By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 11, 2007
When 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.
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