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a early history short vaa of the

A short history of the early VAA
#1
So, with the closure of the VAA announced I thought I'd post a bit about it....since I was one of the people who started it. What I'd really love is the domain, and the chance to salvage some stuff of the site but so far no luck in that regard. A lot of the old crowd have been super helpful in getting back to me about it...but the Facebook remains silent.


1999-2000

[Image: P09VCs2.png]

EDIT: HOLY SHIT FROM THE YEAR 2000 the announcement of the launch of the VAA see above


In around 1999 early 2000, I got the internet and was in full on weeb mode. I did already have a microphone and often recorded some stupid stuff on a piece of edutainment software called Magic Theatre. ( If you're curious about that I already wrote about this on my blog)
Around this time I found “VARC” the voice acting resource centre. It had some tutorials, some sailor moon sound effects and a small community. It was there I met Rad Rider and we decided to start our own voice acting site. I remember at the time people would often audition then ghost from roles causing a lot of stress to producers. So a big part of the early VAA was a code of conduct saying you'd actually record stuff you were cast in, and you wouldn't be a jerk. It kind of weirdly worked in a way such a thing could only really work in the early internet.
That's why it's the Voice Acting Alliance, because in dramatic teen fashion this was a thing you signed up to, and it was a promise on how you did things. This may sound corny but whilst I dropped that teen naivete that remained a corner stone on how I wanted to run the VAA, with a specific attitude and mission statement to do things right in a supportive environment.
Rad left not long after it started though he would reappear intermittently over the years, help out then disappear into the internet ether. I do kind of miss the plethora of weird and cool personal resume pages, nowadays people tend to use social media but this was the hayday of gifs, layers and geocities.
I don't remember precisely what happened but at some point VARC died and FLAVA and Silent Dreams appeared. The VAA then largely existed as a voice actor's directory, which we used to manually update by hand any time someone wanted to join. I even think I handmade them little gif/jpg banners. Once VARC was gone tutorials started to appear too.. As a super old person aside here, I should mention this was in dial up days. When you fandubbed you had to find clips online, you then write the scripts with timing. Often when actors recorded they did so without the final video, and they just did lines to time. Once it was done you then had to download megs of data! If your parents decided to pick the phone up and make a call....you were done for. When download managers appeared there was a lot of rejoicing.
  ( I remembered the URL at this time was voiceacting.cjb.net but I can't find any back ups)


2001 ish?

So then at this point there was FLAVA, SDUBB  and I want to say a weird offshoot of yahoo groups that often intertwined all these forums. At some point our hosting went down and I was left needing a place to host all these stupid html files linking all the VA resumes of the time. Via FLAVA I had met and chatted to Danae who was totally going to fandub X. She had webspace and was willing to help host and run the site.
At this point the VAA was a weird utility site and sort of clique. Oddly FLAVA the bigger more boisterous site of the say had sign ups too....and you picked flavours.
Early Internet.
A lot of this period overlapped with being young and having really long summer holidays in which I could spend a lot of time adding the links, promoting the forum. What we now know as SEO etc what then I just thought of as the internet equivalent of posting shitty Xeroxed flyers everywhere. I spent a lot of time building the early VAA.
At some point FLAVA went down, and the people of FLAVA looking for somewhere to go went to the VAA which at this point had been the nerdy aunt of the scene.
Danae's Mum got a frankly massive web bill, and I am really surprised that she was willing to speak to me. So we needed a new home.



2002 – Voiceacting.co.uk

[Image: tBEcJCE.jpg]

Around this time I was chatting with a FLAVA member named Blue (aka Tamtu) and he offered to help host the site and I registered voiceacting.co.uk. I still kick myself for not getting the .com..but yeah some of you already know how this ends.
I woke up one morning ( or I could have come home from school) to find Tamtu had already launched the forum and rallied a bunch of people from FLAVA over there.
I started updating my newbies guide to voice acting and we started taking on new staff such as Nikkita as the site grew.
I think it was also this year I got paid for the first time for VO. People also kept saying we were merging with FLAVA and I had to keep telling them it wasn't.

2004 - The anime industry is small, and they are watching you...

In 2004 I attended the first Amecon, this was a big deal and was one of my first major cons. After some of our US members had run panels the UK VAA contingent got very excited about promoting the site to the UK side of things.

