The following is a guest post written by Tanya Buchanan; Owner of Ta-Da! Voiceworks
** This post is the conclusion of a two-part series ** Click Here for An Agent’s Perspective On Voice Over Demos (Part 1) **
Do’s and Don’ts of Voice Over Demos (An Agents Perspective)
DON’T PUT FULL SPOTS ON YOUR DEMO! The first sign of an inexperienced voice talent is having a demo that has a couple of nicely produced 30 second spots back to back. Your demo should be short samples of parts of spots all put together showing your range. You take the best parts of each spot that you do and then put them all together. Remember less is more! I don’t want to sit through an entire 30 second commercial before I get to your next read!
DO NOT INCLUDE CONTENT THAT YOUR VOICE WILL NOT BE MARKETED FOR. You will never hear a 38 year old man voicing feminine products and females are never the voice of “Beer Guy” , so don’t voice content that you would never be submitted for. That minute and fifteen seconds are valuable and should be used accordingly.
DON’T TAKE THE WORDS OF OTHERS WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING YOUR DEMO. Make sure YOU are happy with your demo and that YOU (and your agent, if you have one) like it and that you think it best represents YOU. Some folks send their demos out for feedback to a bunch of other talent before finalizing their demos only to get conflicting feedback. This is the only business that talent sends their “resumes” to their potential competitors for validation and this makes the demo process even more complex. Trust the people you seek out to create your demo and work with them and them only.
DO NOT FORGET TO COLLECT AND KEEP ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS OF YOUR DEMO. This comes in handy down the road when freshening up and replacing existing spots on your demo as time goes by.
DO NOT USE PRODUCTION PROFESSIONALS THAT DO NOT HAVE INSIGHT TO THE VOICE OVER INDUSTRY. You wouldn’t get your hairdresser to re-string your tennis racket so why would you get anyone with no industry experience to cut your demo?
DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN CONTENT. Unless you are a writer at an ad agency or even a radio station you should not be the supplier of the content. Your industry professional or demo producer with which you work should be the guide on what you are best to read and provide scripts for you.
DON’T DATE YOUR DEMO. For example, if you’ve got a spot on there that says introducing the new 1999 Toyota Camry… there’s a pretty good chance that your demo is gonna sound dated and old. You can keep the spot but edit out the year and/or anything that says “All new” or “Introducing”
DO NOT HARASS ANYONE THAT YOU SEND YOUR DEMO TO. Don’t hound and bother agents, producers or casting directors about your demo. At most a simple follow up that they have received it is ok but nothing more. If they want or need you, then they will call you.
Remember, your demo is your resume in this business… do you want to send your resume handwritten on a crumpled piece of paper or well written and nicely presented… same goes for the demo!
Ta-Da! Voiceworks is a Toronto based talent agency representing professional VoiceOver.