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Voice Coaches Radio #589 – Freshening Demos

Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover. Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. If you are listening to this, the day it drops, uh, just a happy national hydration day to you. My name is Marissa, you know, you should be very hydrated. If you're going to be in this industry, it is very important.

Otherwise. Uh, well, I feel like we get dehydrated so quickly, uh, we just, we talk too damn much is what it comes down to. Uh, you know, that's what this is all about, right? Uh, and I have been very, very, very, very, very bad at that lately. I don't know what my deal is, but, uh, I, I get in these like spots where I'm just not thirsty.

Like my brain is just not triggered, you know, and I'm just over here realizing as the day goes on, you know, here we are, it's like three o'clock in the afternoon and boom, Marissa hasn't had any water at all today. Just. Just caffeine, uh, which is a no no in voiceover. So, I'm just breaking all the rules, uh, basically.

You know, I had something brought up to me this, uh, past week, which I think is, is just, it's very, um, worthy of tackling, right? Freshening demos. How often should you be doing this? Now, I had an instance in the last couple weeks, I found out that, uh, one station that I'm on in Detroit, uh, when it comes to radio, unfortunately, this is what happens in the business, is the station was sold.

Um, so, my boss got fired, uh, the... One girl from the morning show, she also got let go. But like me and one of my other friends who were doing remote work, we're going to stay on until, I don't know, sometime in July. It's really until the sale is completely finalized and it's no longer a part of the company, basically is what it comes down to.

But, you know, that's a situation where it's like all of a sudden, boom. You know, work that you had that was consistent. I was on seven days a week in Detroit. That's all of a sudden, it's just boom, gone. Um, and that, that kind of stuff happens all the time. Um, and it could be absolutely no fault of your own.

Obviously, no fault of my own. Uh, I was highly complimented when the VP of programming called me. I'm like, cool, can you give me extra work? No? All right, well, I'll send you a demo soon. Uh, so. You know, it's, it's interesting that the question about demos popped up for me recently. You know, how, how often should you be updating that demo?

And there's many ways to answer that. You know, I'm in a situation, I've been doing this for almost 20 years. I don't necessarily freshen a demo often. It's maybe like once a year. Um, and it's really, when it comes to radio, it's just. relevancy. Like, it's what I'm talking about and, and how topical it is. And I don't want that to be outdated because if somebody's hearing that, they might be like, oh, well, she hasn't been on the air.

That, that happened so long ago. And, you know, I want them to realize, boom, I'm in it now. Uh, so, you know, for me, like, this is a good time for me. In the last, like, week, what I've been doing is, uh, the way that it all works for, for radio in so many cases is they have something that catches the audio of what you do on the air every 15 minutes.

And I've just been going and saving a whole bunch of that stuff. You know what's really painstaking? Is having to go through each one of those files and find where I actually spoke. Um, you know, and then, not only that, but keeping track of what I say. said and which break it was so I can figure out, well, what's demo worthy, you know, and, and that's the thing for me again, like, you know, maybe once a year, it makes sense when it comes to voice work itself, like a commercial demo, maybe an audio book demo, stuff like that.

I'm not updating that. as frequently and I say that simply because how I sound is not drastically changing, you know, I am almost two decades in, you know, so because of that, you know, all these like little kinks that you kind of work out in the beginning and the skills that you grow at some point you kind of plateau and and for me like truly who I am with you on this podcast is who I am on the radio is who I am on a commercial or an audio book or Anything that's put in front of me script wise, this is who I am in person, you know, like that's the whole point, right?

Unless I'm being a character, uh, which I am just my own character, uh, you know, I'm going to sound like me on whatever it is. It's always the goal. You want to be natural and conversational and you, and And I reached that, you know, and I'm always doing little tweaks and stuff to make myself better, you always should be.

What I did, you know, a year, two years ago, probably does not sound much drastically different than what I'm doing today. So, the commercial demos and stuff for me, like, that kind of stays where it's at until I feel like, you know what, I got some cool new stuff that I want to go ahead and compile a demo with.

Now, for you, when did you start? You know, you want to think about it. You know, we've got some students who are just about to go in and get into their demo sessions. And where they're at right now? They sound great. But, three months, six months, nine months from now, you might sound completely different. When I started, my voice was up here.

I don't know why. I think it was just, uh, youth. You know, uh, lack of asthma medication. I've talked about that before. Like the steroids I've had to deal with over the last... So, you know, 20 years, it's like, my voice is definitely deepened, uh, comfortability, you know, I'm, I'm comfortable and confident in my delivery these days.

So it's like, yeah, you just kind of relax. And with the relaxation, you know, my, my voice got to where it is today. For you, it might be a similar situation. You know, it's like you might find that. From when you've done your original demo to six months or nine months down the line, it's like, whoa, I've grown so much.

If you are putting the work in and the effort in to keep developing your skills, you are taking feedback, you're running with it, you're listening to yourself and you're tweaking things and doing things again and listening back and you know, you're building that ear for yourself. Chances are, yeah, you're going to be taking some very big steps.

Each month that goes by. So with that, I'm going to tell you, you want a fresh in a demo. You want to give somebody what you are doing today, how you sound today, not what you sounded like six months or a year ago, if you are growing and heading in a better direction, you know, because they might not have liked you.

with that demo from six months ago, right? But they hear you now and they're like, Whoa, all right, you know what? That person is going to fit our project perfectly. That's what you want to have happen. So, you know, as you're starting out, I, I'm a firm believer. It's like every three, six, nine months, you want to be looking at that demo that you've got and seeing, seeing where you're at.

You know, it's like, do you listen back to it and hear something that you've done? From today, and you're like, you know what? I think I sound way, way better. I think that I am, I'm not that same person. Then you should be freshening things up. As you are doing work, you've got new samples. Don't be scared to utilize those.

That's why you do the work, so you have something to show off and also for the payday, uh, you know? So, it's, it's, I think as you're starting, you do want to have them More and more with that shorter time frame updating demos as you get further into the industry You know and further into your skill development and further into sounding as authentically you as you can.

I mean when there's not as gigantic difference of, of sound, then, yeah, you can start being a little less in between. Um, you know what I mean? But in, in the beginning stages, it is always so very, very important to make sure that you are up to date in how you sound right now and, uh, letting anybody that is taking a listen to that, know what they're getting in the moment rather than what you were.

You know, a week, two weeks, three months ago, you know, so take it and run with that. And I would say it is, and it ends up being kind of like a personal decision at the end of the day. Uh, but. Yeah, I mean, just as long as you're putting the work in, you are going to be taking big, big steps forward in the beginning, especially, and for a while.

Um, so, it's the heightened awareness of that that you need, so you can know when it is a good time to go ahead and take that extra moment and put something new together. And, As you go and as you grow, I mean you're going to be building up a nice little catalog of samples that You know, you're going to have a website potentially that showcases a lot of the stuff that you're doing currently And that is also just a great way to be like, yeah, here's my demo But here's what I did, you know a couple weeks ago for x y and z company You know see if this also fits and then your audition obviously is going to showcase you nicely as well But hopefully that answers that question I think it's like beginning.

Yeah. You want to be revisiting those demos every three, six, nine months as you're going on. It might be fewer and farther in between, but you've got to the opportunity in the beginning to really showcase some amazing growth if you're doing it right. If you've got something you want us to tackle here on the voice coaches podcast, it is a matter of sending in that question to info at voice coaches dot com info at voice coaches.

com brand new. Episode coming at you next week. Stay safe, everybody. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa found out one of the consistent gigs she has is going away, so it’s time to get a demo together to get some additional work to supplement. But, how often should you be freshening up your demo?