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Protecting Your Voice From Wildfire Raspiness

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 21, 2013

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California wildfire smoke cloudAre you in an area that is affected by wildfires?

With fires raging, few things are more important for professional voice talent than preserving their lives and their livelihoods.

When speaking to voice artists right smack dab in the middle of it all, I gained an even greater appreciation for the challenges each breath can bring during the hot, hazy days of wildfire season.

A handful of courageous wildfire veterans of the voice over world shared how they keep vocal damage to a minimum during wildfire season, and their wisdom, I now gladly pass on to you!

Hear about 3 ways that you can minimize the effects of wildfire smoke and save your instrument to voice another day in this edition of VOX Daily.

Wind, No Rain, and FIRE

Now is the time and the season for wildfires, and they are running high. The devastating effects of a wildfire are far reaching, even spreading hundreds of miles away. The firefighters are doing the best they can, and with their bravery and selflessness, are doing a great service for us all.

Shelley Baldiga, professional voice over talentI happened to see a post on voice artist Shelley Baldiga's Facebook page about the wildfires in her home state of Idaho, remarking that "a hint of rasp" was sneaking its way into her voice. The smoke from the wildfire, originating more than two hours from her home, was carried over by the wind.

Shelley shared, "Even though I am miles from the fires, there are days you can't see the skyline across town because of all the smoke. It's a seasonal thing in southern Idaho and many parts of the west."

Smoke carries a great distance and the good people of Idaho have fires all around them in the mountains. Shelley told me that it happens every summer. Dry grasses and trees ignite easily with lightning. From Boise, one can easily see the occasional plumes of smoke on the horizon and a lot of haze. The smoke that travels into the valley can drift in from miles in any direction, it just depends on which way the wind is blowing.

3 Ways To Minimize The Effects of Wildfire Smoke On Your Voice

  • Stay indoors, keep your windows shut and turn your humidifier on
  • Drink lots of fluids and drain your sinuses if need be with a saline nasal rinse
  • When outside, keep physical activity low and wear a medical mask if desired

Poor air quality is not only troublesome in general, it is also detrimental to your moneymaker (that's your voice!) and respiratory system. Take care to stay indoors when you can and drink lots of water.

Are You Battling Wildfires or the Smoke from Nearby Wildfires?

Be sure to comment and let me know how you're doing!

Best wishes,
Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/SashaBuzko

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