GBP
  • Voiceover Professionals

    The Voiceover Network

    Blog

Articles in Category: Blog

Game Changing Insights by Marc Guss

Redefining voiceover representation: Game changing insights from an industry innovator and influencer

 

What's the difference between the talent that are booking loads of work and the ones that are struggling?

 

Talent who are thoughtful about their reads and reflect that in their audition tend to book more on average. They are great storytellers who keep true to the uniqueness of their natural voice without letting their delivery get in the way.

The most commonly booked talent are those who deliver the 'message' most effectively. Also, the difference in who books a lot or who is struggling can be simply that the actor's voice and approach doesn't match the current 'flavour of the day'.  

The best way for someone to capitalize on their voice is to be prepared to work in any genre. 

Generally speaking, I think the people who seem to be struggling have found success in only one or very few genres of VO and are unable to adapt their voice to today's diverse environment.  It's important to be able to shift gears when reading commercial copy vs. promo vs. narration, etc.  Each style is unique, so you have to approach each one with a fresh perspective and sound. A combination of coaching and auditioning is the best way to improve your chances across multiple genres. 

 

Print VOND 23 04 2016 51

 

What are the current trends you're seeing in the industry?

 

There are more opportunities in voiceover than ever before, and the competition is also fiercer than ever. Talent are also training more than ever. Good acting will always be in style.

There is no longer one type of voice that gets booked on everything. The big trend that we see today is the heightened call for inclusiveness and diversity in every sense of the word. It's equally amazing that there are more women working in voiceover than ever in all areas.

There seemed to be this excitement about online casting which has soured for various reasons. The trend seems to be reversing back to seasoned representation as nothing beats quality and experience. Additionally, and thankfully, the trend of rate structures being torn down and abused seems to be swinging back towards legitimacy. Many buyers found out what they received from talent as a result of bargain-basement rates weren't necessarily effective for their valuable projects. The ship seems to be 'righting' itself as buyers seek higher quality talent options and realize the rates must reflect that quality.  

 

How important would you say is networking?

 

In 2020, networking is more important than ever, especially in voiceover. Today, our industry allows for true business people and entrepreneurs to directly market their services to companies and succeed. There's more work out there than ever for individual VO talent marketers. However, this may not be a skill and an option for everyone as some do it more effectively than others. LinkedIn has become an amazing platform for this success and as I always say, the buyers on that platform are like sand on the beach. Initially networking and self-marketing may seem daunting. However, with natural talent, an effective marketing plan, and loads of confidence, it can all go a long way.

I also want to mention that self marketing also has and will always have its limitations in that there are high end buyers such as blue-chip advertising agencies, producers, networks etc, who will always look to high end VO representation companies for their projects as a trusted source of one stop shopping.

 

You are brilliant on social media and you have a very large following, do you have any advice for people on how best to use social media?

 

I appreciate that and worked really hard to get here. It took DAILY SUSTAINABLE DEDICATION. Typically, most people who attempt this, get all jazzed and then fall off pretty quickly because they can't keep up with the hard work that's required of them to succeed. It's all about providing valuable content and engagement. That's not easy. My advice to anyone who wants to create a major social media following that will be successful, is to be prepared for the long haul and the daily grind. If you don't think that you can dedicate yourself to this then hold off to a time that might be a better time for you. The reason I say this is because you don't want to go out there if you're not ready, as you likely only get one real chance to present yourself as an individual brand. As a social media presence, you don't want to give the appearance of dipping in and then waning for an extended period of time. That's the worst thing you can do to yourself on social. Also, make sure that you build a multi-platform social media presence. This means active engagement across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. I personally engage with the entire voiceover community and valued buyers on these platforms.

 

ACM logo

 

What's unique about ACM?

 

Over the past year, I feel like we've redefined voiceover representation. We have our fingers on the pulse in so many ways. Our clients careers are flourishing as we are succeeding in paying attention to every area of voiceover.

We are an unprecedented voiceover management company with the most veteran former agents and VO specialists under one banner. We all take pride in presenting our talent with the most plentiful, unique and diverse opportunities. We equally take pride in the career management of our clients. We established daily individual client career "Roundtables" with all managers and have a built- in open door calendar policy for any client to schedule a career chat at any time. We also have a necessary built in marketing, branding and social media department where we make sure that all ACM clients are as prepared as possible for entrepreneurship and partnership in 2020 and beyond. 

