So, you've had plenty of coaching, you have your scripts, and your demo session is lurking on the calendar. It's easy to feel a little nervous about your big day. It's okay. Professional theater actors still get the butterflies before they go on stage. Anxiety is normal but you can do plenty to prepare for your performance on the day of your demo.
Make your voice is good and healthy on the day of your demo. Stay away from dairy, spicy food or energy drinks right before your session. Your voice could get hoarse or you'll likely have to clear your throat every five seconds. This can affect your performance and cause delays in the session. Drink plenty of room temperature bottled water before the session. It's vital to stay hydrated.
This may seem like a no-brainer but make sure you bring your demo scripts to the studio. The last thing a studio engineer wants to be doing is scrambling to print out scripts when they want to be focussing on setting you up in the booth so that you sound great! Bring a pen or pencil to scribble notes from your coach, directing you during the session.
At UVT Coaching, we only record demos for our students after they've been coached for several months and they've had a demo rehearsal session. This way, our talents are good and prepared for the session.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably. This isn't a wedding where you have to show up dressed up. Heavy clothing can make you warm and create discomfort during the session. You don't need these kinds of aggravations when you're recording. Dress light! When I book voiceover gigs and go to an offsite studio, I wear jeans and a nice t-shirt. Leave bracelets at home. It's easy to accidentally brush them across the microphone or script stand, creating all kinds of noise when you're recording.
Listen carefully to the direction
Please pay close attention to your voiceover coach and their direction during the session. You want to be able to deliver the best performance possible. Don't self-direct or get too chatty in between takes. This slows down the session. Remember, you are the performer and your coach is the director. Listening to the engineer running the board is equally important, as they will be that one telling you when they're recording. Like a Director who yells, "action!"
It's imperative to show up on time. If this is a demo session, show up a few minutes early so you can read over the scripts one more time. This also gives the studio engineer a little more time to get you set up. Obviously, there can be personal or weather issues that can hinder the ability to arrive on time. If this is the case, contact your coach before the session.
Can I record the demo from my home studio?
Absolutely! As long as your home delivers quality audio, you're good to go. At UVT Coaching, Jan Anderson, who conducts a terrific home studio setup session, will give our students the green light once their audio is sufficient for a demo session. However, keep in mind most of the advice above still applies, even if you're recording from home.
A demo session is a bit like Graduation Day! It's a day that should be full of excitement. You put a lot of time, money and work into this, so make sure that every minute in the studio counts!