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Friday, August 14, 2015

Taking Care of Your Voice

As a voice over actor, your voice is your biggest asset. You need it to get jobs and to maintain your career, which is why it is absolutely essential for you to take of it properly. There are a few things you can to do give your voice the TLC it needs, from daily care tips to what to do when you get sick.  Use the pointers below to help keep your voice – and your VO career – in great shape. 

Daily Vocal Care
The best thing you can do on a daily basis to take care of your voice is to drink plenty of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This cannot be overstated.  Being dehydrated can have a very negative impact on your health, and your voice is no exception.  Also, speak in your normal register as much as possible.  If you don’t know what your natural register is, try saying “uh huh” a few times – this is your natural register.  Finally, avoid doing things that will unnecessarily strain your voice, like yelling or whispering. Yes, whispering is actually straining the voice into submission. Obviously, these things can’t always be prevented, but do it when you can. 

Before and During Recording Sessions
Before a session, it’s helpful to get adequate sleep and avoid drinking, smoking, or partaking in other activities that may strain your voice.  Oh, and drink plenty of water the day before, in case that wasn’t clear before. J  During a recording session, bring a bottle of room temperature water with you to sip on as you record.  Don’t drink cold water, because this will constrict your vocal chords and impact your register.  It's helpful to add a bit of lemon juice to your water. Maybe even heat it up with a bit of honey. Other hydrating tips include oral moisturizers and dental gum. I find that a Eucalyptus oil burner in my recording room is helpful in keeping my nasal passages clear.

What to do When you Get Sick
Getting a cold or sore throat stinks no matter who you are, but when your livelihood is dependent upon healthy vocal chords, it’s even worse.  While you can do certain things to avoid picking up colds or the flu, sometimes the bugs find you anyway. Washing your hands consistently throughout the day is a good preventative measure. When colds/sore throat or Flu catches you, increase your fluid intake and use natural remedies like warm water with lemon and honey, as suggested above as normal maintenance. Cough drops are fine, but don’t go for the menthol or the Zinc infused ones as these can dry out your throat even more. If you must, use only natural saline nasal spray. 

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