 

 

What do you enjoy about your job?

 

That's easy. Getting to work with such amazingly talented colleagues on a daily basis. These are the top industry veterans who were the best agents (turned managers) and experts in the country. In building out our company, it was important for us to have the most respected and morally aware managers working together. It's truly like a family. We all really like each other and have fun with our complimentary personalities. It's amazing to see how much dedication that everyone has for our clients and preserving the craft of VO. 

 

Marc Guss | ACM Talent

Website: acmtalent.com

Twitter: @marcguss

Instagram: @realmarcguss

 

The original version of this article is from The Buzz Magazine, the ONLY magazine in the world dedicated to the voiceover industry. This magazine is available worldwide in both print and online. To access the latest edition which contains lots more incredible, inspiring and informative articles like this one SUBSCRIBE HERE

 

"Talent who are thoughtful about their reads and reflect that in their audition tend to book more on average. They are great storytellers who keep true to the uniqueness of their natural voice without letting their delivery get in the way. The most commonly booked talent are those who deliver the 'message' most effectively. Also, the difference in who books a lot or who is struggling can be simply that the actor's voice and approach doesn't match the current 'flavour of the day'."

Advice For Voiceover Artists Right Now

Advice for Voiceover Artists Right Now

 

So, the world is in crisis right now. The coronavirus is affecting everyone, every walk of life, every continent and every industry. There is a lot of fear right now and here at The VoiceOver Network we want to help our wonderful voiceover community. In times of crisis like what we are currently experiencing coming together as a voiceover community is incredibly important.

I believe and I have always believed that we work in the best industry in the world. We are very lucky at the moment as most of us have home studios so the ability to work from home.

I asked some of my favourite people and friends in the voiceover industry ‘What advice do you have for voiceover artists right now?’ and here is want they shared –

 

ScreenShot20200309

 

 

‘The world is in crisis. Everything has changed seemingly over night. So, what should you, the voice actor do? First, do your part. Stay home unless you’re going out for essentials. Stay in touch via our numerous ways of connecting. Throw a Zoom party on your big screen TV.

OK, that may be going too far.

But what about your VO career? This is a good time to up your knowledge base about anything you’d like to learn from the thousands of instructional videos on Youtube and Vimeo. Become a better engineer and mixer for your home studio. Learn the tricks of trade of Skype, Zoom, and Connection Open. Finally take that workshop (online of course) on the genre you’ve always wanted to try. Touch base with clients to see how they and their families are doing. Be of service to others.

That said, take a deep breath and relax a little. No doubt you’re gonna binge watch some TV. Watch with friends via FaceTime. Read a book, or write one. Call people who may feel alone, especially if you yourself are feeling alone. Did you want to learn a new language? Go for it. Work out. Not at the gym, but in your living room doing old school calisthenics. No machines, no weights, and maybe some stretches and yoga.

Remember, though it might feel like you’re all alone, you’re not. We are all in this together and that’s how we will get through this, however long it may be, together.

Oh, and of course don’t forget #AskDaveFennoyAnything, Wednesdays at 6pm Pacific time on Facebook Live.’

All the best,

Dave Fennoy, Voice Actor

 

The good thing about being a voiceover talent is we're used to being alone in our home studios and working remotely; we have become accustomed and comfortable with that.  Heading out to a different studio is a fun "field trip" and adventure.  So now...without a choice, we have to stay home and self isolate. How do you get through this?  Try things you haven't tried before.

Work on reads that you need to perfect. Take some online coaching and join online group chats or training sessions. Organize your home office, your studio or maybe your sock drawer!  Update your website and your marketing materials.  All those things you kept putting off, now is the time to make the time to do them.  Why not? You've got lots of time now!

Take care, stay healthy, wash your hands and enjoy your home.’

Mary-Lynn Wissner, Casting Director

 

Stay smart, stay sane, use this time wisely. You know how the month of August is very slow? Right now it’s August jacked up on steroids for the entire world. There’s zero time to panic, get depressed, complain, or feel sorry for yourself. There’s only time for action. The only thing you can control is your actions. So take action now. Make 2 lists. List 1: What current clients can you reach out to when this is all over and ask if they’re ok? List 2: What prospective clients can you reach out to and ask if they’re ok? Don’t ask them for a job. Just ask them how they are. They need emotional support as much as we do. We are all in this together. In times like these our inner monologues turn into outer monologues. The ones who go into panic mode and relentlessly beg for jobs without asking how the other person / client / company is doing will fail and make a complete ass out of themselves. But the ones who ask if their current clients and future prospects are ok.. the ones who are kind first… the ones who don’t make it all about them but rather make it all about the other person…. Those people win.’

