Published March 5, 2009
If you’re a producer, an advertiser, a creative director, etc, you well know the challenges of finding the right voice for your project! Unfortunately you often have to sift through a lot of bad, bad demos to find that one voice. And who’s got time for that?
I have a friend who collects bad voice talent demos. He has one of my very first ones and threatens to release it if I ever make him mad. I remember that demo. It was done on reel to reel tape and copied to cassettes. But that’s not what made it bad.
No offense to my DJ buddies (I was one for waaaay too many years!), but that’s what I sounded like – a DJ doing a bunch of commercials. You know, like most of the commercials you hear on the radio today. The sad truth is that the majority of advertisers today will spend a ton of money on radio or tv time, and ask the radio or tv station to write and create the spot. And what they end up with, most of the time, is a spot that sounds or looks far too much like the ones around it. It’s like trying to find a Smith in the Smith listings of the phone book – it’s there, but it looks a lot like all the others.
I know, I know. There’s something to be said about good writing. So I’ll say it. Hey, advertisers! Get a good writer!
Now back to my diatribe.
Look, good voice talent is good voice acting. It’s about finding the right character and attitude, and creating something special. It doesn’t matter if it’s a narration or a tv commercial, it’s about acting, interpreting; creating an image in the listener or viewer’s mind. That’s a craft. That’s a talent. It has to be developed. It has to be constantly worked on.
So, I have an exercise for you voice talents seeking your fame and fortune in this wonderful, challenging business. Turn the radio or the tv on and listen to some the commercials. Then listen to your demo. If your demo were a commercial (which it is), would it just get lost in the Smiths?
If so, time to work on your acting skills and start working on a new demo!