Posted on

My New Commercial Voice Over Demo

You’ve been hearing about it for a while now. Posts like “It’s Commercial Demo Weekend With Uncle Roy” and “What It’s Like To Record A Demo With Uncle Roy” have shared the journey, and hopefully brought you along for the ride.

Now it’s time for the big reveal, so to speak.

When Uncle Roy first sent me the demo Wednesday evening, I must’ve listened to it about six times trying to convince myself it was even me. Seriously, guys. He pulled reads out of me I didn’t know I had. I’ve said it before, but now here’s the proof.

If you’ve been giving even the slightest consideration to making a new demo, I’m 100% throwing my support and endorsement behind Uncle Roy!

Get in touch with him at

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

Posted on

What It’s Like To Record A Demo With Uncle Roy

I’m sitting in seat 2A of Delta Flight 4181 heading for Buffalo. We’re cruising along at 20,000ft and as I wave so long to the breathtaking New York City skyline, I’m reflecting on a weekend I’ll always remember.

If you read my previous blog (It’s Commercial Demo Weekend With Uncle Roy), you’re aware of the story of how I came to record my demo with Uncle Roy. Now that the recording is complete, I’m reminded of how wise a decision it was to choose Uncle Roy in the first place, over all the other options out there to get a demo done.

It’s An Experience!

In the Whisper Room
In the Whisper Room

With Uncle Roy, you don’t just record a demo. You have an experience… which is likely why he’s everyone’s favourite Uncle! Sure, when you’re done, you’ll walk away with one of his KILLER demos. But really, you bid farewell to Bloomfield, New Jersey blessed with so much more!

Beyond a demo, I needed a confidence boost. I’ve built this incredible voice over business for myself. I’ve experienced success in ways I never knew in a 20 year career in radio and television. I’m earning more money, having fun more, and living more life than I never did before. Still, somewhere deep inside of me there’s always been a small voice that had me questioning. Doubting.

Dealing With Self Doubt

“Am I good enough?”

No matter what I seemed to do, I couldn’t shake that voice. Even as I booked new work, signed new clients and coached others to new levels of success, in quiet moments alone in my studio, sometimes I’d doubt myself and my ability.

“You’re good enough for these voice overs, but not those.”

“You can only do these genres, not those.”

Coaching others to think positively is part of my business, but I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not always easy to do.

When I walked into the WhisperRoom at Antland Productions, I was nervous, timid and unsure of myself.

When I walked out at the end of the day, I was inspired, encouraged and, most importantly, confident. Credit to Uncle Roy.

How Did I Do That?

Wo Hop… where else?

Don’t ask me how – I’ve yet to figure it out and may never – but, somehow, he pulled reads out me I had no idea I had. Reads I’d never delivered since recording my first voice over in 1995!

When I told him I couldn’t, he’d push back. Not aggressively, but gently, with humour and, dare I say, a little love. He knew just how to coach and direct to stretch me in a way that challenged me to find a voice I’d not previously discovered. Not a character, to be clear. Rather, my own voice. Used to it’s fullest potential.

Even his wife Cheryl, while sitting around the table in the “train room,” chimed in to challenge me. “I think you should have him read the Polo spot,” she said to Uncle Roy.

“What’s the polo spot,” I inquired?

“It’s a sophisticated, cool, sexy read.”

“Yeah, I definitely don’t have an ounce of that in me!”

“We’ve already got too much material,” Uncle Roy pointed out.

Cheryl persisted.

I Told You So!

In the booth, I fought it (like in this outtake clip). Those deep down seeds of doubt seeking a little light. Uncle Roy paid me and my protests no mind. Cheryl said we should do the spot. We were doing the spot.

It took a while. It wasn’t pretty. God bless Uncle Roy, who may be the most patient man on the planet. Even after a full day of recording all the scripts they’d prepared for me, delivering styles I’d never delivered before, at 9pm, we we’re back at it finding something else in me.

The next day I sent Uncle Roy a text. “Tell Cheryl she can say, ‘I told you so.’”

When the final demo is delivered, I may not recognize myself; unquestionably though, I’ll be proud of myself!

Yes, there was recording. There were plenty of laughs (XLR Condom, anyone?). People following our adventures on Facebook may have questioned if we were actually doing any work at all!

So Much More Than Just Talking Into A Can

Riding in Style
Riding in Style

There was Chinese food like I’d never tasted from Wo Hop. Sign me up for more French Toast bagels with fried eggs. Mouth-watering thin crust pizza and Shrimp Parm Heroes will most certainly bring me back to Bloomfield! Authentic New York Cheesecake has probably ruined all other cheesecake for me.

Pez breaks happened frequently. If you’ve recorded at Uncle Roy’s you’ll get this. If you haven’t, go and you will!

I stood in awe of an Emmy trophy, and posed for a photo with it. When I sent my brother-in-law a picture of an original animation cell from a Cookie Crisp commercial Uncle Roy worked on, Uncle Roy became his hero too.

Melissa Exelberth is the best parallel parker I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving with. Like! A! Boss!

