan Lenard and George Whittam. I pondered why some very talented people never make it in the voice-over world, while a fortunate handful of other do? For me, the key was NOT trying to do it all myself. I scuffled along the first 5 years of my voice career until I began working out with other talent through regular practice groups that I took the initiative to organize. The skills I learned from several years of these groups, along with the advice, feedback, emotional support, and accountability partnering is what made all the difference for me. FaffCon is a natural extension of that philosophy.


Visit faffcon.com/ for more information. FaffCon 4 is coming March 22-24, 2012, in Ventura Beach, California. If you are a professional voice talent who wishes to improve your business and connect with a wonderful community of fellow talent, do whatever it takes to get there.

AUTHOR: tomtest-wpadmin     CATEGORIES: Blog
WoVO seeks to build a global community of voice actors who believe in high industry standards, ethical business practices, mentoring and encouragement.

© Tom Test