I would like to quickly mention: What is NOT a demo?
- A fast recording done at your desk, and edited with online software.
- An announcement of what you plan to do in the industry.
- ‘Spoken word’ and poetry recordings.
- A statement of who you are, and why you want to be in voice overs.
- Recording something on your mobile phone in a closet.
I get this out of the way because since March 2009, a date I began keeping records as to ‘how many’ demos were approved/disapproved during quality assurance at my job, I realized I had listened to over 60,000 demos. I began working for an online casting website in July 2007, and at that time did Quality Assurance by myself for the next year and a half, 10 hours a day. Even though I really sympathize with those who want to be in voice overs, and do not know how to get their first demo, it still needs to be done the professional way, if one is expected to have any chance of getting work. You would never see a chef serve canned ravioli while stating, ‘Don’t worry. This is just for now, until I get out of cooking school’, and you should not do the same to yourself as a voice artist. Why? A poorly made demo has the following affect on those listening:
- Makes clients feel bad for you
- Makes clients annoyed
- Gives them a reason to keep searching
- Gives them a reason to remember not to look for you again
- Serves as one big 24-hours a day/7-days a week campaign announcing you are not ready
When the idea of reading a sample script and recording it comes to my mind, just remember this is a way to “practice”. Practice recordings rank up there with a filmmaker recording a dog on a skateboard and uploading it to Youtube. It is not a professional representation of your work. Even if you did something to get many listens, views, etc., it will be short-lived publicity for the wrong reasons.