Faff Camp from a week later

A week ago I posted some thoughts following the first day of Faff Camp and I had intended to post follow-up reports each of the next couple of days. However, the experience proved to be so powerful and so exhausting at the same time that I simply couldn’t push myself to do those reports.

Now, a week has passed and I have both recovered from the exhaustion and have gained a bit of distance on the event. I hope my thoughts here will help you understand some of what it was like if you weren’t there and help you process what you expereinced if you were.

I begin with some thoughts not directly related to the Faff Camp experience itself. I have to admit I am truly puzzled about why attendance wasn’t higher than it was. Yes, there were other things happening in that part of the USA in the weeks before Faff Camp. Yes, there was another voiceover event going on in Canada that same weekend. But, the number of people who expressed frustration at not being able to attend Faffcon would have seemed to indicate the level of interest was high enough for a larger attendance at Faff Camp.

Maybe it was because it wasn’t Faffcon, but something else? I truly don’t know; but I can say that having now attended all 6 Faff events that while Faff Camp is different from Faffcon, the similarities are greater than the differences. At least in terms of the opportunities to learn and connect and grow.

However, I don’t intend this post to be some sort of scolding of those who didn’t come to Faff Camp. If you were not there, I respect your decision and your reasons. So, on with my thoughts and observations.

The first full day of Faff Camp began with an opening circle meeting to provide some background and set the state for what would happen over the next two days. Aside from the fact that the topics and topic discussion leaders were picked in advance, it was very similar to the start of a Faffcon. Next came a truly excellent presentation and discussion led by the wonderful Dan Friedman on Audio Quality and Auditions. Dan presented a bunch of helpful and insightful observations from casting directors, talent agents and production houses on what sort of difference it makes when an audition arrives with excellent audio quality versus one that arrives with marginal or poor quality. No surprise, the better audio quality books pretty much every time even if the peformance of the poorer quality audio is somewhat better.

Bottom line: even if your performance is top notch marginal or poor audio quality will mask your terrific performance.

The second main presentation on Saturday was a brilliant presentation on the creation and use of character voices by Rowell Gormon. I have been friends with Rowell for a number of years, so my views about his presentation are no doubt colored to some extent by that friendship; but it really was an eye-opening riff on ways to create characters to use in audiobooks, commercials and any where else we need to present a sound other than our “normal” voice.

Bottom line: even “bad” character voices can be useful … if we will simply use them when appropriate.

Then we had a hour of table top mentoring in which a number of us facilitated conversations about numerous topics. I led discussions about doing audiobooks at my table. There were loads of other conversations going on all around the room. I enjoyed this idea a great deal and thought the discussions provided a good exchange of insights from those doing the various kinds of work being discussed (in my case, narrating audiobooks) with those interested in pursuing that kind of work.

This was followed by an hour for lunch and then an afternoon of break-out sessions on again a wide variety of topics; the most memorable of which was a discussion on union, non-union and financial core that was led by Melissa Exelberth. All in all, a wonderful day. 

I’ll write more tomorrow, with observations about the final day of Faff Camp.


  1. …thank you, bob. i’m glad the presentation came across the way i intended. and thanks to the video i asked you to make, anything i do in future like this will be that much more polished. thank you for taking time to set down your thoughts. worth the wait. rg

    Comment by Rowell Gormon — May 11, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

  2. Bob:
    I consider myself blessed to have been able to attend three FaffCons and now FaffCamp. I firmly believe the success of each event is directly related to Amy’s foundation of genuine love and support of each other in our respective Voiceover industry experience levels and life in general away from the event.
    Yes, each “program” has been slightly different, but the atmosphere of friendliness, encouragement, and love is truly the “harvest” of Amy’s initial sowing.
    Each attendee brings a unique perspective to discussion topics and their willingness to share routinely blesses others in a way that simply cannot be planned our duplicated.
    I am grateful for what Amy has created and for your steadfast participation and contributions to the Faffactivities!

    Comment by Mike Coon — May 12, 2013 @ 6:42 am

  3. Bob, what Mike said – ditto to all. And a big thank you to you for your talent, your generosity of time and spirit and the all around contribution that you are.

    Comment by Martha Mellinger — May 12, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  4. Hi Bob,
    The FaffCon I attended endures in my memory because of the love & community created by Amy, the organizers & the attendees. As someone (forgive me forgetting who) said “FaffCon: Restoring My Faith in Humanity”. That’s a remarkable take-away from a business conference, but it summed up my feelings perfectly.
    I’m not sure what the difference is between FaffCon & FaffCamp, but they sound similar in spirit. I hope another Con or Camp is held on the West Coast soon. Even if we don’t attend, we all can feel the love & generosity that goes into creating these events. Thank you.

    Comment by Kitzie Stern — May 12, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  5. Rowell, Mike, Martha and Kitzie …

    Thank you for your kind and insightful comments.

    Be well,

    Comment by Bob — May 12, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

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