By Stephanie Ciccarelli
December 27, 2007
At the end of 2007, we've had some time to reflect on what some of the most significant stories and happenings of this year were for the voice over industry through the eyes of Voices.com.
If you're new to voice acting or to the site, read up on some of the stories that changed, brightened and elevated the state of voice acting in the year 2007 so that you can enter 2008 with a sense of where we've come from and discover insights on the direction the industry is headed.
Well, onto the list!
What happened over the course of 2007 in the world of freelance professional voice acting?
David Bourgeois and the staff at Voice Coaches in Schenectady, NY held their first voice over conference featuring guest lecturers, celebrity actor and voice artist, Evan Farmer, and New York super agent Billy Serow from Abrams Artists Agency. A meet and greet the night before was followed by a full day of learning from some of the industry's best concluding with a panel of experts participating in a Q&A session.
Voice over artists sent in their best Simpsons character voice impressions with finalists in award categories honoring the best Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson, Lisa Simpson, Bart Simpson, and Krusty the Clown impressions as well as a ceremonial tribute podcast featuring dozens of fabulous Simpsons character voice impressions including Mayor Quimby, Chief Wiggum, Barney, Moe, Apu, Mister Burns, Ned Flanders, Milhouse, Ralph Wiggum, and many more. Judged by the public, winners were announced live via The Simpsons Tribute Podcast on VOX Talk.
Entrepreneurs in the field of voice over shone as they pitched their voice acting businesses and distilled their company, offering and what set them apart from other voice actors. Out of the 60 Second Pitch finalists, three pitches stood out in particular given their originality, creativity, and persuasiveness. Winners for 2007 included Jason McCoy, Vicki Amorose, and Troy Lund.
The first ever annual Voicey Awards Show aired just prior to the Oscars in February via the VOX Talk podcast feed available through Apple iTunes. Nominees in categories including Best Male Voice, Best Female Voice, Best New Voice, Best Personal Branding and Lifetime Achievement received recognition for their work and dedication to the voice over industry over the past year. Revered industry judges for the 1st Annual Voicey Awards were Nancy Wolfson, Rodney Saulsberry and Marc Graue.
CRM Magazine awarded Voices.com with the prestigious CRM Market Award. Chosen from dozens of worthy companies for its excellence in customer relationship management and customer service, the team at Voices.com rose above the competition and enjoyed coverage from CNN.com as well as other news outlets.
The VOX Talk Podcast, started in the bitter cold month of January 2007, is now the longest-running variety podcast for voice actors and those who are in the pursuit of a voice over career. VOX Talk celebrates the successes of voice actors and gives people an opportunity to participate as correspondents. The core team includes Stephanie and David Ciccarelli, Adam Fox, Julie Williams, voice imaging artist Matt Williams (no relation), with honorable mentions to Colin Campbell, Elie Hirschman, Betty in Boca, Darbi Worley, Kristi Stewart, Bob Green, Bob Souer, Bettye Zoller, David Boyll, Pat Fraley, and Jesse Springer for his interview series with Joe Cipriano.
Celebrity voice actors, personalities, instructors and voice actors descended on the Vegas sands in the first-ever Voice Over International Creative Experience hosted by Frank Frederick, James R. Alburger and Penny Abshire. Extensive news and editorial coverage of the event was provided by Voices.com, featuring comprehensive reviews and summaries of all lectures as well as events attended including coverage of Bob Bergen's One Man Show, an evening with Don LaFontaine and a tribute for the late Lenny Weinrib graced by the presence of daughter and voice actress, Linda Weinrib. A team of AFTRA representatives from Los Angeles were also in attendance.
Children of the Eighties Unite! CGI (computer generated imagery) Transformers came to the silver screen larger than life walking side by side with human actors in the summer blockbuster, The Transformers Movie, directed by Michael Bay. Fans were greeted by some familiar voices of the original cast including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime among others drawing more awareness to the art of voice acting. Canadian comedian and voice actor Bryan Cox made his voice over cinematic debut in the film.
December 2007 saw the launch of Voice Over Times, an online news website providing feature stories about celebrity voice actors and working voice over professionals, product reviews, tutorials and opinion articles. The leader in online voice acting news and press release distribution, Voice Over Times is the driving force propelling the public relations of the voice over industry. Covering voice acting in all aspects, this website helps people to find the news and stories that they need to hear about now and connects them with media contacts who can make their stories happen.
In June of 2007, the art of voice acting took a new educational turn in the form of a weekly podcast produced by the team at Voices.com, showcasing lectures recorded by various voice over coaches and industry experts in North America and the United Kingdom. The podcast makes voice over education accessible to all on the Voice Over Experts website and through the Apple iTunes podcast directory, available for free subscription. Perfect for new and seasoned voice actors, each episode invites talent to discover and experience growth by learning about new concepts, or for the established set, a different spin on acquired knowledge to keep in top form.
Looking forward to hearing from you and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008 to you all!
Stephanie, David, Carol, Laurynda, Erica and Lin
Photo: greenplasticdave on Flickr.com
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