Even though it’s a myopic view, the social media streams Derek Chappell and I curated over the weekend (FaffCamp, VoiceWorld) reflect enthusiastic support, breakthrough “aha” moments, and deepening relationships in an intense experience that transcends definition.
In the weeks ahead, you’ll see gushing remembrances, and inspirational posts reflecting aftermath awakenings. I’m certainly responsible for a few of my own over the years, and so it is I arrive at the weird emotion that follows NOT being able to attend such a seminal gathering.
During and after the event, the non-attendees goes through something akin to Kübler-Ross’ 5-Stages-of-Grief . Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.
Add to that a deep sense of alone-ness, or apart-ness that — though familiar to the freelance actor — becomes more acute in its deficit of relationship (especially if you’ve attended before, and KNOW what goes on there!)
I’ve learned to cope. If you recognize this sort of empty feeling in your gut after missing a good conference, there IS hope.
FIVE WAYS TO FIGHT THE POST-FAFF BLUES
1) Take heart that conferences like FaffCamp/FaffCon raise the level of professionalism and competence for the entire industry. That may seen like an esoteric concept with nothing tangible to hang your hat on. Maybe it is. But it’s also true that education, awareness, and sharing of industry-wide trends from even 100 voice-actors sends out waves that ripple back and forth across the country affecting thousands of peers, clients, and studios.
2) Take the time to phone or Skype your favorite VO friend who attended, and debrief them. They’re gonna want to tell you how great it was and what they learned. This is why you’re calling!….so make time to let them talk. Don’t expect to learn everything. You might ask them to email you afterwards with the three top things they learned.
3) Watch the Social Media Networks for pics and comments. FaffCon Friends is a great group to belong to for this stuff. People will want to talk about the factoids they picked-up, and it’s all gold. Watch for Peter O’Connell’s VoxMarketising, or Doug Turkel’s blog, or Marc Scott’s blog for their observations.
4) Plan now to go to the next conference of your choice. FaffCon6 is in San Antonio, TX in the first week of October, and this is a fine place to start.
5) Get to work. It’ll get your mind off the temporary blues, and you’ll find renewed energy for it (see #1) because you are a talented freelancer in an incredible industry, and because voice over people are the most supportive and encouraging peers anyone could ask for. So, ask!
What did I miss? See you in San Antonio!