Recording a Demo: How to Choose the Right Script for You
By Xavier Paul Cadeau
The Right Choice of Script Makes all the Difference
When it comes to landing new voice over work, Casting Directors will tell you, having a solid demo is crucial.
But how do you choose what scripts to use for your read?
The process is actually very similar to the one that musicians go through when they’re choosing the right songs.
With the right song choice, the singer’s voice seems to come alive. However, if they choose poorly, it may not matter how much you like that particular artist – it can be really hard to get over the bad fit.
However, it can also be hard to put your finger on what exactly isn’t working. Is it the interpretation? The appropriateness? The approach? Perhaps a combination of these things?
Choosing the right copy for your voiceover demo is very much like choosing the right songs to sing, or the right jokes to tell as a standup comic. You have to work in both a sense of entertainment and theatrical ‘suspension of disbelief.’
As a voice over actor, you’re expected to be able to leverage great storytelling as a way to take the listener to a new world, a new reality, and another way of thinking and believing – even if this encompasses a territory that they had been previously unwilling to explore.
What ‘Range’ Means to Voice Over Actors
When selecting the right copy to read for your demo, many voice actors make choices based on their vocal range.
But what is your real ‘range?’
Many think that you only get the range you’re born with and that your demo only has to match your voice type. However, with an investment in training and coaching, voice actors are astounded by how they’re able to expand the breadth of their voice and what they can accomplish.
Therefore, going into recording a demo before you’re ready can prove to be a huge mistake.
This is the fundamental difference between a ‘voice talent’ and being a ‘voice actor. You may have been born with talent, but true actors hone their craft and expand on their abilities through lifelong learning.
Whereas a voice talent will need to be directed into a read or a sound, voice actors are able to use an instinct that they’ve taken time to develop.
Once your demo gets out into the world, the industry will be listening for your voice acting range.
Emotional range needs to deliver on any type of mood, from authoritative to conversational, from anthemic to matter-of-fact, from hip to cool, and any combination in between.
How to Choose the Right Script for Your Demo
Once you’ve done your homework and know that you’re ready to record, choosing the right script becomes fundamentally important.
When looking over material, some helpful questions to ask in the process of choosing appropriate copy are:
- Is the copy current?
- Does it sound like an example of spots that are airing today?
- What are your fundamental voice qualities – do they match the copy?
- In order to nail this read, should you have a coach help you through the process?
Although you may have worked with coaches in advance of recording your demo, sometimes it’s useful to have them by your side as you work through the script as well. This is because learning how to accurately hear your voice from the perspective of a casting director can be a disorienting experience, but a great voice over coach can guide you through. Sometimes it takes outside skill to be able to assess what will work for your voice.
While it can take some time to hone your reading instinct, it’s best to focus on working toward strengthening your interpretive abilities. Through doing so, new copy choices and directions will become clear.
Like a singer assembling the right songs for a debut album, the final product should have several strong hits and/or directions, which the listener and the industry can become excited about.
About Xavier Paul Cadeau
Xavier Paul Cadeau provides voice over coaching and branding consultation. A voice over artist and audiobook producer, Xavier has 25 years of voice over experience. Currently the voice of several major brand campaigns, his most recent credits include: new on air promo announcer for the NBA, Narrator for History Channel’s UFO Files, Network TV. spots.
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From the Author
If this article has been helpful to you, please leave your comments below and hit the like button, share this article with your social media groups and friends. The goal of this article is to get more performers talking about how voice over coaching and branding has influenced their careers.
The article is no doubt a great help for the beginners who want to put their first step into the world of voice actor.Thanks .
This page does help but how does one get a demo
Hey there Thuso! Thanks for the feedback. Check out this document on how to make a voice over demo!
Its very hard for me too how to do it
To get started, I’d recommend signing up for a voice talent profile at voices.com/signup and completing your voice actor profile.
You can also find great practice scripts to help you record a demo, at https://www.voices.com/blog/voice-over-sample-scripts/
But how do you make a voice demo do you need some kind of script or is it provided on this platform
Thank you for reading our blog!
You can use any of our practice scripts to create your voice acting demo. You can find the scripts at https://www.voices.com/blog/voice-over-sample-scripts/
Hi, please how does one actually create a demo? I just signed up a few minutes ago and I see a lot of helpful scripts, but I don’t know how to create a demo. Is there an app I should use? Secondly, for the demos that require a type of music, where do I get such music? Thanks
You can check out the Help section on our website which has a whole section for Getting Started – including demo production 😉 https://www.voices.com/help/talent
Best of luck!
Helpful though, but how do I create a demo? Please help.
Our Beginner’s Guide to Voice Acting is jam-packed with useful advice that can lead you through the process of kickstarting your career in voice acting. Check out the page on creating a voice over demo!
I hope that helps. Happy recording,
Can you give me a script
Follow this link to peruse our collection of sample scripts. All of our scripts are royalty free and free to use for your voice acting demo.
That’s really helpfull
Thank you! This was very helpful!
Ok how do you do the voice demo?
You might benefit from checking out this chapter on How to Make a Voice Over Demo in our Beginner’s Guide to Voice Acting!
THIS PAGE DOES HELP BUT HOW DOES ONE GET A DEMO
You can read all about how to make a voice over demo in this chapter of our Beginner’s Guide to Voice Acting.
Your support structure is excellent!
Wow! I had no idea until I read your article how much goes into being a voice over actor.
Thank you for drilling down to the bedrock of what it means to be a voice actor and what goes into it etc.
Thanks – Laura?♀️
I already have sent my voice recording in my native language Telugu. This is a very good platform for everyone who has good voice.
Very good job great sir village persons very good job
As crazy as this may sound, I have been recording and directing voiceover artists for over 30 years. As a video producer and editor, I would seldom use my voice because I felt it either didn’t fit the script or because it didn’t match up to the people I had at my disposal to hire for my clients. Ironically, friends, family and even clients would ask me why I didn’t just use my voice because they all think it’s special. Even though I have mixed demos for others, I can’t really figure out my own voice. Maybe I want it to be something that it’s not, I’m not sure. But I need an outside person to truthfully tell me whether I should enter this arena of voicing for clients other than mine.
Hi! I am aware this website has sample scripts, but I am wondering if I am able to look up scripts. Must I search up scripts in a certain website?
You can browse through all of our sample scripts here, or check out this master post where our scripts are organized by category.
Where do people find audio to use in the background of voice overs, like music? I noticed some also have sound effects.
You may be interested in our blog post about voice over music. In short, a lot of voice actors source background music and sound effects from online stock music and sound effects libraries, while others may work with professional musicians or foley artists to create original scores and effects to enhance the voice over delivery.