Business of VO: New Year, New Demo?

with Liz Atherton

The Pros and Pros of New Demos and why Raising Chickens Raises the Bar!

Everyone is talking demos these days! How important is a demo? Do I need new demos? The list goes on. Host Anne Ganguzza and special guest host Liz Atherton discuss the importance of demos in your voiceover arsenal with a smattering of good advice about acting, agents, marketing, training, and the importance of being! Oh, and then there are the chickens


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. I’m a seasoned pro and should still update my demos.

  2. Anne’s approach to demos and why training is essential.

A good demo will get you an agent!

  4. Hire a professional demo producer – you get time with someone who knows what they are doing and you can learn from the best.

  5. Demos are not just for newbies.

  6. You can get hired from your demo, but you better sound like you, or you can be fired!

  7. A demo is essential to your marketing!

  8. You BETTER have your own website!

  9. Acting is the future of VO – the actor in you will get you hired

  10. You must be engaging, believable, and direct-able.

  11. Fresh material is a must!

  12. Demo specifics – what works and why!

  13. A great demo is money well spent – DO YOUR RESEARCH!

  14. Current Styles – it’s important?
Hire the right director – they know what they are doing!

  15. Everything is subjective – hire someone well vetted!

  16. A demo is SO much more than an .mp3 – remember that when you evaluate the investment!

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Learn more about doing your demo with Anne!
Find out about 
Recorded on ipDTL
Awesome editing by Carl Bahner


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These’re the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Now let’s welcome your host Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey, welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with special guest cohost, queen bee Liz Atherton. How are you?

Liz: Hey Anne. I’m good. How’re you doing? Thanks for including me.

Anne: I’m working my way in this very beginning of 2020, trying to make it start off with a huge explosion bang so that I can have the best year ever.

Liz: You’re an inspiration. Guys, if y’all don’t know Anne Ganguzza, make it a point to know Anne Ganguzza. She’s not only a delight, she’s smart and she knows what she’s doing. So there’s your plug, Anne, and you don’t even have to pay me.

[both laugh]

Anne: Stop, no, don’t stop.

Liz: Woo! Oh. Anyway.

Anne: Since it’s a new year, I thought it would be a good time to discuss prepping ourselves for having the best year yet. And I think a very important component of your voiceover business is your demo. I thought it would be good to talk about demos in 2020. We’ve had this discussion before on this podcast, but I always like to keep things fresh. So let’s talk about demos in 2020. I would like to get your thoughts on how important is a demo for a voice talent today to market themselves and get business?

Liz: I’m going to come at it, if you don’t mind, from a different perspective. The reason I think demos are so important to the talent is that you are going to get several hours and maybe more with someone who knows what they’re doing. Yes, you’re going to create a demo, and yes, it’s going to come out sounding great. But what you’re really going to get is time with this person that knows what they’re doing. Ask them questions. It’s the best training you could ever imagine. And to me, that’s why people should always be doing demos. I mean, Anne, listen, you know I’m not a VO talent. I’m just a, or was a lowly agent. Now I’m just a lowly software person ,and I’m a mom, and I have chickens.

Anne: “I have chickens.” Raise the bar, girl.

[both laugh]

Anne: There’s nothing lowly about raising chickens. There you go.

Liz: Back to demos. To me, so let’s just take Joe Blow or Jane Blow voiceover talent and let’s just say they’ve been a talent for many years, and they know how to put out a good demo, but now they’re going to have this demo, and they’re going to get to work with Anne Ganguzza, right, and your engineer. Who’s your engineer, Anne? Is it you? Is it someone else?

Anne: Oh no. I have an amazing engineer in Santa Monica. His name is John Chominski. That’s a big shout-out to John. Love my engineer. John is amazing, from Atlantis group studios.

Liz: That’s fantastic. So let’s pretend that I’m a fairly tenured voiceover talent, right? But I needed a demo and I want to reach out to Anne, and I say Anne, I want to put together a demo. And Anne’s like yes, let’s do this. So now Anne doesn’t necessarily need to coach me through how I’m going to deliver the lines, right?

Anne: Wait a minute. I’m going to back you up there. The only reason I say that is because I’m that person.

Liz: I’m thrilled.

Anne: Yeah. I believe that if I’m going to direct a demo, I need to be able to understand and believe that you can deliver you can deliver those lines without me directing you. So the teacher in me comes out. So you actually have to coach with me. That’s the only way I’ll produce a demo. I am not — you cannot pay me enough money to just produce a demo. You have to work with me first.

Liz: Then my hat’s off to you. No seriously, I say this with all my gut. So, I’m this talent, right, and I’ve hired you to help me with this demo. So you’re gonna help me deliver the lines, but let’s just – so now I’ve trained with you and I know how to deliver the lines and I’m in the session. And we’re working on sound, and the engineer, your engineer is doing something special. I should be glued to the mic and to the headphones listening to what he’s doing and learning what he’s doing. I should be glued to what you’re sharing and saying about things I should do because you are an industry influencer. You know what you’re doing, and you’re a fantastic demo producer. So me as the talent, not only am I going to walk away with a demo, I’m going to walk away with being a better talent in what I’m doing. And to me, that’s the beauty of a demo. If I have new VO talent, you know, you listen to them, and they catch your ear, and you’re just like, “wow you have this fabulous voice.” For me, they’re asking, “how do I get into VO?” And I’m not trying to segue into how to get into VO, but to me, one of the first things they have to do is — maybe not the first, they have to generate a demo. And if they pick the right demo teacher, then they’re going to walk out with so much more knowledge at the end of the experience. To me, demos, on the agent side and the casting side, people ask, “what good is my demo?” Well, It’ll get you an agent. It’ll get you — I mean that’s –

Anne: That’s a really good point by the way. For those people who’re saying, but we audition for everything all the time. Why do I still need a demo? Or with pay-to-plays, people are like, all we have to do is audition and upload, we can do our own recordings of, you know, and upload that as our demo, pay-to-play sites. So why do I still need a professional demo? And you just brought up an excellent point that more than likely you’re not gonna get an agent without a professionally produced demo.

Liz: You’re not. And here’s the other thing, Anne. Whenever the demo – so I’m an agent, right, and I’m listening to your demo, and then let’s just say the first auditions come through, and you’ve been hired — sometimes you can be hired straight from your demos. Matter of fact, I legitimately had this conversation two days ago. A friend of mine – of course I have a lot of friends in the VOs community, she’s such a good VO artist. She had been hired off of her demo and the gentleman had been hired off of his demo. He could not speak himself out of a paper bag. He could not repeat, he could not re-create the sound. His demo was so overproduced and perfect that he could not redo what he was doing. So not only did he – I mean, I’m happy for him that he has a pretty demo and it got him hired, but he got fired from the job, they had to go find somebody else.

Anne: He couldn’t produce the sound.

Liz: He couldn’t re-create what he did on his demo. Had he paid attention to the techniques that got him to there, to all of that other kind of stuff, then he would’ve been a legitimate talent. I’m not saying he’s not a legitimate talent, but that was all wrapped up in that