The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

Hey there!

I’m often approached by talent new to voice over and on-camera acting, and they’ve already decided what they need for success. They try to begin their journey by taking care of two crucial accomplishments. The problem is they shouldn’t be trying to do either until they “make their unknown known.” Here’s what they shouldn’t be trying to do.

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Hope this helps!


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hey it’s David H Lawrence the 17th and I
just got yet another email from somebody
who wants to get into the business wants
to become a performer wants to do
voiceover in particular and they said
yeah I’m pretty sure I just need a
couple of things and then I can get
going I need to get a demo put together
and I need to find an agent can you help
me with that is that something you do
and the answer is yes but it’s the
answer to a question that should be
asked quite a bit further down the path
I think the biggest mistake that people
that are new to the business make is
they’ll ask somebody you know what do I
need to do to get into the business what
do I need to do to have a career as of
what I want to do what you do what do
you want I need to well you need a demo
and you need to find an agent and so
they think oh well those are the first
two things I need to accomplish those
are the first two items I need to check
off on the list and the truth of the
matter is that those are kind of the
last two things that you want to do
because you want to understand what goes
into making a demo so that you can use
that demo as a tool that you can hand to
the agent that demo has to be
competitive and if you make it too soon
it’s not going to because you’re not
gonna know why a demo should be done or
what kind of demo should be done the
idea that you have to make a demo is
also kind of indicative of where you are
in your journey that you haven’t quite
figured out that you know just like you
don’t use one headshot when you’re an
on-camera performer you don’t have just
one demo when you’re a voiceover talent
so I’ve learned to be gentle about
disabusing new people of the notion that
all they really need to do is put
together a demo whatever that is and
find an agent which they think is a snap
or they don’t think it’s a snap they
want my help doing it take the time to
work your way into the business to
understand how everything kind of flows
the deal flow of the business who the
gatekeepers are what skills you need you
know when we when we teach you in VO to
Google we teach you in three different
categories art Commerce and science and
mindset we’re slowly adding that to the
mix but we do that because most people
just learn how to
commercials or how to do audiobooks or
how to do animation or you know who
knows what they learn how he learning
and then they’re kind of lost they’re
kind of at sea when it comes to running
the business you know how do i market
this how do i do a demo do i do more
than one demo because you need a
portfolio of demos and because you want
people who are gonna hire you to not
have to wait or not have to imagine what
you would sound like if they were to
give you the job but let them hear you
and then the biggest tool to your agent
when you find one when you’re ready to
jump into the business and you’re ready
to manage an agent relationship so that
you can respond appropriately and know
what not to ask and you know just be
able to handle that relationship really
well is a great competitive demo and if
you can do that that’s fantastic but it
doesn’t come right off the bat try not
to make that mistake if you’re watching
this video and you’re brand new and
you’re like okay I’m gonna do this it’s
gray this how hard could this be right
just know that those are the kind of the
things that come last in the training
process get to know your art get to know
the business get to know the technology
the art the Commerce the science and you
know I mean we take care of that with vo
to go go we make sure that that’s kind
of the last things that we teach you in
module 11 and 12 so out of 12 so just so
you know it’s kind of something it comes
up every so often I got this email from
somebody just today that was like okay I
really should make a video about this
because it’s really important I want you
to be successful and the way to be
successful is to take things in a
particular order so that you can build
on basics and then move towards those
final steps which is a demo and finding
an agent I’m David H Lawrence 217th I’d
love to know what your path has been
like I’d love to know whether you made a
demo too early and maybe regretted it
maybe you went back and listened to it
and you thought to yourself oh yeah or
maybe you did it you know appropriately
you waited and you learned and you saw
and you observed and you figured out
what worked and what didn’t and and took
care of it and how did you find an agent
you know did you find an agent are you
in the process of finding an agent you
have the tool that you can hand that
hmm I’d love to know just place it in
the comments below just let me know
what’s going on okay if you’d like to
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it’s all about again I’m David H
Lawrence xvii thank you so much for
watching and I’ll talk to you tomorrow



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  1. Thank you David! I was super lucky, I got an agent very quickly because of a good friends recommendation from my acting work – and yes, it’s been great – but it also gave me a false sense of what I still needed to do to transition my acting skills to becoming a true Voice Over Artist, to your point. After a year of sending in auditions (with my spiffy equipment from your program) I FINALLY booked a commercial VO! YAY! And NOW I will go back and really actually TAKE your classes which I love but never fully availed myself of because, “Hey, I have an agent and I’m auditioning all the time” <– hubris. I am excited to go back to go forward and really understand the scope of the business and what I need to do now to KEEP booking and hopefully more often. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the info!

    I was fortunate enough to have a great coach who told me as much. Most of the information out there DOES lead you to believe you need to get a demo done quickly. Upon further inspection, it’s easy to see that comes from folks who are just trying to sell demos. What you need is training and practice!

    Voice Acting is NOT a quick thing! It takes time. The last thing you want is a bad demo out there in the market! As far as agents go, if they’re willing to sign you with no experience, they’re not a very good agent!

  3. I learned from experience that even WITH a great demo (that is, ONE great commercial demo), it’s not enough to begin your agent quest. Yes, they loved my demo, but when I was asked to record raw tracks in the videogame/animation department, I was completely unprepared so my recordings were not competetive and the agent passed on me. This was my OWN commercial agent who happens to be head of the agency’s VO department, and that didn’t buy me any advantage. The advantage is when you can go in to an agent with a variety of professionally produced demos (commercial, animation, documentary narration, and IVR) that reflect your range and professionalism. But be sure you’ve had sufficient training in each of those areas so you know that, if they hand you their own script to record, it’ll be a no-brainer. It’s not fun to be caught with your pants down!

  4. Thanks David! I also have you to thank for producing my awesome commercial demo. After about 5 months of being enrolled in your classes, I decided it was time for my to pull the trigger and get my commercial demo done, and both you and Trevor gave me your blessing sthat I was ready and that’s all I needed! As for a vo agent…I don’t have one…keeping an eye and ear out for referrals but I’m not too worried about it. Doing just fine without one for now, but hey, maybe it’s time I move that to the top of my goal list!

  5. Great stuff David and this is so true. I am building my Voice Over so that I can get a agent down the road and also working on what type of Voice Over I want to do. There are so many area’s of Voice Over and I don’t want to not try something because I may be good at it also. Love all your great advice,

    Thank you so much,

    Cylinda McAlister