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Special Guests: Paul Stefano and Sean Daeley

In our second ever Quad-cast – we speak with the guys from The VOMeter – Paul Stefano and Sean Daeley! These boys are bosses! We have a ton of fun talking with them about industry trends and sharing a lot of laughs in the process. Let’s see how we ‘measure up’ in this week’s episode of VOBoss.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Sean and Paul started The VOMeter after only a few years in the industry and use the platform to share the ups and downs of the early part of their careers.

  2. They came out of nowhere and took over the scene in a big way

  3. They are very honest about their long and shortcomings.

  4. It’s all about helping people to measure their voiceover progress and first-time experiences.

  5. They guys have had some wonderful mentors and speak openly about how they helped them along the way.

  6. Sean credits Anne with much of his success as a VO Atlanta scholarship winner.

  7. Paul and Sean have a wonderful chemistry in an odd couple way.

  8. VO Meter and VOBoss will both be at VO Atlanta 2019.

  9. We talk openly about trends in Pay to Play. And the future of it.

  10. We also discuss conference fatigue and the future trends for voiceover events.

  11. You don’t need to attend all the conferences in a calendar year to benefit.

  12. A podcast is a great way to meet and talk to people you want to know!

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

The VO Meter Podcast
Paul Stefano’s Website
Sean Daeley’s Website
Recorded on ipDTL


>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Heyyy. So for the second time, we have –

Anne: Oooh! Quadcast!

Gabby: Not a podcast, yes, but a quadcast.

Anne: We have –

Sean: Quadcast!

Anne: We have our second, second quadcast, and we are so excited to have with us our special, special friends – [laughs] No really, they’re special friends.

Gabby: That really made them sound special.

Sean: What are you trying to say here?

Anne: Amazing – they are, I meant amazing special –

Gabby: That’s right.

Sean: Awesome, special. Everyone is special.

Anne: Everybody’s favorite podcast hosts from the VO Meter, Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano. Woo-hoo! Hey, guys.

Gabby: Hello, gentlemen.

Sean: Hey, thanks for having us.

Paul: Yeah, we’ve been excited about this for a long time. It’s like that crossover episode of Scooby Doo, where Sonny and Cher showed up. [laughs]

Gabby: I was more a fan of the Supernatural-Scooby Doo crossover, but at least it’s in the same family, so I’m with you.

Paul: There was a bunch of those, the Harlem Globetrotters, Batman and Robin –

Sean: Batman and Robin – Yeah.

Paul: [laughs]

Anne: There you go.

Gabby: Would you two tell us how this unlikely pairing got started, how this all happened, please? We need to know things.

Paul: Sean, why don’t you start it off?

Sean: OK, so –

Paul: For a change, we’re actually being polite.

Anne: Wow.

Sean: I know, that’s why this, the long, uncomfortable pauses, we’re just getting used to talking with someone over a podcast. Like you just have to pay more attention to those cues, right, like “are they done? Can I jump in now?” Like, you know?

Anne: It’s true, it’s so true. But wait, because we’re on ipDTL, we can talk over one another, which makes it even cooler.

Paul: That’s true.

Sean: You can separate the tracks.

Anne: That was Anne’s tech brain. Sorry. Go on, Sean.

Sean: So yeah, we’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and basically Paul reached out to me after – how many people did you ask, Paul?

Paul: I was rejected by about five or six, but you were in the initial group.

Sean: That’s true. And at first, I mean, we had both been pursuing voiceover at about the same time. I think Paul started maybe a year after I did. We had been following each other’s progress on Facebook and the Voiceover Bulletin Board, or the VOBB. He’s like, “hey man, I really want to do this podcast.” And I was like, “we’ve only been in the trenches for a couple of years.” I was like, “what do we have to offer?” He’s like, “well, more than you’d think.” And so we just kind of winged our first couple of episodes, and then we got a really positive response from that, and then we just kept doing it, and just kept growing and growing, and now we have several thousand followers and downloaders every month. It’s amazing.

Gabby: I respect it. You guys just kind of like went, “here we are. Hey.” And that was that.

