Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: Welcome to VOICE 2010!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Welcome to VOICE 2010!

Well, I was packed (more or less) and ready to head out to the airport for my flight to Los Angeles sometime around “dark 0-hundred”. Now I love to travel, but the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to get on to a plane is not quite my idea of a good time. Love heading out to LA to network and learn with some of the best voice over people in the business, but don’t mess with my sleep…

Get to the airport, which was unusually busy at 5:40 AM on a Wednesday, bags checked, and got to play with the folks from TSA (who were surprisingly nonchalant about me waltzing through security with a DSLR kit in one bag and a bunch of recording gear in the other). Hop on the plane and get to enjoy Southwest’s hospitality for the next 7.5 hours.

When I finally landed in LA, I was fortunate enough to arrive about 30 minutes or so early. Good stuff… lets me get more done before the festivities begin. Got to the hotel, checked in (ironically, I’m only about two doors down from the room I was in at VOICE 2008, which was one of the nicer hotel rooms I’d been in over the past two years). Another item of irony (and unexpected pleasure) was to spot the person who was checking into their room right before me. None other than D.B. Cooper, whom I haven’t seen in far too long for my tastes (not only a talented voice actress and Website designer, but D.B. runs one of the larger and more popular forums on the net). After spending some time chatting with D.B., I did something which I probably should have done earlier… eat (save for a bag of peanuts on the flight, and a 100 calorie pack of cheese-its, I’d not had much chance to grab some food). For those who’ve never been to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza where VOICE is being held, I’ll say two things about it:

1. Very nice hotel that will cater to nearly any need you might have, with a restaurant that is staffed by one of the friendliest groups of people that I’ve met in my travels.
2. If they could figure out a way to charge you a fee for using the air, they probably would.
If you can get past the second item, I highly recommend staying here whenever you’re in Los Angeles.

It seems that my penchant for running into people was in high gear today… as I’m heading out of the restaurant, I run into none other than Ron Levine, the venerable Santa Claus that everyone remembered from VOICE 2008. After helping Ron to settle in a bit, we headed over to the local mall to stretch our legs a bit after spending several hours on our respective flights, and to pick up some supplies to get us through the conference (as much as I do enjoy the hotel we’re at, I’m not crazy enough to pay some of the prices they’re asking for at times). Headed back to the hotel after grabbing some supplies and somehow managed to catch about 30 or so minutes of rest before getting changed and ready for the Red Carpet Reception which kicked off VOICE 2010.

So after getting a bit of rest and changing into something a bit more appropriate than jeans and a wrinkled shirt, I headed down to the Red Carpet Reception. What follows is the stuff that voice actor’s dreams are made of (at least I’d like to think so). Penny Abshire and James Alburger managed to put together an event which literally drew hundreds of voice talent from all over the world. While it was obvious that VOICE 2010 was going to be a smaller event than in years past, it was also apparent that it wouldn’t be for lack of effort. A large contingent from Europe and Japan, not to mention Canada, and at least one person from Turkey were in attendance. Regardless of what happens during the course of this conference, it’s obvious that VOICE has developed an international reach, which is nothing short of impressive in the years since the event first took place. Where else can you meet such amazing talent as Bob Bergen, Pat Fraley, Joe Cipriano, Beau Weaver, Stu Herrera, Bobbin Beam, Dave Courvoisier, and a host of others all under one roof at the same time?

Unfortunately, I did not have one of my better cameras with me last night, however, I did manage to take more than a few pictures of people while I was at the event, and I'll be putting up a few once I get a chance to upload them. They’re a little dark, but if you’re reading this I think it will give you a good understanding of just what the folks at VOICE have going on.

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