Tuesday, November 5, 2013
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR VOICE This is helpful info from a Voice Over blog: It starts with moisture. Your choice in fluids to keep your mouth and throat tissues hydrated is important. As with most things, simplest is best. Drink room temperature filtered or spring water. Cold water tightens your throat muscles vocal cords. Want something warm to drink? Try herbal tea. Stay away from regular tea because it contains caffeine, which can tighten things up. Avoid coffee because it can dry you out and has even more caffeine than regular tea. Do you suffer from “smackies,” those irritating clicks your mouth makes when it gets dry? Many a voice over talent totes along a green apple to a session or keeps them on hand in the home studio. Something in the apple juice lubricates the mouth. Just make sure you swallow it all. Pieces of apple peel stuck in your teeth and the corners of your mouth can be very distracting. What if all of your attempts at hydration just aren’t enough and your throat’s getting dry and a little hoarse? Popular products for this problem include, Entertainer’s Secret throat spray, which has a strong following with singers and voice artists. Thayer’s Slippery Elm Lozenges are an old-fashioned remedy and they, too, have a loyal following. There are many other lozenges on the market that provide temporary relief, as well. Got Milk? Put It Down. Your diet can have an affect on your voice, too. Avoid eating or drinking dairy an hour or two before a session. It can create excess mucous. Also, fruit juices can cause mucous secretion. If you feel mucous building up on your vocal cords, do not clear your throat. Throat clearing grates the edges of the folds of your larynx against each other causing irritation and it just moves the mucous to the side, ready to slide right back over your vocal cords. Drink some water, gently cough, or do the “panting puppy.” Simply stick out your tongue, pointing it downwards, and gently breathe in and out through your mouth, panting like a puppy. Be careful not to hyperventilate! The panting will dry out the mucous. If you have constant post-nasal drip, causing consistent mucous problems, consider nasal irrigation. And be sure to exercise your entire body on a regular basis. A tennis player wouldn’t just exercise the arm he or she uses to hit the ball. If you’re whole body is in shape, then your voice has a lot more support. Your lung capacity, blood flow, and mental attitude all improve with regular exercise. And those are all good things to bring with you when you get behind the microphone. Take care of your voice and it will take care of you!