Anne: It’s true. “Here we are, this is our podcast.”

Gabby: I think in your careers as well, because I’ve, I mean, I’ve met both of you numerous times at different voiceover events, different conferences. When I found out that neither of you had been in the industry for too terribly long, I was like “no, no, no, that can’t be right. No, no, that, no, come on.” You guys just did this amazing job of promoting and getting yourselves out there and meeting people, and so, yeah, I love that.

Anne: It took me like two years before Gabby came on board, and like, that’s all the prep work that I did. So like you guys just appeared and wham bam, like here we are. There’s a lot to be said for that. Just like, here we are, and just keep going, and it’s just a lot of really great stuff coming out from you guys.

Sean: I don’t know if fake it ‘til you make it mentality is, really applies here, but it was just more of a confidence thing, and Paul’s one of the most tenacious marketers I’ve ever met. And I feel like we kind of approached our VO careers in very different ways. It’s one of the reasons why we have a good dynamic. We can offer like diverse perspectives, just from the two of us. He also knows this. When I was kind of watching his progress over the last couple of years, I was like, “man, this guy’s doing everything wrong. Like did his own demos, didn’t get any coaching, just buying whatever mic he could find [laughs] this guy’s not going anywhere fast.” And then I kind of had to eat my own words, ’cause within a year, I feel like he, he really turned everything around. He chose some good mentors who he really listened to their advice, and he didn’t let those initial mistakes discourage him. And then, so it was right about that time that he approached me to do the podcast, and I was like, “you know what? This guy does have something to offer, and maybe I do too, so why the hell not?”

Paul: You bring up a good point that the whole thrust of the podcast then and now is to help people who are in a similar boat as us. So we have our slogan, “measuring your voiceover progress.” And really, the goal initially was to measure our own progress and talk about the things we were experiencing, our first agents, our first auditions, our first videogame bookings, those types of things. But it has become more a way to measure for people who are just starting out in the business, the things they should be focusing on and approaching. And all of that came out of a place of generosity because of all the generosity we received from all the fabulous pros in the VO industry. Sean mentioned the VOBB, and we were helped out tremendously by some of the people there. The ones that come to mind immediately are Doug Turkel, and Peter Bishop, and Melissa Exelberth. They’re such great mentors, without asking for anything in return.

Anne: Wonderful people.

Paul: And they really encouraged us to keep going forward, after the first couple of episodes, where we really did kind of wing it, honestly. You look back and hear it.

Anne: It’s OK. We did too. You kind of learn as you go.

Paul: Right, exactly. We’re really grateful to have been able to, to have the response that we’ve had where now we’re over 15,000 downloads. It’s really been fantastic.

Anne: You guys have such a great chemistry together too, and that’s something people will talk to Gabby and I about. But there is something to be said to having a good chemistry and working together, having fun, and also, you know, giving back to the community and being a good resource.

Gabby: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

[Paul and Anne laugh]

Anne: Sure, fine, Gabby. We really hate each other. [laughs]

Sean: Totally. Like you’re practically two shades of the same person. It’s amazing. Like Paul and I have a kind of an odd couple thing going on, so.

Paul: Yeah, exactly.

Sean: Kind of an opposites attract, but it works. ‘Cause like we said, we’re trying to offer those diverse experiences, and nobody’s journey is the same. Like, you should really hear as many different experiences as possible and be like, “alright, maybe I can’t do it exactly like this person did, but I can sure hell – like learn a heck of a lot from it.” Speaking of mentors, I just wanted to talk about Anne because I would not be where I am without support from her. I won, several years ago, the International VO Atlanta Scholarship, so this was back when I was – Anne’s like, “oh my God, I forgot.”

Anne: You did.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: No, I don’t forget you. No. [laughs]

Sean: So I was teaching English in Japan at the time, and I didn’t really have the income to afford coming to America again to go to an industry conference. That’s the first one I’d ever gone to. It just changed my life and career. Like I mean, I frickin’, I got a 416 during the raffle. I got a job at –

Anne: I know, you won everything!

