How to Keep Your Voice in Top Notch Condition

As a voice over actor, your voice is your number one tool.

Never take it for granted.  

Whether you’ve been gifted with a golden voice, a voice of honey or are a natural voice actor, you need to take care of this precious instrument!

So, here are 5 worst things you can do to your voice…

1 Being Dehydrated
When we don’t have enough hydration, all the organs in the body suffer.

I always imagine it as the difference between a dried prune and a ripe one!

The brain is one organ that works much more effectively when it’s hydrated and you sure need your brain when faced with a script to work on.

Your muscles also need to be hydrated as your voice is created by using the brain and the muscles, which is why you need to drink at least 1 litre of water per day.

Always drink your water at room temperature when you’re working – cold water is a no, no!

2 Drinking Alcohol, Smoking Cigarettes – The Enemy of Hydration
We all know that cigarettes are full of toxins and chemicals, which in the long term can and do cause permanent damage to your mouth, tongue, throat, oesophagus and lungs – and they are incredibly dehydrating.

So is alcohol, which is why we get a headache. Now I’m hardly advocating tee-totalling as anyone who knows me, knows I like a drink – but before a day in the studio, take it easy.

Dehydration can make your voice raspy, croaky and crackly and your performance restricted and inconsistent.

3 Being Unfit
If your overall fitness is poor, your energy is at a low ebb or your weight has increased, you’re putting stress and strain on your heart and lungs.

And this means your performance at anything is going to be compromised.

Make your vitality and health a key priority if you want to be a top notch voice over actor.

4 Not Warming Up
I always warm up before a voice over job.

I have some simple techniques, tongue twisters and exercises that are part of my routine before I get to the studio.

The difference between the range and variety of vocal gymnastics that can be achieved by a voice that has been thoroughly warmed-up, and one that hasn’t is astonishing.

5 Screaming
Never ever scream!

It can do permanent damage to your vocal chords. It may seem like a simple thing when you’re asked by a producer or director, but you must tell them, ‘sorry, I don’t scream’.

There are so many different screams available to them in the massive library of sound effect (SFX) that they have.

I would even take care with yelling, unless you’re really well warmed up and understand how to project your voice proficiently.

Look after your voice and happy voice over-ing!