One Voice Conference USA 2021

It’s been over 2 years since I have attended a Voice Over conference in person. The excitement was two-fold, to be a part of the first-ever in person (and second annual virtual) One Voice USA Conference. There is so much opportunity for career growth and to interface with so many people who can make a difference to your VO career. One Voice Dallas 2021 was an event full of voice-over wisdom and camaraderie.

My wife had arranged for us to meet some friends downtown Dallas, so we took the Orange Dart Rail which took about an hour to get from the airport. It was an experience, but we were able to visit the Dallas Arts District and had a couple of hours at the Dallas Museum of Art. They have a fantastic collection of European Impressionist Art and I thoroughly recommend peeking into the Reves Collection (Not least because Wendy Reves was born a Russell!) Our friends gave us a brief driving tour and we were back at the hotel ready for the Conference Welcome Drinks Reception and opening ceremony. The official kickoff was given by J Michael Collins & virtually by Hugh Edwards and Peter Dixon (as travel is not currently allowed from the UK to US).

Friday and Saturday were full-on with workshops and panels. The general tickets provided free access to a wonderful range of workshops and panels. Along with a selection of longer more intense workshops with great coaches for an additional fee. There are so many offerings that I had to select what I would like to see in person but knew that the general panels would be on Reattendance when I got back. I attended a 3-hour session: 'Getting the attention of Ad Agencies: Performance Feedback' with Producer Kelsea Seavey of Calibrate. There were 8 of us that read, were critiqued and given viewpoints from the other side of the casting fence.

Lunch options were limited, as all the restaurants at the airport terminals are for current travelers only. The hotel’s Jett's Coffee Bar was the convenience option with pastries, sandwiches, and the like and the hotel had its Restaurant open too for those who wanted a buffet breakfast or sit-down meal.

My second session was with the magnanimous VO Coach and voice-over artist, Shelly Avellino. I have known Shelly through the USBBV group but got to know her better through the conference. Her workshop – 'Bridging the VO Gap; How to Successfully Break into International Markets' opened my eyes to the many international search engines and how Shelly networks to find new clients.

Following this I attended the incomparable Katie Leigh’s session 'It’s Time to Get Animated: The Basics of Voiceover for Cartoons and Video Games'. Katie’s experience and advice concerning Animation auditions were insightful. So many pointers from an industry superstar given with humor, energy and wisdom.

I ended my day with talent agent Vince Lebica from DPN Talent and his interactive session 'How to Secure An Agent with A One Chance Exceptional Read'. It was interesting to see Vince switch from the jovial host when bantering with the audience to laser focus when listening to talent read for him. He made sure that each contributor got his full attention, and his feedback was highly perceptive.