It’s been a month since the first Faffcon took place in Portland, Oregon.
In the last month, I’ve thought about the experience a whole lot. Turning over in my mind what it was that made Faffcon such a fabulous experience. This wasn’t my first major voiceover event of the year. I was at 4 different workshops with Marice Tobias, two in Los Angeles and two in Chicago. I was at VOICE2010. I took part in my 14th consecutive Day O’Day International Radio Creative and Production Summit. I also took part in 2 days of workshops with Pat Fraley after Faffcon. Each of these events was very good. Well worth the time and expense. Especially the events by Marice and Pat.
But there was something unique about Faffcon, something that set it apart from everything else. It would be more correct to say a combination of somethings.
Maybe it’s easier to talk about some of what didn’t make Faffcon unique. It wasn’t just that I all ready knew a lot of the people at Faffcon. That was true at every one of the other events, too. It wasn’t the size of crowd. There were more people at VOICE and about the same number at the Summit. It wasn’t the brevity. Only VOICE was longer. It also wasn’t about making money, not directly, anyway.
Some of what it made it special came from the creative energy and passion of Faffcon’s founder, Amy Snively. Amy is a uniquely talented and gifted lady. Her drive and enthusiasm for this event was incredibly infectious. And from the other ladies who helped to organize and coordinate the event, Connie Terwilliger and Pam Tierney. And from Dan Nachtrab, the “on the scene” coordinator.
Amy said to the group something to the effect of, “this is the kind of event I’ve always wanted to be able to attend.” Yes. Exactly. An event that wasn’t for one minute about any one person. There were no egos. Well, OK, there were a lot of us there with egos; but we kept them under control. Mostly.
There was a breathtaking spirit of generosity. People shared, openly and candidly. We talked about stuff that was well below and beyond the surface. About finding the work. About doing the work. About staying sane. About staying focused. About maintaining balance between work and home and life and family.
Truly, it wasn’t possible to take it all in. For one thing, there were too many things happening at once. For another, beyond the “official” things, there were pockets of sharing and caring taking place all around the hotel. To be fair, those pockets of sharing and caring have taken place at every other voiceover event I’ve attended in the last 4 years; but the thing about Faffcon was that the entire event had that character of openness and transparency.
Yes, it was emotionally exhilarating and yet for me the primary emotions I felt at Faffcon were gratitude and joy.
I’ve just read over what I’ve written above. If it seems like I haven’t done a very good job of describing what Faffcon was like, it might be because I’m still more than a little bit at a loss to wrap my head around the experience. Even a month later.
I can say this. Plans are all ready underway for the next Faffcon. Where and when it is held, unless there is something unbelievably important going on in my life, I will be there. (For example, one guy couldn’t make it to the first one because he’s a firefighter in Colorado where he was battling forest fires. That kind of important.) I hope you will seriously think about being there, too.