smiling-woman-wearing-glasses.jpgAre you having difficulty seeing the scripts you read?

More and more people are experiencing varying degrees of vision loss as they age. Voice artists are not immune!
Susan Manhire, a voice talent and Optician, joins us today in this guest blog post highlighting tips for talent who wear glasses and for what can be done to maintain the best vision possible in today’s VOX Daily.

Tips for VO professionals who wear eyeglasses

By Susan Manhire
We all discuss the tools we need for success – a great mic, easy to use software, soundproofing, etc., but those of us who wear eyeglasses know the importance of an additional tool…eyeglasses in the correct RX for reading a script.
Several years ago, I joined the Baby Boomers who need progressive lenses. For you “youngsters,” progressive lenses are lenses that have many different focal lengths which enable us to enjoy vision similar to that we had when we were 20 years old.

Progressive lenses are great, as you can see distance clearly, as well as reading and everything in between. So, why talk about eyeglasses in the “correct” Rx for script reading?
While progressive lenses are technically good in all areas, they don’t provide a large area for either the intermediate range or the reading range. Some days I read a script from a music stand. Some days I hold the script, and some days I read the script from the laptop screen or my iPad. Each one of these reading areas is a different distance away from my eyes.

So…I measured the distance from my eyes to my reading stand and did the same with the other distances. Now, I’m an Optician and have the advantage here, as I just went to work and put my progressive lenses on, then held other lenses over my eyeglasses until I found the correct power that enabled me to see the music stand clearly, etc. After I determined that power, I made a pair of eyeglasses in that RX which gives me a large area of vision for script reading.

I am aware that many of us wear “cheaters” or over the counter reading glasses. If you need some help determining what power to purchase, just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to give you some guidance. A few other things you should know…don’t over-correct yourself or buy cheaters that are stronger than you need. There is an old wives tale that if you wear eyeglasses you become dependent upon them. Well, that just isn’t the case. Eyeglass lenses bend light rays. They don’t cure your eyesight or harm your eyesight. The only exception to that is in the case of reading eyeglasses. If you wear glasses that are stronger than you need, or if you look further away than your wrist, you may weaken your eyes. Readers are only meant for close distances.

My advice is to take your RX to a reputable Optical Company and ask their assistance in determining what power you need for your script reading. Then, bite the bullet and have them grind that RX into a frame and enjoy your new visual freedom. My recommendation is to purchase what you need to have the very best vision you can have. It will pay off in the long run through better auditions and more confidence in your overall work.

Do You Wear Glasses?

If anything you read struck a chord with you, be sure to comment! Susan and I would both love to hear from you. Add your thoughts below.
Best wishes,

About Susan Manhire

Susan ManhireSusan Manhire has enjoyed more than a decade of working as a professional voice over artist. The clients she has worked with have all experienced her commitment to excellence, and her personal goal of exceeding their expectations on every project. Her passion for this business comes right through the mic and is obvious in each delivery. Susan’s voice is authentic, warm, and engaging. She is naturally intuitive and brings life to each and every script.

Her voice over background includes projects in radio, IVR systems, testimonials, retail sales, website narrations, corporate narrations and elearnings, internet webinars, and medical elearning projects as well. Susan has great flexibility in vocal tone and is as comfortable with smooth, sophisticated, professional deliveries as she is with light, bright, and upbeat ones. Additionally, she enjoys script writing, and editing.

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Too True! Too True!
    Since I only need glasses to read (but to read just about everything), I don’t always wear them. I always carry an extra pair of glasses (over the counter readers) JUST IN CASE I happen to have forgotten my progressives (usually perched atop of my head).
    There is NO WORSE feeling than struggling to read the script.
    I have been there. It sucks!

  2. I’ve been wearing glasses since the 5th grade (new invention then!) and don’t have to worry about forgetting them, but I still sometimes struggle with progressives when reading scripts. I’ve had them for a few years, and it can be tough sometimes to keep your head in the same position while reading and still see all of the script!

  3. I agree that visual issues pose a problem at times with the older VO artists which includes me for sure. That’s another thing to work on in the near future. Again, thanks for some valuable tips.
    Carol M. Hahn

  4. I do, and a) I don’t think my vision is a fit for laser surgery and b) I wouldn’t have it even if I needed it, I like wearing glasses.

  5. Have worn glasses since I was 9 yrs old…but need 2 get them checked again so I can get new lenses for reading AND sunglasses!

  6. How funny, I had just reached for my glasses and turned back to see this post! Mine are missing, time to get a second pair!

  7. I have a different problem. I have vision problems due to the effects of a blow to the head, which makes reading in the “normal” position difficult – the words blur. I have to hold my script down at an angle. This injury also makes progressive lenses a danger to me (stairs appear closer than they are. So, I went the two set angle.

  8. If you find yourself gently stumbling over your copy or having to re-read material it may be time for an eye exam. I have always had exceptional vision but was struggling to comprehend material and had to re-read several times. It turned out that I needed reading lenses for the first time in my life. That happened in my early forties. After I got my new lenses I was able to read for longer periods of time, could comprehend and relay information and started sleeping better. Thank you for bringing up this topic.


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