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The Craft

The Key to a Career in Voiceover

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The Key to a Career in Voiceover
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Getting started in voiceover requires one fundamental thing: a good demo. Your demo is how you get an agent and how your agent gets you auditions with casting directors. Producers even hire talent based on a demo alone. A professional demo is absolutely vital—like good headshots. Spend the time and money to assemble 1–2 minutes that show you off brilliantly.

Reading copy requires storytelling skill, nuanced vocal knowledge, and confidence. It’s harder than it sounds to find a beginning, middle, and end in a 30-second commercial that might not contain a complete sentence or decipherable punctuation. The microphone reads your mind, just like the camera. If you doubt your delivery, the mic will pick that up.  

Listen to agency demos at Voicebank.net to get copy. Transcribe it so you don’t get other reads stuck in your head. Develop your ear for style, subtlety, humor, intelligence, and structure. Record yourself so you can listen to and improve your takes. Practice cold reading to sharpen your ability for effortless delivery.

Consider taking a class. The right tutelage introduces useful techniques and helps you type yourself—another important factor in an effective demo.

Discover what products are advertised by voices like yours, and stick within that realm. Typing helps agents and CDs know how to best use your talents. Push the boundaries of your type after you’re established.

Ready to do your demo? Get recommendations from professionals on the best, most affordable recording studios. Break your cords!

Actor-writer-producer Fiona Jones is the founder of EstroGenius Festival (www.estrogenius.org) and producer for Dream Out Loud Media (www.dreamoutloudmedia.com).

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