The Audiobook Narrator's Survival-Fun
Guide To APAC-Audies Week In New York
May 2, 2017
(VOXtra) - New York City should declare late May this year as Audiobook Week, when the industry's narrators, publishers and producers are gathering for major events, networking and partying - anchored by APAC - the annual conference of the Audio Publishers Association (APA) on May 31, and the next night's glamorous Audie Awards® Gala. The Audies is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.
Note: If you don't already have a ticket to APAC, think NEXT year for attending. It's sold out. And the Audie Awards Gala tickets - if still available - are $450 for APA members, $550 non-members. But that doesn't leave you on the streets, since pre- and post-socials - including the infamous Naudies Night - will have you rubbing shoulders and exchanging business cards (print more!) many times over. (Advisory: Your throat will get a workout, so plan your recordings accordingly.)Tom Dheere has been following APAC for VoiceOverXtra for many years, and treats us to the following "Narrator's Survival-Fun Guide" to where to be in this busy week. (Special thanks to narrator/coach Johnny Heller who laid the foundation for this in a February blog.)
By Tom Dheere
Audiobook Narrator, Voice Actor, Business Coach
The Audio Publishers Association's APAC and Audie Awards Gala week offers much more that two highly anticipated annual events. Much more!
Here is everything you need to navigate and enjoy all the wonderful audiobook events in New York City from May 30 to June 1 - and even further if you attend BookExpo America and BookCon.
BTW: If you have additional tips or tricks to share, please post them in the "Comments" below. Enjoy!
WHERE TO STAY
If you haven't found a place to stay yet, the Hudson New York, Central Park Hotel (pictured) is a popular destination for many APAC attendees this year. Here's the address: 358 W 58th Street, New York, NY 10019; click here for details and reservation. Or call 212-554-6000.
FYI: this is a good time to see what points you've saved up from your various hotel stays over the years and see what you can cash in. Even if you don't have enough points for a free night, some hotels let you cash in points for a discounted rate.
AirBnB is always a fun and relatively inexpensive option. I've used it many times over the years and never had a problem.
There are also many hotels in New Jersey, just a few minutes west of the Lincoln Tunnel. For instance:
If you buy a Metro Card for the NYC subway you can use it on the PATH system, too.
Of course, Uber and Lyft are other popular options. Taxis can get pricey.
But I prefer the subway. If you take the subway, click here to download the MyTransit NYC smartphone app, which shows you subway maps and alerts about delays and shutdowns.
If it's a beautiful day, walk!
A special walking treat on the West Side is the High Line - an elevated railway converted to a walking path festooned with floral life and sculptures. The extra-fun part is that the High Line starts (or ends, depending on your perspective) right next to the Jacob K. Javitts Convention Center (site of APAC).
NEED TO RECORD?
If your portable recording gear or hotel pillow fort doesn't work for your auditions and recording jobs during the week, check out Edge Studio at 115 West 45th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), Floor 8.
The studio is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm ET. To book: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-321-EDGE (3343).
Studio time there costs $25 per 15 minutes to record an audition; $200 per hour to record a job. Both rates include an engineer.
JOHNNY HELLER'S WORKSHOP
Tuesday, May 30; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Baruch College, Engelman Recital Hall
55 Lexington Avenue
Audiobook narrator/coach Johnny Heller's 3rd Annual Splendiferous Workshop is a must!
Johnny's workshop is filled to the brim with top-notch audiobook narrators and producers who share their deepest, darkest secrets about audiobook narration.
It's a day of highly informative panels, and if you're lucky you'll get called up for some live coaching! Click here for details and to register.
The closest subway stop to Baruch College is the #6 (GREEN) train at 23rd Street.
PRE-APAC NETWORKING SOCIAL
Tuesday, May 30; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
The West 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe
Hosted by the APA, this is a great place to meet your fellow APAC-peeps.
