View Full Version : The re-invention of me...please take a listen...
04-12-2008, 08:56 PM
:bye: Hello my fellow VO-vians! I've finally finished my million dollar (at least that's what it felt like to a struggling artist) professional demo. This is only the first draft, hence the fact that it's 2 minutes long. It's being worked on some more, cut down, et al. But I just couldn't wait to share it with you guys for some feedback.
I have an old demo on voice123.com, this is much better, 10 years later...and much more serious. Please give me your honest to goodness opinion, I need all that I can get. Reading some other posts too...any good suggestion on approaching or obtaining an agent...I'm all ears :afro:
Latest...just got the finished product..please listen to the second and re-critique me...thanks!!!
04-13-2008, 09:48 AM
I like the mix of spots, and you have a great tonal quality in your voice. The opening spot is a good kick-off feel, and the bank spot's a good closer.
Good idea to shorten it (rule of thumb is around a minute). You can drop some by using partial spots instead of the whole. Listen to some commercial demos on VoiceBank.net and you'll see there are very few whole spots.
I'm hearing some Sibilant S's in your delivery. Check out this area of the forum:
I think there's already a topic started on this subject, so you can read and ask questions there.
I'd also like to hear some more conversational tone to your reads. It comes across as presentational or "announcer" at the moment. Some spots may call for this, but the majority of commercials are calling for a more realistic, talking to your friend kind of read.
Just my 1/50th of a dollar,
Joe J Thomas
Joe J. Thomas Acting Portfolio (http://www.JoeActor.com)
04-13-2008, 02:27 PM
Hi Dyna. Really enjoyed the demo! Thanks for sharing it. I'm not sure I'm exactly qualified to critique anyone else's demo, but I thought since I'm posting my own and hoping for responses, that it would be only fair of me to offer an opinion on others. :) I hope you don't mind?
I agree with Joe that the first ad really does grab your attention. Way to go! Thought the Durango ad was a bit long (and the pause towards the end of it made me wonder if the ad was over and you'd moved on to another ad already...), but loved the Arizona ad as a closer. As Joe has already mentioned, you have a great voice! And he said the same thing about needing to hear more conversational tones in my new demo too ;) so I know what that's about. ;)
In general, this sounded really great! I've been talking with others about this sort of thing and have been told by more than one person that the commercial demo really needs to be as close to a minute or less as possible. I'll be cutting down my demo too, as a result. But this was well produced and the material really does showcase your voice well. May I ask where you got it done? And did you go into their studio for it or did you use a local studio and have them produce/mix it long-distance?
All the best,
04-13-2008, 02:41 PM
Thank you both so much for the much needed input.
Joe...I have always had "s" issues and have been attempting to work at them. I thought I did an ok job until I heard the demo...lol. My director mentioned that the engineer had said something about my S's, but that she didn't remember if he had to smooth them out or add more in because I was cutting them off. Either way, I will be checking out that post that you mentioned. Thanks again.
Jodi, thank you so much. I too enjoyed your demo. Your voice is so rich and soothing. Yes, the cut down. I had been lisenting to voicebank just after I got my demo back and was leaning toward what Joe mentioned about splices of spots as opposed to entire ones...especially that mega-long Durango one...LOL. I got my demo done at Startrax in NY. I worked with Johnna Gottlieb who is fantastic all the way. She's a VO consultant if you haven't heard of her. Her website is jogoco.com. Tell her I sent ya. I went in to the studio, they mixed it after and sent it to me. We chatted after and both gave feedback on this preliminary mix...I'm hoping for the completed within the next week or so.
04-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Hi Dyna. Thanks for listening to mine too! :D Yeah ... I've heard that "minute long or less" suggestion in several places now. I've also heard it suggested, I think by Julie, that different types of processing - or even using different microphones in the same demo session can make them appear more "real". I'm asking the folks that mixed my demos about that as we speak ... but I'm not sure if anything can be changed at this point.
I'm certainly closer to Johnna Gottlieb than I am to many other VO coaches (I'm north of Toronto Canada) so I'll definitely have a look at her website. Maybe she does some telecoaching ... My own demo was done in a local studio here that I have an arrangement with and the producer was present via a phone patch. We recorded the session in ProTools and then sent the entire ProTools session to the fellow for mixing later. I went with SuchAVoice.com - who I think are based in Vermont. It was a very interesting experience and I was impressed with their helpfulness and professionalism from the start. Also, because I did it long distance and took care of the studio time myself, they gave me two demos for the price of one - so I have both a commercial and a narration demo from them. Since I didn't have a narration demo before and that was pretty important to me, I was really glad of having the two done.
So what do you think you'll end up changing about this preliminary mix? Besides cutting down the length, I mean?
04-13-2008, 02:58 PM
Oooo, that's pretty cool, I may have to look into them over in Vermont as well. I need every kind of demo really...lol. Do you have an agent as of yet? I think that along with going to as many auditions that I can find is what's next on my list before another demo though. My voice coach is Joan Baker, she's in NY, and fabulous. You can find her at pushcreative.com.
