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Category: Voiceover Skills

  1. How can singing lessons help in VoiceOver?

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    Ok, imagine a time when we all had to stay indoors. A time when all we did was bake, work from home and check out other people’s homes through the power of the screen.  My only sanctuary was my recording booth. We all entered very committed relationships with live streaming services like Zoom. Ok I know, we don’t have to imagine because we lived it. Did you vow to write that novel? Did you decide to pick up a new hobby? All those acrylic paint pourers, I am looking at you!

     

    Picking a new VoiceOver tool

    Well I did the same thing but I said to myself in a conversational VoiceOver style that it had to be something to do with VoiceOver. So then I thought, what else could I add to my vocal tool kit? I realised there is one area of vocal work I have avoided. Until now….Singing. 

    Sing out loud

    So I decided to take singing lessons. Now, I sang at school in shows and hymns. But at some point someone told me I couldn’t actually sing.  And so I did what ever child does, I took that completely to heart and head and stopped singing. I danced and would sing-ish the words in performances.  But never completely really sang. And so I did a bit of rapping and some of you lucky ones have heard my “Lets get ready to rumble.” But sing? Me? Goodness me NO!

    Leaving my voice comfort zone

    In my job as a VoiceOver artist, singing has been requested at times especially for character work. And yes, a little humming or a tuneless song are all well and good. But an actual song. It was when my dance teacher (who is a proper amazing singer and been on stage at the Palladium) said that I had a nice voice and bet I sang well. I shook my head and very firmly said, “No! And that was the end of that voice adventure…until…

    Learning voice skills in lockdown

    And then lockdown happened. The first one of 2020 I mean. I scrambled about a little late to the toilet roll party and settled into a sort of non routine. I took out my “things I would love to do if I had more time” list and singing was right at the top. I was a little out of my comfort zone but well non of us were going anywhere. 

    That very same day I was followed on my Instagram account by voice coach expert Lydia Flock. She is the a rising Queen of Vocal health Education. As well as a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, the British Voice Association and association member of the National Association of teachers in signing, Lydia is due to quality in Vocal Massage Training with the Voice Care Centre. Fancy! And she is the founder of Flockstars, teaching all singers of all abilities to reach their key. I liked her holistic approach and I liked her birds of a feather approach. So I took the pitch plunge!

     Lydia Flock Image

    Lydia Loves a Lyrical Lesson 

    So I had a word with Lydia to see how she could help me. Could she help me? I was a little nervous in our first session. I have to admit that while I can talk in front of an audience of thousands, singing to just one person other than myself in the shower was daunting. Lydia was amazing and calmed me straight away. We started off discussing what I hoped to achieve (confidence to sing in front of others), my voice experience so far (decades of voice over acting and producing/directing) and why I haven’t explored singing so far (see above). But hurrah, Lydia was kind and patient and focused immediately on the areas I needed to work on. Vocal muscle re-training and unlocking the shapes I needed to get to the right sounds. 

    Since I started singing lessons with Lydia, I’ve come to focus on my voice and vocal exercises in a different way. There are techniques that have been great for me to wrap my lips and mouth around. And I have loved the sound of the penny dropping as Lydia helped me realise aspects about my larynx, that I had never known before. 

     

    Top 5 Tips for the Beginner Singer

    I am so pleased to say that while I am not aiming to challenge Adele to any singing prizes, I feel much more confident in voicing a lot more in the form of singing. Because of that, I asked Lydia to share with me some tip for singers who are at the start of their singing journey. Heads up - this is stuff is gold dust. Which is your favourite tip?

     

    #1 ACTIVELY listen to singers you like

    Get really curious about your favourite songs. How does the artist shape their vowels? Do they “scoop up” or seem to “fall off” notes sometimes? What makes the song so good? All of these questions will help you start thinking in more detail about how you might like to sound as a singer. This can really help you to set clear vocal goals.

     

    #2 Get curious about your SPEAKING voice.

