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A demo reel is an audio showcase of your acting and vocal abilities, usually made from scratch/original material. There are many different types of demo reels and the rules of production for them can vary for each genre (animation, commercial, promo, interactive, etc...)

Here is a link with a list of red flags to be wary of regarding demo producers:

[a list of demo producers can be found at the bottom of this page]


1. Be ready: Having a demo will only serve you well if you are ready as an actor. First impressions matter, so a bad demo can make a lasting bad impression and end up setting you back professionally. Never make a demo reel until you're ready. If you are not a strong actor, DO NOT make a demo yet. If you send out a bad demo, you could ruin your chances of ever working in the voice-over industry. Please do yourself a favor and WAIT until you are ready. If you are being coached by an industry professional, they will tell you when you are ready. If you are VERY new to this industry, it's okay to piece together examples of your work so that you can market yourself to indie clients, but DO NOT label it as your demo reel, and DO NOT send it out to any major companies or major directors/casting departments. It is better to have NO demo than to have a BAD demo.
If you are new to voice-over and want training, here are some resources to check out:

2. Demo Length: (this will change quite periodically and I will update accordingly whenever the trends change) Nowadays the industry standard length for a demo reel is at least 1 minute in length, at most 1 minute and 30 seconds.

3. Separate: Never mix different demo types together. They need to be kept separate. (Animation, commercial, promo, etc...)

4. Start Right: At one point in time it was recommended that your natural voice be the first voice in your demo. Nowadays it is preferred that the SECOND voice in your demo be your natural speaking voice. This is from what I have gathered as of 2024. (Trends are constantly changing in this industry and I will do my best to keep this page up to date)

5. No Impressions: Don't add any voice impressions in a character demo. While it can be a beneficial skill to imitate popular character voices and celebrities, directors want to hear YOU. A character-based demo reel needs to showcase the various character archetypes you can portray well, your vocal age range, and your acting abilities above all else. Show the directors what makes you unique! If you want to pursue impressions, you can create a separate impression demo for that endeavor.

6. No Slate: From what I've been told, slates are not necessary in demo reels nowadays.

7. Accents: Do not perform accents or dialects in your demo if you can not accurately sustain and perform them proficiently. Get trained by a professional before claiming to perform those accents on a professional level.

8. Avoid redundancy: Each segment should contrast significantly with the one before and after. There must be an abrupt tone shift with every segment. For character demos, we need to hear variety in vocal abilities, character archetypes, emotions, and intensity. Your character voices should vary in age, energy, and attitude. Show off your versatility.

9. Writing: You need original dialogue, so I recommend asking if the demo producer of your choice has a team that can write the material for you, or if you need to hire a writer. Make sure that you plan what character archetypes and emotions you want to portray in your demo so that your script writer can write accordingly.

10. Music & SFX: If you're getting your demo produced professionally, this service is usually included. Having music in your reel is a great way to separate one voice from another, but it's completely optional and not always necessary. Sound effects are also optional, but they can add great nuance to your various takes within the demo.

11. Voice Effects: It is recommended that you do not add effects to your vocals in your demo. Directors need to hear your voice for what it is. Do not add vocal changing effects and do not artificially alter the pitch of your voice. (Example: robot vocal effect, monster vocal effect, vocal warping, radio filter, etc...)

12. Vocal Endurance: Only feature voices that you can sustain without hurting yourself. If you can't perform a voice for 2 hours without it hurting, do not add that voice to your demo.

13. Agents: If you are seeking representation with a talent agency, then having a commercial demo can help. Your agent makes money when YOU make money, and they need to know that you can book various types of voice-over, especially the gigs that offer the highest compensation rates.

14. Production: It is strongly advised that your demo be professionally produced if you plan on submitting it to major studios, casting departments, or talent agencies. Many professional directors will disregard a demo if they can tell it is not professionally produced. In the words of Tony Oliver "If they can't invest in themselves, why should I invest in THEM?" ~ When submitting to notable companies, you need a great quality demo or it could end up setting you back on your voice-over journey.
> In addition to this, make sure that the demo producer you have chosen actually knows how to make voice-over demos in the specific genre that you want to pursue. D
on't settle for just any cheap studio or random person on social media. Ask them what their experience is with making voice acting demos and if they have any notable voice actor clients. Listen to their demos and check out their work before making this financial commitment. Make sure you get your demo produced by someone who knows the current industry. Do your own research thoroughly. They may call themself a "legend", but are they really?? Make sure you ask other working professionals before making a decision. You don't want to risk having an outdated demo. And keep in mind, one producer does not fit all. One person may excel in producing animation demos, but lacks when it comes to commercial demos. They may not know the commercial market enough to make a commercial demo in addition to animation demos. Not every producer is a "one-stop-shop", so be careful who you're spending your money on. In addition to this, if a VO class you are taking comes with a free demo at the end of the course, that is a major red flag. Those types of classes / workshops are typically scams. Don't waste your money on a class that offers a demo by the end of their course. Everyone's journey is different, and nobody is all going to be ready at the same pace. You won't be ready for a demo after just a few classes.

Thanks for reading! I'm always looking to keep this information up-to-date, so if anyone reading this wants to help me update the information or add to it, feel free to contact me through this website so we can discuss the details :)


> Mick Wingert

animation demos

Location: LA

> Randy Greer

Character demo writing services

(ask for samples of their work)

Location: Remote

> Reece Bridger

Character demo writing services

(ask for samples of their work)

Location: Remote

> Michael J Blakey

Comercial demo writing services

(ask for samples of their work)

Location: Remote

> Voice Trax West

video game & commercial demos

Location: LA

> Chuck Duran

promo & narration

Location: LA

> Dallas Audio Post

commercial demos

Location: Dallas, TX

!!!  PLEASE READ  !!!

If you see that a studio / demo producer you know of isn't on this list, it could be that I do not know of their services, I forgot to add them to this list, or there's a specific reason I have not added them. Either way, please feel free to contact me and ask for advice before you commit to a demo producer.



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