I get the question a lot, “When will I be ready to make a demo?” and the answer, I’m afraid isn’t that easy. There is no set in stone method for learning voiceovers or some timeline where you will automatically be ready after so many lessons. It all really depends on YOU.
You may be the one that grasps onto the craft of VO quickly, or it could take you a few months to feel comfortable or maybe even a year or so to honestly find yourself behind the microphone. The timing is irrelevant because you will know when you know. I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out.
My introduction to voiceovers happened in an actual class at a woman’s home studio. She would later become my mentor, but at the time, I was merely dipping my toe in the water to see what voiceovers were even about. Getting behind the mic and being coached for the first time was exhilarating. It touched on so many passions for me, coming from a background in singing and musical theater, that I was hungry to learn more. I immediately enrolled in her 6-week class and began my journey. I took to Voiceovers like a duck to water, and it flowed smoothly, so after a few months of further training with Connie, I was ready to make a demo. I was ready because it felt right for me and also my mentor thought I was ready. She felt the work I had put into the training as well as the skill level I had reached, was her indicator to give me the green light. There was no set timeline, no resolute date as to when my demo would be completed. We both just knew it was time.
Another example in a similar light is my golf game. About ten years ago, I decided to take up the sport when a friend gave me a used set of clubs and some shoes his wife didn’t like. So off to the driving range I went. I signed up for lessons and proceeded to spend a few days a week at the range, working on my swing, trying to hit the ball straight, focusing on my stance. After a year of this, I still didn’t feel brave enough to actually play on a course! I didn’t take to golf that easily and I had to work very hard at it to be able to compete against the other players in my golf league. I struggled and continued to take weekly golf lessons to learn the proper form. In time, after a few years, I was ready to play in a networking golf outing made up of mostly men. Guess who won the longest drive contest? It was yours truly, the only woman who played. That was a result of my commitment to this game and insanity as well.
So for me, Voiceovers came more naturally than my Golf game. Both are crafts to be learned and studied, and both require discipline to succeed. Make a demo too soon, and you risk spending a lot of money when you may not be at your peak performance wise. Also, this demo may not showcase your talents in the best light. Everyone has to learn the craft, and with practice and commitment, you will improve. But that’s definitely not going to happen overnight. So when I see a voiceover “school” automatically promising the production of a demo by the end of the allotted class schedule or one that claims to have you up and running in a matter of weeks, it makes my blood boil.
So, if you genuinely love the art of voiceovers, please respect the time and dedication that it takes to succeed and don’t rush on making that demo. When you’re ready, it will be amazing!