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Scholarship Winners at VO Atlanta 2018!

Damon's Experience:

Anne caught up with our National Scholarship Winner, Damon, at Vo Atlanta and here’s what he had to say about the experience:

“Don’t worry if your job is small, And your rewards are few. Remember that the mighty oak, Was once a nut like you.”      - Anonymous

Anne Ganguzza & Damon Alums Vo Atlanta
Anne Ganguzza & Damon Alums

This little poem has been the mantra for my growth in the voiceover industry. Three years ago, I thought I was nuts for even considering giving it a shot. Having planted the dream-seed of a career in VO, watering it with sound choices and a lot of hard work, I applied for the Carol Joy Scholarship for VO Atlanta AND GOT THE NOD.  In my 2017 application, I have to confess a bit of bravado, saying something to the effect of, “I’ll make it to VO Atlanta, even if I have to take the shoe leather express to get there”.  Well, because of the generosity of the selection committee, I was able to attend, save all that shoe leather, and not panic when post-convention bills arrived. For that, I am eternally grateful.  Being selected by the committee was proof positive that the little nut of my VO career has blossomed. As the largest industry conference going, I am proud to have my name connected with VO Atlanta. What was surprising was that the Scholarship winners from the previous year were kind enough to reach out to the next graduating class for a very useful “Here’s what you can expect” session, as well as an invitation to contact them with any other questions or concerns. I hear this is a new tradition, and it is one I plan to continue, reinforcing VO Atlanta’s environment of welcoming hospitality.

As for the conference ITSELF? Days after, I am still smiling to myself and overwhelmed at the personalities I was privileged enough to meet, and the lessons they were kind enough to provide. Even among the grandest of grand voiceover mighty oaks, they made a sapling like me feel noteworthy, and the up-and-coming saplings like myself got to meet, share war stories over some of the GREAT meals served over the conference, and create ties that will last long after the close of ceremonies, setting the stage for grand reunions in 2019. If it is possible to feel exhausted AND refreshed, that would describe what I’m feeling after my VO Atlanta experience. I’m not where I’m going to be, but I’m sure not where I was. With the big oaks sending some sunshine my way, they remind me that I’m not as nuts as I thought I was, and with the wisdom provided during the event, my growth in the industry will be incremental until I stand with the rest of the mighty oaks and can bend to send sunshine to the next hopeful seed. Thank you, VO Atlanta selection committee. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR. Damon Alums

Frank's Experience:

Anne caught up with our International Scholarship Winner, Frank, at Vo Atlanta and here’s what he had to say about the experience:

Thank-you so much to Anne Ganguzza and the VO Peeps for selecting me as the international Scholarship winner. It’s because of the generosity of veteran Voice Actors like Anne, and their consistent willingness to give back to the VO community that newer, up and coming, artists like myself are able to attend incredible events like VO Atlanta, and learn so much to propel my career forward. Thanks again to VO Peeps, and VO Boss for being such a great resource for the voicing community!

Anne Ganguzza & Frank Stecky VO Atlanta
Anne Ganguzza & Frank Stecky

Some thoughts from a newbie:

– First to Anne Ganguzza, Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to attend this wonderful event through your yearly scholarship program. Your generosity allowed me to allocate extra money to X-Sessions and take home so much more than memories.

– To the presenters and other attendees at the X-Sessions I took in: Tom Pinto, Christi Bowen, Kim Handysides, Anne Ganguzza, Tim Keenan and Cliff Zelman; You people rock!! Not only knowledgeable, but fun. Great information and instruction. Thank-you.

– To the many news friends I met, particularly Damon, Scott, Randy, Jon, Alan, Sam, Tim, David, Uncle Roy and Don. Thank-you for making these 4 days so much fun, and inspirational. Some people say it, but I mean it – I will not lose touch with any of you.

– To anyone who has ever waffled about attending. I know what financial constraints are about, but try to have one less coffee, drop Netflix for 3 mos, give up a concert ticket, whatever… just try and budget to be able to find a way to attend. The personal sacrifices you make through the year will all be worth it!!

– Finally to Gerald Griffith and the entire VOA staff. ???. Your efforts, which quietly happen behind the scenes 361 days before this event, make the 4 days of this event incredible. Thank-you for all you do, to make all of us feel so special.

See you all in 2019, and much success for the rest of the year! - Frank Stecky

Check out our VO Peeps VO Atlanta 2018 Podcast with the Scholarship Winners and VIPeeps Members Ryan Rubi and Ken Foster:


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