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Voice Acting While Pregnant : 10 Things You Should Be Aware Of

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 11, 2007

Comments (6)

Pregnant woman wearing headphonesWhen you perform as a voice actor, you use all sorts of muscle groups, your diaphragm and a host of other parts of your body to phonate (or produce sound). That activity in itself is enough to tire out any voice actor let alone a pregnant one!

Our article from earlier today with Bonnie Gillespie about taking kids to auditions provides a nice segue to this maternal piece.

How do people work as voice actors while pregnant? Find out here on VOX Daily.

As a voice actor, you know just how important your body is to the success of your business. Your body is your instrument! The same can be said for singers as the apparatus used to create musical sound vocally is virtually identical to how a voice actor projects their voice when recording a script.

But, what happens when you throw pregnancy into the equation?

For many women, pregnancy takes over their lives in mental and physical ways, making the everyday aspects of life a little bit harder, a tad less convenient, and physically tiring.

Although pregnancy in general affects women (and the people they live with) in different ways, it is by no means an obstacle to being able to work as a professional voice actor, especially one who works from the comfort of their own home recording studio.

Two of the wonderful things about being a pregnant voice actor is that pregnancy only mildly (if at all) affects your vocal performance and your physical condition is irrelevant if you are off-camera. That is just one of the beauties of this profession.

At the time of writing this article I myself happen to be expecting and feel confident that the research conducted is thorough and proven. After a few of these journeys, you find ways to accommodate your pregnant self and can continue working by slightly adjusting your technique. My background is singing, trained classically with a Music degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Speaking from experience, these are just some things that you'll want to be aware when using your voice as a voice actor while pregnant.

You may experience:

- A slight change in your vocal range, usually a minute lowering of your natural speaking voice
- Shortness of breath or less "room" to breathe so wear loose clothing when recording; watch your breath support
- Difficulty maintaining posture due to a change in your body's center of gravity
- Morning sickness that can do damage to your throat and vocal folds (vomit is acidic, forceful, and somewhat violent)
- Consuming required dairy products in high volumes may coat your throat so schedule those consumptions after you've recorded
- Caffeine issues; stay away from caffeine to help your voice but also keep in mind that it doesn't help a pregnant body and cramping may ensue which is bad in general but even worse in the middle of a session
- Sciatica may develop as you move into your second and third trimesters limiting your ability to stand or walk so you'll need to position your equipment at an appropriate height to prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort
- The need to eat and drink more will add to your frequent stops to the washroom so be sure to pace yourself and break up your sessions into manageable chunks
- Fatigue... This is normal and don't fight it - it's hard to fake a lively voice when you are falling asleep at the mic - schedule your recording sessions wisely
- Absentmindedness! Be sure to read and reread scripts to make confirm that you are on the same page (pardon the pun) as what you are performing

I think it's safe to say that an overwhelming number of you reading this article have been pregnant at some time, perhaps even now, and can relate to what I have written here.

If you are pregnant or remember what it was like to be pregnant while working as a voice actor, please leave a comment and share your experiences, tips and encouraging words.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©©©iStockphoto.com/Kirill Zdorov

Related Topics: throat


Comments


    First off, Congratulations, Stephanie! I'm assuming this is your first. Being a Mom is the most rewarding experience you'll ever have!

    I am the mother of 3 boys - teenagers and a college student, now. I recorded voice overs in other studios - that was before the days of my own studio - up until the day before delivery and the soonest after giving birth was 3 days! I literally got the booking from my agent in the hospital. Ok, that was with my 3rd, and I was a pro at it all by then!

    The hardest thing is getting a sitter at the drop of a hat unless you have family close enough or someone who can help. Being freelance at the time, there was no way I was going to drop them off at day care every day! Of course, with our own in home studios nowadays, that helps a lot. However, I'm not sure I would have been able to shut myself into the studio to record live sessions during those days either. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible unless someone else was there to watch all of them.

    It is a challenge, but we moms usually can figure it out. Multitasking is our middle name! I have been known to take a tiny one into the studio with me attached to my body with a baby carrier. Bless him, he slept through the whole thing! I've also placed them in a seat in the control room when desperate for a sitter. And, I did the entourage thing a few times.

    Bottom line, my voice was not negatively affected. In fact, I was told by some that my voice had a richer quality after having given birth.

    Most of all, enjoy and absorb every moment you can with your little ones. The time does pass so quickly. I do remember questioning my mother and mother-in-law as to whether I should try to work at all once the baby arrived and they both said "Yes!". While being immersed in motherhood is wonderful for you and your child, and you will most likely have tunnel vision for the first few months, at least, it is a good thing for everyone, too, that you keep in touch with your profession at some level.

    Enjoy!

    Posted by:

      Hi Melanie,

      Thank you for sharing your stories of motherhood in the studio and out!

      This may come as a surprise, but this is our third child on the way :) Needless to say we're all very excited and thank you for the kind thoughts you have left here.

      Let's hear from some more moms! Leave a comment and say hi.

      Cheers,

      Stephanie

      Posted by:

        Stephanie,

        I am getting caught up on my blog reading, and am obviously going backwards down the page! I commented previously on a blog that I wish you a wonderful pregnancy!

        However, I had to comment again- I can't believe you had 2 children when I met you in Vegas! My goodness woman, you are tiny! The fact that you will now have 3 children, and a business to run (successfully no less!) makes you my mommy hero!

        Kara

        Posted by:

          Hi Kara,

          Thanks for commenting on this article as well. Yes, it was hard for me not to spill the beans to everyone in Las Vegas. I was barely showing and was just beyond the 3 month mark at that time.

          Thank you also for the compliment :)

          Take care,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:

            Stephanie!

            WOW! I'm TOTALLY behind too!

            Congratulations!, and I echo what Kara said... you look marvelous!!!!! and are amazing in all you do in terms of combining family & "the biz."

            You Go, Girl! ;-)

            Liz
            Liz de Nesnera
            "Voice Tracks Voiced Right!"
            Reservoir Road Productions
            973-610-2019
            liz@hireliz.com
            English & French Demos:
            http://www.hireliz.com/

            Posted by:

              Hi Liz,

              Thanks! You're one super lady yourself :)

              For those of you who haven't yet read the interview with Liz, go here:

              Interview with Liz de Nesnera

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

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