As a voice actor, whether you’re just getting started or find work regularly, caring for your voice is of utmost importance. Though it may seem obvious, keeping your vocal cords healthy isn’t as simple as avoiding yelling or preventing strain by talking softly. While these tasks can certainly help, there’s plenty more you can and should do. In maintaining healthy vocal cords, you also need to be aware of the many factors that can put strain on them.
Needless to say, your voice is your most important tool as a voice talent, and you need to ensure it’s ready to go at all times. You never know when you’re going to get that next call and if your voice isn’t in shape, getting the job done won’t be simple. No matter your experience, take a look below to learn how you can prevent vocal strain and keep your vocal cords healthy.
Maintaining Healthy Vocal Cords: Factors to Avoid
It doesn't have to take a common cold to affect your vocal cords. Though a stuffy nose and sore throat will definitely inhibit your abilities, there’s plenty of other factors that can hinder the health and sound of your voice. Check them out below:
- Smoke: Whether it’s your own or secondhand, cigarette smoke is quite irritating for your vocal cords. Though a low, raspy voice is often needed for productions, smoking isn’t the way to achieve such.
- Exhaust: Much like smoke, you also need to avoid exhaust. If you live in a big city, or find yourself near exhaust, cover up with a scarf!
- Caffeine: Stated to dry out the larynx, caffeine can also give your voice some trouble. So, come the morning of a recording or audition, try skipping the coffee to keep your voice fresh.
- The Elements: During the winter months, that cold air can really be rough on your throat. Needless to say, stay warm when out and about, and consider throwing on a scarf.
Though it may seem a bit much, maintaining your vocal cords and avoiding the factors above is a must for voice actors. Compare it to professional athletes, for instance. From football players to Olympians, each and every one of these athletes must refrain from certain activities that could ultimately cause injury. Of course, staying healthy doesn’t only involve avoiding harmful factors—it also takes a good routine.
Vocal Care Tips
Referring back to the athlete analogy, such professionals work hard each day to keep their bodies in shape, and you need to do the same for your vocal cords and voice. Not only that, but there’s plenty of warm-up exercises you can practice before a recording session.
- Keep hydrated at all times.
- Refrain from yelling and whispering, as it’s quite strenuous for the voice.
- Try not to clear your throat, as this too can be irritating.
- Stay active. Physical exercise, like cardio, can work wonders for your voice and acting skills, as so much of it is controlled with breath.
- Avoid talking from your throat. In other words, ensure you breathe with your words. Otherwise, you could put extra stress on your voice.
Before the Session
- Avoid caffeine.
- Drink plenty of water before and during the session.
- Much like caffeine, alcohol can also dry out your larynx. Avoid drinking the night before.
- Before putting your voice to use, do some light humming.
- Try gently singing (within your range) on your way to the session. It’ll stretch out your vocal cords, much like an athlete stretches their muscles.
Keep It Up
From maintaining healthy vocal cords to improving your technique, there’s plenty you can do to better yourself as a voice over talent—no matter your experience. Staying healthy is always essential, and doing so will help you get the most out of your voice. If you’d like more tips on voice acting, you can check out the pages we’ve provided below. If you’re interested in taking voice over classes, be sure to sign up today! For questions, give us a call at 212-213-9487.