Radio to VO: The VO Demo “Demons” of an O.R.G. (Old Radio Guy/Gal)
If you ever ‘rode’ the board for a live radio shift then yo have these demons lurking within you too! They are those ‘announcer’ voices in your head which were guided you to your on-air success in the fast paced, highly competitive broadcast industry.
You love those little demons and would probably protect them at all costs! But now you want to be a VoiceOver Artist, so they must die a swift and justified death! Personal warning, those lil boogers won’t go down without a fight!
My demons convinced me that I had the perfect plan for my first commercial demo. Oh yeah, we had it all! The perfect mix of some of my best radio spots with all the delivery'styles':
That funny 'redneck guy’ I do, and my gut puncher...
The Sunday Sunday Sunday delivery!
We were so happy with ourselves, we shouted out loud, “Look out VO WORLD, here we come!”
Okay...okay, those of you who know…can stop laughing now! No really! :) I know it’s hard. But if you are not laughing and instead are thinking “that sounds like a good plan” then you, my friend, are possessed with the very same demo demons!
Forget all those production tricks you learned to make your voice sound cool, disregard that uncanny knack of squeezing :45 worth of copy into a :30 spot, delete that perfect impersonation of the “In a World” guy and never mind the ability to drop in the perfect sfx or musical crescendo during post production. None of that matters.
First, learn how to be a Voice Actor!
Unless you are content to voicing local car dealer tent sale spots, moonlighting at a nearby ‘dance’ establishment or recording phone messaging jobs on Fiverr, get training! Work with a voice coach, take acting classes, attend improv workshops, search for voiceover webinar videos, whatever it takes to find the characters and personalities that dwell inside you, and in a script. Learn how to express emotions from a real person experiencing a real situation.
For example, if an identical script about a half-time pep talk being delivered to the losing football team was given by a “no-nonsense, by-the-book, coach who is clearly irritated with his players” and also a “laid-back, nurturing coach who is truly concerned with his players well-being” you would hear two completely different characterizations of the same script. Learn how to do that, and you are ready to create a voiceover demo.
But you really shouldn’t do that on your own either! I know, I know…your "anncr" voices are saying “but I’m really really good at production, I don’t need a demo producer!” I warned you those lil boogers were tough to get rid of!
Next week; Why you shouldn’t write or produce your own VO demo, and what happened when I did!
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