I think I am going to move some tracks around. I think I love the Bank of Arizona, so maybe that can go first and close with the Oral B spot. I really liked the idea of partial spots instead of entire commericals to showcase my minimal (soon to be maximal) talents...lol. That Durango is just soooooooooo long, and I really never cared for it from the onset, so I may even ask her to can that all together.
What are you plans?
04-13-2008, 06:24 PM
I don't think it's a bad idea to start out high energy with your demo at all. Catch someone's attention right from the beginning. ;) And I think the Arizona spot makes a lovely ender. But that's just my opinion. :D
I don't have a coach or an agent at this point. Would love to have both ... but I don't seem to have much choice that's at least decently local to me. I'm living at least 45 minutes on the highway out of downtown Toronto and I have been thinking of a weekend workshop, for instance. But it's more likely that I'd be doing telecoaching if I went with something regular. And I do participate and listen to everything I can find online (Susan Berkley at greatvoice.com often has teleseminars she gives. They're pretty one-sided and often used to sell more of her services, but in general, they do offer up some interesting information.). I'm already getting jobs in the field, which is a good thing too (two from Voices.com in the last week and a half - though obviously that's not enough to make a true living from. YET. <grin> At least it gets my name out there!)
I'd love to get an agent. I'm wanting to join SaVoa first though, actually. I like the idea - in just about any field (I used to work in Internet Marketing and there was an organization for that too) - of universal standards and I want to make sure that the clients I have are able to put their minds at ease on that front.
I'm pretty much telling everyone I know what I'm up to, spreading the word about it so that when they think of something that might need a voice, they think of me. I'm also starting to do voice overs for book trailers (if you're interested, have a look at the example I have up at my book trailers page (http://www.voiceoversandvocals.com/booktrailers.html) .)
Basically, I'm spreading the word as far and wide as I can, and I'm offering up my services for all manner of different projects - even ones that I hadn't heard of (like book trailers) even a month or so back. :D There are LOTS of opportunities in this industry. I have no intention of shutting the door on any of them. :)
You're very lucky that you live close to a place where there's such a great offering of both agents and VO coaches! I'm still a little hesitant about getting an agent ... Just a little nervous about how to go ABOUT it without appearing overeager and/or too green. ;)
04-13-2008, 08:57 PM
Wow. Great info...
I agree with you on the agent aspect, but I just don't think the fanastic work is available to just anywone...things we would never hear of...kind of like acting agents...who knew there was a new Scorcese movie...you know? It's who you know. then again, I am extremely green and could be far off the mark.
It must be really hard living so far away from everything...I complain about being an hour away from NY, I'll stop now :D
The book trailer thingy sounds very promising, I'll check it out. I would love to get into audio books too. Not sure how to go about it, but I will figure it out. I'm very happy for this forum too...such a wealth of info...it's great. I have to check out voices.com too, I was on voice123 for a while...and still am...kinda, but I was never really impressed. Maybe I didn't give it the ole' college try, but now, like you said, to make a real living, I'm giving everything that try.
04-14-2008, 12:02 AM
Oh don't get me wrong, Dyna - I totally agree with you that we're likely not seeing the really stellar stuff because we would probably *need* an agent for that. GETTING one is the tricky part. And the agent, from what I've heard (others can certainly tell me if I'm wrong) doesn't want to be able to *tell* that we're green. Which is kind of what makes me a little nervous about approaching before I'm really ready. ;) Thing is ... when do we *really* know we're ready?
Actually, I've heard a lot of people complaining about Voice123.com lately. I've heard of people who aren't finding much work from Voices.com too - but as you say, it's all in what you put into it. :D I have a Premium membership on Voices.com and I can genuinely say that I've already paid for my yearly membership three times over in about 6 months of being there. I suspect next year, I'll make back the membership even quicker. (Here's to hoping. ) :D But their customer service is really wonderful and they have a whole host of really useful resources on their site too. So they're not just about taking our money and letting us flap in the wind - which is kind of the impression I get over at Voice123.com . Of course, I've never given Voice123.com my money (I have a free account) so I could be biased. ;) (Honestly, the stuff I'm hearing about SmartCast REALLY isn't making me any more likely to spend money with them.)
Anyway, my apologies for hijacking your thread. Didn't mean to do that. :D Please do repost the demo when you've done with it what you wanted to do with it though. I'd love to hear how you decide to change it.
All the best,
04-27-2008, 11:56 PM
I'm by no means qualified but I do know what I like. Three Musketeers was hot! You made chocolate sexy.
05-06-2008, 01:58 PM
05-06-2008, 01:59 PM
Jodi...on my way to voices.com to check it out...btw...I'm re-inventing myself again...hopefully this one is better....
