When and when not to record under a different name

Hey, there!

A lovely British VO talent has been asked to voice a book with some very explicit scenes and language. She just called to ask if she should use a different name as talent.

My answer? Yes.

But, in this particular case, no. Here’s why.

Books are the last bastion of free wheeling language and adult situations. Popular best sellers are rife with incredibly explicit sexual situations and passages.

And then there’s erotica, soft core pornography and everything in between. And all of those categories can be a bit daunting to work in for your average VO talent bear. I’ll admit, when I’m voicing a sex scene, I’m more than a little self conscious – and I’m no prude.

For women, especially women of a certain stature, voicing anything racy can lead them to think about taking on a second name to record under, just to keep THOSE kinds of books from keeping her from getting all the rest of the work that’s available.

And when my UK friend called, she had already made the decision to do just that, and was wondering what the details might be around getting paid under that second name. While we were talking, she casually mentioned that the book was being published by [name redacted – let’s just say it rhymes with Carper Hollins], only one of the biggest publishers of books in the world, and the biggest name in audiobooks as well.

This was no fly-by-night erotica factory in New Jersey.

And that changed everything for me about my answer.

So I said, “You know, I can’t think of a best seller that doesn’t have really explicit sexual situations – and because this is a big publishing house, I’d think long and hard before jumping to the conclusion that you should use a different name. It might become a huge seller, you might even end up voicing the franchise, and you’d want the credit if that was the case. If your actual name isn’t on the audiobook, you might have a dickens of a time convincing others that you did the work.”

I’d certainly understand if the book was designed to be read by creepy old guys for 5 minutes at a pop. But my advice to her, and to you, dear SOVO reader, is to take a moment and consider the job, not just the content, when making a decision like this. It may be off-putting to say some of those words – but remember: we’re actors. We do this for a living. Let’s get paid, and credit, for that.

When would you insist on a different name to record under? Let me know in the comments below.

Hope this helps.


9 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 #


    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 #

    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!

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

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

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