During our first Blumvox Studios Team Meeting (nearly two years ago!), when we were deciding how best to deliver Voiceover Training to the world, we collectively came together and said that we wanted to create a newsletter to support our students. We had no idea what it was going to look like or how it was going to unfold, but we did know that if we said yes to the Vision, it would happen! Each one of our Team members has been writing a monthly column for almost a year now and we’ve dedicated ourselves to being real, authentic, genuine and honest. As a result, this has given us the ability to build our foundation of BVS from the Heart up.
“The Voice Monkey Dispatch” newsletter is my favorite part of Blumvox Studios. We wanted to create a place for you to come and chill with us, read with us, laugh with us and even cry with us. There’s A LOT of work that goes into each issue, and you get the newsletter for free when you become a student of Steve’s Voiceover Training course. If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can find the info here.
We decided as a Team recently that we’d like to make some of the VMD content available to the general public. The following is an excerpt from our March 2018 issue of the VMD, entitled “Making Friends with Your Voice”. While some of you may not relate (yet!) to the voiceover actor making friends with his voice, you MAY relate to the experiences of those of us on his Team. Over these next few months you’ll see some of our Team “voices” here in the Blog, and we hope that you’ll get as much benefit from them as our Voiceover Training students and VMD subscribers have. I’d like to thank those of you that have been with us since the beginning (The OG!) and would also like to thank those of you that are new to our community. You have given us a platform to share ourselves with you and it’s been a true honor. Here we go!
Making Friends with Your Voice. – Trina Watton (President and COO of Blumvox Studios)
As I reflect on Making Friends with My Voice, I must admit that it has been an extreme challenge for me throughout most of my life. I felt silenced as a child and learned that I couldn’t speak up for myself without getting in trouble. Over the years I had created a soft, high-pitched voice that was full of fear. You could hear it in my breath before I’d even speak because my abdomen would be trembling. Being soft spoken was my way of disappearing and staying safe. It caused me to hold my breath a lot and I’d often forget to breathe to the point of passing out. It was an unconscious behavior of mine. It was as if somehow in that breath, if I let it go, truly let it go, the whole world would fall apart in front of me.
Having lived a good portion of my life gripped in fear and anxiety, my “inauthentic voice” began to take its toll on me. Maintaining this persona and hiding my pain literally stopped oxygen from flowing freely throughout my body. I became stagnant, stiff, irritable, angry and just plain miserable. I’d heard for years that everything starts with the Breath. I’d heard for years that we ARE our breath. I’d heard for years that in order to heal, it was time to become One with our breath. Years of avoidance taught me that I wasn’t ready to embrace those truths until I was ready to deal with my pain. I knew inherently that it would change my life because it meant coming face to face with me.
When I finally began to breathe conscious breaths, making it a focused daily practice, my world changed drastically. It became brighter, clearer, joyful, more purposeful AND my world didn’t fall apart! You wanna know the best part? My voice began to change. It changes all the time! The deeper I get into myself and breathe slow breaths using my abdomen, the deeper and more rich my voice becomes. When I’m feeling courageous and ready to explore the next layer of pain breathing only through my nose, the stronger my voice becomes. The more I embrace my joy with deep purposeful breaths, the brighter my voice becomes. I’ve learned through the years that I don’t laugh enough and that in itself is a breathing practice. My inauthentic voice still comes up from time to time and in those moments, I embrace it! It’s an opportunity for me to check in with myself, get quiet and ask “what is it that I’m afraid of and why am I withholding my truth?” With stillness and patience, my breath always gives me the answer.
Breath is life. Breath is strength. Breath is real. Breath is revealing. Breath is courage. Breath is honest. Breath breathes through your voice, your mind, your body and your soul. Breath can hinder you or highlight who you are. It’s up to you how you choose to breathe.
I’d like to invite you to embrace your breath. I have a very simple exercise I’d like to share with you:
For a minimum of five to ten minutes per day over the next 30 days, I’d like you to write down what you notice about your breath (I highly recommend using a journal for this so you can keep all of your writings in one place). Notice if it’s short, hollow, winded, fast, limited, gasping, frustrated, pissy, resentful OR happy, excited, intentional, fluid, slow, creative, purposeful, etc… Start with your breath and see where it takes you each day. Feel free to bring your voice into it. Allow yourself to create different sounds for the feelings you’re experiencing and give them a voice. Your unique sound has messages to share with you and the more time you spend with this exercise, the more you will uncover AND discover about yourself. Please be kind to you during this journey. This is not a space for judgement. You may just surprise yourself and birth a new character or two along the way. <3
May we breathe into our authentic voices together…