Yesterday I finished editing my 7 demos for my voiceover agent. 7 demos? Yes. Time for a new batch!
A demo is maybe 30 or 45 seconds of snippets of audio recordings that are cut up to show a range of ability to potential clients. Of course, being so close to all of it, it's really really hard to choose which phrases might impress. Even on older material that now sounds as if it's some anonymous person to my ear, it's tough to choose when it all seems that it needs to be SO PERFECT!
1- Commercials (radio and tv - what you'd expect)
2- Narrations; also called Industrials - usually flat voiced with little inflection; don't ask me why - they always sound intentionally boring to me, but many times I've been asked to turn down the personality while doing them. Think bad school teacher.
3- Promos (movie trailers, tv promos...) up the hyper ladder where everything is BIGGER and MORE EXCITING but not PUKEY. The direction usually asks for a REAL PERSON then contradicts that with enthusiasm real people don't have.
4- Automotive - I probably blew this one as I'm not the heavy voice yelling at you to SAVE SAVE SAVE; I did choose some softer stuff which I felt was an unfilled niche - or - one I do well. I have shouted from time to time. Hey, if they pay, I'll do whatever they want.
One of the things you learn is to not give your opinion unless asked.
5- Books - Yes, talking books. A sample of school teacher and narrator too. "X plus Y equals Z" and more. I like doing books becuase there's more script and I like performing.
6- Republican political - You try to do this without much sneer in the voice. That just sounds bad. Yet the script often has the sneer written in. I think my friendly sound works well to counterpoint the sneering copy. It comes out real, not creepy. I don't have the voice of god, but sometimes that works FOR rather than AGAINST as people have been trained not to really believe that voice. Unless, of course, the bush is burning.
7- Democratic political - I guess they might feel you actually CARE about the words you are hired to say, and want to hear you work both sides of the 'aisle.' Same idea as Republican, different bad guys.
With new digital editors like I have, the process is so much easier than anything that came before. And I do go back to cutting tape into strips you then would paste together. Even so, I had several heart stoppers this time out, when the screen went blank, or the computer said "no mas" in its cute Gateway (see below.)
If this all seems like it wouldn't take long - after all... it's about 5 minutes of edited material... it took about 10 hours.