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A little something new by me, with hits from Planet Fitness, Google, Diet Mt. Dew, Heinz Ketchup, and more!

This is permanently embedded on the sidebar to the right, in case you want to hear it at a later date.

Enjoy!

A Grown Man Goes to Camp…and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!

Yeah, yeah…clickbait. So shoot me.

So you might have heard the rumblings about this event called Faff Camp. Words that have been used include “amazing,” “wonderful,” “awesome,” and a bevy (why don’t we use this word anymore?) of superlatives about a group of people from all walks of the VO industry getting together and sharing knowledge in all directions.

Now, you may be confused about the concept of Faff Camp, especially when many industry pros wait with bated breath each spring for the announcement of FaffCON, a similar event with a completely different dynamic. I felt it prudent to sit and write a spell (as they say on the farm) about what Faff Camp means to me, and some cardinal differences in the Camp and the Con.

So what’s the difference? I have gotten that question close to a dozen times in the last week, and honestly, it’s a fair one. Let’s start with a softball.

Name and Event Dynamic

Faffcon is a development event for professionals, complete with vetting process.

Faff Camp is a development event for professionals, even those that are peripherally related to the industry, as well as folks just getting started. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Schedule

Faffcon is dynamically scheduled. This is the idea of an ‘unconference.’ The fact is, some attendees have topics that they could pull out and talk about extemporaneously (another great word), but with the exception of a few select times, most of the event is scheduled right after opening circle.

Faff Camp is more structured. The schedule of events is more like a traditional conference. This way, more people can come. There are also some other cool things that only happen at Faff Camp, like Topic Tables and Lightning Talks. At Camp, there’s also two ‘tracks’ so that the attendees can be sure they will be where they need to be. (See what I did there? Faffers get it.)

Attendance Limitation

Faffcon never has more than one hundred attendees, much like there are never more than two Sith at any given time. Why? Well, it’s a solid number, and 42 was already taken.

Faff Camp helps alleviate the extremely long waiting list that invariably follows the closing of Faffcon registration. How does it do that? Well…there’s no limit to the number of attendees at Faff Camp. This year’s waiting list was apparently as long as…well, let’s just say it was long. 

Similarities

I mentioned earlier about writing what Faff Camp means to me. I felt like I could give you a bevy (ah…ahhhh!) of those things here. These are some things that you’ll get from both events:

  • The guy or gal that is leading a discussion in one session will be asking questions in the next one.
  • Getting to know people that you only knew by way of their online avatar and witty banter.
  • Making lifelong friendships.
  • Playing the official game of Faff events, Cards Against Humanity.
  • Seeing the different shades of red people turn while playing said game.
  • Bob Souer.
  • Peter O’Connell
  • Amy Snively.
  • Learning about parts of the industry in which you didn’t think you belonged.
  • Learning what the hell ‘faffing’ even is, and no, it’s not the same as ‘fapping.’
  • That the sharing of knowledge is the only thing that makes it truly knowledge.
  • That some people can really hold their alcohol.
  • That despite the shysters, has-beens, and never was-es that exist on the internet, this industry is full of giving, wonderful people. A great many of them come to Faff events.
  • And, of course, a rising tide lifts all boats.

What Faff Camp means to me

I mentioned just a smattering (there’s another one) of the things above that mean so much to me. The other part about Faff Camp that was so incredible, was the fact that it was kind of my return to visibility at VO events. I had firmly entrenched myself in Dallas, plugging away at what we all do day-to-day, when I started to really feel left out. I needed to share oxygen with my peers. There’s simply no substitute for being in the same room, hell, the same corner of a room, with others.

So I called Amy. I had just booked a big video game gig, and I was seeing some patterns emerge in the way I was coming about this work, and I asked to lead a session at Faff Camp. She was extremely excited about me coming back to a Faff event, as it had been fifteen months since I had been to my last one.

So Amy talked about teaming up to present with someone I had never met before, kind of a he said/she said approach to the session. It sounded great. I made the arrangements, and next thing I know, I was back in the thick of things.

I met several Faffers that were attending their first event, and some that had attended others but I hadn’t had the pleasure, and it was wonderful to meet them and talk about things that were related (and not related) to the industry. Among those people and conversations were Jane Ingalls, and our talk about opera, Martha Mellinger, Linda Joy, Bob and Amie Breedlove, Jay Rickerts (who was formerly a news anchor back in Oklahoma..small world), Jordan Reynolds (manhugs), Jeff Devitt, Bob Merkel, Dustin Ebaugh, Kirissa Shipp, Denny Brownlee, and of course, my session co-leader, Wendy Zier.

It was as if I’d come home. Now I think I understood what the prodigal son must’ve felt. It’s like I went away of my own choice, and I finally made it back.

Sharing air, stories, wisdom, and laughs with people that a great many things in common with me. It was glorious.

Those laughs, stories, and good times will never be lost to me, and it’s all because I wanted to go. I didn’t want to be left out.

I mentioned in a Facebook post about how this is the kind of event that opens your eyes to the countless facets to the diamond that is a career as a disembodied voice. I must have been channeling my inner T.S. Eliot, because it was oddly poetic and true. So was my time at camp.

After that weekend, I swore I would never miss another Faff event. I have not, and God willing, I won’t.

This experience can be yours, as well. Don’t wait. Come to Faff Camp.

See you there.

BV

P.S. $25 off the registration price can be saved with the use of code VT8987775

Mr. Keating’s Opinion on Submitting Yourself for Judgment

I’ve been ruminating on this topic this afternoon. Been really trying to figure out a way to say what I have to say without coming off like a complete feminine hygiene product. I think it’s going to be a tough sell. But here goes.

