We had the good fortune of connecting with Billie Jo Konze and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Billie Jo, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I used to be averse to the idea of discipline, even though I was a straight-A student. But practice or having a routine just sounded terrible. I still kind of feel that way, but learning how to be my own boss and hold myself accountable to get things done has been extremely important. As an actor, you’re just a freelancer. Until you get the role, everything is up to you-memorizing your lines for auditions, making sure your home studio is top notch, getting new headshots, researching the industry, taking classes… If you don’t hold yourself accountable to constantly improve, you’ll fall behind everyone else.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
These days, I’m mostly focused on voiceover. While Covid threw a wrench in some of my plans, it has actually helped me in other ways. In the past, I have tried to do everything–theatre, film, voiceover, day jobs–all at once. But this year’s limitations have forced me to focus my energies. In addition to my commercial voiceover work, I’m voicing a few roles on a locally-produced radio drama podcast called Garfield’s Crossing. I’ve also been writing a lot; I’m working on a non-fiction book script and a short film screenplay, and I also blog weekly about the business of acting. It feels good to keep creating!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
UGH! This is the worst question for me! I moved here a year ago, and spent the first few months working my butt off to get established, and then the pandemic hit, so I haven’t been as many places as I’d have liked to. I would definitely take them to the aquarium to see the whale sharks, and to the World of Coca Cola while we’re over there (I am a Coca Cola fanatic!) I haven’t been to the High Museum of Art nor the Atlanta Civil Rights Museum yet, and I want to shoot the Hootch! (Did I spell that right? I’m not from here) A perfect weekend day would include a trip to Krog Street Market to grab a pastry and coffee at The Little Tart Bakery, a walk down the Beltline to Piedmont Park, and then lunch at one of the million great places at Ponce (I like Botiwalla, the Indian place). Because of the pandemic, the drive-in movie has made a comeback, so that would be a great evening outing. And someday, I’ll return to the super fun Tiki bar Tiki Tango.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the VOAtlanta Conference. When I came here for the conference two years ago, I realized my life could be a lot bigger than what I was living. VOAtlanta introduced me to industry experts and fellow voice actors, and showed me a world of possibility I hadn’t even known existed. If I hadn’t gone to that conference, I wouldn’t be living in Atlanta right now, pursuing a career I’ve been interested in my whole life.
Kelsey Edwards Mark Riddle