We’d like to start off this section by saying this: no one ever walked into a studio and created golden, million-dollar demos on the first try.
You hear that?
So don’t get discouraged.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind while you’re hunting for the right person or studio to work with for the creation of your demo:
- Avoid people who seem to be more concerned with your paying them than explaining what they can offer you.
- Ask to see a website and examples of work they’ve produced.
- Make sure they can produce the type of demo you’d like to have and that it will be of the very highest quality.
- Don’t work with a producer who is brash, forceful, or who claims to know everything. Producers who claim to know everything never know nearly enough.
Study the script. Practice it. The better you know it, the smoother the session, the more believable you sound and the less edits you’ll need. Know your scripts!
If the producer is a true professional, he or she will respect your diligence, address your concerns and be supportive—even if they disagree with something you propose. By the end of your recording session, you must be happy, because it’s your money and your career.
Allow us to add that you don’t necessarily need a producer or record your demos in the producer’s studio. There’s no reason why you can’t record in your own studio—as long as you get an objective opinion from someone you trust; someone who’s sufficiently astute (and experienced) to provide you with an honest assessment of your work. That said, it’s to your advantage if the demos you record in your own studio are the ones prospective clients hear; these demos showcase not only your voice and its versatility, but also the quality of your recordings. Always remember that the quality clients hear on your demos is the quality they will be expecting when they receive your recordings.
Another thing: don’t rush. Ever. Demos that are rushed sound rushed—even if the rush isn’t instantly audible. Because the voice is our primary means of communication, we’re all acutely aware of nuance. Subliminally, we can sense, and that’s exactly what a potential client will do when he listens to your demos. This industry isn’t going anywhere; it’s been around for decades. It’s only really starting to take off like a rocket now. Make time to take time—and make sure your demo is the best it can be.
The first time you get booked for a voiceover gig, smile, pat yourself on the back, and know it was worth it.