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Launching Your Voice Demo!

07 October

Get Set, Get Ready.  Go!!!

Hang on a minute!  You may be all SET.  You’ve had coaching, done a course, done some research and listened to what was out there.  You may have heard ads that you determine you could have done.

And now, you’ve made a demo!!!

But, before you GO, you’ll need to really make sure you’re ready.

Just lately I’ve been told by a few producers/engineers, especially in radio that they’ve had demos from voice artists…had a listen to them, thought…wow that person is really great, booked them for a job, only to find out that they couldn’t deliver in the studio.  This is death to the voiceover artist because it simply means that they won’t have you back.

The problem here was that this person was not ready to be out there in studio land.

The truth is, there are lots of people out there who can put together a great demo for you, one that will get producers interested in meeting you and working with you.

However, to get on-going work, you need to know these things.  You’ll need to know how to replicate the kind of work that’s on your demo.  You’ll need to feel so at home in the studio, so comfortable with the rules of voice over, that no matter what’s thrown at you, you’ll be able to deliver a great read.

Of course, working in the studio is a collaborative process and, as I often tell my students, you’re not expected to have all the answers first.  Hell, you’ve never seen the script before.  You’ll have time to work with the words, and together with the Producer or Engineer, you’ll work through the script, deciding on meaning, mood, energy, volume and pace.  This is all part of the normal process.

But once all these elements are understood, you’ll need to be able to perform with consistency and a goodly serve of voice over intelligence to make sure you give them a great final product.

And sure, editing is part of production, so the engineer can take the best of take 3 and put it with a line from take 8 and knit it together with the bastard paragraph in the middle that you worked on separately, but generally, you’ll need to be able to pull together a good over-all take and follow it up with a few equally-as-good alternative reads.

So, it’s one thing to be all SET to get out there and start getting work, but you need to be READY before you GO, or it could all come crashing down.

Here are some things you’ll need to know and understand before you do;

  • Know what it is people will buy about your voice
  • Know exactly what you’re good at
  • Know how to look at a script and decide what style it is
  • Know how to apply the rules for that style

You’ll also need to understand;

  • How to work out who you’re talking to
  • How to find the words in the script that are key
  • How to use that language to convince the listener
  • How to perform consistently with pace, energy and volume

I’ve made demos with voice artists who were ready to get out there and do some work but continued to get regular coaching to make sure they stayed in the zone…and become more and more comfortable with that they were doing.

So, it doesn’t always follow that just because you have a demo, you can stop learning and perfecting your style and ability in front of the microphone.  Especially as it can take time to get your first job or build relationships with those out there who want to give you a job.

If you’re just starting out, you need to stay engaged with voice over.  Don’t stop listening to wherever you hear the disembodied voice.  Really tune into what’s out there.  Listen to those voice artists you admire, and when you’re canny enough to understand why they’ve made the decisions they have, then you’re READY to GO!!!

Best of luck…and if you think you need to polish your technique and understand more about how to analyse a script for meaning and perform it like a pro, get in touch.

A session or two with me working with scripts in my home studio might be just what you need.  Here’s the link

Abbe Holmes About Abbe Holmes
Find Your Voice As a Voice Over Actor And Artist With The Voice Over Coach. For over 30 years I've had a successful voiceover career. I work in mainstream voice over for radio and television, narration for the corporate sector, website content and documentaries, as well as characters for animation, IVR, ADR, on-hold and foreign film dubbing.

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