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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Growth Mindset Can Take Your Voice Over Career to the Next Level

To have a successful voice-over actor career is to have the proper mindset. Of course, your skills and talent are important factors, however, your mind is a powerful tool.  A growth mindset is more than positive and negative thinking.  It's changing the way you think, your habits and behaviors.

What is Growth Mindset?

Having a growth mindset is the belief that learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience.  When a person believes that they can become smarter and better, their efforts have an effect on their success, so they put in the extra time leading to higher achievement.

Your basic abilities are a starting point for your potential.  Everything can be developed with effort, learning and persistence.

Don't see failures as proof that you are deficient, but as a lesson that will take you to the next level.

Steps to Take When Using the Skills of a Growth Mindset Develop Positive Habits

Your static beliefs will hold you back from making positive changes.  You need to readjust your thinking that habits are not fixed and they can be changed.  You can build a new skill, break a consistent habit that is not elevating you.

Acknowledge and Embrace Your Weaknesses

By changing the way in which you think your craft can improve drastically.  You will have the openness to work on a new skill set for your voice over career.  You can take your new way of thinking and expand your genre, your worklist.

Identify your weakness and then create habits that will improve it and help you tackle it.  For example, if you want to establish yourself as an audiobook narrator but have not worked in that area,  start by creating good habits for research, finding your niche, and before you know it, your weakness will be a strength.

Challenges are New Opportunities

Taking on challenges is part of development.  It can be overwhelming but the more you challenge yourself and hone in on your craft, the more success you will gain.  Venturing off the usual path will take your voice over career to a new level. You can work from your "root" voice and branch out from there.

Focus on the Process

As a voice-over actor you already understand focusing on the process.  You've focused on the process to become a professional in the industry.  It is important to learn the process and focus less on the results.  You will get more out of the experience when you are in it. The results will come.

Set A New Goal Each Time You Accomplish One

You will never be completely finished with learning.  There is always another goal to reach or more expanding to be done.  Set goals for learning more in the voice-over industry, marketing yourself, gaining new clients, creating new character voices or just stretching the parameters within your root tone. With each goal a milestone will be reached and more clients and business and satisfaction for you.

Growth Mindset Will Get You More Work

Mind over matter is an old saying; however, it is true.  A growth mindset will help you take your aim of success and lead you to develop it.  When auditions you send get no responses, seek advice from voice over pros or additional training to improve a weakness. At the same time, realize those circumstances regarding auditions that you cannot change. 

Over time, your career will have successes and failures, but each negative is an area to work on to turn it into a positive. You have the talent as a voice-over actor, with a positive mindset and working through the steps, you will make your career soar.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vocal Exercises and Stretching for Voice Over Actors on the Job

As Voice Over Actors, you want to warm up your voice before recording sessions to get the best sound. A regular workout for facial muscles, lips, mouth and tongue is a good way to maintain articulation, breathing, and posture. You want your voice to be loud, resonant and clear.

However, keeping your muscles limber and tone clear is important as your voice is your instrument. These are some great stretches from voice to toes to keep you in the best working condition.

A quick five minutes will keep your voice in top-notch condition and another five minutes during a session will keep your body limber.

Vocal Warm-Ups
· Yawn-Sigh – This will help relax your voice and improve range. Simply yawn, taking in air with your mouth closed. Then exhale through your nose as if you are sighing.

· Lip Trills and Flutter – This will loosen facial muscles and get your vocal cords warmed up. Place lips loosely together and release air in a steady stream – “bbrrrrr”. Repeat.

Articulation Warm-Ups
Articulation refers to the clarity and expressiveness with which you speak. Voice warm-ups will help you train your vocal chords.

Breathing exercises will help you improve your lung capacity and breath control. You want to breathe from your diaphragm.

· “Hum” – Inhale and begin to hum while slowly exhaling all of your air. Repeat five times.

· “Ha” – Stand and place hands on the abdomen. Breathe in and expand your stomach outward. Repeat “Ha” with each exhale, pushing in your abdomen with every syllable. Repeat.

· Tongue Twisters – Start slowly and build up speed. Repeat. Examples of tongue twisters are: High roller, low roller, lower roller. Red leather, yellow leather. Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers; If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

Stretching the Body
Voice Over Actors immediately think of stretching and exercising vocal chords. However, long hours in a recording booth sitting or standing all day can have an adverse effect on your body.

· Stretch Your Shoulders – Doing shoulder shrugs can release tension and stress. Lift the shoulders up to the ears and hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Roll them back as you relax down.

· Stretch the Back of Your Neck – Drop your chin toward your chest and gently roll your head from one side to the other side.

· Spinal Twist – Sitting for long periods can leave it tight and achy. The spinal twist will work out the tension. From a seated position, feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently rotate the torso to twist. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

· Calf Stretching – Stand behind a chair, holding the back for support. Start with your feet flat on the floor, then raise your heels as you stand on your toes. Lower back down slowly. Repeat to complete a set of 10.

· Side Stretches – Loosen up your body and expanding your rib cage which will improve your vocals as well. Take a deep breath and raise your arms up to the sky. Exhale and slightly lean to the left, lengthening in your side body. Hold for a few seconds. Then switch to the other side.

Keep your vocal cords exercising and your body for long-term health benefits and a successful voice over career.