     How fast or slow do you speak? Do you notice when you change pitch? Finding sounds in our speaking voice that are familiar is a really useful way to connect to your singing voice. For example, finding your higher register might include playing around with an owl sound on a “oo oo” or a “wooo” as if something exciting has just happened.

     

    #3 Find a TEACHER

    For beginners especially, working on your singing voice can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! I recommend beginner singers find a singing teacher or vocal coach they vibe with and commit to regular lessons and practice. Your teacher is your guide and is there to help you overcome those hurdles of vocal challenges and potentially not fully believing in your voice. 

     

    #4 Practice REGULARLY

    Learning singing involves motor learning skills so it is crucial to practice regularly. Our voices are just like any other muscle in the body. If we don’t use it, we lose the skill. You wouldn’t expect yourself to run a marathon without having run in 5 years! Singing is the same way. Even just 5-10 minutes a day of practice will add up!

     

    #5 Check your vocal MINDSET

    Constantly telling yourself negative things about the way your voice sounds will get you nowhere. Thinking you can sing is the first step to singing success. Play around with believing that the way you want to sing is how you will sing. Work on uprooting any negative beliefs around your voice as much as you work on vocal technique.

    Sing your heart out

    I am biased because I love having singing lessons with Lydia and now as we head into the second lockdown I look forward to more learning online with her. Her encouragement and exercises have helped not only my singing but also speaking as well. I have really been much more mindful about pitch, positioning and poutting! Take a session with Lydia and you'll see what I mean. 

    Keep Voicing and please get in touch with any questions, 

    Lorraine

    xx

  2. How best to look after your voice?

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    I talk. A lot. Honestly. I speak and chat and use my voice all the time. Which is a good thing as I totally love chatting away. However chatting and using vocal muscles is tiring. There are days when I have several sessions in one day and say the same words or phrases over and over again. That means it can be over 5 hours of non stop talking. Wow! That is a lot, like when I do videogame characters, a lot of vocal exertion for those emotes mean at the end I am needing a pick me up. 

    Time well spent in the VoiceOver booth

    How to stay talking fit? 

    Your mouth and vocal folds as well as neck and back tire from verbalising all day long. When you spend your days in a warm booth it means the air is dryer as well so you can get more tired. To keep myself in tip top shape for a week of talking, I work through a warm up routine, lip trills, straw singing and working through mouth shapes and sounds on a regular basis. But what else can be done? Here you have a few other ideas.

     My top voice tips 

    1. Steaming - grab that steamer and think hot sauna time. The steam is so good for your vocal folds. They help relax, open them and lubricate them. Essentially the steam is like a warm hug. Gentle and comforting. I like using a steamer but watch you don’t inhale hot air, that can damage important membranes and hairs. Much like bath water, always check the steam temperature. 
    2. Healthy eating - yes, this one is quite important. A varied diet with plenty of fruit and veggies is essential. Of course treats are important (not giving up dark chocolate for anything) but what I am talking about is a good diet with plenty of the green stuff. I have a weak spot for lemons so happily eat these a lot.
    3. Aromatherapy Oils - This is a new one to my list and it has made a huge difference to my life. I had a fabulous consultation with Aira Therapy and Emily who is a IFTD certified practitioner asked me lots of questions. I wanted oils that would be effective for my vocal cords as for my skin and general holistic overall health. She blended up some delicious smelling oils and now I cannot live without it. Such a great find, the oils brings a soothing quality to the air so I can breathe more easily. 
    4. Take a break! - build in time for a tea break. Or a stretch or comfort break. Anything so you can re focus and ground yourself before another job. Voicing long e-learning scripts mean that a singular energy is needed so breaks are the best way to keep that energy up. 
    5. Keep fit - by this I don’t mean train for the next marathon - well if that is your thing then go for it. No, I mean, keep fit by moving all day long. Standing or sitting in the booth all day means muscles lock in position and a locked body means the voice gets locked as well. Keep moving, keep fit, keep being amazing. 
    6. Massage - ohhhh who doesn’t love a massage? Every muscle will benefit from some attention. We can hold onto tension and this can cause us to become less supple all over. This again will have an impact on your voice and vocal cords. There are also massage exercises for the jaw, mouth and tongue which are essential as a voiceover artist.  

