I'll say it a thousand times, DON"T DIY YOUR VO DEMO! However... If you're bound and determined to do it yourself, you should know what goes into making a great VO demo.
What goes into making a great demo? - 6:38
Hey guys, welcome to another edition of The Gift of Gab. Today we're going to talk about demos and we're going to talk about self-creating demos. Stick around.
There is a mountain of things that I would never attempt to make for myself. I would never attempt to make my own clothes, I would never attempt to build my own house from the ground up, I would never build an airplane... because it would never get off the ground, guaranteed. The list goes on and on, right? The list of things I would not attempt to create... so why, why, why, why, WHY, WHYYYY are you thinking about building your own demo? Answer me that. Please think about it for a second.
I get it, I get that probably the top answer, the thing you're thinking right now is, well, money. Well DUH, Gabby - they're expensive! That's why, well, your house is expensive, an airplane is expensive, the car you drive is expensive, your clothes, collectively, as a wardrobe are expensive. Also these are all necessities, maybe not the airplane, but in a way to your life and a demo is a necessity for your job if you're going to be a voice actor. So, again, why?
Would you attempt to build your own microphone? Probably not. That's where I get kind of confused by the number of people who are like, "I'm going to do it, I'm going to build my own demo! Where I want to build my - where I just i just need the copy or I just need the music beds or I just need the sound effects" -- NOOOO! The process of demo creation has varying parts, right, and that's that's what I want to kind of go over with you today.
And look, if you're absolutely hell-bent, nothing I say is going to stop you and that's cool and I get it - but I want you to be aware of the things that you might find if you actually attempt this on your own, or at least give you some guidelines to follow, because there's a lot more to it than just "Here's some copy." Interestingly, it does start with copy though, right? It doesn't start with any copy. It's not just a matter of, "Hey I found some scripts on the internet and I'm going to record these." NO, it is copy that is specifically tailored -- not created, necessarily -- but definitely tailored and modified to you. Copy that is going to put your voice front and center in the best light possible and make it the most marketable. It's copy that allows you to shine and that is an art form, that is a process. And when you hire a demo producer, that's their first job. That really, truly is the very first thing that they have to do to help you to construct a great demo.
The second thing that comes with hiring a demo producer/demo creator is directing. When you create your demo yourself, you're on your own to make sure they highlight the absolute best attributes of your voice in relation to each of those scripts that have been selected and you're on your own to make sure that that demo offers enough variety and enough nuance in the performances, piece to piece, so that the whole product really equals something that makes people go, "Wow, that person is really, really great." I don't know about you, but most of the time, most actors - I include myself in this - where we potentially fall short or where we have the most issue is self-direction. Self-direction is hard! It it's one of the things that we dread to some extent because there's so many options, there's so many choices, and it can be hard when you yourself are the focal point. It's easy to direct somebody else, it's not so easy to direct yourself.
And of course, next up is production. And production is so much more than just, "Hey I need some music beds and some sound effects." NO, post-production is an art form unto itself! It should be reserved for people who are audio producers by professional title. What you're thinking of is just throwing some music and some sound effects together, it's called sound design, and in television and in radio and really in all audio art forms, sound design is the thing that makes a piece of audio go from just being kind of flat and two-dimensional to being surround sound, to being multi-dimensional, to being something that people can actually experience, full sensory, because that is the thing that makes a scene go from being kind of believable to being completely and totally believable in that moment for the audience and the person who's hearing it. Post-production is so nuanced and also so complicated that unless you're able to say, "Hey I've got a big, extensive resume full of audio production experience", it's really not something you should be trying to tackle on your own.
Things to think about, right? Again, that process of making your own demo, I certainly don't think it's a great idea, but it doesn't mean you can't try it. Just know that these are the things that you're looking to create and if you feel like you're getting stuck, there are some amazing, amazing demo producers out there. The key to finding and working with a great demo producer is lining yourself up with an expert in the area in which you want to create the demo.
Okay, that's what's critical. If you're looking to make a commercial demo, give me a shout. If you're looking to make an animation demo, an audiobook demo, video game demo, tv promo demo, the list goes on, I'd be happy to make recommendations for you. Thanks for watching, guys, I hope this helps and if you want some more tips on demos, take a look at this.
Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, voiceover coaching, YouTube Channel, Voice Acting Coach, home studio, voiceover demo, voiceover demo producer, demo producer, create your own voiceover demo, voiceover demo questions