Beginnings of a VO Demo
Voice over demos are an ever evolving vital piece of every VO artist's repertoire. The most important thing to remember when thinking of what to put on your demo is YOUR PERSONALITY. That's right, as I said before, you don't need the most amazing, perfect voice to be a voice actor... casting directors and producers want to hear what you have to bring to the table.
You are enough.
You have worked your butt off to get where you are... and your voice will fit in somewhere. No need to over produce or add on crazy effects... that isn't what this is about. If you're following along with me on this journey you will have done a ton of research into what you like and you know what needs to be done. If you need to go back and review, check out (Part 1, & Part 2).
---Demo Types. We went over the majority of voice over styles (Part 1A). You already know these, and these styles should be included in your demos. Do not make a compilation of different styles (Animation, commercial, audio books, etc). No one wants to hear your diaper commercial, followed by your bugs bunny impression, followed by your excerpt from Hamlet. Narrow down your demos to one focused area and leave it at that. Although having many demos in different categories is wonderful.. everyone should start with a commercial demo first. Commercial VO acting will offer you the most opportunities for work when you are first starting out.
---The Facts. The people who matter, that are listening to your demos will likely only listen to about 10 seconds. If they don't like those 10 seconds... "Next." That may seem hard to hear but consider this... imagine you are a successful agency. Hundreds of people send in demos, even more so, terrible demos for consideration. Your inbox will be flooded daily with hours of things to listen to... and this isn't even your job. An agent's job requires so much more than finding new talent, they need to work for the talent they have. So you aren't high on their priority list. If your demo is not well done... nobody will care about it.
Professionally recording your demo is important. VOICES.COM has a nice free guide on creating a good demo.. however use caution when paying to play on any VO site as I have said before. I recommend finding professionals that produce demos in your area and comparing their prices. I also highly recommend if you have your own microphone to start practicing and deciding on the exact copy you want to perform for your demo. If you don't have a mic yet... use your phone or something to record yourself so you can listen to it before going in. Check out those guides and get a demo done.
VO Artist Deb Munro's list of
Demo DOs and DON’Ts:
DO use original material only or actual work that is amazingly directed and produced.
DON’T use local spots (agents don’t want to hear local)
You can use company names – but there are risks in doing this. I personally use company names but only national and only on original copy!
TALENT should NOT produce or direct the demo
DO keep it short. All demos have different time requirements but you should have a one-minute version for easy internet use (for most demos).
DON’T produce a compilation (mixing genres) demo.
DO hire a top-notch production team that does not use old music libraries/sfx etc.
DO showcase your personality (not your director’s)
DO show variety but, you must also entertain the decision makers, agents and producers.
**You can produce your own demo, however 90% of the industry suggests that you don't. I did make my own demos. However, I have had six years of practice editing, recording, cutting, splicing, adding sfx, among many other things. If you want to make your own demo, put in the practice hours before submitting a sub-par demo. A plus side to creating your own demo is learning about every single part of your industry. An important piece of this puzzle is being well rounded enough to take care of yourself, and make your business profitable. Work won't always be there so.. learn to create it... If you do want to do this it is very possible! It saves a lot of money.. but takes a lot more time, coffee, patience and energy to learn how to get quality demos produced. I will be releasing a blog about creating your own demo shortly.
Either way... you need a demo. Keep in mind that once you have your demo and you begin submitting for agents or online projects... you will need some form of an in home studio to begin submitting auditions. High quality demo... mixed with low quality audio delivered to your clients is the quickest way to form bad impressions with clients. So next, we will have a crash course in creating a home studio, and where to start. In the mean-time keep up that research, reading, studying, and practice. See you next time.
CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!
My name is Andrew, I am an Actor | Voice Actor | Singer based out of Burbank, CA. To contact me click here. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org