“All I would tell people is to hold onto what was individual about themselves, not to allow their ambition for success to cause them to try to imitate the success of others. You’ve got to find it on your own terms.”
Once you reach the point where you are ready to bring your skills to market, you will need to have a properly produced demo. This is your calling card…a compilation and sample of what you have to offer. Your demo should not only be an accurate representation of your skills, but it should demonstrate that you are a “pro”. You aren’t just showcasing your ability…you are conveying your “brand”.
Demo production involves a lot more than simply recording your voice and having background music placed under the recording. First, it has to be determined which genre of demo you are producing (e.g. commercial, industrial, narration, etc.) Then, the process moves into planning (types of elements to be recorded, scripts, audio processing, etc.) Finally, a directed recording session and production of the constituent elements of the demo complete the demo. This is not a “once size fits all” process. It should be specifically tailored to your signature sound and brand.
I have a developed a method/theory of how to choose which pieces of each element to use, as well as how they are ordered and edited together. Again, this is all contingent on “you”…your signature read(s) and brand. You must take into consideration that the producer/buyer might only listen to your demo for :05-:15 seconds. They might listen longer if they like what they hear and/or the quality and editing is done in such a way that they are enticed to listen to more. However, if you’re only given a :15 second window, then it’s imperative that you “sell” what you have to offer, quickly and accurately.
I am proud to have crafted demos that showcased the signature reads and skills of a number of talent. Though I’m happy to work with any talent that would like to get their demo produced, I only agree to produce demos when I feel that a talent is ready. If I have not worked with a talent before, I will only produce a demo if a request/referral is made by a qualified professional (e.g. talent agent or producer). It is essential that they have the confidence and ability to consistently deliver the reads that they have on their demo. As a working professional voice talent, you need to be able to “bring it” each time you are cast. Often, you may be cast off of your demo and without having had the opportunity to audition. If you can’t deliver the quality of read that the producer heard on your demo, then you cannot expect to be asked back for another booking. So…when you’re ready, you’re ready! This is why it’s essential to have the training that gets you prepared and puts you at the top of your game.
As a side note, if you don’t have any real experience and are ever offered an opportunity to train for a couple of days over a weekend, then produce a demo right after…you should seriously reconsider the coach or program that offers this “deal”. There are a number of quality demo producers out there. The good ones will rarely (and ethically) take your money if you’re not prepared. Unfortunately, and as is the case with much of the talent coaching/consulting ecosystem, it’s a “buyer beware” market. Ask around…you will often hear the same names mentioned and categorized into the “quality experience” and “be careful” categories. Choose wisely and only invest your time and money once you’ve asked around.
The demos on this page are a few examples of some talent that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Each one of these demos were constructed from the ground up. I assembled and/or wrote the scripts, directed and guided each recording session, then took select parts from each element and assembled them into a collage of their best work. When you’re ready, then reach out and let’s chat about how we can get you a quality demo in your marketing arsenal!