    And finally never forget to drink plenty of tepid water. At least two litres in a day but more if you are chatting away endlessly like me. Always have a glass of the H20 stuff on hand as the liquid will soothe and ensure you are replenishing the moisutre that you expel as you speak. If you would like to know more then please do get in touch with me

    Stay voicing, stay well.

    xx

  3. How to direct a VoiceOver session - three top tips as an experienced voice director

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    As I slowly melt in the summer sunshine I’ve realised it has now been over five years since I started directing Voice Over artists in sessions. I long ago found that being a Voice Over actor was part acting and part interpreter when the client gives notes to a read. 

    After a while I decided to step in during VoiceOver sessions especially with voices or clients that had yet to have a lot of experience with either the type of read, the copy and context or the end want of the client. I have gone on to direct most type of VoiceOver gigs including audio dramas, corporate videos, e-learning, explainers even phone messages and my favourite video games and narrative dramas. 

    Gave heart to the story

     Each genre has its own language and needs as well as scene setting. However the most important consideration is the actor and how the actor will interpret the character. Even on the most simple of jobs, like the art of simple cake baking, they can also be the trickiest of jobs. I always make the actor my top consideration and ensure that they have been given the script in good time (if this is possible), they have read the script and if they have any questions such as pronunciations, number styles but also what their thoughts are and what they like in terms of direction. Some actors are all about the musicality of the piece and want to understand the emotional flow of the copy almost like sight reading a musical score. Others want to understand the feelings and emotional intentions behind the copy and more importantly the context of the script so they can ground themselves in that character space. Then again there are actors that revel in the more obscure of directions such as “Be more orange,” “more tall but less graceful.” Actors are as varied as scripts and so adapting to them and the copy is a true art as a director. 

     

    For game audio, again the genre is extremely varied from single emotes and one liners or barks to whole narrative set pieces or trailer copy or even fundraising videos. The first question I make sure is asked is where are we, when are we and what are we. This makes a huge difference on the performance and places the actor where they need to be go get the vocal performance both authentic and true. I’ve worked on a number of games helping the actor reach and find the character and bring a different level of quality to the role. 

     Mixing VoiceOver artists

    My top tips for directing are:

     

    1. Ask questions to fully understand the context, location, environment and character.
    2. Ask the actor how they want direction and what works for them; picture making, musicality, physicality,
    3. Listen, listen and listen. Listen to different actors, genres, people, characters and feed this back into your director toolkit so you can richly advise both client and actor on how to give a great performance.

     

    Keep voicing and keep cool - pro tip, wrap up some cool frozen veg in a hand bowl and place on the back of the neck and wrists to keep cool especially on longer sessions. 

  4. How to use movement as a Voice Actor

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    This is a little of a trick question. Not much would be the flippant and rather quick answer. However, in truth moving as a voice actor is as important if not more so than an actor specialising in film, TV or theatre. 

     

    Performance art of a sort, voice acting at times can be seen as a solitary still pursuit. In fact some roles may call for an inward and outer stillness. It may be the character you portray and the story you are telling may ask for you to be introspective and make yourself small and quiet. This would be especially true in an audio drama or a video game where in these genres there is time and space for the character to develop and breath like a fine wine. 

     

    And yet, there is movement. The human body is made for movement. We know this simply from sitting or standing too long in one position and how our muscles ache from the exertion of holding that pose. Tension is constantly necessary or we would sag like those string puppet dolls. Holding onto too much tension can cause holds and stops in our body and which in turn can have an impact on our own vocal capacity. Everything in our body is connected so if you have a tight hip flexor it may impede your vocal tract to be as open and loose as it could be. 

    Moving is a voice over art 

    But why is it so important to move? Simply put because we are human and the human condition is to move and this includes when in a vocal booth. Preventing stickiness in our joints and muscles is crucial to ensure good bodily health which includes your vocal and oral health. Not only it is key to keep your mouth exercises going to ensure your muscles are in tip top condition to perform but also your body and especially the upper thoracic region so that your shoulders and back and neck muscles remain loose and free and easy to use. 