Sean: I won everything!

Anne: You did!

Sean: Like people kind of, like someone’s, I don’t know – but anyways, that even and your involvement with it has just continued to pay dividends to me in my career year after year.

Anne: Thank you.

Sean: I am glad to have this semi-public or super public opportunity to thank you for that. I was actually watching a kind of intro to voiceover webinar recently from Steve Blum, ’cause I like kind of, you know, seeing what people are offering, what advice. He talked about the importance of mentors, because you really can’t do this journey by yourself. At some point you’re gonna need some kind of help, so definitely find those people that you resonate with or just generous spirits out there who might be able to get you to where you want to go.

Gabby: All right, Paul, we’re just going to take our curmudgeonous selves off somewhere else and let these two, you know, do whatever this is. This is way too much, I don’t know.

Sean: Too much positivity.

Gabby: Too much love and –

Anne: There is so much love.

Gabby: Feelings, I can’t.

Anne: Feelings, fuzzies.

Paul: Don’t worry. I’m bringing a foldable baton to VO Atlanta in case Sean gets out of line, whack in the back of the knee.

Gabby: Good, I need to borrow that. Yeah. Good, OK.

Paul: He said galooly.

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Anne: So we’re all going to be at VO Atlanta. That’ll be awesome. Are you guys going to be broadcasting? Are you going to be podcasting from VO Atlanta?

Paul: We are efforting a spot to do that, yes. We would like to do that if time allows.

Gabby: Maybe we can get a live, live version of this going.

Anne: Live quadcast.

Gabby: Yeah.

Sean: Quadcast! Everyone working on those squats.

Anne: [laughs]

Paul: So VO BOSSes, one of the things we want to talk about are some industry trends, because you both seem to always have your finger on the pulse of the VO industry. Thought it would be a good time to talk about your opinions on some of the biggest issues that are out there for talent, I guess as well as casting directors and companies that are hiring voices as well. What do you want to start with? Talk about the big elephant in the room?

Anne: The elephant, the elephant in the room. You know [laughs] it’s hard to tell. It’s hard to really gauge where people are in this industry. There’s a, there’s a bunch of us that are out on social media, and we know each other. And then there’s a bunch of people that we don’t know, because they’re not on social media, right? And then there’s the people that we see at the conferences. So sometimes I feel like what is happening in our industry is slightly skewed to where we hang out and who we’re hanging out with. In order to have an eye on all of it is just to try to experience a piece of it all, which is why I’m always a big fan of, you know, if the big talk is pay-to-plays, be on the pay-to-plays so you know what you’re talking about. If the big talk is the conventions, then go to one, and then see what everybody’s talking about. And if you can network with people face-to-face to get that other perspective, I think that really helps, to see what’s really happening in the industry and to have a career in it. You really should have a look at all aspects of it, if you can. And of course I think the big elephant in the room right now is pay-to-plays, right, and casting, online casting.

Paul: Yeah, especially in the last couple of weeks where a new player has emerged that actually you talked to.

Anne: We do have a new player, which I think is exciting because that new player is targeting a market that is up and coming. Those will be our future BOSSes, and that will be the younger generation. And so I think in order to get their attention, he’s… going to be able to put in a lot of money or a comparable amount of money, we hope, to other players in the market that will help to, I don’t know, maybe even out things a bit. What are your thoughts? Gabby?

Gabby: We talk so much about all these different pockets with the trends and the ups and the downs of the industry. I sometimes think we just have to realize we can’t always be on the pulse of everything, and everything that’s going on may or may not be pertinent to someone’s career. You kind of have to pick and choose and take what you need and leave the rest, like anything else. So I know, I mean for my business model right now, you know, yeah, the pay-to-play thing is sort of there. It’s in a back corner somewhere. I don’t pay a ton of attention to it because I’m not active on any of them. It doesn’t impact my day to day. But I keep a lookout from the distance. I like to know. I like to kind of have an idea of what’s happening, but you know, it doesn’t necessarily have the same impact on me as it might have on someone else.

