Do Silly Voices?
Then Get Serious About Your Demo!
By Bob Bergen I October 2019 I Reprinted by Society of Voice Arts and Sciences.
For animation the first thing you need to do is really think about how and where you fit into the industry.
Here’s what I mean. When we do a commercial or promo demo, we don’t record commercials or promos from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. We record current and relevant content that reflects today’s landscape.
The problem with most animation demos is they show off vocal range without the actor taking into consideration today’s animation landscape. Vocally versatile actors are a dime a dozen. If you really want to be ahead of your competition, you need a demo that reflects today’s animation: PBSKids, Adult Swim, DisneyXD, Cartoon Network’s 3pm-6pm time block vs Nickelodeon’s. Etc. Again, just like the commercial and promo demos need to be relevant, so does the animation demo.
And, you need to research the players. Start a database of today’s animation programming. Then cross reference on IMDB. You will find producers, directors, actors, writers, voice/casting directors, actors, etc. Watch clips of these shows online. Get a feel for the acting and voice/directing styles. This will also help prep you for when your agent sends you auditions for these current programs. And if you don’t have an agent, research the agents who represent these working actors. Logic will tell you that you need to be with one of these agents as they are the ones called daily to book their animation talent.
Connect on social media with as many players as you can. Again, for each show all players are listed on IMDB. As you connect with more and more players, and as you promote your vo career on social media, you will be organically marketing with the animation players whom you have connected with. You are creating an electronic career synergy.
Also know that for fan based vo like animation and games, buyers take into consideration your social media behavior. From negative and (or) bitter posts to talking prematurely about auditions and gigs, often an actor is passed on based on how they represent themselves on social media. Know the difference between bragging and promoting. Treat every auditions or job as if you signed an NDA. No group is private. Assume everyone sees everything! (because they do!!)
This is a business about relationships. Think of every connection as a dot. You never know when opportunity will allow you to connect these dots. But you need the dots before you can connect.
And, you have to offer something special. Something unique, with characters that wreak of originality and brilliant acting. No one needs another voice. But everyone wants brilliant. You need to really be in touch with who you are and what you have to offer animation buyers. Your strategy needs to be specific and strategic. You need to do more than your competition. You want to be ahead of the herd, not amongst them.
Also, rub elbows with those who have the career you want, rather than those on the same or lesser boat as you. Carry yourself as if you are a major player and the industry will treat you accordingly. Lastly, you will get one shot per person/listener. Make sure you are ready!!!!!!!!