So, you think you know what a demo is all about?

Many beginner voice talent think that the first thing they need is a demo. NOT! A lot of misconceptions about what the voiceover business is all about.

There is so much that needs to happen before you produce a demo, that anyone offering to produce your demo after a single introductory class or even a semester of classes addressing the business as a whole is doing you a great disservice and probably just taking your money.

Before you produce a demo, you need to know where you fit. What you do well. You need to know how the business works. Know how to audition. Know where to find auditions. Have an acoustically treated environment where you can create clean audio tracks for auditioning (and now more and more, final tracks). Know how to capture the sound. How to edit the sound. How to save the sound. How to deliver the sound.

You need to know who wants to buy what you have to sell. You need to know how to negotiate…to invoice…to collect.

All of this needs to happen BEFORE you spend a lot of money creating a demo. Should you produce a demo yourself? Well, that depends on the kind of demo you are producing. Voicemail. Yeah, you can do that yourself probably. Audio book. Yep, probably. eLearning. Maybe. As long as you know how to find/create scripts that showcase a variety of products/subjects and points of view – oh and show your real personality.

OK, one in a million beginners will be discovered and jump in without any of this and actually need to produce a demo. In that case, they will have many handlers helping them. You probably don’t…

So, let’s say you have all of this planned out and you are ready to create a demo.

There are more misconceptions about what should be on a demo and how it should be put together. Here is an article from Backstage that sums it up nicely. It was written by Kate McClanaghan – a casting director, producer, founder of Big House Casting & Audio and Actors’ Sound Advice, and Backstage Expert.

Here are the misconceptions. Read the article to find the REAL story!!!

1. “My make-shift demo oughta hold me for a while until I start working steady—then I’ll make a ‘good’ demo.” 

2. Your demo was created solely for talent agents.

3. Every spot on your demo is a something you were paid to voice.

4. Commercial and industrial spots can all be included on the same track. 

5. You’ll spend less time producing your demo than recording an audition. 

6. You need to update your demo every year. 

7. You should include dialogue spots on your demo to show you can act. 

8. Include random dialects and character voices. 

9. You can produce your demo yourself.