Paul: You bring up a good point. I actually was talking to a studio today. We somehow mentioned VO Atlanta, and the owner said, “oh, I’ve never been there before. I’d always wanted to.” And I said, “well, you know, I’d volunteer for the team. I could probably talk to Gerald and maybe get some traction there.” And he said, “who’s Gerald?”

[Anne laughs]

Paul: So this guy’s been in the business for like 25 years, owned the same studio forever, does I can’t even imagine how many sessions a day and a year, and it’s just not on his radar.

Gabby: Yeah. We’ve all experienced that in some way, shape or form. Someone we know, and we go, “oh man, this person who is so well known, so well respected in voiceover,” and someone else just goes, “who?” And we’re like, “oh man.” [laughs]

Anne: Gabby, you bring up such a good point. I think we have to have I think a balanced dose of maybe minding our own business, which is, you know, hey, if it’s pertinent to you and your business, what keeps you going on a day to day basis, and keeps it as a career rather than a hobby, as well as what’s happening in the industry, just to keep your eyes on it, to see how it might affect you, because really we’re all in this business together, right?

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And I certainly need to stay in business. So therefore I need to have my eye out on the other aspects of the industry as much as I can, but when it comes down to it, it does really come down to me and my business, and how I’m able to survive and progress forward, and still be successful. Sean, what about you?

Sean: Like, you guys are all exceptional examples because you do put forth great effort to find your own work. So someone who has not, doesn’t have the experience or doesn’t know how to market themselves properly might be more reliant on an online casting site or an agent to find their work. And I really love that what you said just now about the importance of finding that balance, but from the opposite side, it’s also important not to be so focused on the forest of voiceover that you’re ignoring the individual trees of your own business that you need to tend to. I really think it is a matter of balance both being informed and aware, but also finding enough opportunities for yourself that you are prepared for whatever shifts happen.

Gabby: Philosophical, metaphorical, poetic, I love this.

Anne: Yeah, that’s so true, Sean.

Sean: You forgot handsome.

Gabby: We need more. [laughs]

Anne: So true.

Paul: He’s good, that one.

Gabby: [laughs] Yes.

Sean: That’s why he keeps me around.

Anne: That Sean.

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Paul: So speaking of events, we talked about VO Atlanta. I’m going to say something that’s probably going to bite the hand that feeds me, but I’ve never been one to hold back. So I’m going to say it anyway. Do you think there’s a bit of event fatigue in the industry? I feel like lately there’s been more and more cropping up with regional and independent events that are targeting the voiceover industry. And I’m also seeing a drop-off in attendance to some of these conferences with people I know had gone in the past to some of these other events. Do you think it’s become oversaturated?

Anne: I think that there’s definitely more conferences then used to be. That is for sure. We are riding a wave together. And I think we all get tired at some point at the same time because we see posts concerning this issue or that issue, or too many conferences, or which conference to attend. Having a lot of conferences out there, yeah, there’s podcasts out there, right, there’s classes out there. It’s not just the conferences. It’s everything. I think the industry is just growing to a point where now there’s some healthy competition in just about every aspect of the business in terms of education, in terms of conferences, in terms of groups to join. It’s all starting to see, I think, a growth. And I don’t know if that can be helped. I don’t know if that’s just an industry that’s getting bigger, and we’re riding the wave of an industry that’s gotten to be much larger than it used to be.

Gabby: I think so. I think all of these topics kind of converge when we start to realize that as we progress, the industry is gonna become more, and more, and more personalized to the individual. And you know, I always joke now that you can put 100 voice actors in a room, and none of us have the same career. Well, it’s just going to keep happening. It’s just going to keep growing and increasing. And so I think with the events, they’re going to become more specialized. They’re going to become a little bit more targeted. Things like VO Atlanta will always have a really great presence because they do so much to attract relatively new talent, and that is important for them to have a quality ground to learn, and share, and meet people. But yeah, other ones are going to start becoming really, really, really specialized. We’re already starting to see that a little bit.

