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On Casting Workshops

Hey there!

I have some very strong opinions about whether or not you should take casting workshops.

And they run counter to much of what you’ll read.

Recently, on a LinkedIn actor list I’m a member of, someone asked about them.

Here’s what I wrote.

I’m more than happy to be what appears to be the lone voice in favor of casting workshops. I’ve never considered them pay-for-play, and I’m not a stupid actor who is being hornswoggled by predatory casting directors out to steal my hard earned money.

On the contrary – it’s exactly what you’re supposed to do when you’re an entrepreneur:

Get to know your customer.

Find out what their needs are.

Fill those needs.

And it probably costs more to do this in other businesses than it does in the performance business.

In any other business, you’d do whatever it took to get on the radar of your potential customers – dinners, golf, lunches, gifts, whatever. I’m always amazed that actors, especially righteously indignant ones, play the “I’m an ARTIST! I shall never part with any of my hard earned dollars to meet my potential employer’s gatekeepers!”

Good for you.

I’ll take my way any day.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars marketing myself to my clients. That includes actorsaccess.com, Breakdown Services, Now Casting, headshots, resumes, MOO cards, my efforts on social media, speeches, volunteering, interning, drop offs, and yes, casting workshops. And I think my track record speaks volumes.

Do what you want, but know that you have a choice – you can hope that the phone will ring, or you can pick it up and use it yourself.

I’m so pro-casting workshops and their benefit to the ready-to-book but unrepresented actor, that I created a website about it. I make no money on this website; I do it because I’m so passionate about the fact that you should be able to choose how to spend your money without politicians telling you how:

http://befreetochoose.org

To be clear, don’t take casting workshops if you’re not ready to step on set the very next day.

I’m not kidding.

You should be good at your craft, and you should talk to fellow actors and stay away from casting director workshops helmed by the bad apples. But the things you learn in those workshops (as well as what you learn NOT to do) is invaluable. Plus, you are in front of the very people you need to know as customers, and if you’re not represented by an agent or a manager, this is a great opportunity to show that you’re ready.

Drop me an email at davidlawrence@gmail.com if you want my current recommendations on which casting workshops I prefer and why.

Hope this helps.

David

10 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    David

    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    David,
    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!
    Shirley

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

  9. Bernard Prame July 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    extremely helpful demo. Thank you!

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