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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

GKN Weekly Update 6/4/13 – APAC and The Audies!

Hello and Happy Sun Awareness Week! As a pasty fellow I always try to keep an eye on it. It always seems to be following me, but only in the daytime. Hmm…


Every once in a while I take some time to reflect upon who I am as both a voice talent and a person. Why do I do what I do? Why is narrating audiobooks food for my soul? I may never know all of the reasons, but I can give you two of them: APAC and The Audies.


The Audio Publishers Association Conference is a three-day event culminating in The Audies, an award show that recognizes the finest in both audio book performance and production. On the first night is the Pre-APAC Mixer, a chance for the APAC attendees to get together, meet for the first time, or catch up with friends & colleagues. Like last year, it was held at Three Monkeys in Midtown Manhattan.


That’s me with esteemed author & narrator Karen White!

The conference itself was held the next day at the Javits Center, also in Midtown Manhattan. There were separate Narrator and Publisher Tracks so you had a great choice of seminars to choose from.


The first session I attended was “Marketing Successfully and with Manners”, led by the wonderful narrator Tavia Gilbert.My pal David Courvosier was on the panel and I learned quite a bit about how to reach out to potential clients with professionalism and class.

Next up was “Home Studio Work Flow”.


This panel was moderated by my friend Jeff Kafer, who did a great job of guiding us through some best practices to maximize productivity when working out of your home.

A particularly interesting session was “Listening Community Reviews”, moderated by Karen White. This panel discussed how & why some titles get reviewed while others don’t and the process involved.

The last session of the day was my favorite: The Listening Lounge!


Johnny Heller hosted this highly entertaining session. A dozen A-list audiobook narrators including Simon Vance, Tavia Gilbert, Kathe Mazur, Peter Berkot, and Johnny himself read selections from some of their favorite works. The selections ranged from the gripping (Eduardo Ballerini read from [sic]: A Memoir by Joshua Cody) to the clever (Barbara Rosenblat read from How I Met My Wife by Jack Winter) to the just plain goofy (Simon Vance read some Spike Milligan & Eric Idle excerpts). Listening to these amazing talents was like eating milk & cookies for ninety minutes straight!

The following evening was the spectacle known as The Audies, held at the New York Historical Society. Everyone was dressed to the nines!


That’s Best Female Narrator Katy Kellgren and four-time winner Simon Vance. BTW one of Simon’s four wins was for narrating The Tao of Pooh, one of my all-time favorite books!


That’s the host of The Audies, none other than Lemony Snicket!


That’s Bob and Debra Deyan, recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

To see all of the well-deserved winners, here is the official Press Release and List of Winners.

The evening was capped off by The Naudies! This was a fantastic unofficial after-party hosted by Jeff Kafer, Johnny Heller, and Melissa Exelberth. It was held at Mustang Harry’s in Chelsea.


That’s me with the delightful and de-lovely Robin Ray Eller.

A wonderful time was had by all!

TIP OF THE WEEK: There are many, many nuggets of wisdom I could share with you on both an educational and networking level. Sure, I learned a lot about the audiobook industry and I met a bunch of great people as well as spent quality time with good friends. Instead, I will leave you with this: attending APAC and The Audies feeds my soul because they make me feel like I’m a part of something truly special, something bigger than me or anyone else involved. They make me feel responsible to the millions of audio book listeners out there who deserve my best effort.  Regardless of your profession, strive to be the best at what you do for both yourself and for everyone you touch.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.  There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. J.C. Watts


STUFF!: I would like to thank John Florian for allowing me to represent Voiceover Xtra at APAC this week. It was an honor and a privilege!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere; GKN News…

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