I constantly see (and when I say constantly, I mean on an almost daily basis) people talking about impending job interviews on different social media. Invariably, these people are all so incredibly puckered about it that they take to cyberspace asking…nay, begging for prayers, good thoughts, vibes, etc. for their looming interview.

The view doesn't change.

Now, hold on. Before the mental poo-poos begin, stop right there. This is not a criticism on the power of prayer/positive thinking/vibes/however you choose to frame it. I am a huge believer in the power of prayer and in the power of the mastermind group. So don’t believe for a second that I’m being critical of people for that. No way.

The reaction that I have when I see people do that is simple. It makes me really glad to be an actor. 

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Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, and I’ll try not to sing out of key. (Thank you, Faffcon)

So another faff-tastic weekend has come and gone. And now that I’m in full-on reflection mode today, I’ve had some time to think about the trip and everything that went on from Thursday to Monday, and to be honest, it broke my brain to try and reassemble the events chronologically.

So, instead to trying to recap everything, I think that a thank you list is in order. And I know that this might be dangerous, considering that I might miss people or leave like a handful out, and that possibility just makes me a sad panda.

So I preface this by saying that if I neglect to mention you, then you are a part of the regrets of my weekend. That I didn’t go out of my way to spend quality time with each and every one of you kinda makes me ill in retrospect. I assure you that I will do my level best to catch up, albeit here in the ether.

It’s going to be tough to get through this without bawling my eyes out.

So thank you, one and all. This weekend proved that I truly get by with a little help from my friends. See what I did there?

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It’s taken me all this time to find out what I need. (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Weeks 37 & 38) PART 1

(We interrupt our normally scheduled weight loss blog to bring you this special bulletin, and fair warning, it’s gonna be a long one.)

I feel like It’s been forever since I wrote. It’s only been two weeks, but it seems like forever. 

It’s probably because there’s been so many things going on in my life. I know I keep saying that I’m busy, but it’s true. I have been extremely busy, and last week, I added an elliptical/walking regime to my schedule, so believe me when I say I have been busy.

In fact, work really started blowing up before Bob Bergen’s Voiceover Group Therapy workshop. You all know that I landed the reboot of Leisure Suit Larry, and things were chugging along with that (I mean seriously…like four thousand cues and even more lines), so we did like 1-2 sessions per week for like a month, and there was constant work for FUNimation and my retail clients. 

Then there was this awesome thing called Faffcamp, the first and only peer conference for VO, in which myself and cool chica Wendy Zier gave a breakout session called Video Game VO: Industry Infiltration, among tons and tons of other incredible tidbits and sessions that can only happen when you’re among your peers.

This is why I want to take time away from my normal ranting about the struggles of weight loss, and focus on an event that, I feel, is as game-changing as it is career-changing. So without further ado, I give you:

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Busboy, bartender, ladies of the night, grease monkey, ex-junkie, winner of the fight… (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Week 35)

(Another short one. The title should be a clue)

So yeah, I’ve been busy. Really busy.

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Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am. (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Weeks 33 & 34)

(This is gonna be really short)

I gained a pound-and-a-half this week after another week of maintenance last week.

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I want to make you move because you’re standing still. (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Week 32)

(I left the parenthetical out last week.)

Context is so important when we communicate.

It gives us perspective, setting, and a clearer picture overall of what the message is.

The view doesn't change.

For example, the picture on the right. People walking on treadmills. 

Woo! Exercise!

Woo! Walking!

Woo! Moving more, sitting less!

Those are all things that a person could conclude by the inclusion of that picture in this blog.

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Is this real love? Or is it just madness keeping us afloat? (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Weeks 29, 30, and 31)

Where does the time go?

OK, so that really isn’t some sort of rhetorical question. I know exactly where the time goes. It goes away, and it goes away fast. More so when you’re as busy as I have been.

There’s no excuse for not dropping by and at least mentioning that I’m a busy boy. Really, there’s not. I’m sorry for not mentioning something, at the very least.

Still, I am going to at least talk a little about all of our adventures over the last few weeks. That way, hopefully you’ll all see that there’s an actual reason for forgiving my radio silence. It’s up to you. 

SO………..

So I warned that we were going on a Spring Break trip to visit our nieces, and go see Muse in concert. Well, the trip was a blast. I need to start recognizing that eating while visiting is a thing that I have to be hyper-aware of, and that parties are the devil’s way to get back at you for eating right.

As an aside, I really must mention the concert. Those guys are incredible musicians. If you don’t know who Muse are, then it’s more a likelihood that you just don’t know them by name, than you don’t know their music. They are incredible.

Muse rocked the house.

Matthew Bellamy (lead guitar and vocals) has been called the ‘Hendrix of our time,’ and that is saying something. He kind of plays into that mystique, too, by playing an incredible rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the concert.

For you celebrity news fans out there, he’s Kate Hudson’s main squeeze. And the way he writes songs for her, it’s clear that she is as much a muse for Matthew in real life as Penny Lane was for Russell Hammond in Almost Famous. See what I did there? It’s like her life is imitating her art. *wink*

But I digress. The concert was amazing, and the band’s ability as showmen and musicians are palpable. It reaffirms my faith in the power of music.

Yeah, that was an amazing concert. A lot of new stuff, and some of the best older stuff. It was a good night to be a fan.

Bravo, gents.

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I’ve kissed mermaids, rode the El Niño. (‘Have You Seen This Man?’ Week 28)

(Surely you get it by now.)

Waaaaaaa-aaaaaaave. Waaaaaaaa-aaaaaaave.So, short update this week, as I am a busy boy with preparations to make, work to do, and dear Lord…brain to reassemble.

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