Jonathan Tilley, Voice Actor

 

Try to be still and sense the positive changes that this situation is bringing about. There is an irony here - we’re required to be separate yet we’re creating new ways to connect with each other. Stay well.’

Dian Perry, Voice Actor

 

If you’re in isolation, consider how you can use the extra time you have to create something that can benefit others long term. It might be an online training, a book you’ve often thought about or a how-to guide that others in your industry might find useful. Start that blog. Create that video or podcast. Think about how you can use your skills and talents to give back in some way. This extra time can be valuable in positioning you in your niche. Focus on what you CAN do, and not what you can’t. How often do you have the luxury of time on your hands. The sooner you can turn this into a positive, the easier it’ll be to cope in challenging times.’

Anna Parker-Naples, Entrepreneur, Author and Audiobook Narrator

 

As a forward thinker my first thought is to focus on the things I can control, secondly on how I can improve my situation given the circumstance I am in. Being a voice talent/audio producer fortunate enough to have clients in many countries I divide my plan locally and internationally. First thing I did on Monday was getting in touch with every local Advertising Agency, producer and client, and informed them that I am still in business and that my studio has the capacity to work remotely for voiceover work, audio production and mixing. They’re happy to know that as voice talent I can record myself, produce and mix their spots. That’s why It’s important to develop an infrastructure capable of offering this kind of services via teleconference, Source Connect, ipDTL, among others. Even big agencies with their own in-house studios and production demonstrated a positive feedback since they’re not allowed to work from their usual locations due to the quarantine and curfew. Internationally it’s a bit more complicated due to many factors like governmental decrees but staying in communication and well informed is the way to go. Also, follow your agents’ instructions and work plan for this kind of situations and don’t stop auditioning. But the most important factor in all of this is you. Please don’t take unnecessary risks and put your health and safety first always because without health nothing else matters.’

Antonio Fornaris, Voice Actor, Sound Engineer

 

‘My advice for voiceover artists and voice actors right now is to firstly look after yourself. Your health is incredibly important so make sure you not only wash your hands but make sure you eat healthily. We all need our immune systems to be working to the best of their abilities and food is a wonderful way to boost our bodies and help them to be strong. Lemon is an amazing fruit, kiwi fruit, leafy greens, garlic and there are many more but these are a few just to think about.

Stay active, it’s important even if you’re in self isolation that you stay active. So get on youtube and find some yoga videos, keep fit videos, go for a run, walk or cycle.

Look after those around you and be there for your family and friends.

Also make sure you find some humour. I know times are difficult but watch some comedy, play at home with your kids etc. Laughter releases a wonderful chemical in the brain which helps your immune system.’

Rachael Naylor, Entrepreneur, Voice Actor, Founder of The VoiceOver Network

 

So, the world is in crisis right now. The coronavirus is affecting everyone, every walk of life, every continent and every industry. There is a lot of fear right now and here at The VoiceOver Network we want to help our wonderful voiceover community. In times of crisis like what we are currently experiencing coming together as a voiceover community is incredibly important.

Working From Home by Roger Woods

Working from home!

 

Without doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the behaviour of millions of people who now find themselves without a daily commute, the office camaraderie, the nine-to-five and all the perks attached. All are now adapting to working alone, in isolation, in the study, snug, family room, at the kitchen table, in the bedroom, garage or shed working flexible hours while exercising social distancing; some though are not so lucky and are now unfortunately unemployed.

As voice actors/artists we’ve been able to work from home, in isolation and at a distance, since it became technically possible some 30 years ago and today more people are voicing projects, podcasts and broadcasting from home, in these unprecedented times, than ever before because the technology has never been so affordable; but are you really properly equipped to meet the demand for your vocal talent?

