Demo Numero Uno! Now What?

Jimmy Slonina Voice 2 Comments

At long last my first demo is completed and ready to take on the world!

I hadn’t counted on my first demo dropped to be my Narration Demo, I had planned for my Commercial Demo to be first, but scheduling dictated otherwise. My Commercial Demo is due any day now.

It has been an interesting, steady road with some twists and turns, and the arrival of my first demo marks a considerable milestone in the beginnings of this new venture.

But now what?

There are several people to thank at this juncture, starting with Dave Courvosier for his initial generous advice many months ago, which led me to Cristina Milizia’s force-to-be-reckoned-with Global Voice Acting Academy.

The GVAA provided what I was so desperately in need of at the beginning—an actionable plan. Everyone’s journey in VO is a different one, and it’s a Herculean task in itself to figure out how to navigate the correct steps needed to proceed. Cristina and her team took much care and thought into my background, goals, budget, etc. and laid out a very clear, month-by-month game plan. Of course it was all prefaced with the fact that it was only an outline from which to deviate from at will or by necessity.

It’s clear to me that I need to be forever a student. Constant, regular classes and workshops are a must. But for the aspiring VO talent, where do I go from there? I gotta buy a microphone at SOME point, gotta find an area to record, gotta start working on the VO page of my website, courting agents, pay-to-play sites, the list goes on! All these pieces laid out like a jigsaw puzzle, which do I grab first, then second? Cristina’s plan helped for sure, but I took her advice and deviated from it after much gut-checking and instinct-listening. For one thing, I took more time than her timeline suggested by almost double. I spent a good while with GVAA teacher David Rosenthal on both Commercial and Narration VO. Then, when I felt the time was right, the demo process began.

All the while, my local VO connection, the great Voice Actors Studio in Henderson, NV was slipping from my fingers. Our schedules were out of sync, and I hadn’t been hitting the face-to-face workshops as much as I’d planned. I know I’ll make it back there eventually to get some more invaluable guidance from the indefatigable Melissa Moats and her team.

I built my home studio, procured my mic and interface, enlisted the help from VO tech genius George Whittam, listened to tons of podcasts, commercials, industrials, set up my membership on Voices.com, practiced auditioning—basically did all the things I thought a good, budding VO professional should be doing.

I came to realize that my demos should only be produced by the best in the business. And for commercial demos, Chuck Duran at DemosThatRock.com is second to none. His price tag reflects his quality, but I was in a place financially to be able to swing it, so I began the process. I think he’s the Demo Whisperer. In our few Skype meetings, I could tell he knew the VO landscape better than anyone and was able to nail my strengths in a snap. The recording process was hard work and a real pleasure. I’m so looking forward to the results (any day now!)

As for my narration demo, I sought out THE workhorse in the Narration VO racket, Bill Dewees. He knows narration and makes mint doing it. It was a no-brainer to go to him for my narration demo. He has such a easy-going, nurturing, sage-like way about his craft, and he taught me so much in our brief time of recording my demo. I’m super pleased with the results.

But now that the demos are in, the daunting question remains—what now? Like I said, student for life. Plugging away at practice, classes, workshops, and coaching. Marketing is also an ever-present beast to tackle. I have a hard time settling on how to market myself truthfully and at the same time set myself apart from the growing number of VO talent out there.

I’m going to be calling in a lot of favors from my VO friends, both old and new, to help me in my continued journey. The marathon is underway, and I’m loving the burn!

Advice, encouragement, wisdom are always welcome in my comments or at me directly. Wheeeee!!!

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