VAM 032 | Q & A Session 02 – Demos & Character Context

VAM 032 | Q & A Session 02 – Demos & Character Context

Welcome to episode 32 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

For this episode, I thought I would answer some more of the voicemail questions that I’ve been getting from my listeners.

For those who don’t know, in episode 28 I gave out a phone number where you can call in and leave me a question as a voicemail. From time to time, I’ll pick the most relevant questions I receive and answer them here on the podcast.

For this round of Q & A, I answer two of my listeners, Taylor from Bardstown, KY and Beau from Soham, England.

  1. Taylor asks me what should she put on her first demo, original characters or pre-established ones that agents are familiar with?
  2. Beau asks me what do I do when I have to play a character and I don’t understand the story?

I think you’ll find the answers very helpful.

As a reminder, the number where you can call in and ask your question is:

323-696-2655.

Please don’t forget to include your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #32 Here (MP3)

 

11 Responses to “VAM 032 | Q & A Session 02 – Demos & Character Context”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    Excellent. Very nice. Thank you for the information. I just started my acting class, and since I’m taking practicum, it looks like I’m gonna be doing some acting outside my class. I hope it works out.

    I already have the number saved, I’m just not sure if I have a question right now.

  2. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Both very excellent questions. Lovely answers as always!

    Thank you!

  3. garrett says:

    I would agree with crispin that the demos should showcase multiple characters and be to the point. People that look for talent listen to alot of voices every day and most likely wont listen to your entire demo. Showing what you can do in small bit sized portions, will help demonstrate your range and give the listener multiple examples before they move on to the next demo.

  4. Leonard says:

    Greetings Mr. Freeman:

    Thank you for answering these great questions. The answers will certainly benefit me in the future. I do have a question regarding the whole pre-established characters thing, you said you shouldn’t use pre-established characters because they already have people performing them & you want to show off what you can do, not what’s been done. This makes a lot of sense with characters like Bart Simpson, Porky Pig & Donald Duck because they already have an established voice & personality that hasn’t really changed since they were created. An Example being the fact that Bob Bergen’s Porky Pig is almost identical to Mel Blanc’s portrayal of Porky. What about characters that have had many different versions done such as comic book characters & characters from Shakespeare’s plays? These characters have often been portrayed very differently over the years & in the case of Shakespeare, centuries. A great example being the fact that Adam West & Kevin Conroy both portrayed Batman but the way they portrayed them was radically different from each other. Basically what I’m asking is with characters that have often been portrayed differently, is it OK to use them provided you can put your own, original take on them or are you better off avoiding them in your demos also?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You are free to put whatever you like on your demo. However, if you put Shakespeare characters, I don’t think that’s going to help you. They don’t often hire people to play Shakespeare characters in animation or video games. They do however hire people to work on Fantasy games. You should probably focus on playing characters that sound like they come from the Lord of the Rings.

      You’re also welcome to put Batman on your demo, but very few people are going to take you seriously unless your name is Kevin Conroy or Adam West. What is the point in putting a character on your demo that immediately makes people compare you to another actor? You want them to hear you, not be thinking of someone else.

      We don’t need your own original take on a well established character. We want to hear your characters and what is unique about you in your demo. There’s no point in putting Gollum’s lines on your demo unless you can do a perfect Andy Serkis impersonation and you’re going for a voice match. No one is really interested in your possible re-interpretation of Gollum. They’re listening to your demo to try and figure out how to cast you in their project.

      Does that make sense?

      • Leonard says:

        Yes it does make sense. Thank you for explaining Crispin, it was really helpful & will help me avoid making some bad choices. When I am ready to make my voice acting demo, I will avoid putting any pre-established characters because you’re right, I want to show my own characters, not characters that have been done.

  5. Andrew Jackson Brown says:

    I’m not ready to make a demo yet, but for my first demo I was thinking of reading character lines from my comic books. Is this a good or bad route to take?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It can be good practice to try voicing the characters from comic books. However, for a demo, you’re usually better off using actual dialogue from animated shows. Comic books are not always written in a true dialogue style.

      I would say use comics to practice, but find some actual animation dialogue to use for your demo.

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