Just this week there’s been a number of emails and social media posts from audio producers, studios and agencies with huge rosters of talent all asking for experienced VO with a pro-home studio, good connectivity and technically proficient to get in touch, presumably because their talent lists are full of jobbing actors, as the messages also state quite clearly they do NOT want to hear from people with a laptop, interface and mic working in a make-shift corner of the family room or under a duvet; no doubt pre-empting ‘resting’ talent who might rush out to buy some gear to cash in on potential demand.

The term ‘pro-home studio’ is subjective it will mean different things to different people but the one thing it will not be is the same as the producers, studio or agencies who will use their own facilities as a benchmark for quality control and this too will be subjective as each will be a unique space, unique sound and uniquely equipped.

Let’s tick-off some of the things that will make your home studio a pro-home studio:

 

 

Recording Space/Booth

 

You’ll have a vocal booth from one of a number of manufacturers – Studiobricks, Esmono, Whisper Room, Kube, VocalBooth, Vocalboothtogo, Demvox, among others, or, you will have a bespoke booth designed and built to meet your specific needs. Irrespective of what you have it needs to have a low noise floor, I’ll let ‘Alex the Audio Scientist’ from ACX explain here.

 

 

Recording Equipment

 

How your pro-home studio is equipped is down to your experience and how long you’ve been working as a VO but having a microphone, audio mixer (optional), audio interface, digital audio workstation (DAW) and a way to listen to the audio are essentials but what this kit is and what software you use is a personal choice and, possibly, down to budget at time of purchase or upgrade. Whatever you use it must be able to capture your voice cleanly without any of the hidden sounds mentioned in the video above or from family, friends, pets and neighbours, etc., etc.

 

 

PC or Mac

 

It doesn’t matter what you use to host your DAW just make sure you’re using the latest version of the operating system (Windows/MacOS) unless you are limited to a specific version because of the age of the software your using. Have a standby computer ideally configured to mirror you primary machine would be useful and make sure you have a ‘backup image’ of both machines stored safety in case of a catastrophic failure or you experience a problem because tech support at you local computer store might not be available.

 

 

Connectivity

 

This is one of the primary reason producers, studios and agencies are asking for pro-home studio users to make themselves known. Being able to connect to producers and creatives also working from home or in the office, albeit social distancing, has never been easier with the right software and good broadband. The situation we all find ourselves in now is likely to be a significant game changer for our industry as producers and production houses who have been reluctant to use virtual or internet audio codecs are now forced to embrace the technology. If you are not using or have not explored using ipDTL/sip.audio, Cleanfeed, Source-Connect Std/Pro, SessionLink-Pro, Connection Open, Bodalgo Call or Source-Connect NOW you are not a Pro-home studio. ISDN was once the only way to connect remotely this is no longer the case but if required to do so ipDTL/sip.audio & Source-Connect Std/Pro can bridge the connection as premium products.

As for your broadband, it’s likely if you have a house full of family members self-isolating that your internet is going to be get hammered streaming movies, box sets, gaming online surfing the internet or Skyping family and friends, then there’s your partner working from home and connected to their office over VPN with their mobile using ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ as you’re in a poor mobile reception area. Make sure you have got the bandwidth and data allowance to make all this happen and most importantly when you need to remotely connect to a studio without problems. Importantly, try not to use Wi-fi to connect remotely always use a Cat5e network cable from your broadband router to the computer.

 

 

Technical skills.

 

These are not essential as you’ll find someone online in a VO forum, a friend, or family member to assist, however, you do need to know how everything you use is interconnected and how the software is configured particularly the ‘Sound’ settings if you’re a Windows user. The simplest way of keeping track of the wiring is to take pictures of the kit and how the cables connect the mic to the interface or mixer from the interface to the computer, etc. and any variations on the them, you can also take picture of the software settings. Keep these safe with the software backup.

 

 

Directed Session

 

This is where you connect to a remote studio to record a script with direction from the producer, agency, client or all three! Given all the above in Connectivity, you’ll still need to record you vocal performance locally, at you end, even if the studio/producer is also recording you remotely and you might be required to send this audio to the producer if there is a problem with the quality of the circuit between you. You can use the preferred file transfer service favoured by the studio which could be Dropbox, WeTransfer, Hightail, Google Drive, One Drive, Slack or one of the many other available. If the WAV file is under 12Mb in size, you can use email.

Presently there is a massive demand for medical narrations, e-learning and corporate presentations, gaming and animation projects still need to be created and working remotely businesses now require a performer with technical as well as vocal know-how as a matter of urgency.

