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  1. 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. 

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    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

  2. 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! 

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    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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