     

    In the voiceover booth, I tend to move my head, neck and arms in movements that match the tempo of the copy. At times it may mean I am weighing myself down to ground myself for a voice or character. Then at other times I may flow with the melody of the text to create a naturalness and upbeat intention for the piece. It is important to note that all movement should be maintained silently so as not to be picked up by the mic. Foot tapping can be very tempting especially if you get a music bed to voice along to but exchange the tap with a flap of the hand or a shoulder shrug. 

     

    Some copy even speaks to having that shrug inbuilt into it and it couldn’t possibly be read without including the shrug. When text ends in questions or a throwaway comment often the shrug is implied and if it is then add it in. So yes, it may look like I am flicking at a fly in my booth but in fact I am moving in time with the content.

  5. How to market yourself as Voiceover Artist during isolation

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    I am a self confessed marketing nerd. I have been slightly OCD obsessed since a child, picking apart what makes people pick up a trend or product and buy it. After all, why did I really want Ariel the toy from McDonalds when the film came out back in 1989? So obsessed was I that I wrote commercials and worked for several huge companies marketing their products. The trick is always finding a way to connect you with your audience in a unique way.  

    So how can a voiceover artist market themselves as an independent creative? Especially during these isolating times. A few things need to be considered first: 

    1. What sort of voice are you? Know your range, your abilities, your strengths and weaknesses.
    2. What voice genre do you work in? Are you a VO specialist working in audiobooks or are you a generalist that works across the different disciplines in VO?
    3. Who are you? Do you have other hobbies or disciplines that make you different from others?

    Take time and be truthful as you consider this list, working through each point. It becomes relevant as you build your marketing profile. After working through your list, what have you got? What is your USP? Your unique selling point? Are you a big voice and know something or two about cars/cooking etc? Or can you sing professionally and like longs walks with dogs? Perhaps you are an impressionist that enjoys running? 

    Lorraine Ansell FVO at workWhoever you are it is crucial to knowing before you market yourself. By definition we are all different so you will by your own life experiences, personality and ambitions attract and be attracted by different groups and so different clients. Understanding this is crucial to knowing how to market yourself and cast yourself. 

     

    Ways to market yourself include getting on social media - there are many channels from Instagram to twitter and you have to decide which you prefer and what you will use it for and how. They ae all different with different rules and flow in a variety of ways. If you already are on these channels, have a look at your content and what you want to be saying. Do you want to be an expert? Show your personality? Some of both? How much time will you dedicate to these channels? Can you find the clients that you are looking for there? Or do you just want to play around on them? Be honest with your answers, avoid copying others strategies because they may not necessarily work for you. 

     

    Perhaps you want to do a mail shot to clients. But what to send? Have a look at marketing material online and see what might appeal to you. What reflects your brand and personality?

     

    Or maybe you can do this online with newsletters and reaching out to clients. Note that during this lock down the simply truth is that there will be limited work in the pipeline overall and it is tempting to spam agents, clients, friends, colleagues to ask for work. However while it is good to keep in touch, do so on connected level and appreciate that many are also in the same boat as you and trying to figure out what to do.  

    If you like to create videos, make some that are true to you and what you do. There have been some great examples of sports commentators narrating competitions between their pets while other actors have been working from home on improv or others that have decided to concentrate on themselves and self care. All are valid and how ever you choose to work is what feels right to you. It creates an authentic structure to your strategy. So take a moment and think about marketing the real you.

    Recording Studio

  6. How to perform as a voiceover artist?

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    Importance of performance : Performance is crucial to many an audio production. It can bring copy to life than simply reading it in your head. And performances in videogames are amongst some of the most nuanced. Copy is more than a collection of words scattered on a page or excel sheet. As a performer the aim is to take the copy and elevate it to deliver the lines that evoke a reaction of some sort. Questions I ask myself about copy include:

    1. What is the aim? 
    2. What is the emotional intention?
    3. What is the call to action?
    4. What is the truth?
    5. What is believable?