The key to being successful in a time of crisis is to keep clam, know you limitations, have the mental and physical fortitude to work smart while still having fun.

As voice actors/artists we’ve been able to work from home, in isolation and at a distance, since it became technically possible some 30 years ago and today more people are voicing projects, podcasts and broadcasting from home, in these unprecedented times, than ever before because the technology has never been so affordable; but are you really properly equipped to meet the demand for your vocal talent?

I have a Dream

The VoiceOver Network is about bringing the industry together to be Inclusive not Divisive

It is very hard to avoid it these days. Everyone is talking about it, what’s been said now, who said it and why? I’m talking about negative campaigning and fake news. It’s something that years ago we would have been horrified that people would accuse the media of reporting fiction as opposed to fact. But now it’s talked about all the time and no one bats an eye lid. It has become part of everyday. 

VO Atlanta by Karis Pentecost

In 2018, whilst at a VOND event in Central London, I found myself in the midst of a gaggle of voice actors, talking about this incredible voice over conference in America, VO Atlanta. What was this? Why did they all look so hyped? Well I didn’t care what it was, anything that made a group of grownups that excited, had me sold from the start. I wanted to feel like that. I wanted to feel THAT excited about something! So after awkwardly muscling in on their conversation, I marched over to Rachael Naylor (who I barely knew at the time) and said

“I’m coming!”

“Ummm ok sure” she said “Where’s that now?”, looking confused

“In 2019, I WILL go to VO Atlanta” and with a slightly startled, scared but excited look in her eyes, she said

“Yes! Ok! Great! Do it! Just go for it!”

And so THAT is what I did!

karispentecostVoAtlanta

Full of excitement, nerves, anticipation and hunger, I boarded the plane to Atlanta, Georgia. I knew the conference would be a place that I could learn and educate myself about different areas of the industry but it turned out to be so much more than that. Networking and creating opportunities is such an integral part of building and sustaining our careers and by getting out of your booth, out of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with members of the voice over community from all over the world, is never going to be anything other than positive! I adore my fellow Brits, but there is something about the Americans that will always make networking and socialising so much easier than here at home in the UK. Their natural openness, smiling faces, desire to learn about you and where you’re from, meant that I never felt alone, in fact, being at VO Atlanta just felt like I’d come home. Any nerves I had were put at ease the minute I was greeted by the beaming face of one of the conference ambassadors at the reception desk.

“Hey! Welcome to Vo Atlanta. Here’s everything you need to know, here’s your programme, here’s your goody bag, want to sign up to our talent screening tomorrow? “

errrrm yes! I don’t know anything about it yet but yep, sure, why not!” Sieze the day and all that!

The programme at VO Atlanta is packed full of sessions that cover a whole array of areas in VO. There are actually so many, that I found it was best to make myself a schedule. Here in the UK, I currently work in Commercials, Promo and Radio but I didn’t really know anything about those parts of the industry in the US and had no American contacts, so I took myself off to sessions where I could learn more and speak to US agents, demo producers and American voice actors. By the end of each day, your head wants to explode because you have taken in so much information.

From listening to the superb keynote from Kay Bess, to my wonderful X Session with Heather Dame at Atlas Talent, to learning about Imaging from Eric Romanowski and Video Game Casting with Randall Ryan, to the awesome 80’s party on the final evening of the conference, VO Atlanta was everything and more.

If you’re looking to attend the conference for the first time then make sure you seize every opportunity to speak to fellow voice actors, producers, writers, sound engineers, actors and speakers. It is likely, even if you haven’t travelled half way across the world as I did, that you’ve travelled a fair few hours and you’re not going to be surrounded by this community for maybe another year, so don’t sit back. Make friends. Go to X Sessions that are held by producers or agents that you want to connect with. Get to know people. Listen to their stories. Be open. Be present. If there is a talent screening, go! If there is a social drink, join in! If there is a dinner party, go eat! Since attending, I am now in talks with two American agents, a video gaming casting director, am putting everything in place to gain my 01 Visa to work in the US and have made shed loads of new friends. Life is short and so is VO Atlanta….so do not waste a second!

By Karis Pentecost

A LONDON BASED BRITISH VOICE OVER ARTIST WITH 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN COMMERCIALS, RADIO & CORPORATE NARRATION.