05-06-2008, 02:05 PM
Good luck, Dyna! :) If you have any questions about Voices.com, I'm sure there are lots of people who could answer your questions. And I'd be happy to also.
05-06-2008, 02:27 PM
Thanks Jodi, did u listen to the new demo?
05-06-2008, 02:39 PM
Sorry, Dyna. I tried to but the system didn't seem to want to let me. Do you have it online somewhere you can put a link to it?
05-06-2008, 02:59 PM
I SURE DO!!!
Dyna Reeves - Voice Over Talent (http://dynacreeves.voices.com/) <----------click here!!!
05-06-2008, 03:16 PM
VERY nicely done, Dyna. Your voice sounds *great*. And your demo really does demonstrate a great amount of variety. About the only thing I'd say is that it should probably be shorter. The problem is that you're including full commercials rather than just snippets. If you include snippets, you're demonstrating your versatility in an easy to hear, bite-sized package. Those differences can be heard a little more obviously. Plus, most commercial demos (narration demos are different, though I've been told conflicting things by different people and someone here is very likely to have a better idea about that sort of thing than I do) are a minute or less. It's likely that someone listening to your demo may not even listen past the first 30 seconds (if you're lucky). That's why it's important to start out with your best material at the front and demonstrate what you can do as soon as possible.
Overall though, nice job! :)
05-06-2008, 03:20 PM
Thanks Jodi. I agree with you, that's what I figured, but his was what I got from my director. She's been in the business for a while, and I'm putting my full trust in her. I'm hoping this will get me some "actual" jobs so that I can get a snipits demo going...maybe I should go back and ask for it now though...:S
05-06-2008, 03:22 PM
If you ask your director to supply you with a version that's a minute long or less, that seems to me as if it would be a reasonable request .. but you know your director better than I do. :) In general though, you both did a great job!
05-09-2008, 07:14 PM
Okay, the VO Vixen actually asked for my opinion, whihc obviously means se's tough skinned enough forthis business. Just kidding. So, you know you have skills, but I'm going to give you some comments that perhaps will make sense and get you to another place.
Overall I thought your demo was quite good, however here goes. You are detached from some of these spots that cry out for emotional involvement. Not only is the Durango spot long, but there's no real way to determine how you feel. "look at these nails" - are you happy, upset, proud? You definitley use your instrument and somebody obviously taught you about putting on the smile that goes from one ear aroundthe back of the head and to the other. Big smile is heard all over. Who are you? Why would you be saying what you're saying and to whom? What time of day is it? Are you tired? Are you just waking up? Are you sitting or standing when you say this? Create a fully developed story complete with sets and props for yourself.
I also am sensing that you don't gesticulate much. On some ofthese spots I hear that you are closed up and either have one hand on your hip and the other near your face or both hands behind your back or at your sides. (Am I right?) Move your hands around while you preform and the read will come out much more flowing and smooth.
Also, think about what came before and what comes after you speak. On the spot that ends with "build Arizona", you can hear you walking out of the booth before the word Arizona is finished. Sometimes what helps is either standing after the last word and counting to 3 or actually creating another sentence as the last sentence (one that you just think about and don't read) You can also do this for a first sentence. Sometimes it takes a sentence or two to get into character.
And lastly, I think that if you put a little more of you into t=some of these reads and not think so much about enunciation and such, we'll get an earthier you; a more urban you, which I think would be very, very marketable.
I wouldn't be too concerned about sibilance. It is much more of an issue in narration than commecial work, but you do not seem to have so much sibilance that I would be concerned about it. I have a little too and many people will get sibilant when compression is applied to their voice anyway. Engineers know how to deal with it. Lisping is another thing altogether and this is not your problem.
This may also sound strange but overarticulation could also cause sibilance and some other issues. Loosen your mouth and jaw and try to work more relaxed. Practice on some things and you are welcome to send them directly to me at email@example.com
I hope this has been helpful and was not meant to be discouraging. Your demo is probably good enough as is to get you representation, although I am cluesless about matters pertaining to Vermont.
05-12-2008, 12:32 PM
WHOA!! Great feedback. I think it's really helpful. I am not here to be petted, I'm her for serous input from people who know what they are talking about.
I completely hated the Durango spot, that's why I had the engineer completely remove it from the reel. The second reel (also found on the voices.com site) is the one that I'm going with. I really do need to work on my emotion, and yes, I do spend more time enunciating (blame that on speech therapy in elementary school...a product of my "down south" grandmother). Gonna work on that as well.
Funny you mentioned the running from the studio on build Arizona. That's also something that my coach and I have been working on. Perhaps your suggestion may work...sounds good, never thought of that.
Working on moving around as well during reads. She told me that too (guess she's worth her fee huh?), and I always do it in coaching, but apparently didn't do it enough during my demo tapings.
Thank you so much JSG!! You've given me a lot to think about and work on for next week...along with a home studio. I will be sending you some mp3s soon. Thank you for for the offering!!!
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