To be a great voice talent, you need a great demo.
Or do you?
Last week I was talking to my dear friends Brian and Rosi Amador (BTW if you need an amazing bilingual voice talent, both of them are top-notch!) and we were discussing the virtues of voiceover demos in today’s industry. They had some great insight and it was a fascinating conversation.
Personally, I hate demos.
I hate the need for them, I hate making them, I hate listening to them (especially my own), and I hate marketing them. “Please listen to this fake commercial to show off how awesome I am, PLEASE!!!”
No offense to the folks out there who produce demos. Many are friends of mine and I have nothing bad to say about those who make a living producing them. Well, except the shady ones of course, but they’re not my friends anyway. But I digress.
The question is; does a well-produced, expensive voiceover demo equal success?
I think the answer is; not necessarily.
I currently have seven demos but only one (the Medical Narration demo) was professionally produced. The rest I put together myself from work I’ve booked over the years. I’m not an aberration, BTW. You would be amazed at how many veteran voice talents produce their own non-commercial demos from existing work.
Am I happy with my demos? Meh. Like I said, I hate listening to them so I’m not a good judge. Do I book work with my demos? Yes. Sometimes I book work directly from a client listening to my demos. Sometimes I book work from auditions. Sometimes I book work because I’ve worked with the client in the past and they know what to expect.
My point is that you can’t depend solely on the quality of your demo. It’s wonderful that you can afford an expensive demo producer, work with them for a few weeks, and give a sublime performance while said producer is looking over your shoulder. But then what?
TIP OF THE WEEK
Do you know how to market your shiny new demo? Do you know how do audition effectively? And, most importantly, can you reproduce that performance when you book a real gig? I have seen aspiring voice talents crash & burn in the studio because they can’t bring the goods and it is not pretty. I would spare you that!
Do not submit your new demo for consideration until you know at least the basics of how to market it. Is it packaged to reflect your branding? Do you have a brand at all?
Do not submit your new demo for consideration until you know you can match the performance without outside help. Do you have a coach? Can you interpret copy on your own?
Your demo is not the last step of your voiceover training. It’s only a benchmark indicating that your voiceover education has just begun!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Americans hate problems they can’t answer in ten seconds.
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…
Tom Dheere is a 19-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.