In 2018, whilst at a VOND event in Central London, I found myself in the midst of a gaggle of voice actors, talking about this incredible voice over conference in America, VO Atlanta. What was this? Why did they all look so hyped? Well I didn’t care what it was, anything that made a group of grownups that excited, had me sold from the start. I wanted to feel like that. I wanted to feel THAT excited about something!

'A Whole new World of Voice Acting' with Jennifer Trujillo Interview by Alan Shires

'A Whole new World of Voice Acting' with Jennifer Trujillo Interview by Alan Shires at The VoiceOver Network - Above and BeVOND

 

 

disney/>

 

AS: What is your favourite part about your job?

JT: My favourite part of my job is working with new talent, that is an exciting thing to do, giving someone their first job in animation or in Disney, these are really cool things.

 

AS: It sounds so rewarding! How does a voice over artist find their way into the casting room with you?

JT: We rely heavily on talent agents - usually LA based - so that is one of the early steps to getting in front of us, so you want to have a relationship with someone in LA who can put you up for roles to get in front of us. We wouldn’t usually need you to come to Los Angeles which is nice.

 

 

disney/>

 

AS: Well that’s good news as I am in the UK and don’t want to hop on an aeroplane right now!

JT: Yeah, it’s a long flight.

 

AS: So, what is your top tip for a voice over to book the job when they make it in front of you?

JT: The most important thing to all of our shows is comedy, so it is up to you as an actor to make sure your performance is funny in some way which sometimes isn’t always super obvious on the page of slides you get. It is your job to figure out where you can insert something to make the read a bit funnier, you can use improv to add bits and pieces or you can add sounds and things like that to elevate your performance to the funniest it can possibly be.

 

 

disney/>

 

AS: Amazing! So in your role what is your biggest challenge and how do you overcome it?

JT: My biggest challenge working at a big company like Disney, we are very large and it is very corporate, so there is a lot of meetings and a lot of people needing to weigh in on every decision for the most part, so it can be pretty frustrating like any other corporate job needing approval and stuff like that.

 

AS: Sounds good! What has been your favourite show to make so far and why?

JT: I am very proud of Elena Of Avalor, we were very successful with the show and it is something I have felt like I have had a lot of creative input on as we have a great executive producer and he is super collaborative, and he really trusts me as a casting director which is amazing! So I am super super proud of it.

 

The original version of this article is from The Buzz Magazine, the ONLY magazine in the world dedicated to the voiceover industry. This magazine is available worldwide in both print and online. To access the latest edition which contains lots more incredible, inspiring and informative articles like this one SUBSCRIBE HERE

 

Alan Shires: What is your favourite part about your job?

Jennifer Trujillo: My favourite part of my job is working with new talent, that is an exciting thing to do, giving someone their first job in animation or in Disney, these are really cool things.

Healthy gut, healthy mind: The Gut-Brain connection, Written by Lena Christou

Healthy gut, healthy mind: The Gut-Brain connection

DrJane/>

We hear a lot about the mind-body connection, but what about the gut-mood connection? Recent studies show that the adrenal stress response is triggered by not only stress and/ or trauma, but also a pattern of eating. Eating refined carbohydrates such as “comfort food” and craving salty or sweet snacks may feel satisfying at the time, but by switching from refined carbs (that spike our sugar levels) to low Glycaemic Index (GI) options (that do not spike sugar levels) actually controls and modifies our stress response, lowering cortisol.

When we worry or suffer stress and anxiety our gut is “switched off” in order to prioritise energy and blood supply to our heart, arms and legs to fight what it perceives as danger. We are not designed to stay in this response for long, its an emergency reaction only!

Research suggests that diet is an important modifiable risk factor for mental health. A Mediterranean diet based on plenty of fruits and vegetables, pulses, good fats and fibre is consistently associated with reduced risk of depression and cognitive impairment.

As nutritionists, we do not advocate restricting calorie intake in those with anxiety disorders as studies show it increases cortisol and so will make their anxiety worse. In fact, it is cortisol that wakes us up in the mornings (and why too much wakes us up at night, triggering Insomnia) and eating breakfast upon rising actually lowers cortisol levels to keep us balanced emotionally during our day ahead.