( Over the years the UK contingent was Lioncourt, Yami no Kitsune and initially on a rather impromptu basis Darth Mongoose).

There was also a fandub competition we spent a LONG time on a Princess Mononoke fandub. To this day I have trouble watching that scene as I knew it so well.

We submitted some panels and were accepted for a voice acting panel, and I think a panel on fan animation with Makenai team. I remember the schedule meaning it was several hours solid VA programming.
I do remember when we started the panel some dude came up and sat on the panel with us, I somehow thought he was friends with Yami but he didn't introduce himself and in the end none of us knew who the hell he was. Annoyingly Monica Rial the VA guest of the con had agreed to help MC it but this dude took her chair and I was too English to do anything about it XD.

We “Won” the premade contest and were treated to some prizes from ADV UK.

An awesome thing about this con was meeting people interested in voice acting, and getting to talk to Monica a lot about working with ADV/FUNi. I also got to interview her via otakunews.com.
I honestly didn't think she'd remember but every Ame Monica attended she'd say hi and ask about the site.
Around this time I wrote out a handout with basic info and the site's URL for people running panels. The main thing asked was unless an admin was on the panel people didn't apply under the VAAs name because of...well.

Around this time a friend who knew some of the Texas anime industry warned me some of the higher ups at one of the companies was worried about fandubs and so I asked the US folks in the area to emphasise clips and not full episodes. Someone plugged their  dub on a panel. I know this because I know people who went to the panel told me and that said industry people were a bit annoyed...and so I indirectly I happened to know we'd caught the attention of people in the US industry in a bad way as well as good. Nothing bad actually happened, and a few industry people lurked the forums ( including memorably an actor who was in Supergirl, who sadly passed away not long after) . But I was super worried about it and for a long time advocated for cleaning up the forums. Around this time Clym Angus started to get us some decent interviews with some UK broadcast legends, and this led to me advocating to push to a more restrictive forum again. We had had a singing April fools banner up for months  ( GOD THOSE APRIL FOOLS PRANKS SUCKED ). I know some people pushed back but I do kind of wonder what affect it would have had at the time. 


2005 – We moved hosting and voiceactingalliance ( DOT) com was registered. I don't really feel up to talking about that too much but that is when I lost full control of the site though I was still an admin.


Owing to the 2005 incident I won't add too much to this but I wanna close out on what I think was a high.

2006 Amecon again

So after the great Texan fan panel event occurred I was a bit on edge. A few people had managed to launch pro careers off of the site so it felt like we were always running a bit of a gamble. I know now that some people have happily gone from fan dubs to pro work but at the time I did worry that by saying the wrong thing at a panel a few people may have made things hard for themselves.
So in 2006 we went to Amecon again, the guests  Monica Rial, Chris Patton and Greg Ayers were holding a panel. The Brit VAA contingent was of course there and another attendee asked about getting into voice acting.
I want to say it was Greg though it could have been Chris straight up recommended the VAA. I hadn't expected either of them to know about it, and the fact it wasn't Monica kind of led be to believe this wasn't the first time he might have brought it up either. Wil the con chair pointed me out and explained I ran the forum and I think my heart might have exploded.

( that weeb phase ran deep).

I thought at that point, it'd be OK and the Texans wouldn't sue us after all.

In 2007 when I was at work a forum remember recognised me from videos shot at a con, that was really weird but cool.
After this it all gets a bit dark and depressing so we'll skip it for now. I linked the blog post about some of the weird personal effects voice acting had, including ending up in the games industry so I'll finish this by saying what really stuck with me was the people, both those who became good friends, some of whom I lost contact and same of whom went off and became pros. I still grin when I see a familiar name.



Loads of names spring to mind and I'm sure I'll forget some:
Amara, Kei, Danae, Mindy, Nikkita, Treg, Rad Rider, Darth Mongoose, Menchi,, Lioncourt, Edwyn, Yami no Kitsune, Clym, Haushinka, River,Tamtu, Masako, Tali,Harabek Yoda....



Anyway ending on a high I hope VA Space gets even a measure of the love and energy the VAA got, I had some really shitty life stuff going on at the time but the VAA opened some doors for me and I met some fantastic people and had some really weird experiences. I mean some really weird ones, I was once in a Sims ad that played during the opening of Hot Fuzz.

