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When Is It Time To Record a New Voice Over Demo? 10 Indicators!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

June 19, 2009

Comments (5)

Old fashioned gauges

How do you know it's time to revamp your voice over demos?

There are a number of indicators, some that jump right out at you, and others that are so subtle that it may take another set of ears to discover them.

If it's time for you to do a self-analysis of your demos, or you feel that your demos may soon be on the way out, better take a good look at this list!

So when is it time to make your new demo?

Long story short, you should consider making a new demo when:

1. You have improved
2. Have a new specialty you want to focus on
3. When the styles on your demo are out of date
4. If the music on your demo is out of date
5. If your demo mentions years or specific dates
6. When the demo doesn't feel fresh
7. When you are embarrassed of your demo
8. Straight reads on your demo aren't an accurate representation of your current voice age
9. If your voice has shifted registers
10. If you don't recognize the voice on your own demo

Of course, if you need a second set of ears you could look into a demo reviewing service, or take a look at even more advice right here on this blog to learn more about how demos are critiqued before moving ahead.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

If you find that you have different indicators or have a set schedule for when you update or have new demos produced, I invite you to comment with your thoughts.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Dieter Spears

Related Topics: out of date, production, redos, styles, voice acting, voice over demos, voice talent


Comments


    Regarding the content, I'd suggest redoing the demo if it contains ads for a make of car that's no longer in production, a product that was a fad (and is no longer cool), a business that's gone out-of-business or bankrupt or if a business has run into legal trouble -- or any other reason that you wouldn't want to be associated promoting a particular organization.

    Posted by:
    • David
    • June 19, 2009 4:37 PM

      Hello Stephanie,
      Some added fun...
      YOU REALLY KNOW IT'S TIME TO UPDATE YOUR DEMO WHEN...

      -One of your VO's feature the words "President Bush"
      -Your gasoline commercial mentions prices UNDER $2 a gallon
      -The words "MC HAMMER" are in your script
      -Scripts mention "Interest rates in the 4's"

      A good chuckle!
      JC

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie,

        I'd also add to the list:

        *) When you've got enough recent work samples from voice over jobs

        Since most of us start out with demos that are created from scratch, they don't always represent what we can do in the real world.

        As I land jobs, I try to get a copy of the finished spots. I'll usually ask the engineer after the session. Sometimes you can also find VO online. Once I collect enough of these spots, they can be shuffled into my demo - or even replace it entirely.

        Rinse. Repeat.
        Joe

        Posted by:

          Before doing voiceover full-time, I had a "regular" job in Information Technology. I had a tendency to move on to a new job every few years to "broaden my horizons". I got into a habit of brushing up my resume every few months, because I was always adding new certifications, etc. I think of my demo as an audible resume. Every time I finish a project and think to myself, "I really like the sound of that one!" I consider updating my demo. Something old gets pulled from the demo, and an excerpt of that new on goes in. Some may protest that this is overkill, but I feel that maintaining a dynamic representation of my work is only appropriate since I'm always changing!

          Posted by:
          • Brian Jurkowski
          • June 20, 2009 9:33 PM

            I think demos should be changed so they represent your voice currently. When I was 14.5 I used to pitch my voice down, it was actually lower than it is now, while giving the sports on my schools cable TV show. So out of date definitely. But I don't think you should scuttle old reads maybe have a 'retro' section and have some fun with it (cut them into smaller bites maybe), if they are super strong, that is.

            I think the foremost thing is whether or not your getting work from the reads. John Lennon hated his voice, always asking the producer to flange it or disguise it, but he was recognizable and an icon. Just because it was him, it sold.

            Fewer voice-over people reach that status, but if you sound like someone who did on a certain read, maybe that ought to be highlighted? Depends on what your going for.

            There's a lot of in-distinction going on when it comes to reads "calming and inspirational" or "caring and attractive." Thanks folks. If you have a read that points something out, then perhaps its a winner.

            You have to give it an airing and play the hits. If the demo stops selling, change the order, don't throw everything out, if you make a change think of what you can do without much effort on your part. The famous talent expectation is to sit in a studio and get it done in one take and on cue. These are the coveted people. If your demo doesn't quite give that level of honesty, or that impression and its too fancy, you have gone too far in the way of enhancements.

            Posted by:

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