Feeling in a heightened state of worry or anxiety also uses energy due to the adrenaline response, so you actually deplete vital vitamins and minerals. Omega 3 from good fats such as oily fish and olive oil is anti-inflammatory. Vitamins such as the B vitamins function to balance glucose, regulate mood and are important for nervous system function. Vitamin C is used for energy, and so during stress is eliminated from the blood stream at an extremely rapid rate. The more cortisol is used, the more vitamin C is used. Vitamin C is important in our immune system response and helps fight free radical damage. So, without it we struggle to fight infections. It’s one of the reasons we get poorly easier under stress. Magnesium is a mineral that depletes under stress but is vital to help us sleep, and relaxes our muscles, which is why tension and poor sleep is a major side effect of stress.

Therefore, we advocate increasing our nutrient intake during bouts of stress and low mood, and to do this we must be able to absorb these nutrients efficiently. Starting with optimal gut health ensures a functioning gut lining and healthy gut flora. Probiotic fermented foods such as Apple Cider Vinegar, sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, crème fraiche and tempeh all help populate the good bacteria. Prebiotic foods such as onions, leeks, garlic, raw cacao, oats and apples help feed the good bacteria in our gut, which together with fibre bind to toxins and eliminate them from our system effectively. Plenty of fresh colourful fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants and fibre, healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and good proteins such as pulses and legumes and vegan protein smoothies are perfect examples of healthy options to include in your everyday food options.

 

“Berry nice” Protein Smoothie Recipe

1-2 scoops vanilla or strawberry protein powder

1 tbsp flaxseeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

½ ripe avocado

2 handfuls frozen berries

250ml nut milk

Blend til smooth

 

Protein Pancakes

1 cup nut milk

1 cup gluten free oats

1 tsp ground flaxseeds

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

½ tsp cinnamon

1 small banana

Frozen berries and coconut yogurt to serve

Blend all ingredients except berries and coconut yogurt in a nutribullet, or simply whisk until smooth.

Make pancakes by warming some avocado oil in a pan and add tablespoons of mixture in even circles, flipping when browned.

To finish, add the frozen berries to warm in the pan, drizzling over the pancake stack, topping with a dollop of coconut yogurt to serve.

DrJane/>

 

Lena Christou, a Beauty Therapist and a final year student of Nutritional Therapy at The College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is passionate about healthy living from the inside out.

 

We hear a lot about the mind-body connection, but what about the gut-mood connection? Recent studies show that the adrenal stress response is triggered by not only stress and/ or trauma, but also a pattern of eating. 

Promoting Wellbeing During Unprecedented Times by Dr Jane Oakland

'Promoting Wellbeing During Unprecedented Times' by Dr Jane Oakland

 

 

DrJane/>

 

When life is disrupted by events which are out of our control, we have two choices. We can become a victim to these changes or we can find ways to adapt to our current environment. The way we perceive change has a direct influence on the way we respond to change. Adopting a proactive rather than a passive approach is key to promoting physical and mental wellbeing. Below are three psychological qualities to develop that can help you manage your wellbeing during these difficult times.

 

Organisation

It is well documented that structure is essential to managing times of confinement. Although voiceover artists are accustomed to working alone, social distancing means that you either miss the social contact to balance your solitary working life or, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by family members with little space for yourself. Creating a daily structure, however loose, that works for your individual situation is essential if you are to fit rather that fight with your changed circumstances .Personally, I have found that if I wake up with a low mood, I rely particularly on my morning routine (which is mainly exercise based) for a reason to get out of bed. It helps me feel energised and more able to cope with the day. A daily structure should also factor in ‘me time’. Perhaps set aside a ‘quiet’ area where you or your family members can retreat to if necessary or, if you live on your own, allocate a time to contact other people in your community who may also be on their own. A friendly voice at the end of a telephone can be hugely therapeutic for all concerned.

 

 

disney/>

 

Positivity

Directing self- focus towards human strengths and what works well is thought to be highly influential in fulfilling potential and personal achievements. Concentrating on positive emotions encourages psychological flexibility and broadens an individual’s perspective on life, thus leading to increased personal resources to adapt to change and adversity. That said, emotional highs and lows are part of being an artist. I find myself frequently reiterating a well-used phrase ‘It’s OK not to be OK’. Accept a down day and work with it. The structure you create for your days can lead you back to a routine and make the down times manageable.

Keep a diary or notebook and each day write down one positive thing that has happened, no matter how insignificant. Challenge those around you to do the same and compare notes.

