The following is a repost from the All Things Bob Bergen Facebook Group, with permission from Bob Bergen. It was originally published February 5th, 2011. Please scroll down for the most recent updates.
My buddy Gregg Berger and I are working on an idea, and I need your opinions:
ToonCon- a fan convention devoted to fans of animation voice actors.
This would take place on a 3 day cruise out of Los Angeles some time in 2012. Guests would include some of the top animation voice actors from some of the top animated series’ and features in the business. Kind of a cruise vacation/con combo!
-meet and greet cocktail party
-moderated Q&A with voice actors, as well as animation voice-over agent and voice director
-observing a mock animation recording session, directed by a top animation voice director
-as well as all the things involved on a cruise: miles of food, miles of ocean, port of call, ship’s entertainment, casino, etc.
SO-is this something you’d be interested in? The price would be 2 fold: the cruise itself (about $300-$600, depending on the stateroom size you book) and an additional con fee. (not sure what that would be, but I’m thinking around $150-$250..all depends on final budgets)Let me know your thoughts! There has been a lot of interest amongst the top animation voice actors out there. If this gets a green light I’ll let you know. My goal is to start selling this in the early Spring. And of course, it will get a big push at the San Diego Comic Con in July.
Cruises book up early, and deposits would be needed to hold cabins. Deposits are refundable up to a certain date before the excursion. But cruise lines will only block off the cabins for a limited time, so early deposits are important to guarantee the best prices and availability.
This is all still in the planning stages. But let me know your thoughts. And if this is something you might be interested in pop me a note and I’ll make sure you get first dibs when this goes on sale.
Exclusive note for Voice Actors in the News readers: Send your feedback to Bob and Gregg via firstname.lastname@example.org and mention that you saw the news here and Bob says he will make sure that those who respond from reading the blog will get priority when they begin taking bookings.
** Update: 3.25.2011 **
Well, we don’t have a genuine “update” on this event…yet. But since we keep getting email inquiries about it, I thought I’d at least share a response from Bob from this question we received from “Ken”:
Bob: I [attended] an animation voiceover [event in Burbank, CA]. I enjoyed it tremendously, made great contacts, good experience and got lots of good reference material. I can probably speak for all of us when I say the convention itself is a good idea but considering the negative publicity several recent cruises have received (mechanical problems, bad weather, etc), I’d prefer to stay on land. I’d also find it EXTREMELY helpful if established voice actors like yourself could give us a bit more insight on how to get our feet in the door.
Thanks for the feedback. This is still very much in the planning stages. The cruise is really incentive for the voice pros. We do a ton of these sorts of conventions and having a paid vacation on a cruise along with the fan con is a big hit. There will be Q&A planned as a part of the con. But it isn’t a workshop per se. That said, I do hope to have an animation agent and casting director on board as well. And believe it or not, a cruise is far cheaper than doing this on land. I know a cruise isn’t for everyone. But my goal is that this is the first annual con of it’s kind. I’d love for the next one to maybe be on the east coast.
And as far as “issues” regarding cruises, what doesn’t make the news is the hundreds of cruises with no issues each year. But the 2 or 3 problem cruises a year, statistically, should not be of concern. Trust me, more people will have problems flying this year than on a cruise.
Bob has promised to provide further updates as things progress.
And on the mention of voiceover workshops, Bob hosts a recurring one in Los Angeles . . . which is usually sold out a year or two in advance, unfortunately. However, he schedules workshop events and performs his one-man show in other U.S. cities throughout the year. Check his appearances schedule on BobBergen.com to see if he’s coming to a city near you. He still currently has spaces available for his May 21-22 workshop in St. Louis, MO. Here’s the Facebook event link for more details.
** Update: Bob is offering a 10% discount for Voice Actors in the News fans/readers for his St. Louis workshop. If interested, contact Bob’s workshop producer Marian at email@example.com and be sure to mention that you read this through Voice Actors in the News.
~ Craig Crumpton
Publisher, Voice Actors in the News