The Voiceover Demo – guest blog by Jason Zane

So you’ve been working with a voice coach for a few months now, developing your ability. The time has finally come to record a voice over demo.
When I first thought of a demo, I imagined an elaborate 10 minute recording showcasing all of my various voices, accents, and abilities.

But the days of reel-to-reel audio tape recorders are gone, and with them the all-in-one demo.
Casting directors have neither the time nor the inclination to sift through any number of unnecessarily long recordings in search of one particular skill set.
Based on the sound of your voice, it should be easy to determine your vocal category, for example: adult male, adult female, Youth female etcetera. 
After that you should pick a series ofcommercials that highlight your range within this demographic. Like “talkative neighbor” “wise mother” etc.
You may be thinking “with so many different commercials out there how can I choose the right ones for me?”
I know a guy who is a successful politician. he’s been elected to statewide office several times. One day he told me that’s the best advice I ever got was never to espouse and opinion professionally that he didn’t believe in personally.
I encourage you to do the same thing when choosing commercial content for your demo. Sit down and make a list of products or brands you truly believe in.
For me, it was Carhartt, Toyota, Knob Creek, Home Depot, and a few others.
Then, you can begin looking through all of the commercials for all of the products those brands offer in order to find the ones that showcase your range within your vocal demographic.
For example, you wouldn’t want to read a “Wise Mother” commercial for Tide, or Palmolive followed by a similar one for Dyson Vacuum. But perhaps Dyson has a commercial that would allow you to display your “Lady Scientist”.
After you find the proper copy for all of these commercials oh, you’re going to want to try to whittle them down to between 10 and 15 seconds. Your voice counts should be able to help you do this.
Lesley and I have worked together extensively trimming the fat. Sometimes we remove a word and read the copy out loud, sometimes we replace a whole phrase. If it sounds good we leave it. If it doesn’t, we put it back.
You want to make the best first impression possible with your demo, so give it the time and energy it deserves.

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