The closest subway stop is the #1 (RED) train stop on 79th Street and Broadway. If you're coming from Johnny's Workshop, walk to 23rd Street and 5th Avenue to take to N or R (YELLOW) train to 42nd Street Times Square, and then transfer to the #1 (RED) train. When you get out of the subway, head for the water, but stop before you fall in. Nobody wants to network with a damp narrator.
Click here for details and registration (scroll down to Upcoming Events).
APAC (Audio Publishers Association Conference 2017) - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, May 31; 8 am - 6 pm
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street, New York
If you wanna get technical, the convention center sprawls from 34th Street to 38th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues.
APAC sessions will be held in Hall E, which is closer to 34th Street. There will be signs once you get inside. Here's a map!
The #7 (PURPLE) train has been extended to 34th Street, right in front of Javits! That will make your commute much easier.
Here's what APA Executive Director Michelle Cobb (pictured) says about this annual sell-out event:
"APAC 2017 sold out in record time, and it's the place to be as the audiobook market continues to grow! With plenty of opportunities to learn from peers, meet publishers and producers and hear about what's new in the industry.
"Keynote speaker Tom Webster from Edison Research will be walking everyone through highlights from our annual Consumer Survey to kick off, and then there are lots of choices in topics throughout the day. Check out all the details and schedule.
"We are in HALL E of the Javits Center this year, and our main room for meals and big events – the River Pavilion - has a great view.
"Audiobooks will also be present at BookExpo America (which runs at the same time at the Javits Center) as part of a panel on consumer data.
"Plus, note the kick off to June is Audiobook Month with Audiobook Jeopardy on Sunday (June 4) at BookCon.From years of APAC experience, here's what I recommend to prepare for the day:
Wednesday, May 31
Hudson New York, Central Park Hotel
358 West 58th Street
Johnny Heller hosts. If you're going straight there from Javits, it's a 20-block walk. That's about 35 minutes. If it's a nice day and you wanna stretch your legs after sitting in seminars all day, go for it!
If not, you can take the #7 (PURPLE) train on 34th Street to Times Square and transfer to the (BLUE) A or C or (ORANGE) B or D to the 59th Street station.
DEEP DIVE AUDIOBOOK TECH WORKSHOP
Thursday, June 1; 9 am - Noon
NDRI, 71 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor
Looking to brush up your audiobook home studio skills? Then consider this "Deep Dive" workshop with Amanda Rose Smith. Training will include basic acoustics, signal flow, mic technique, software, and mastering techniques. Click here for details and registration.
AUDIE AWARDS® GALA
Thursday, June 1; 6:30 - 11 pm
French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
This a swanky, black tie-optional affair featuring receptions and presentations of the prestigious 22nd Annual Audie Awards®, including awards for best female and male narrators.
There are 26 categories with four or more finalists in each, so click here for a scorecard to all the finalists.
And click here for details about finalists for the coveted Audiobook of the Year award.
The program is hosted once again by comedian/narrator Paula Poundstone. I was at the Audies last year and she was a riot! You can see the entire 2016 show here. The first 30 minutes are dead air, so I cued it up for ya.
The closest subway station is the (YELLOW) NRW stop at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Click here for details and tickets to the Gala (scroll down to Upcoming Events).
Thursday, June 1; 6:30 pm to whenever
Connolly's Pub & Restaurant
121 West 45th Street
Hosted by Johnny Heller, Jeffrey Kafer and Melissa Exelberth, this is a marginally less swanky affair where everyone who didn't get nominated for an Audie Award goes to commiserate. But you'll find nominees here, too. And it's free to attend! (Cash bar and food, of course.)
There are a bunch of subway stops nearby, so getting there should be easy.
PROTECT YOUR VOICE
Much of the APAC frivolity takes place in loud, crowded bars. Between that, the traveling in flying virus tubes to get to and from New York City as well as the up-and-down temperatures you'll endure, there is a chance you'll lose your voice, get sick, or both.
Over more than two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 50 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the new sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.
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