Beyond your sparkling personality, dulcet vocal tones, and unlimited imagination—your voiceover demos are the most important tool you have to secure work in this business. They are the vehicle you’ll benefit from most to drive your career… provided they’re done right!
So, how do you know when you need a new one?
You may have initially thought your voiceover demos were meant to define your ability to parrot famous stars, create cartoony characters, and authentically mimic any accent under the sun. And while these skills are certainly useful to us as actors and might be asked of us from time to time, it may surprise you to learn that they’re not the primary skills necessary to keep you steadily employed as a voice talent. Instead, the aim of every take is to convey the ability to be your self. Its the most desirable thing you can be, coupled with your ability to assume a believable point-of-view that may be a dramatic departure from your own.
If you have professionally produced, competitive demos but you have yet to land a proper agent or book steady work, then consider the following before throwing the baby out with the bath water:
– Does your old demo run longer than a minute (1:00), a minute ten (1:10)?
– Do the spots sound like you can seamlessly carry (or have carried) national campaigns and brands?
– Do all the spots on your demo sound like fake radio commercials?
– Do your reads sound forced and over-the-top?
– Does it sound like you’re trying to be someone you’re not?
– Do you have spots that try too hard to sound humorous, but completely miss the boat?
– Does your talent agent happen to handle everything EXCEPT voice-over?
– Has it been four years or more since you last updated your tracks? (Depending on your age range and the changes in the market, you may need to tweak an otherwise effective demo.)
– Does your demo sound great to you, but your graphics are less than professional? (Packaging your product matters! Would you buy anything that was poorly packaged? Neither would your target audience.)
– Have you landed a few good national television spots that you could add to your current demos?
– Do your demos consist of projects you’ve actually booked, but few are of the caliber that would honestly elevate your career to the next level?
– Have you repeatedly promoted your demos to the appropriate talent agents, casting and producers? (Promotion demands repetition and tenacity. You may be the only who knows your demos exist.)
– Are you unsure of who your target audience honestly is, and how to make yourself known, accessible and familiar to them? You’re not alone.
In fact, this is where we excel as Actors’ SOUND ADVICE and others fail.
Because if you’re not in the ballpark, how can you possibly play ball?
Copyright © 2022 by Kate McClanaghan, All Rights Reserved.
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