Sean: I agree completely. It’s almost like the demand is finally starting to meet the supply of new talent that’s coming in. The con fatigue, there’s almost like this implied notion that you have to go to all of them, or you have to go to several of them throughout the year. And that’s like, that’s impractical. That’s ridiculous. Like no. I mean, there’s only like, if you do that much, I mean, it’s going to like, not only is it information overload, or maybe even a lot of the same information again and again, but like I mean it’s a drain on your wallet. Like is it really – is there really a good return on investment if you are going that often? I mean, how can you even apply all the information and techniques that you learn at one convention throughout the year let alone more than one?

Gabby: But it’s FOMO. That’s it.

Anne: Yeah. Right?

Sean: There we go. It’s this kind of wisdom of the crowd crowdfunding. We’re like, “is this online casting site OK? Is this con the best one?” Do your own research. Figure out if it’s good for you, for your situation.

Gabby: Yeah.

Sean: Like I mean, take people’s advice to heart and like, but ultimately you’re the one who’s making these decisions. So you really should put more confidence in your own experience, and what you are trying to get out of these experiences, rather than putting all of that faith in the wisdom of the crowd.

Paul: Just start a podcast and start interviewing people you want to –

Sean: That’s right.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: There you go.

Paul: – interface with. That’s my secret. I literally just got an email from Matt Dubois. He wants to come on the show. [laughs]

Anne: Paul, I’m going to agree with you because honestly that’s why VO Peeps was started. I wanted to meet so many people in the industry. It’s one way. It’s one way to do that. One way to get to know people and –

Paul: Yeah, it’s my dirty secret as well. I mean, I go to all these events basically for free and broadcast. [laughs]

Anne: I’m not even embarrassed to admit that. I mean, that’s just a marketing point. Right?

Gabby: Why would you be?

Anne: We’re just being good business people, podcasting.

Sean: I’ve actually heard that from a lot of the people we’ve talked to, not just podcast hosts but like for example Gerald Griffith or Val Kelly for VO Atlanta and MAVO. They created this opportunity to network with other actors.

Anne: Sure.

Sean: The people, they brought the industry leaders to them and created – it’s again, it’s about creating your own opportunities. So –

Paul: Yeah, I think Val said the whole reason she started the first event was so she could meet Sunday Muse.

[Gabby and Sean laugh]

Sean: Can’t blame her. I mean Sunday is an incredible person. Ideally there is enough VO cons around that you can find one that’s close to you with people you want to like, to network with and learn from, and you don’t have to go to all the big ones. But just like I said, do your research, figure out which one will give you the experience you want, and then stick to it.

Anne: So I would love to give a shoutout and props to ipDTL, our sponsor, who allowed us to have this amazing quadcast.

Gabby: Woo-hoo!

Anne: Woo-hoo! With Paul and Sean, and thank you, guys, so much for joining us.

Paul: Thanks for having us. It was so, so fun. [laughs]

Sean: It was awesome. My quads are burning.

Anne: “My quads –

Gabby: Yay!

Anne: – are burning!” How can people get in touch with you guys?

Paul: We have a website, Don’t put the “the” in there, it’s just All of our current episodes are on there, and you can find us on PodBean, who is our episode host, or iTunes, or Stitcher, or anywhere else that fine podcasts are found.

Sean: We also have a Facebook page at the VO Meter, so just type into your Google machine The VO Meter Facebook Page, and it should take you right there. And we’re always happy to get questions or audio samples. Or we’re always taking suggestions for our VO Meter shtick segments or questionable gear purchases. So if you have any interesting stories or questionable gear purchases that you made recently, we’d love to hear about it.

Anne: And we’d like to give a great big thank you to our newest sponsor, Your voice, your way.

Gabby: They’re efficient, transparent. These guys are the most effective voice career management and professional voice casting tool in the industry. Check them out. Thank you, guys, so much for joining us. For all things BOSS, guys, make sure to go to the website, Lots of stuff up there.

Anne: Wherever fine podcasts are found. Thanks, guys. Have an amazing week.

[Others laugh]

Paul: Thanks, guys.

Sean: Thank you, both.

Anne and Gabby: Bye!

Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.