Congratulations on completing your commercial demo in voice over! What a big step to gather all of your skills you've learned in classes (or from experience) and spending the money to create the one thing that will open all the doors into this crazy business of voice acting.
The big question is, now what? What do you do with your demo? Who needs to hear it? Where do I find auditions for jobs?
Your demo is the key to get people to offer you auditions. You hopefully have this saved as an mp3 and a wav file on a computer that you use frequently as well as uploaded as a link on your website or for free on soundcloud.com. Many times, new clients or casting directors want to know what you sound like before offering an audition to you. So send them your skills, it's your time to shine!
Auditions. Where do you find them, especially if you don't have an agent. This is where navigating the business can get a bit tricky. Experienced veterans (especially those working union rates) will tell you that the Pay 2 Play sites like voices.com or voice123.com are terrible for the business. They can be when you are talking about how they cut rates and make it difficult to earn a livable wage. However, you have to start somewhere, right?! If you have the funds and time to work on VDC (voices dot com) or Voice123, go for it! Let me explain:
You need experience. And with experience, comes confidence. And with confidence comes ideas. (Ideas on how you can take clients from the Pay2Play sites and make them pay you directly!) And eventually you will build enough confidence to find an agent that will help you break into that next echelon of work auditioning for commercials like Target or Best Buy and new animated cartoons!
So, if you have the funds and time, get on a Pay 2 Play site. For about $400 you have access to so many auditions. But, you HAVE to be quick. You are competing with thousands of other voice actors who are also sitting on the same website looking to audition and land work as well. Many of those actors could be in a time zone ahead of you so they are already awake and warmed up and ready to work by the time you are just getting your morning tea started.
Voice over is also just a fast business. Many times, clients need their work, yesterday. So the more on top of a job posting you are, the more likely you will land the gig.
Understand also that listening is an exhausting activity. When casting directors and new potential clients are reviewing auditions, they may find a voice they like in the first 20-30 auditions that come in. Try beating that voice that already nailed what they are looking for. Plus, after listening to 30-50 auditions, you'd be pretty exhausted too. We don't have the mental bandwidth to take in that much information at one time. They want to fall in love with a voice quickly. They needed their job done yesterday and you want to get your audition in early to give yourself the best chance of being the voice they fall in love with early.
Pay 2 Play sites are really a numbers game. Auditioning is your job now. Landing a gig is the fun part! Most of what you are going to do is marketing yourself (telling people what you do) and auditioning (showing people what you do). Once you land a couple of those jobs, you will already be a MUCH better actor that when you first completed your voice over demo. With practice comes improvement which will only boost your confidence.
A friend of mine just starting out asked me, what kinds of jobs she should go for?! When you see all the possibilities of things you CAN do, you start to wonder, what would you be good at. Remember, auditioning is your job now. Reading the post and following directions is of paramount importance. So think about what the job is: will you be reading medical terminology to nursing students, or a phone greeting for a library? Will you be performing a part in a dramatic podcast or welcoming new employees to an orientation video that will discuss how to clock in and out? If that job sounds boring to you, your audition will be boring. Skip it. Move on. You want to be engaged and interesting because that translates to the ears of people who will potentially hire you!
The trick is consistency. Whatever platform you use, you want to be consistent. Make it a daily habit to get online and skim through the auditions. Set a tangible goal! Can you honestly submit 2 auditions everyday? 5? 10?
Whichever Pay 2 Play site you decide to start with, you've got this! Lots of people have been successful before you and I know you can find success there too.