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What Should I Put in My Voice-over Reel?


How long do you have to get a casting agent or producer’s attention that is casting a voiceover?  Approximately ten seconds if they are having a good day.  With that in mind, I’m sure you realize how your voiceover demo reel should immediately grab the attention of the person who is listening.  After they’ve listened to hundreds in probably less than a few hours, it’s vitally important that your best work is in the first few seconds of the reel.


Before putting together an award winning voiceover reel, go online and listen to others.  Whether it’s through Google, Yahoo or Youtube, listening to others will give you an idea about what casting people have to listen to day in and day out.  The perspective you will receive it priceless and will steer you in the correct direction to create a really good voiceover demo reel.


After you listen to others and you evaluate what you should do and shouldn’t do; what sounds good and what doesn’t; now you are ready to go speak, aloud, any copy you can find, even a magazine or newspaper.   Practice the copy, making it sound like you are having a conversation and not that you are reading.  The voiceover industry has a specific sound they look for and it’s similar to acting on stage, not like being a host of a show.  Simply, if you were to read a child a nursery rhyme that is what should be emulated but obviously, not as childish.  The inflections in your tone create a mood which is what the casting people will look for.

After all of your practicing is completed, find a script that suits you and your voice.  There are many websites on the internet that sell scripts for this specific reason.  If that isn’t possible, develop one yourself.  To get inspired, use TV or radio commercials as a starting point and work from there. 

Don’t forget to open each voiceover track with what the copy that makes you sound the best.  Be exciting and interesting and always very articulate in Standard American English unless an accent is required.

Once you have one or more scripts that you are going to work with and you have practiced your scripts, then you are ready to record.  There are several choices with this step.  If you don’t own your own, then you can either rent equipment or find a studio that will help you by the hour.  If you are going to use a professional studio, be very prepared so that it takes you the least amount of time possible.  If you want to put several different voiceover samples on one CD then you might have to utilize an editor or by editing software and you can do it yourself. 

Remember, this is your calling card.  Have other people listen to it and give you honest opinions.  Then all you can do is hope for the best.

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