Confidence and Self Care in Your Voiceover Career
Confidence and your Voiceover Career
So early on in our voiceover classes, and literally every time I talk to folks that want a voiceover career, I talk about building confidence, looking stupid and embracing it, and taking care of your voice physically, by warming it up and cooling it down. That’s because It’s all related, and the connecting thread is your well-being. I know. Dang it Steve, you’re gonna dig in again, aren’t you? Yeah. Might as well get used to it.
Work on Your Health
Your health – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – can affect your ability to perform. In life, relationships, work and yes, even in your voiceover career. Simply put, when you feel good, you’re better able to express yourself.
When I suggest to my students to let go of the fear and judgment they’ve been carrying around (in many cases it’s not even theirs!) and going back to that childlike place inside where it was ok to be dorky, I’m simply encouraging them to work on their health.
Play and Your Voiceover Career
When you forget joy and forget to play and let fear run your life, it can manifest in anxiety, anger and sadness, and sometimes even physical pain or illness. Let’s go back to the sandbox analogy… when you see children playing in a sandbox and one of them is sick… unless the sickness is so bad the kid physically can’t function, that child is gonna play uninhibited with as much joy and energy as he/she/they can muster. It doesn’t matter if there’s a river of snot pouring from their nose, or if they have a cast on their arm, or they’ve got a diaper full of doody – they’re gonna use every bit of that playtime they have before they have to go take a nap, or clean up, or go eat, etc.
Unfortunately many of us lose that enthusiasm for play as we get older and start becoming self-conscious. We focus on what isn’t working or on what others tell us is OK to feel, based on their ideas and often, their fears. When you stop playing, you stop living.
Looking for Joy
I met a boy with ALS a few years ago. He no longer had any use of his body, and he couldn’t speak. His organs were shutting down and he could only communicate with his eyes, through a series of yes/no answers on an alphabet chart his father created. Even in that state, when his hero, Kari Wahlgren came to visit, he communicated that he was a huge fan of her work… he was excited to meet her and was bordering on flirty! He remembered, even under the most extreme circumstances – the things that brought him joy and it gave him something positive to concentrate on – when everything else in his life was a struggle for survival. His family told us that it improved the quality of his life and that of everyone around him.
Now that’s an extreme example, but the point is, no matter what you’re going through, looking for the joy, staying playful and finding the funny – only serves to improve the quality of your life and enhances the quality of everything you do and everyone you interact with. It’s an invaluable tool to staying healthy and happy throughout your career in voiceover.
Voiceover is Physical
So how do warm-ups and cool-downs apply to this? Well, even when I’m doing something as potentially mundane as a warm-up exercise, I look for the fun. If you’ve tried the warm-ups and cool-downs I’ve suggested in other blogs here, you know that most of them require some pretty ridiculous faces and actions. They’re designed to help you physically loosen the muscles and structures involved in voice work, so you feel better. But they also help you unleash your inner dork so you’re less inhibited by fear!
Those exercises are designed to help you feel less restricted and more able to perform at your best throughout your voiceover career, and most importantly – to ENJOY THE PROCESS while doing so. All that plus they help you to avoid injury and to recover from stress after. Pretty good stuff for just making weird noises and faces, huh?
When you’re feeling better physically, and emotionally, your mental abilities improve, you’re more creative, your perspective changes and life just seems a little better. I’ll leave spirituality alone for now, because some people aren’t comfortable with that. But trust me, when you seek the positive, you’re already doing that work.
Be happy, be healthy and be a dork!
Love you guys!
Embracing the inner child and confidence from within. I can’t tell who has the most interesting expression in the picture.
This is amazing insight, to both aspiring voice actors and people in general! In one of your posts you mentioned how society shuns failure and fear and combined with this post, it got me thinking of how to improve ourselves to become better and what we aspire to be. Embracing our failures and fears will help improve our confidence along with our self-care. It all connects in one big cycle and continues to build us to where we are today and what we wish to be.
Very true. My self-esteem is linked to me being embarrassed, so I try to not care when it comes to VO, seeing how no one else does. It’s hard to unlearn these fears, but it’s also good to, despite what society may say.
Yes! I didn’t really think about being healthy in all aspects in life. But, it does help you to be happier and more confident. Thanks for all the tips! I always try to take care of myself so that I can be healthy. I think being playful will help make it fun. I love the story about the boy with ALS. Meeting one of his idols just made his day and brought so much joy in his life. That is awesome!
being healthy in mind, spirit, body and voice… these lessons keep proving over and over again, that these are lessons for life and if you create a happy space, fearless and playful. the world will be your playground!
Confidence seems so important and you mentioned this in your webinar demo, too. Getting used to your own voice seems like the most important part to start out with, so it’s important to buy confidence and understand that like you mentioned.
Mental Health is a serious issue and we should never turn a blind eye to those that have it. Im glad that the ALS boy got to meet Kari & Steve. Its always good to have a spiritual mind!
Amazing! Thank you Steve! I am so glad I came across this as I am wanting to give a voice to a character for a project I am working on and not only has your other articles shared the how to get started and tips for moving up on equipment, but this right here I think is where I truly need to begin. Mental health is a serious battle for me on a level that sometimes it’s too hard to cope with daily tasks and since I can’t work, I feel even more pressure. My voice is the only tool in my arsenal that I haven’t used before. Thank you for the advice about this Steve, I am glad you shared this or else I would be battling my voice and health at the same time.
This is amazing because it’s not only a guide for mental wellness and self-care, but it also advises aspiring voice actors. Mental wellness is such an important issue in the world today we need more people with platforms to help shed light not just on the issue, BUT SOLUTIONS! It is also very beneficial to see that you are posting tips that you use it seems more genuine and less generic or forced. The tips you also gave are FREE and can be done by anyone!