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VO Atlanta 2023

Industry conference fun & games ... oh yeah, and a lot of learning and schmoozing, too.

What happens when you release over a 1000 voice actors from their teeny-tiny recording booths and set them loose in the biggest voiceover conference in the world? Besides pandemonium?

Lots of laughs, love, hugs ... and learning, too. A huge THANK YOU to Anna and J. Michael Collins who took VO Atlanta in its 10th year from a great conference under the leadership of founder Gerald Griffith to an absolutely incredible level. So many top industry leaders, coaches, and mentors shared their knowledge firsthand as speakers, workshop instructors, and good friends.

No need to talk about all the details! Suffice it to say that a lot of ground was covered, with eight sessions running simultaneously for two days straight. There's no way to get it all in without a Harry Potter wizarding world time-turner, but fortunately, there'll be replays of the entire conference for registered attendees to watch later. It'll be like getting multiple conferences for the price of one!

The hallmark of the voiceover community is the warmth of its people. Everyone - and I do mean everyone - I met was truly very welcoming and supportive of one another. You'd think there'd be a heightened sense of competition amongst so many artists, but ... no. Just a lot of camaraderie, because most of us (I'm sure there are a few holdouts somewhere) see ourselves as unique. No one else has our voice, our personality, our essence. Rather, walking around the conference felt like walking into the bar at "Cheers" ...

"... where everybody knows your name 🎶"
('cause you're all wearing name badges)

Yeah, it CAN be hard to keep track of everyone. Especially when your brain is getting on in years. Like mine. Names? Yes, I'm good at recognizing names. Faces? Ditto, if I see them enough. Putting them together? Uhhh....give me a minute, why don't ya?

But eventually the synapses DO connect and I have the pleasure of getting to know some very interesting folks. It's not hard, though, to distinguish the terrific people who've really made an impression on me, whether as friends, teachers, or industry giants. Here are some of the people I had the pleasure of spending time with this weekend:

The Panels of Pros

Besides the speaker one hour sessions and the three hour specialty workshops scheduled throughout each day, the conference hosted 16 panel discussions on just about every VO topic imaginable. One of my favorites was the coaching panel, featuring six industry veterans who've collectively coached tens of thousands of voice actors around the world in their long careers.

Like anything, you have to keep training if you want to reach the top of your game - and stay there. These top coaches shared their best tips, as well as their personal stories, and inspired everybody to try new techniques and improve upon the ones we already have.

The Buddies

Voiceover friends are more than just our buddies. Often, they're also our accountability partners, helping us to keep track of our progress and map out our next steps. We're each other's cheerleaders and main supporters, too, when work slows down or life events disrupt our forward progress.

Angela Colville and Marissa DuBois are two of my closest VO buddies. They're kind, caring, and very talented, and part of a group of seven (including me) who met through Marc Scott's marketing mastermind program in 2021. So wonderful to finally see them in person after all this time! Zoom meetings are great, but nothing beats a physical presence. Especially for hugs.

We're all unique. No one else has our voice, our personality, our essence.

The Coaches

Dave Walsh - Commercial

Dave's been my commercial coach for nearly two years. He has an amazing "True Tell" system to get to the heart of the copy and deliver it in an honest, authentic, and (shall I say it? Yes, I believe I shall) conversational way.

One of the very best!

Anne Ganguzza - Corporate

Anne coached me several years ago and produced three demos for me: corporate narration, explainer video, and eLearning. I'm still getting compliments on them!

Like me, Anne originated in the tech world. We pretty much speak the same language. I gravitated to working with Anne because of her business experience and mindset, which I totally related to from my own former corporate career. And of course, she's a natural teacher and a terrific demo producer who very carefully makes sure that each spot fits the talent to a T.

Scott Parkin - Improv

I've never coached with Scott one-on-one, but oh lord! the man is FUNNY.

I first met Scott when he was the keynote speaker at the first VO Atlanta conference I'd ever attended, back in 2018. Later that weekend, he also taught an amazing improv workshop for kids and teens that my daughter was able to attend. I tried to weasel my way in, too, as a fly on the wall, but got swatted out faster than I could say, "please?"

So glad to watch Scott in action as he ran a hilarious session on incorporating improv in commercial auditions. Nothing I hadn't heard before, but man, it was highly entertaining.

Laura's Quick Tips

  1. Break out of your booth and mingle in person with all the other great VO folks! At least once a year.

  2. Want to vet a new coach? I did. Several, in fact. Attend their session or workshop. And see if you like their style.

  3. You're investing in your career when you attend a conference and really participate. Learn. Network. And have fun with your colleagues. I met some great new connections! Bonus: some of us discovered we were able to refer work to each other. Bingo!

As I'm writing this on Monday morning, now a day or so after the fact, I realize that I could have, should have, taken more photos. What else is new? I was too busy schmoozing, learning, collecting business cards and some pretty decent swag, and racing to the lunch line - not to mention the restroom, where there's ALWAYS a line - to remember to stop and take more photos.

Oh, well, There's always next year. Because, yeah, I'll be there. How can I not? Best VO conference in the world. And only about 25 minutes from home.

If you want more info about VO Atlanta, check out their website And if you want to know what I talked about last year as a speaker for VO Atlanta 2022, read about it here > Yeah, it was good.

Laura Doman smiling

I'm Laura Doman, a former tech industry sales executive, hands-on mom, voice & TV/film actress, and improv performer. I create memorable characters that tell my client's stories, from the friendly CEO touting new upgrades to your sassy best gal pal dispensing some necessary, real-world advice...Let's Talk!


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