If you are a voice actor, then you are aware of how important a voice demo is. The simplest way you can describe what a voice demo is by saying a voice demo is to a voice actor what a curriculum vitae is to a cooperate professional or what a portfolio is to a model. A voice demo is a recorded demonstration of your voice that voice artists use when trying to get voice over jobs.
It is very important to know how to record voice demos that can take your career to a higher level by getting you more projects to work on. Your voice demo is what will make a client hire you or not hire you. Therefore, you should be very serious and specific when creating a voice demo for your voice acting career.
How Can You Create Voice Demos That Will Guarantee You Jobs?
Below I will outline how you can create voice demos that will guarantee you jobs and showcase your skillset in the best light possible.
- Plan to have a demo for each style of voice over you provide. There are voice artists who specialize in different voice overs and perfectly in that case. When creating a voice demo, ensure to record voice demos for all the different styles of voice over you are good in. Whether it is a radio announcing voice, a narration voice, a blue-collar voice, a film acting scene voice, or any other voice over style. This will make it easy to send a specific voice demo for all the different voice styles when a job vacancy comes up. You should be very specific because you don’t want to apply for a blue-collar voice over with a narration voice demo. This is because the client could not tell if you can deliver on one just because you are good at another. Also, depending on what languages, you specialize in, have demo recordings of all the languages you are fluent in.
- Don’t waste valuable time slating or adding long intros. You only have a few seconds to hook the listener. Hit them with your best voice-over read instead. I never understand why people like beating around the bush instead of going straight to the point and delivering what they need to deliver on. With voice acting demos, it is very important to go straight to the main recording that showcases the range of your voice and avoid unnecessary intros and whatnot. Clients only listen to the first 3 to 5 seconds of your demo before they decide whether you are fit for the job. Do not make your chances of getting a job slim by unnecessary intros in the first seconds of your demo. Make sure that your introduction is as powerful so that the client feels the need to want to listen to your demo further than 5 seconds because of how good you are.
- Use your authentic voice – leave stereotypes behind. Provide an authentic performance. The thing about voice acting is that being real will take you far. As easy as it might seem to fake a voice or manipulate it to sound a certain way, if you have not perfected it, you might forget how to voice it from time to time. What this means is that you should be as real as you can be. Use your real voice and avoid too much manipulation and mimicking. The client must be able to listen to your original voice and decide if it can work well manipulated to sound a certain way or not. The decision for manipulation and mimicking should be left for the client when you get hired for a job. On your voice demo, the client must get an authentic feeling when listening to it because it is very easy for one to tell you are trying to fake a voice.
- Make sure that your recording levels are properly set. The last reason anyone should pass you over is that they can’t hear you! Imagine recording a voice demo and it has volume problems. There are parts where it’s audible but then other parts are not as audible. Sending this to a client tells what kind of person you are. You might be a superb voice actor but when your demo shows that you are someone who is not keen on detail, then your client might not want to work with you. Also, they won’t even be able to listen to your voice demo and ascertain that you are good. For them, you are that voice artist whose demo was inaudible. To avoid this, be sure to either have your demo professionally recorded in a professional studio or be sure to set your recording levels correctly. Don’t show tour clients how irresponsible you are before they even offer you a job.
- Ask previous clients if you can use samples from their work as your demo. Using previously recorded works as your demos is the best thing you can do for your voice acting career. The reality is that a previous project will have structure compared to if you get a script and record a simple demo on it. Some clients will have a rule from inception on how they want their projects handled and if they are confidential, then you will not be given the green light to use that for your project but if it’s not, then you will definitely get the green light. One thing you need to know is that if you haven’t asked then the answer will always be no and you should not break your client’s trust by doing something against what they stand for or believe in.
- When creating a demo from scratch, make sure you choose the right script. The script you use for your demo will go a long way in ensuring that you get the job you are applying for or vice versa. Depending on what voice-over style you are recording a voice demo for, make sure that the script is the right one for that voice style. You cannot do a narration voice demo, using a film scene script. There is a certain way narration is supposed to sound like and it is not supposed to sound conversational because that is what a film scene script would sound like. Be very specific about your scripts and use the correct script to record for all the different voice styles. You can even go to google and search for different scripts that you can use. In the time of google, you can’t make an excuse for messing up.
Ways That Will Help You Secure Your Very First Voice Acting Gig
With that said we will briefly look at ways that will help you secure your very first voice acting gig.
- Sign up with an online platform that will email you jobs tailored to your skillset regularly. Be sure to sign up with online job vacancy programs that will constantly send you notifications on job vacancies that will best suit you. There are a couple of online platforms that you can find on the Internet by a simple search on Google. As you sign up for these platforms also be sure to keep applying to different job vacancies that you might find through word-of-mouth referral or from auditions casting calls. You will be surprised by how easily you will get your first paid gig doing this.
- Find an agency to represent you. Many people have this notion that agencies are not reliable sources because of the rates they usually charge their talents. As a voice actor starting out in the industry, it is important to get an agency that will represent you and help you find gigs. Do your ample research and get to know of different agencies, their rates, and how good they are at getting you jobs. Don’t make the mistake of rushing into signing a contract with an agency that will not represent you well.
- Volunteer or audition for voice work in your community: Look at community job boards online and consider auditioning–remember to only audition for jobs you think your voice will be a good fit for. Auditioning is another good way that you can get your first gig. Always be on the lookout for audition dates and announcements so you can prepare yourself and attend the auditions or send in your voice demos. Be sure to apply for jobs you are 100% sure you can deliver on. This will open so many doors for your and you will start being called for auditions every time there are available.
Following all these steps when creating a voice demo will ensure that you at least get a callback or two. If you follow all these steps and end up not getting a job then it’s either your time is yet to come or your time is yet to come. There is no way you can follow all these steps have an amazing voice and talent and still not get paying gigs.