Acting : Do's and don'ts…? by Monroe Park

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Monroe Park

Do's and don'ts…?

I've been told often i have a unique voice. So naturally I decided I should make a voice reel demo. Only problem is i really have no clue where to start. I've heard some great voice reels and clips, but I imagine to get to that quality has to be a steep process.. If anyone has helpful tips, links, or simply DO's and Don'ts please list.. Big thanks in advance!

Dana Hurley

First off, congrats for thinking this through before just running out to a demo factory. To produce a demo, you need a fair amount of voice training first. The expectation is that you can reproduce the quality and voice characteristics of your demo with ease. A big mistake is producing it too soon. If you haven't already, start reading aloud, copying commercial voices and practice reading ahead while speaking. Then when you're ready look for a coach that can work with you live over Skype or telephone. They will tell you when you're ready and help you find a producer.

Monroe Park

Thanks for the pointers Dana. The advice before producing a demo is really helpful. Enjoyed hearing your demo reel as well. Great quality in your sound. I'll start these habits and see where i'm at in a few months. Cheers!

Stacey Bradford Schaller

Taping your practice is a must. You will need to listen back to see how your voice sounds on "tape." (Yes, I'm that old ;) It's just like getting yourself on camera when you want to act. I'm not sure what PC tools are available, but Audacity is , I believe, available for Mac & PC and is free. You can tinker with your recordings with that. And a good quality USB mic is a good place to start. You'll probably spend $100 or so on that, but that will also be good enough for a few initial gigs as well. Also, Invest in a decent stand with a shock mount and a screen. :) Hope that helps! :)

Talece Brown

I'm a big believer in experience. Look for an intern job at a radio station in your home town. If your voice is commercial quality you will get the opportunity to work with professionals and learn the ins and outs of being a voice talent. And that will give you insight and viable product to compile a reel with, Good Luck! Tal

Kelly Sherwood

I took voice acting lessons and included in the price of the classes was the prep work involved to get ready to do a demo and the actual recording of two different types of demos. It wasn't cheap but having the guidance of my instructors and the use of a professional recording studio was worth the cost to me.

Dana Hurley

I've been reading these comments and a few are red flags in the voice acting industry. I apologize if they have worked for you, but professional voice actors typically don't recommend some of these. As Larry said, radio stations more often than not produce announcer voices which are highly discouraged in the industry. There is a time and place for that voice, but it is becoming more rare. Work with some coaches (check out coaches on Edge Studios, voices.com) to learn your niche areas and hone your voice skills in those areas - a demo will follow. Just keep in mind, a demo is your initial 'grab em' so it has to be perfect, professional and repeatable. You'll need a home studio to be successful (if not in LA/NYC), so read about that as well. The second red flag is expensive classes offering a demo at the end. If this is part of a group class or intro class, it is generally not advisable. There are some packages with reputable agencies like Edge Studios for 1 on 1 coaching that includes several prep sessions and eventually a demo, but not part of an intro class. Kelly - I apologize if your experience was positive - there are a few that do work out, but unfortunately many are just demo mills. The coaches will then direct you over Skype in your home studio but more than likely send you to a professional studio locally to record with them directing you. I hope this is helpful!

Kelly Sherwood

Dana, do you work for Edge? I wasn't promoting any particular place to study. And yes my experience was positive. They were private lessons not group ones. I do have a home studio. No red flags here. Kelly

Dana Hurley

No, I don't work for Edge but my coach I found on Edge and I've participated in a few of their webinars. They are just an easy place to find coaches if someone is struggling to find one. I'm so happy you had a great experience, that is the kind of program with 1:1 coaching that is great. Nothing is cheap in VO

B.Z.

I just told a young lady in your position, the following--VERBATIM-- 1st. Get all the information about the business you can get in your circle. Start by going to www.vobuzzweekly.com and watch the episodes INTENTLY. The information is priceless, it's coming from the leaders in the industry and IT'S FREE!! The hosts are great people and feel free to comment. 2nd. Forget about your voice and everything you can do with it, because it's secondary...it's primarily about your reading...ALOUD...for long periods of time, delivery, technique, etc. Gotta get some coaching (it's key) . Shoot me an email (bzthevoice@gmail.com), I'll make sure you have a bunch of info and then you can make an informed decision. If you go for it, you're gonna be in great company. VO people are fantastic and wanna see you win. I'm one of em. All the best. Peace and blessings I literally sent this out not even four minutes ago...but it's truth.

Monroe Park

Thanks everyone for the advice and info. Really great to see the encouragement and knowledge from experienced people in this industry. Cheers!

Corinne Barringer

Thank you! I am a speech/voice/dialect coach who has some acting and VO experience - love it and want to do more! So I will take your advice and thanks again! Never stop learning!

Chrismomofthreegirls Cruise

Thanks B.Z. I've been looking at all of the videos its great.

B.Z.

Alright, now...press on, sistagal!!

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