Gobs on Sticks

Thoughts mostly (but not always) about the voice-over business, from London Voiceover Artist, Mike Cooper

  • About the author

    My name is Mike Cooper. I'm a full time Voiceover Artist living and working in London, and this is my blog. Find out more about me on my main website (there's a link further down this column), or if you'd like to hear some of my work, check out the files below.
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A weekend in the country

Posted by MikeCooper on May 12, 2009

I spent last weekend with a couple of hundred other voiceover artists at the annual Vox conference in Warwickshire. It was my second Vox, but travelling with me were two good friends and “Vox Virgins”, Trish Bertram and David Vickery. Between them, they’ve been making a living at voiceovers for longer than I’ve been alive, but neither had ever been before.

It soon dawns on anyone who goes to a lot of conferences that Vox isn’t really a conference in the strictest sense. It’s actually more about catching up with mates you never see anymore and networking in a gentle fashion. (Anyone who goes into full-on sell mode – as some do – stands out like a sore thumb, and immediately meets with universal disdain.)

Mostly though, it’s about the drinking, which starts pretty much the moment everyone turns up. By half-way through the “Speed Networking” event at 4pm there were advanced signs of inebriation – mostly on the part of producers (caught light rabbits in the headlights, bless ’em) as eager VOs touted themselves shamelessly in sixty seconds. The Awards ceremony, however, revealed that there was far more to these guys’ artistry than drinking, with some excellent audio on show that made me realise just how creative some of our creatives are.

As well as reacquainting myself with some of the nice folks I met last year, I finally met up with several people I’d only ever spoken to online, including Bob Kingsley and Philip Banks, who turned up with two Americans in tow who’d landed just that morning especially for the occasion. I’m not sure that either Bob Souer or D B Cooper knew entirely what to make of it, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves nonetheless.

Unfortunately, I seemed to be coming down with something the moment we got off the train, and it got worse as the afternoon went on, until – irony of ironies – I lost my voice. That’s right, I lost my voice at a Voiceovers’ conference. You couldn’t make it up, could you? By halfway through dinner I was running a fever, and not long after that I took myself off to bed for a restless sleep.

The party, of course, went on without me. On Sunday morning I was regaled with tales of a certain Voiceover Man doing hilarious things with one of my friend Trish’s Manolo Blahniks, and one or two other stories I probably shouldn’t retell here.

Last year I foolishly turned up to Vox in the middle of a non-drinking period (it wasn’t a lot of fun on that basis) and this year had to retire hurt, so I’m hoping that Vox 2010 is going to be third time lucky! All the same, I came away with a neat little pile of business cards from interested producers, all of whom are on my list of people to contact this week. Despite my ill-timed collapse, I reckon I came out ahead, so I’m happy.


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