    Lorraine Ansell BAFTA Juror Games 2020

    These questions form a start of an interrogation of the copy that is essential to deliver a connected performance. What is connected? I see this as the voice actor connecting with the copy and then being able to communicate the intentions to the audience so that they connect with the character or the copy and the underlying messages that underpin it.  

    I was lucky enough to see this played out at the BAFTA Games awards in 2020. I was asked to be  a juror on the new category of Performer in a Supporting Role. This was a great opportunity to research each performance of the submitted video games and understand the nuance behind each piece. The nominated performances were a very good example of the voiceover work over this year and I thoroughly enjoyed playing all of the games. The games were great in themselves but the artists were able to convey much with their voice. And there lies the talent, performances that were rich in undercurrents, layered and full of quirks and thoughts. 

    The same questions I ask myself I asked of the each performance. To take each moment and connect with what the actor is trying to convey during each scene. Two nominated performances really stood out for me simply because I connected with them and believed them to be truthful in a myriad of ways. Ayisha Issa who played Fliss in Man of Medan, held my attention throughout her time in the game. The nuances of staying in character during decisions choices as well as game play were excellent and I enjoyed her performance. I also enjoyed watching Lea Seydoux in Death Stranding as Fragile. The character warmed up throughout the game and had many layers that I became excited to watch out for. 

     The winning actor was Martii Suosalo who while his character Ahti in Control has a limited amount of game time, gave a thoroughly detailed confident and thought provoking performance. As the caretaker the role and copy could have simply been a few lines read out loud. But Martii elevated this performance to something both sinister and sublime. What I found particularly interesting that all these actors were bilingual and to chomp and change between languages is one of the hardest skills to have. The cadence, word sounds an mouth shapes that have to be achieved are extremely difficult. Martti made it look very easy. A well deserved win. All of the actors I mentioned really gave performances that are worth of study and reflection for any actor. Have a god and play the games, see what I mean. 

     

  7. Working from Home (WFH) as a Voiceover Artist

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    Working from Home has been my way of life for over five years and even before that I was already shifting to work more remotely. As a voice actor with my own studio I have managed to keep myself efficiently busy with a good work/life balance routine. 

    Working from home is a mindset and when I first starting to work remotely my biggest worry was how I would deal without interacting physically with people. As a person who identifies with physicality as a main language this was a real concern. However I overcame the challenge by identifying how I could work with that language barrier and thrive. 

    If you are starting to work from home then here are a few tips that have helped me. 

    1. Primary Concerns - ask yourself what those concerns are and spell them out for you
    2. Work mode - do you prefer to get up early and work until lunch or lunch until dinner or late into the night. Figuring out what your work mode is will help.
    3. Self care time - what type of self care do you prefer? A cup of tea, a crossword break, a walk around the block, chatting to a friend. Have a few things in mind for variety.
    4. Structure - now you have a rough list of what work and self needs you have, plot them so you can go through them and figure out a working and life day that works for you.
    5. Change - remember it doesn’t have to work from day 1 so change as you need to. Maybe your work ends up being with clients in a different time zone so you can structure your day differently than when you started out. Be prepared to be flexible at first and try different things out.

     Working from Home as a Voiceover Artist

    Avoid thinking that if you work all the hours in one day you will be more productive. It rarely if ever works like that. A simple coffee break or magazine break allows you to breathe and gather your thoughts. The brain quite likes to mull over challenges but a distraction usually enables it to reach an answer. 

     

    In my week, I map out work tasks that I want to complete as well as life tasks that need to be included. I also slot in self care activities and I take care to do these because every time I think about skipping them in fact I feel worse and less creative than when I end up doing them. My dance family are really important to me and as a voice actor where you internalise all the physicality of the roles, it means I can release all that vitalness safely and into something also very creative and rewarding on many levels. I enjoy chatting with friends over a coffee even if its online. A read of a chapter of a book or a set time playing a video game also allows for some down time. Always get up, prepare for “going to work” and that mindset helps structure the day. 

