From August 10-13th, Aya, Talent Manager here at Celia Siegel Management, as well as Head of Casting for our VO Château roster, attended One Voice Conference USA 2023 alongside some of our wonderful talent and industry partners.
In addition to connecting with many of our talent in person, Aya was able to network with various casting directors, talent agents, and other key players in the industry. It was exciting to dig into the latest trends and for Aya to share some of her knowledge via her presentation and panel appearances.
Aya’s presentation, “Maximizing Your VO Career with Talent Management: Holistic Approaches for Individualized Success,” gave a 360 overview on how a holistic management approach can help individuals realize their personal VO dreams. She took a deep dive into CSM’s method of management, which includes assistance in building an online presence, marketing, education, career building, and business coaching.
She also joined Caroll Kimble, Lau Lapides, Michael Csurics and Suzanne Spaziani on “The Casting Panel: The Inside Scoop From The Industry Decision Makers.” They answered a wide variety of questions from how to stand out from the crowd to tips for nailing political auditions. Aya discussed the importance of bringing your authentic self to each casting and being easy to direct. In the political realm, she explained the importance of having a great demo. Speed is the name of the game, because political work can move so quickly. Clients are often selecting a short-list based on demos alone. Each panel member also stressed the importance of details. Simple things like following directions, checking your work, or doing a few minutes of research on the brand or product to make sure you’re capturing the correct tone will make sure your hard work isn’t discounted.
We caught up with some of our talent who attended One Voice to hear their takeaways from the weekend. First, we heard from J. Michael Collins, who shared his perspective as one of the conference’s organizing partners.
“I was thrilled to see the energy on the ground at our biggest event to date. Having doubled in size to over 400 people onsite in just three years, OVC USA still has the feel of a boutique conference with the content of a larger one. By spreading out six or more content offerings in almost every time slot, we are able to keep the sessions manageable and intimate despite the growing attendance.
The weekend of learning was all capped off by the sold out One Voice Awards USA, the first voiceover awards event ever to completely sell out the venue. With no fees to enter or claim a trophy, the One Voice Awards is fast becoming the industry standard for voiceover awards, though we’ll have to create more space to accommodate demand for tickets in 2024!”
Our talent also had a great awards night, with three of our VO Château roster members taking home top honors. Congratulations to Brad Hyland, Emma O’Neill, and Andy Barnett on their wins, and to all of our nominated VO Château talent.
Emma O’Neill lists the entire award evening as a weekend highlight.
“Getting ready with friends, cheering them on as they took the stage, and winning in one of my categories for a homeless men’s shelter radio spot that helps them get more donations. All of these moments were pretty special.”
In addition to his award win, Brad Hyland loved getting to meet his coaching students in person.
“It was definitely a highlight for me to meet all of the people I had not met yet, and for my students to be able to meet each other.”
Tom Dheere gave a presentation about how to write a business plan, as well as a 3-hour workshop about financial literacy for voice actors. His biggest takeaway from the conference was his amazement about how much the voiceover industry has changed over the past 20+ years and how it will continue to change. Who knows what the next industry disruptor will be?
He also noted the importance of attending VO conferences, even if, like him, you’ve attended many over the years. At different times in your life, you’ll synthesize information differently. It’s vital to take notes for your future self to look back on, and you’ll glean something new from each review.
Nancy German told us about her experience getting to read for L.A. Casting Director Carroll Kimble, and Promo producer Harry Dunn.
“Carroll’s emphasis was on bringing your best self, not your best voice impression. She helped with kinetics and visual examples of how to be your most real. Harry Dunn had some great tips on getting into the mood of the script with music when the client doesn’t provide it. He also gave individual feedback for each of us that was very helpful.”
Tracey Lindley shared her perspective on the benefits of attending One Voice.
“Being together in person is important. If you don’t have a health issue preventing you from traveling, it’s worth every penny to come to a voiceover conference! You will leave with motivation and empowerment that you can’t get in the same quantities anywhere else.”
Her birthday this year fell during the conference, and she recalled an extra special moment that demonstrated the powerful kindness of the VO community.
“My birthday was on the same date as the awards show, so I felt the love of our VO community deeply and personally at the moment when everyone in the room sang me Happy Birthday in beautiful unison. This is indeed a very special industry to be part of!”
Above all, the common thread in what people took away as their weekend highlight was the opportunity to build relationships.
J Michael Collins explains the importance of the connection that One Voice achieves.
“The buzz this year was electric. As always, people are paying for the learning that occurs throughout the weekend, but the real added value comes from seeing our nearest and dearest VO friends outside of our often isolating natural habitats. The ability to socialize with those who share this career creates an atmosphere of collegiality and friendship that most conferences would find hard to match.”
Angela Colville celebrated that atmosphere, saying, “It was incredible hearing about new voice actors who came to One Voice on their own and felt like they left as family and part of an amazing community. The continuing education is bar none, but I think knowing you have the friendship and support of colleagues and peers is priceless.”
At the VO Château, staying up to date on the latest industry trends, shifting standards, and up-and-comers is crucial to what we do. We attend these events not only to visit with friends old and new, but to better be able to service our talent and clients alike. Constantly adjusting our strategies to better fit your needs is what sets us apart. We’re already getting excited for next year!