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Monday, August 10, 2009

So I Got Trained - Now What??

So let's say you invest in training and learn all about becoming a professional voice what?

Well, that's the beginning of perhaps the most difficult part of the journey.

The next step is to create your demo CD. This is your calling card. It's the one thing, in many cases, that will make or break your chances of voice-over success. So make sure it's done well! The company that I trained with provided as part of the training, the creation of 50 demo CD's. Any training company worth its weight should include these.

So my training was over and I was fired up and ready to go, but I had to wait...and wait...and wait for my demo CD's to be done. Now, it only took about three weeks mind you, but it seemed like an eternity.

Once my CD's arrived, the next step was to get CD cases and a kick butt cover. Well actually, the next step was to invite my whole family over to listen to my demo CD. My heart was pounding as I placed the CD in the stereo and pushed "Play." I knew I'd done something right when my mother asked "was that you?" after the CD was done playing. Anyway, back to our story...CD case and cover...oh yeah, here come some more words of wisdom.

Words of Wisdom #2: There are very basic things that need to be on the spine of your CD cover - like your name and contact info. Sounds simple, but I've been told that some actors forget to do this. It's important to put your information on the spine because CD's are usually stacked with the spine pointed out. A producer can quickly scan the stack and see which talent he or she wants at a glance. Also, don't put your face on your CD cover - remember you're a VOICE actor. I was told by one of the top voice talent agents in the country that he hates to know what a voice talent looks like. He wants it to be all about the voice, and if you think about it, he's right. You've been trained to act with your voice, not your face.

So back to my journey... To save money, I was able to work with a friend who's a graphic artist and web designer who was branching out into audio and video production. I made a deal with him to trade some future voice work for a CD cover and business card design, logo, and letterhead. That's about all you really need to get started promoting yourself. I was pretty psyched when my CD cover was done, and the best part was that I had secured a future voice acting job in the process!

So at this point I had gone through three months of voice training, gotten my demo CD's made, and now had a CD cover, a cool logo, business cards, and some letterhead. Now all I had to do was go get a job...easy enough...or so I thought.

More on that next time.

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