Get out of that voiceover booth
Life as a voice actor can be lonely. We spend hours by ourselves in a dark, padded room, talking to imaginary characters and concocting scenes that only our mind's eye can see. Don't get me wrong... that's also part of the fun! But sometimes, you just need to step out to touch, feel, and breathe in the real world. It can even improve your work. Here's how...
Breaks bring back life
Taking a break is an essential part of maintaining overall well-being and productivity - especially in voiceover. Breaks keep your creative juices flowing. They help prevent that dreaded "robotic" sound and, in turn, make room for a more natural, spontaneous, unrehearsed delivery that most clients seek.
Mental and emotional rejuvenation
No matter how interesting the e-learning topic, documentary, or set of commercial scripts in front of you might be, bringing those scripts to life can be physically and mentally exhausting. When you take a break, it gives your mind a chance to rest, allowing you to return to the booth with a delivery that has a fresh perspective and renewed focus.
Sure, you might need to crank out a series of corporate videos that your client sent this morning and wanted "yesterday." However, trying to complete long or multiple voiceover scripts in one session might not be the best idea. Studies have shown that regular breaks can actually enhance productivity rather than slow it down. When we step away from a script, our brain continues to process information in the background, making connections and absorbing the content, preparing us for better interpretation of and connection to the content when we return.
Whether you stand or sit in front of your microphone, staying in one position for hours can lead to physical strain and discomfort. Taking breaks allows you to stretch, move around, and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries or an aching back and feet. It gets your blood pumping and loosens you up for another long stretch of complicated narration.
Creativity and inspiration
Breaks can provide space for creative thinking and inspiration. Sometimes, the best ideas come when we step away from a project and allow our minds to wander. Who knows, maybe you'll meet that cranky delivery driver or overly enthusiastic ice cream scooper who is the perfect inspiration for your next character.
No one likes to battle a tense neck and shoulders while trying to deliver a relaxed, conversational sound. Breaks offer a chance to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Engaging in enjoyable, invigorating, or soothing activities during breaks can have a positive impact on our overall mood and well-being. As a result, you got it... better voiceover delivery.
Big or small
The ideal frequency, duration, and activity in breaks may vary from person to person and day to day. I personally like a lot of short, frequent breaks, with a couple of longer outdoor activities mixed in (especially when they include my dog, Luna). And I make a point to really disconnect and go somewhere remote or do something challenging that gets my heart pumping.
For me, a break from the voiceover booth is the perfect excuse to have a little fun! It's my moment to reset, refresh, spend time with friends, and enjoy the things I love most in life. I relish the fact that we voice actors have a lot of flexibility in our schedule. Take advantage of that and squeeze in some rewards outside your quiet, padded room. I sure do!