RECORDING A HIGH-QUALITY VOICEOVER DEMO
Once you’ve gained some experience and confidence as an actor and have a suitable home studio setup to work with, the next step is to record a demo to send to potential clients. Your demo will likely be the first impression potential clients get of you, so it’s extremely important to do it right.
While it may be tempting to throw together a quick demo just to get yourself out there as soon as possible, Mullins recommends taking your time to make your demo track the best it can be. The voice acting field is thick with competition, and agents and casting directors have to comb through many demos so you need to be sure yours stands out.
“Most likely, you’re only going to get one shot with an agent, so it’s important not to send out your demo until it’s ready,” Mullins cautions. He adds that if you make a lackluster first impression, it’s unlikely that an agent will consider you again. “Agents have assistants that will remember if they’ve already dealt with you before,” he says. “They’ll think ‘Oh yeah, I’ve already heard them, no thank you.’”
Mullins suggests recording mock demos and sending them to your trusted friends and mentors to get their input. Although it can be tough to hear honest feedback on your work, it’s much better than having your demo shot down and never hearing back from an agent. In Mullins’ case, it took years of practice and feedback from his father (who is also a voice actor) to craft a worthy demo.
“I would do a demo and be like, ‘Dad, what do you think of this?’ And he would say, ‘It’s good. You’re not ready yet, though.’ Then years would go by and I’d be like, ‘Hey dad, I’m working on this new demo.’ And he would say, ‘Cool. You’re still not ready yet.’ It was my third or fourth rendition of just sending my dad demos, and in 2019 he said, ‘Yeah, I think you’re pretty good now and you’re ready to pursue full-time voice acting.’”
After spending so much time and energy on making a professional voice acting demo, it’s well worth giving it a little extra attention to make sure it really stands out. Mullins recommends working with a demo producer to give your demo that extra layer of polish. “There are people like Chuck Duran in Los Angeles, and demos and training can also be executed remotely with great producers like Cliff Zellman and Eric Romanowski ,” states Mullins.
When your demo is finally ready for the world to hear, put it on your website, YouTube channel and social media accounts to make it easy to find. After spending so much time on it, you want it to be the first thing potential clients see when they look you up. But a passive approach isn’t enough—if you really want to find work, you’ve got to actively seek it out.