Heart

It took a long time to get over stuff once I resigned but I felt like I really didn't have a choice, I had shit I wanted to do with the site and I didn't achieve it.  I don't think you can ever go back, the net is a different beast but I think if we can help bring people together like we once did then VA space is worth it.

If you want a new code of conduct it's
- Try not to be a jerk and say sorry when you are.
- Show an interest in the work of others.
- Don't advocate piracy when senior staff from anime firms are in your panel, the badges are normally differently coloured.

That wasn't really the main reason for the post, it was really so I could complain about early dial up.

Signing of Azure
[Image: CoPQuxG.png]
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#2
Feel free to post your memories here, BTW I'll also leave links to the VA interviews I co conducted with Joe of Otakunews.com who got me press passes and interview slots.

Monica
http://www.otakunews.com/article.php?story=68

Monica and Chris Patton
http://otakunews.com/article.php?story=952

Vic Mignogna
http://www.otakunews.com/article.php?story=1882

Brad Swaile
https://www.otakunews.com/uk/article.php?story=2032

Signing of Azure
[Image: CoPQuxG.png]
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#3
had no idea it went back that far, I will all about Sims Machinima and nothing else for ages
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#4
Short update for those who DM-ed me, I finally found out who has the domain. Think it may be the end for that particular route.

Signing of Azure
[Image: CoPQuxG.png]
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#5
wow the vaa brings back a lot good and bad memories I remember being in a sailor moon fandub with Christina vee I left the vaa after constructive criticism became bullying, I met some great friends, from the board including a girl in my town who is still a great friend today and another girl who lives in San Diego, but we are also still good friends I left the vaa around 2012 sad to see this era of voice acting boards go, I was princesssailormoon on there.
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#6
@ChibiJen88 sad to hear you got bullied, people could turn pretty nasty on there which is why a lot of us left

Signing of InkLING ARE YOU A KID OR A SQUID?
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#7
Heyo all,
man I can't even imagine running the beast that was the VAA. I was known as Midnightmoonproductions there and I joined in 2007 with a karaoke mic and big dreams. I remember auditioning for tons of things and not getting it or auditioning, getting a role, then it not going anywhere.

I do remember a few names from there that I actually still talk to on a personal bases, some as friends, and others as professional Voice over artists. Most prominent that I talk to are Raizuto, SteadyTokai, LG65, and Bladeblur. Though I have other VAA members on my facebook as well.

I made some great friendships on the VAA and more over I got to make some awesome offline friends from my days at the VAA. I ran a few projects myself.

I attempted to produce a fandub of Chrono Crusade episode 1 however I waited months and pestered and still didn't get many people to hand over thier lines once casted. The main project I did manage to get released was my NND Ryuuseigan project and though I tried to do a NND Ryuuseigan anniversary project 1 year after the original VAA release it was never finished due to lack of lines, I did post a preview of it though on youtube.

After awhile none of the projects interested me so I went haitus there so I could work more on my auditions with FUNimation and another local studios. After awhile I decided to go back and it was just not the same VAA. I auditioned for several projects but the projects were abandoned before casting was even finished. When I posted a newer demo-reel It wasn't even looked at. I did get scouted a few times but nothing ever got off the ground.

I miss the VAA and was sadened when I saw it was taken down. I had hopes it would return but as we approach a year of it's closure I fear the worst. I have hopes that Voiceacting.space can be the rebirth of the VAA. We all just gotta work together to make it a positive experiance <3

Signing of XionFox Texas based Professional Voice Actress
Animation Demo Reel
My Twitch
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#8
Thanks for your post! I think we've all had productions that have entered production hell at one time or another. I appreciate you sharing your memories. If anyone else is still about do send them over here. I'd love to hear more. It's easy to become sad/bitter over it but I think a lot of us also made good friends and some of you launched careers off of it. When we started even talking to a VA at a con was a major deal, now I see ex-VAA people in stuff all the time, even if I don't talk to many of them now it makes me really happy.

Signing of Azure
[Image: CoPQuxG.png]
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#9
Yeah Chris Thurman, amber lee connors, emily frajardo, and Amalee [amanda lee] are all in tons of stuff now. They were all VAA members

Signing of XionFox Texas based Professional Voice Actress
Animation Demo Reel
My Twitch
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#10
I don't think one ever leaves full weeb mode, tbh.
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