If you are like most voice over talent, you’ll have the odd (or regular!) evening recording session.
By the end of the day, you’re tired, spent and may have little to give in terms of energy or enthusiasm… however, those late-night sessions still exist!
How do you keep your voice buoyant and faculties alert?
Hear from a number of professional voice talent about how they survive late evening and even nocturnal recording sessions.
Recording at Night
If you’re anything like most voice over professionals, your microphone is at the ready when your clients need you, even after you’ve had dinner and are ready to call it a night.
Many of you reading might be on-air talent working in broadcast radio and the evening shift is part and parcel of what you do on a daily basis. Some of you may face similar challenges in television or film.
The thought struck me that these recording sessions or opportunities to use your voice and acting skills pose unique challenges that you might not face during a morning or afternoon gig… one of which included staying awake and the general condition of your voice.
Since copy read at night deserves the same professionalism and energy as copy read during the day, I thought it would be good to explore a few ideas on how to maintain your vocal stamina and remain alert when reading copy later in the day.
One idea that came to mind was laughter. The simple act of laughing releases endorphins that will cheer you up (lift your spirits), engage your musculature (exercise) and brighten your eyes (make you more alert).
What Some Pro Voice Users Do
I posed the question of how one stays alert via our Facebook fan page and received many comments to share. What did they say? A number of your peers feel that caffeine is the answer.
Thomas Buxton relates, “Two words: Rockstar Cola. Works for me.”
Diane Merritt cited Red Bull as her first choice when staying awake and alert during evening recording sessions.
Steven Stone mentioned, “There is a wonderful product called Mountain Dew. It all depends on you wanting to keep your teeth.”
Not everyone has jumped on the caffeine bandwagon, though. Robert Ready was quick to add that he prefers breathing exercises and or a quick walk. Robert also gave his thoughts on caffeine stating that caffeine jitters are counter-productive. Good point!
Taking Care of Yourself
Rest is paramount where your voice is concerned, especially if you’ve just come off a long day and have been using your voice quite a bit.
Ralph Hass thinks along the same lines, recommending that a voice actor in this situation “Lie down earlier and have a bit of a rest.”
Peggy Tisone has an entire regiment for such recording sessions. Peggy said, “What works best for me is just a little prep that makes a big difference. First, a cool shower, a light dinner, hydrate with water and of course, rest my voice for several hours prior to recording. Since I’m up everyday at 6:15 a.m., maybe a catnap followed by a short brisk walk.”
Dedication Serves as Motivation
Kevin Keplar chimed in with “Passion for the craft! When I’m working on a project I’m excited about, I actually lose track of time. Of course, by the time I do send out that finished file, I crash hard!”
Scott Feighner pointed out the obvious, reminding us that “It’s your job to stay awake. If you don’t stay awake, you don’t get paid to be a voice-actor.”
Shawn Koontz is an on-air talent at a radio station. He states, “I did a seven hour request and dedication radio show. Cool fresh air and or water to the face seem to work the best for me.”
Sometimes it’s simply the work that keeps you on course. Lisa Ritchie, who is also an on-air talent, works 8.5 hours a day and says that professionalism keeps her going.
What Do You Do?
Whether it’s staying awake at night and giving a session your all or trying to remain alert during a particularly lengthy or tedious narration, how do you give 100% to the copy?
Looking forward to hearing from you!