    Whatever system you find that works for you when you work from home, go for it. Just remember, when the conference calls happen, remember to wear clothes!

  8. Why is listening to everything good for Voiceover Artists?

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    Voiceover is about talking to people isn’t it? Yes but also its it so much more than that. Have you wondered about how a voice sounds and I mean more than just the actual sound you hear but the feelings and intentions behind it. To be a great voiceover how do you convey more than the feeling, impart more than a connection, leave the audience with an experience?

     

    Voiceover Microphone Live

    Simply put learn to listen. Listen to conversations and communications because then you will learn the language hidden within the words. It is easy to do as you can do this on the bus listening to people chatting. From the school children having a chat about what games they played the night before to the early morning shoppers having a gossip, the words are a base level but it is the silence, the pauses, the feelings that underlay each word and phrase that can tell you much more. So how do you listen:

     

    1. Be present: thought this was a mindfulness technique? It is but can be applied here. Breathe, open your ears and mind and listen to the words, the audio patterns, the musicality, the emotions behind the conversations.
    2. Relax: By taking a moment and relaxing, you will feel the intentions carried by words. How many times have you seen from afar a chat that looks loving and interesting only to come up close and hear a full scale argument taking place? Well what did you hear both visually and verbally. Relaxing will enable you to hear and see much more. The language behind the language. 
    3. Listen: Without judgement. You are there to listen to the tones, pitches and musicality and not about who didn’t send an email to what boss on time or not. What are they really saying behind the words? As a voiceover listening will enable you to unpick what makes things stick in peoples heads and what intentions they need to feel connected to in your words so that you can actually speak to them, reaching them. 

     

    And what can you listen to? Everything. The news, adverts, chats waiting in line for your Christmas Black Forest Coffee, the quick noisy chats on the tube or train or anywhere. How we as humans talk to each other is the language that voiceovers need to figure out so that when they voice they can appreciate where to do with the feelings and intentions that layer the words in your next copy. From the simplest collection of words to a full book to voice, the words will have been chosen with an action in mind and as the voice, your role is to deliver your interpretation of those ideas and concepts vocally. Keep listening to keep voicing.

  9. What to eat as a Voiceover Artist?

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    This is a topic that I can talk endlessly about which is just as well my clients provide me with a script as otherwise there would be a lot more to edit. Though the good thing is that I always ensure I take big breathes so the engineer has an easier time editing. Why is knowing what to eat important for a voice actor? I could launch into many nutritional benefits of eating a well balanced diet and eating appropriate portion sizes for your activity levels and lifestyle but that would be a script for another day so instead I will focus on the sound issues surrounding various foods. 

    fullsizeoutput_ad8

    In general life is a buffet and go ahead and snack on what you like and what you feel you need. However in a run up to a voice session then be aware of how certain foods and drinks can take a toll on your voice. Here is a list of foods and drinks that have an effect on your vocalisation abilities.

    1. Tea/Coffee - any thing made form caffeine has a drying and diuretic effect which means that you will either need to rush to the toilet or just dry up vocally. Award yourself one of these beauties after a session.
    2. Milk/cream/cheese - Refrain from any dairy consumption the night before a session and on the day itself. Dairy and lactose tends to lead to an increase in phlegm and this build up can clog up those cords leading to more coughing, catching of your voice in those cords and even building it up in your nasal passages where you get that delightful nose trumpet on certain words. Trust me the engineer will remember the voice who took milk in their tea before the session and will be recording a fair few takes more than necessary to avoid that particular issue. Oh and that engineer will usually be me so just saying. 
    3. Crisps - this one is an odd one. Eating them and their yummy greasiness (gosh salt and vinegar McCoys right?!? Bliss) can in many cases cause a whole bunch of mouth noises. What are those? These noises are those icky sounds that are sticky and if in a middle of a word really stand out and are very annyoing. However I have heard in some cases that it can help against those as it gives a covering to the cords and mouth allowing them to carry on. I have heard that opera singers eat crisps for their oilyness. Maybe then it could be the salt having a dehydrating effect in the mouth. Trail and error in this case and knowing your mouth well. 
    4. Apples/Pineapple/kiwis - or anything that causes your mouth to water or simulate those glands. Again to voice mouth noises so apples often help clear that by it seems by making the mouth overflow with saliva which may be. good thing in many cases. Not with all people though so again, try this out and see what works for you. Some say bananas, others apples, others pears. Go on and choose your own fruit salad combo. 
    5. Chocolate - now goodness, chocolate is one of lifes little pleasures. I personally prefer dark chocolate and mostly with some fruit filling but hey, I still mentally live in the 80's advertising world at times and I still see sandy landscapes with random chocolate dotted about. Ahhh very much a different time indeed. So back to chocolate. Again as at times it can have a lot of diary/sugar it can be a little cloying and give you a little too much dry throat or phlegm. Again like that tea, save it for afterwards. 

