Voice Over Demos: Are You Ready?

Hi everyone, it’s me Joe Gaudet.  Today’s topic is Demos. 

Arguably one of the most important pieces of your voice over arsenal is your demo.  Your demo is the first impression you give to your potential clients and other casting decision makers, so you have to put your best foot forward.  Making a demo too early can be bad for your career since it’ll not only be a waste of money, but it can actually hurt your reputation if you sound bad enough.  There are many different types of demos, such as commercial, animation, explainer, e-Learning, video game and audiobook demos.  Which ones do you need?  Well-produced and professional demos are expensive, so having one of each demo can get pricey, especially in the beginning of your voice over career.

To help decide which demos you need, sit down and think of what type of voice over work you want to do initially.  Are you hoping to focus on audiobooks and nothing else?  Then make sure that is the demo you focus on and get professionally done. If you are hoping to diversify your voice over work and/or get represented by an agent, then it’s important you make sure you have a great commercial demo.  Even if you hope to focus on animation, most animation voice over agents require a commercial demo.  They want to make sure you can voice act and that you have the basic voice over skills. 

So how do you, as a new voice actor, get a commercial demo recorded?  Well first, and foremost, you need to step back and think about whether you’re even ready to have a demo made.  It’s hard to know without feedback from professionals whether you’re ready for a demo or whether you need to continue to practice.  Some demo producers might not even work with you if they don’t think you’re ready for a demo.  Before starting, I highly recommend you work with a voice coach for a couple of sessions.  Your coach will give you the feedback you need to make sure you’re sounding as professional as possible.

Once you determine you’re ready for a demo, it’s tempting to try to produce one yourself, however, I don’t recommend you do this.  While I understand that everyone has to start somewhere and that you may have just spent a lot of money on your home voice over setup, possibly a few sessions with a voice coach, but your demo is not the place to cheap out on. 

Shop around for a great demo producer who will cater and design your demo to fit best with your voice and personality.  They will write you custom copy, help you record so they have the best take from you, add music bed underneath it, sound design, and fully produce finished spots.  Also, they have done hundreds if not thousands of demos, so they know what works and what doesn’t.  At the end, you’ll have a kick-ass demo, an understanding of your strengths, and most importantly a plan of action of what to do with that demo in order to get high-caliber work. 

If you are looking for to record a new demo or even update your existing demo, drop me an email at joe@joegaudetvo.com and I can provide you with contact info on some great demo producers to interview.

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