Producing Your Own Demo! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? (My head explodes here)

"I have a home recording studio and SFX library. I can produce my first VO demo for NOTHING!"

Produce your own voice over demo and that's exactly what you'll get in terms of work...NOTHING! I listen to dozens of demos a month and I can spot a home-made demo like it's a pink toupee.

You are competing globally, no matter where you live. That means that you are competing with the best and most experienced talent out there. Those other talent have professionally produced demos that SOUND professionally produced. That means that their cuts are varied in terms of: 1) target audience, 2) production sweetening (sfx & music) and 3) vocal/acting skill and delivery. If you can't convince a listener that the first 2 cuts of your demo were created for actual broadcast use (TV, Radio, Internet), it will be deleted after listening to those first 2 cuts. Sometimes after listening to the first cut.

Your demo will be out there for a very long time if you market it the way you should - (to everyone you know, every recording studio in your region, every producer, ad agency & talent agent you can get to listen or house it)

It tells the world "This is the best (Your Name Here) can do". Make sure that you showcase your best as great as the rest! Have your very first demo produced at a full service recording studio, with a professional engineer and experienced director.

After that first demo is produced, all you'll need to do is update it now and then with REAL work, from then on. And you won't need a director for that!

Google "full service, recording studios" or "professional recording studios" in your area and be sure to listen to the demo's they've produced. If you can recognize their work, you're off to a great start.

Happy recording!
Jean Zarzour

Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Institute
Cleveland & Pittsburgh

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Comment by Tony Kramer on September 18, 2010 at 2:57pm
Hey Jean,

Thanks for the info. I'm a greenhorn to this, so any info is a big help! I guess I need to add more to my demos and have them professionally done.
Comment by Jean Zarzour - LIPSCHTICK! on September 8, 2010 at 10:17pm
The most objectionable training, in my view, are the folks who will tell you that you should produce a demo after a 3 day course that costs $2500 or more. These are the people that should be put out of business. They offer nothing in the way of real-world advice about how competitive this business is.

The poor sucker who spends thousands of dollars can't possibly hope to compete with the substandard demo. And it is substandard primarily because they don't have the training/skill to bring copy to life, and also substandard because the sweetening is minimal and clearly slapped together.

Buyer beware! Anyone who tells a novice that it's time to produce a demo after 3 days, or even 3 weeks of training, is picking your pocket.
Comment by Paul Christy on September 8, 2010 at 6:27pm
Jean is absolutely correct--you don't want to do your own demo. However, beware! The VO world is just lousy with hucksters and hype-artists who want to take your money. Do some diligent research on folks who claim to produce demos. Same for VO workshops, seminars, etc. Many of these people gave up on voice work and now make a living giving questionable training and information to beginners.

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