    There we go, a few things to think about when you eat for a session. Enjoy things obviously but think about it when you have a session. Now, where is that Nutella filled croissant and milky coffee waiting for me? Yum. 

    After session voiceover food

  10. What clothes to wear for a Voiceover job?

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    Like most things in life, each voiceover booth or  recording studio is very different. Some are big and plush with several fans, tables, lights and room to manoeuvre in. Others are squashed dark, cramped and hard to even place the script in a good eye line of the microphone and you. Like scripts, booths come in all shapes and sizes but there is always one constant. They all share one need. The avoidance of all extraneous noise. I will write about a more studio specification aspect from a visiting voice point of view but for now this post is covering how you can avoid being the cause of that noise.

    Reducing any other noise other than your own voice can be hard. The technicians and mass reduce a lot of noise though I have been in some super plush fancy studios with walls thicker than most game back story bibles and we still have to stop and wait for the tube to shuffle past under our feet. Many many meters under our feet. But what else can cause noise? Clothes! 

    IMG_7649

    What you wear is highly important in the booth. The recording studio is a workplace and like all workplace cultures there are unwritten rules. So I have written them so you can see what you need to consider when in the booth. 

    1. Clothes - yes please wear some unless you are either in a naturist booth (never encountered that) or it is your own time and studio and you are happy to enjoy recording au natural. In extreme hot weather many voice over artists are apt to employ this clothing custom. 
    2. What type of clothes - please avoid any clothes that cause squeaks or general noise. That leather jacket you imagine yourself as Tom Cruise in…leave it off or outside. That amazing jumper that ripples with static electricity whenever you reach out for your glass of water? Take that off. That off the shoulder top that has its own grating fabric sound whenever you air your armpits? Take it off. Wait but it might get cold. See point number 4. 
    3. Shoes - Well the more the merrier. Or rather, think about your shoes and if they squeak when you walk or move in them. Are you more comfortable in trainers/boots/flip flops etc? Maybe going barefoot is easier for you. Maybe having warm feet helps you to be grounded. Whatever your shoe choice, ensure that you feel good wearing them. 
    4. Scarves - I am a big fan of a wrap, shawl or scarf. Many studios can be quite cool to start with and keeping warm especially during long form narration. Then as with layers, scaves can be added or subtracted as and when you need them. I love a silk scarf as it keeps me warm and clever tight wrapping ensures it doesn’t brush agains the cans or come loose and drape over me or the micripphone. 
    5. Jewllery - Who doesn’t love a bit of Pat Butcher bling? But in the booth any dangling accessories are a no no. Even rings can jangle together as you waft your hand conducting your own voice so take note and keep jewellery to a minium. You can always take it off and pop it back on after the session and head into Soho for a well deserved drink. 
    6. Hair - hair up or down? I really depends on how you feel and like to work but there is also an important consideration. Where will you put your cans? A high top knot bun is all very well but it could mean you moving your cans head band to work around it. Same with a high or low ponytail. I personally favour a mid pony tail held in place with a scrunch (yes yes the 80s part of me will never die away). 

    Whatever your look, ensure that you are able to loosen your body and feel the words. As your physicality informs your voice and vice versa then wear what you prefer but take note of how that will work in the recording studio. Wear, work, witter on. 

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