In the first 8 weeks of my new blog “Radio to VO: My Unexpected Journey”, I focused heavily on accepting the facts about transitioning from a career in broadcasting to a career in voiceover.
1. My/Your extensive experience in broadcast media will carry a stigma with it that will not be easily overcome! Even disclosing that information while trying to obtain representation from an agent or manager is not recommended either.
2. Recognizing that the skill set developed while producing and voicing mostly unimaginative, poorly written and uninspired commercial copy typically provided by an account executive has done little to prepare you to become a voiceover talent!
3. Making your voice sound cool with reverb, delay or pitch adjustments is for amateurs.
4. Writing, producing and editing your own voiceover demo is a really bad idea!
Train to become a Voice Actor first!
So that’s what I did, spending thousands of dollars my first year on acting classes and workshops, script analysis, voice coaching and ultimately hiring a professional demo producer.
Was the demo producer worth it? Hell Yes! Chuck Duran - demosthatrock.com
The reviews of my professional Commercial Voiceover Demo were very exciting! My support team of coaches and colleagues were thrilled with the dramatic improvement in voice acting, production quality and professional sound of this new demo. A much different review when compared to the demo I produced myself just ten months earlier. But, I still questioned whether the investment would really payoff.
Was I going to be discovered?
Would I be exposed as an “ORG” (old radio guy) with a demo?
Would any agents respond, or even actually listen to my demo?
It was finally judgment day. The day I was to send out my first demo submission emails in an attempt to obtain representation from voice over agents. I had been cautioned to be patient as it would likely take multiple email submissions before getting a response. But regardless, I was on the edge of my keyboard anyway after hitting the send button on my first batch of emails.
17 MINUTES?!?! My answer came in just seventeen minutes!
I literally threw up a little in my mouth as I received my first reply, just seventeen minutes later! “17 minutes” I queried, “that can’t be good!"
I started visualizing a “no such recipient” response or “Sorry, but our roster is full of announcer-ry types”. Finally I mustered the courage to actually click on the email, and was thrilled with what I read! (See below-actual quote)
“WOW... I love your sound and you live in AZ? That is awesome!
Where have you been all this time? Have you been represented in AZ?
I would love to talk to you about working together...”
I was overcome with a sense of relief and validation of my efforts! Followed shortly thereafter with a few ‘Tarzan’ yells, chest pounding and more “Hell Yeah’s” and “U Da Man” screams than I really prefer to divulge! I was happy and it was about to get better! Twenty-four hours later, I received a reply from another agent in another market with similar compliments and genuine interest to represent me! Whaatt?! I signed with both!
So...To answer the question “Is a professional demo producer worth the expense?”
Phew!! That Caribbean cruise I promised my girl, the beach house I promised my Mom and that new truck I like (Ugh-Lott) should be coming any day now! The hard part is over... right?
Yeah...NO! !! But that’s for the next blog! Ha!
Thanks for listening!