Monday, October 22, 2012

Studio Build 27

The Door.

Work on the door had stagnated as other projects took priority, but I caught a sale on cooler door latches and ordered my Kason 58 latch and assembly!

picture of latch, but mine doesn't have the tall catch, mine is "flush"

Now to finish skinning the interior of the door! The plan was to keep with the theme of retropolis and incorporate the latch with the motif. So I drew out a rocket. (sorry, more spacejunk)

Off to the Hardware Store!

I picked up one sheet of maple luan. I cut it down to 34x86 first.

Then I drew out what would be the hull of the ship on the leftover material and layered over the first sheet.

It's kind of tough to see but it's there. From there I cut out a "Hatch" and a porthole. Typical 40's drawing of a rocket ship. I then drew and cut the fin from the first layer of luan. Here it is roughed onto the door with some screws holding it in place. The panels are bonded with adhesive caulk to the door as well.

Once all screwed in, it will be stained dark to match the door. The pattern will be there, but it won't be so bold. Just a subtle (or not so subtle) hint of a rocket. 

Still more to do

Once the latch is installed, I can finish the door seals, there's one seal installed, two more to go to really tighten up the big hole in the wall called a door.

More on Friday, as this week is packed with rehearsals, performances and helping out other VO talent! WOO!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tackling the Woodpile

When I worked with musicians on a daily basis, they would often use a phrase, "I'm going to have to woodshed this." Basically meaning they head out to the woodshed and practice a piece till they got it right. They wouldn't come out till they nailed it.

But when I talk about tackling the woodpile, I'm thinking of how we handle 6 cords of wood dumped in the driveway. Three large dumptruck full piles of split wood for the winter.

This is just four cords... 
If you look at this huge pile of wood, it's enough to make your back hurt. It is enough wood for an entire winter, plus some extra.

Every day, progress.

Each morning, for 15 minutes to half an hour we bite into this chaos and create order as we stack the wood into the woodshed. It may only be six or seven wheelbarrow loads a morning, but it is progress. Babysteps toward the end goal. The woodshed is getting full and the piles are getting smaller with the goal of getting everything stacked before snow flies.

Digging frozen wood out of the ice and snow is a real drag.

Ok, you have a fireplace and wood.  So what?

Well obviously this isn't a blog about long cold Upstate New York winters, but it is a blog about voice work and my home studio.

It's the same mentality though. Don't look at the whole pile of work to be done or you'll never start. You'll grab some hot cocoa or a glass of malbec and call it a day. Just do one thing to move you forward each day.

It's the same old story you've heard before, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." But for me, if I think about the whole journey, there's no way I have the energy to take that step. The thought of tackling the Appalachian Trail seems overwhelming to me, however taking a few steps down to the path, well, that doesn't seem too hard.

Nibble Nibble like a Mouse

Each day I move my business forward, it can be the simplest thing; write a blog post, email a past client, create a list of people to send marketing material too, do an audition or two.  Simple small things that move me forward. At the end of the month or the end of the year, I can see how far I've traveled!

One of the great things like an Un-Conference like FaffCon is that it gives you goals and also gives you the chance to look back at what you've accomplished since the last FaffCon. For me it's been the creation of this great studio space as well as doing more and more work and keeping busy. Tiny nibbles each and every day.

I hope that isn't too cheesy.  (Mouse pun intended...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Distilling FaffCon5!

There's a phrase that I've used in the past, "Education with a firehose!" so much comes at you, so fast that it takes a moment or two to recover.

FaffCon5 did not disappoint!  The Omni Hotel in Charlotte did not disappoint either!  I'm a new big fan of the Omni Experience.

The Connections

Right from arrival and the shouts of "MONK!" and the hugs and the handshakes it was off and running.  Amy Snively (rhymes with LIVELY!) is the ringmaster that knows how to run the show.  Registration was flawless, organization was flawless, everything was perfect.  Really.  If there were any hiccups, none of us civilians knew about it!

The networking starts right out of the gate and the work starts that evening.


Ok, I can't give all the details away here, "What happens at FaffCon, stays at FaffCon." but let me say this, there was no such thing as a dumb question or a secret.  If you needed to know something, you asked and people told you their techniques and tricks.  Ego's are left at the door.

I offered a session on home studio construction, why?  Um... read my blog, you'll see why.  And I'll share any advice or bump I've discovered along the way.  Anything I can do to help out someone in need.  I can't help it.

From there I took in sessions taught by people that are actively working and surviving in the wild waters of Voice Acting.  I met with producers, agents and other talent that have streamlined their business to the point of ΓΌber efficiency!  If you haven't met Tom Dheere, then you don't know efficient you can truly be.

Just meeting and talking with Jeffery Kafer changed my life and workflow.  My conversation with him about outsourcing my QA and editing was blew my mind.  I walked away going, "Duh, that makes perfect sense!  Why doesn't everyone listen to Jeff?"


Are you getting the idea?  Everyone I bumped into, old friends, new friends was a learning experience.  One person asked me, "Why do you market to other VO talent?" since I gave away mugs with my "mug" and contact information on it.  My response was simple, I see everyone as a potential contact.  You never know who may need a hand or something.  It may not be to hire me, but it may be to ask a question or advice.  And hopefully they won't forget my "mug!"

Doug Turkel, Debbie Irwin, Cliff Zellman, Ok, I have to stop, EVERYONE I spoke to, for even a brief moment was gold.  Seriously.  People share amazing information.


The next FaffCon will be next fall in San Antonio Texas, I'm hoping at an Omni hotel!  I haven't seen San Antonio since I left basic training at Lackland AFB, so I'm looking forward to visiting again. 

I'm still filtering all the information from FaffCon5 and I have some goals to reach before FaffCon6, so I'm going to GET BUSY!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Studio Build 26

Ah the joy of wiring!

There's something cathartic about running wires and cables. A fresh clean installation with everything running neatly from here to there. Joy joy joy!

We moved gear in last week, and have been busy with other work so getting things rigged up has taken a few extra days.  I was literally behind the mix desk last Sunday, when the phone rang and I had to hustle over the Ghent Playhouse to help with an issue. From there other projects took over for the day.  (Dishes, dinner, etc.)

But today we grabbed a box of cables and wires and got busy!

Dang, they're loud...

I salvaged a couple of APC Powerstack 250's with the intention they would be my power filters and battery backups. I ordered new batteries for them and loaded them into the mix desk rack. They look pretty sweet and fired right up. AND THEY ARE LOUD!

Seriously, 35db at a meter away. Nope, no sir, uh-uh, ain't happening. I didn't work so hard to get a quiet space to introduce two of these noisy beasts to my space. Out they go. They belong in an electrical closet humming away like that. I don't know where I'll use them, but they are going to be replaced by a set of Furman power filters. And those are going to be ordered tonight!

Back to wiring

Ok, so we're creating a short list of needs, longer VGA cables and a few other odds and ends with the goal of really getting things neat and quiet. I'm still in the market for a touch screen which will replace my music stand for copy. The touch feature will allow me to hit record and also move the text as I read. I'll keep you posted on that.

I have some Furman's to order and FaffCon5 is this coming weekend!

I love this life.