 

Adaptability

Vocal adaptability is a key skill in the voiceover industry but how adaptable are you in other areas of your life? Crisis is an opportunity for innovative thinking. How can you adapt your skill set to help yourself and others in your community?

In a study of wellbeing for musicians, one of the conclusions arrived at by Sara Ascenso and her colleagues (2017) was that musicians who reported the highest levels of wellbeing were those who were ‘broader achievers’, rather than’ higher achievers’, both within and outside the musical domain. Perhaps this is the ideal opportunity to take a broader view of your skill set to encourage greater flexibility both as an artist and a person in order to prepare for a future which will undoubtedly bring changes to the way the performing arts industry operates.

Coping with adversity is a highly personal matter but it can help if adversity is seen as a problem to be solved rather than a dark cloud above your shoulders. Problem solving requires creative thinking which in turn helps you to feel more in control of your personal and professional life. For further tips on remaining positive see my article ‘Positivity out of Adversity’ currently on the Spotlight Website

 

 

Ascenso, S., Williamon, A., & Perkins, R. (2017). Understanding the wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of positive psychology. Psychology of Music, 45(1), 65-81.

 

When life is disrupted by events which are out of our control, we have two choices. We can become a victim to these changes or we can find ways to adapt to our current environment. The way we perceive change has a direct influence on the way we respond to change. Adopting a proactive rather than a passive approach is key to promoting physical and mental wellbeing. 

Creating Epic Performances Every Time, Written by Fiona Maguire

Creating Epic Performances Every Time

DrJane

Your success as a voice over actor, as Andrea Toyias, Blizzard Entertainment, stated in The Buzz Magazine issue 16, p.8, will come from bringing “deep, profound emotions to life (is) by tapping into an actor’s most treasured and sacred asset……themselves… Their own personal life experiences.”.

So what prevents actors from being able to tap into their emotions? It is the same thing that stops people feeling and expressing their emotions in everyday life.

It is the unconscious mind’s belief that taping into the emotions is scary, harmful and even life threatening. This belief has been embedded into your unconscious mind by numerous ways that I explain below:

 

1. Your parents or caregivers teaching you that it is not right, appropriate, intelligent or safe to feel and express emotions.

What your parents, family and society teach you before the age of around 7 gets programmed / conditioned into your unconscious mind. You get conditioned to believe healthy things and unhealthy things about yourself and the world.

Not being able to feel or express your emotions is unhealthy. It not only prevents you from stunning performances, built up and locked in emotions causes stress and serious illness.

 

2. Not being taught how to feel and express emotions.

Did your parents express their emotions around you? Did they do this in a healthy way?

It is natural for us to copy the behaviour of the people around us, especially as young children.

I am constantly amazed how many people are not in touch with their emotions and do not know what they feel. However, they often still act out like 2 year old children throwing a tantrum.

 

DrJane/>

 

3. Or trauma.

Trauma can happen in one isolated traumatic event. Or a person can become traumatised when they have been placed under a lot of stress frequently over a period of time. Peter Levine, an expert in trauma, calls this Prolonged Stress.

I can imagine that if you are struggling to get work this can be very stressful? I have been an Entrapenure for over 21 years and I can relate to this.

If you have problems reaching down into the depths of your soul to pull out your deep emotions, that create epic performances, do not worry.

If you recognise yourself in any of the above examples of conditioning and trauma and are effected by it, again do not worry.

The good news is that the unconscious mind can let go of conditioning and you can be free from trauma. The great news is that this does not have to take years of therapy! In fact it can happen in about 6 weeks, to the extent that you never run the old conditioned program again. Imagine being able to access your life experiences in a healthy and insightful way… which enables you to feel and express a range of emotions, that bring your performance alive and a depth of authenticity to your characters…

 

Fiona Maguire has a degree in Psychologist, she worked in the NHS and social service as an assistant psychologist. She found there was a quicker way to help people heal themselves and she calls it intuitive transformational coaching.

 

So what prevents actors from being able to tap into their emotions? It is the same thing that stops people feeling and expressing their emotions in everyday life. 

It is the unconscious mind’s belief that taping into the emotions is scary, harmful and even life threatening. This belief has been embedded into your unconscious mind by numerous ways that I explain below

Sign Up to our Newsletter for weekly voiceover tips,
information about our events and special offers