I drove over the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. I saw the sites in Manhattan. If there’s a more spectacular skyline than NYC at night, I’d like to see it.

Who wouldn’t want to ride in a ’38 Plymouth? Heads turn on every street corner, from every store window. People gawk in awe. They smile. Wave. Nod their heads in approval. I felt like a king!

Yes, recording a demo with Uncle Roy is indeed an experience.

An experience that transformed me into a voice actor, not just a voice talent.

Need a demo? Coaching? Seriously… call Uncle Roy! Visit

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

Posted on

It’s Commerical Demo Weekend With Uncle Roy at Antland

Last year, while wandering a hallway at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas in Henderson Nevada, I was greeted by two men. Voice Actor, Anthony Gettig and Producer and Coach, Uncle Roy Yokelson. Though I’d never met either of these guys before, without hesitation they invited me to join them for breakfast. That’s exactly what I did.

Were it not for that chance meeting at WoVOCon II a year ago, this weekend I wouldn’t be traveling to New Jersey. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t chance at all. Between you and me, I don’t believe in coincidence. Instead, I believe God knows what we need, when we need it and He’s more than capable of orchestrating meetings between strangers.

Why I Need A New Demo

When you're producing a demo with Uncle Roy the Bagel King... this is how you prepare!
When you’re producing a demo with Uncle Roy the Bagel King… this is how you prepare!

When I first began discussing demos with Uncle Roy I was pretty blunt.

“Look, the truth is, I haven’t done a directed session in years. The idea of it intimidates me. I’ve never taken a drama class. I don’t consider myself an actor. My background is rip and read radio. I’m well aware the commercial market has changed. I’m even more aware I’m currently not qualified for it, which is why I’ve avoided it completely. Producing this demo is going to be a HUGE step for me well outside my comfort zone. I’m going to need a lot of work. I know it. I also know I trust you to take me where I need to go.”

I continued, “I’m making a great living for myself right now. My business continues to grow year after year. But I don’t want to stall out. If I’m going to go to a new level, I’m going to have to do this demo and put everything I’ve got into pursuing this market. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me in the beginning. I know it’s what I have to do. It’s time to do it.”

In a nutshell, this is what I told him. He’d attest to it.

It probably wasn’t the greatest set up, and poor Uncle Roy was likely wondering what the heck he was getting himself into. Not one to back away from a challenge, and more than capable of coaching and shaping me, though, Uncle Roy agreed.

That was the first step.

One Step At A Time

The journey to this commercial demo – for me – has been years in the making. Many months even passed from the time I first inquired with him last summer until the time we began coaching sessions. A lot of pieces of the puzzle had to fall into place.

Coaching was a given. Lots of it was expected.

Then there was the financial commitment. The price of a demo. The money to pay for all that coaching. Investments in equipment. Studio upgrades. Booking flights, hotels and a car.

Forgive me for saying it so directly, but, I wasn’t willing to do this half-@$$ed.

Am I going to be the next great commercial voice actor in North America? Well, probably not. Am I going to open the doors to opportunities that I’d otherwise never have a chance at. Without a doubt!

Never Stop Growing!

If you’re not growing, you’ll eventually peak. For most of 2015, I had a sense that I had peaked, or was getting really close.

I’m not the kind of guy that likes to get comfortable and settle in when I’m passionate about something. I’m the kind of guy that likes to take it as far as I can, and then figure out what it’s going to take to go to the next level.

Guys, don’t lose the spark. Don’t give up. Don’t settle.

People look at me and my business and assume I’ve got it all figured out and I’m exactly where I want to be. Truth is, I’ve figured a few things out and I’ve accomplished some of goals I’ve set for myself. But don’t kid yourself into thinking I’ve got it all together.

Through this blog, and the platform I’ve created for myself in this industry, I always want to use it to help people. To provide value through content, training, courses, coaching, etc. I also want to be 100 percent authentic.

I’ve been full-time in voice over since 2012 and I’m making a great living. It’s also taken me this many years to finally be ready to pursue a commercial demo and the commercial market. I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t hide it. In fact, quite the opposite. I share it so that if you’re struggling a bit, or you feel like things are moving too slow, you can see that you’re not alone.

This voice over game is a marathon. Not a sprint.

The next time you’re looking at how far someone else is ahead of you, stop.

The only race you need to run is your own and you’re free to run it as fast, or slow, as you see fit.

With that in mind… next stop… Antland Productions in New Jersey!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

Posted on

Growing Pains

One of the big goals I’ve set for myself for 2016 is a new commercial demo. For many years, while I worked in broadcasting, commercial work was all I did. I voiced thousands of spots during my career. However, since leaving radio to pursue voice over full-time, I can likely count the number of commercial voice overs I’ve done on one hand.

Well, maybe two with a few toes.

Making the decision to pursue commercial work again wasn’t an easy one. I’ve built a very solid client base and successful business for myself without this type of voice over in my portfolio. However, I also knew if I wanted to advance to a new level, it would mean doing something different.

It would mean stepping out of my comfort zone.

Walking A New Road

Me after our session.
Me after our session.

