To Package or Not to Package...?
Recently, a new student asked me about whether to invest in a demo package. You know, when you purchase a few voiceover lessons and then record a demo? FYI this student is brand-new to the voiceover industry and hasn't worked with a coach yet.
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"The goals you set are not what make your life. It’s the pursuit of the goals that make your life. And the character you develop. And the wisdom you acquire. And the people you touch. " - Tom
This is what I told them...
Unless you’re a voiceover savant, 5 or 10 lessons will not make you a proficient narrator in any genre. A demo package is not about learning the basics of voiceover narration. It’s about figuring out which sub-genres will be on your demo, writing/tweaking the copy together, drilling down on the copy, and getting coached on crafting a strong performance AFTER you have developed basic skills.
The problem is that students approach a VO school or demo producer and say something like, “I only have enough money for the five-lesson demo package.” and they will do the best they can to get the student ready in five lessons. If after five lessons they think the student isn't ready, they will suggest more coaching sessions. Often the student will say, “But I don’t have any more money.” or “This is a scam! You’re just trying to get more money out of me!” so they go ahead and produce the demo. The demo doesn’t turn out great and the student has a demo that won’t help them get work. It’s a VERY difficult situation for everyone.
Tip Of the Week
Don’t invest in a demo package if you've just started your voiceover journey.
Find out if you have any talent first! There are lots of coaches & schools who are happy to do a diagnostic to see if you have the potential to be an effective voice actor.
Get ala carte coaching sessions with either with a reputable coach, recording studio, or voiceover school until both of you agree that you’re ready to produce a demo. Yes, that’s the more expensive route but I don’t want you to waste your time, money, or energy investing in a demo that won't serve you.
If you're not sure whether a particular voiceover coach, studio, or school is reputable, contact me! I'll be happy to let you if I know of them, their reputation, and if I've had any interactions with them.
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Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 25 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.