Let me tell you a little secret about me. As much as I’m a go-getter, and as much as I preach (and practice) just figuring things out… the fact of the matter is, when something doesn’t naturally come easy to me, I get frustrated.

Today, I’m frustrated.

I knew making a commercial demo wouldn’t simply be a matter of booking a demo session with a brilliant producer. First, I’d have to do some coaching. I’d have to relearn the genre I’ve not worked in for several years. It’s a lot different from my rip n’ read radio days!

Perhaps I underestimated how different.

I’ve had two sessions now with Uncle Roy of Antland Productions. God bless the man for his patience, wisdom and guidance. Lord knows he’s needed a lot, working with me!

Coaching with Uncle Roy has been one of the most humbling experiences of my voice over career to date. I crush it in the explainer video market. I crush it in the eLearning and narration genres. Commercials however… well… who knew I’d sound like such a rookie?!

I’m sure if you asked Uncle Roy, he’d probably say it isn’t quite as bad as it seems. I hope he would, anyway! For me though, it’s been rough. We all have a natural way we speak. A natural way we approach a script. In these sessions with Uncle Roy, perhaps more than ever before, i’m truly learning what it means to be a voice ACTOR.

Guess what? It’s hard!

Growing Pains

growing childI share all of this with you for a couple reasons.

First, if anybody has ever told you this work is easy, they’re an idiot. Is that too harsh? Well, sorry. But it’s true. They’re an idiot and you shouldn’t listen to them and you definitely shouldn’t fork over any money to them to acquire their services in building your voice over career and business. Also, you may want to smack them and tell them they’re an idiot. Maybe they’ll realize it, and you could save someone else down the road.

Secondly, I want to be authentic with you. This blog, and my social media platform is a place where I speak frequently of success. Of growing your business. Of moving to a new level. Some may read all my words and watch all my videos and think it comes easy to me. Or that I make it sound like it comes easy. Trust me, it does not. Easy would be telling Uncle Roy, “thanks, but no thanks,” and sticking to what I already know and do well – while saving a few grand. Easy, however, won’t get me to places I want to go.

Finally, I want to encourage you to never be afraid to take the first step. If I waited until I was “ready” to pursue a commercial demo, I’d never pursue commercial work for the rest of my career. If I have to coach every week from now until the recording session at the end of February, then that’s what I’ll do (though I hope I figure this out sooner than that!). Waiting until you’re “ready” or waiting until the “time is right” are fancy ways of trying to legitimize procrastination. I’ll be ready when I make myself ready… and I’ll make myself ready by getting started. Which I did. Last week. With a February demo session already booked, I’ve given myself a very real deadline… essential to accomplishing a goal.

What’s your big goal for 2016? What are you doing to grow yourself? Stretch yourself? Step outside of your comfort zone? What steps are you taking to elevate your voice over career to a new level?

I haven’t experienced growing pains like this since early high school… but I know it’s going to be worth it!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

Posted on

Demo Tips From Uncle Roy

In February of next year, I’ll be heading into the studio with “Uncle Roy,” aka, Roy Yokelson of Antland Productions. He’s going to produce a brand new commercial demo for me, and I couldn’t be more excited!

For my 12 VO Tips of Christmas, I reached out to Uncle Roy and asked if he’d share some of his wisdom with us all. He agreed, and you’ll find his thoughts on the demo production process below.

Uncle Roy’s Top 5 Tips For Hiring a Pro to Produce and Direct Your Next VO Demo

1. Coach with your potential demo producer (at least 1 or 2 sessions) to see if working with this particular individual feels like a good fit. Does the potential demo producer seem have your best interests in mind? Might they have good advice for marketing your demo after it is produced?

2. Hire a seasoned pro — someone who’s been producing great sounding demos for at least 5 years (plus or minus).

3. There are MANY places and people who claim to produce voice over demos. Buyer beware! Do your research and find the right demo producer for you. There are really only a small group who are worthy of the task at hand.

4. DO NOT self produce your demo! Everyone does much better with direction from a good demo producer. Casting directors and potential agents will see (hear) right through your home-made attempts.

5. Remember, it’s Voice Acting — you are always SOMEONE: a best friend, the pharmacist, a brother-in-law/sister-in-law, mom, dad, etc. This is your chance to showcase your range.

So much more to know and learn about! Ask your potential demo producer lots of questions before making a decision. The wrong demo producer will leave you with an unmarketable demo and you’ll have spent your hard earned money — let’s spend it wisely. However, demos and consultations are what demo producers do for a living. Be mindful of their time. If the initial consult is running long, as you may have MANY questions regarding voice over in general, be prepared to pay for their valuable time.

‘Uncle Roy’ Yokelson is an Emmy Award winning 35 year veteran of the audio and voice over industries. He is passionate about and dedicated to the voice over community.

Roy Yokelson – Antland Productions

Audio Director, KILLER Demo Producer, Voice-Over Coach,
SAG-AFTRA Audio Book Producer, Sound Archivist, Nice Guy
973-338-7338 / 917-642-9999
Skype: antland_productions
Antland Productions