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Voice Coaches Radio #472 – Voice Overs With an Asthmatic

 Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller, she is Marisa Lanczak, and we are delighted to have you joining us here on the pod this week. Marisa, welcome back to the podcast. Everyone was introduced to, to you and your dulcet tones and, uh, and welcome back to the pod.

Yeah, those, those lovely vocal chords of mine right now are like, oh, what's going on? It's been a, it's been a weird week. You know what? I mean, first of all, let's just throw it out there. It's Friday morning right now. It is. Yeah. That in and of itself means, it's going a lot of talking this week. Yes, that is, that is true.

That is true. And you are, uh, you're recovering. as it were. Uh, you got, uh, you got one of your shots this week and, uh, it, uh, had some lingering effects. It really did. I wasn't expecting, you know, this is the thing is a lot of people have talked about getting that first COVID shot and I haven't heard anybody really talk about symptoms.

It's usually the second one. Everyone's like, oh, the second one's going to knock you down. But yeah, so if anybody's going to get symptoms from the first shot, of course it's going to be me. That sounds about right. That sounds about right. You know, and it obviously, I mean, as long as We'll put it out there.

That's, I'm glad you got it. That's good. Oh, I'm glad I got it too. You know, and one of the reasons why, why it's, it's important that you, that you particularly got it. And I, and I think one of the things we're going to talk about today is because, you know, you, you, you're asthmatic. Yeah. And, and obviously that's.

That can be problematic. But that specifically, and we were talking about this off the air, and I thought this would be a great thing to chat about, because, you know, I've worked with some people who do have asthma, or people who are interested in this who are dealing with asthma, and they're concerned that, you know, Oh, this is not something I'm going to be able to do.

I can't. I'm asthmatic. That's just not true. It complicates things, and so I thought it'd be great to get your perspective on it as someone who has and has had asthma for quite some time. Yeah, I mean, I've had it the lifespan of me being in this industry, so it's not like it's held me back in any way. But, I mean, I have had those moments where, just like you were saying to me, it's like you get a cold, and it kind of instantly goes into something.

in a bigger capacity. Um, you know, I'm very, I'm very susceptible to one day it being a cold the next day. It's, it's just. Something awful. So, um, you know, it definitely has played into me having to, you know, take a day off here and there, but otherwise, like, the breathing aspect has never really held me back.

Yeah, and, and so, from my perspective, I, for whatever reason, I, whenever I get a cold, I decide, you know, I'm going to get bronchitis because why not? I like to live dangerously. Occasionally, it'll be like, hey, let's have pneumonia because, okay, cool. Um, But, I mean, that's, that's usually my, my progression, and obviously that's, that's one thing, but, you know, for, for you, it's, it's quite different.

Now, you know, obviously, and you mentioned something off the air, and I think this was, was fascinating, uh, you know, that, you know, what it's like, and, and what you become used to. when you're someone who's dealt with this for as long as, as you have. I mean, obviously you have, you know, inhalers and things like that at the ready if need be, but, you know, if I had something like an asthma attack right now, I'm pretty sure I'd, I'd be freaking out.

I'd be freaking out thinking like, I'm dying. I'm gonna die right now. This is, this is it. This is, I can see the light. I'm coming home. We made it. All right. Uh, thanks for the, uh, thanks for the fun. There are the pearly gates. Right. But, but for you, you're, I mean, I don't want to say you're, you're used to feeling like you're going to die all the time.

No, but I mean, you get used to, you know, to, to the symptoms, you get used to, to the experience and can handle it much better. But that's, it's, you know, I've always, what's it like the first time you, you get that is it has to be a jarring experience if you can recall it. Um, yeah, I mean. Here's, here's how it happened for me because this is my own fault.

This is like my own doing. I was actually just trying to be a really good daughter because I had a cold and I was just trying to fight through it. I was 15, and I think like my parents kind of were in between jobs, or like had just started new jobs, we didn't really have great health insurance, we didn't have a whole lot of money, so I was trying to avoid going to the doctor, and I remember going downstairs, this is, this is so me, this is the most me thing I'm ever going to say, but I went down to my bedroom to get my Backstreet Boys CD, and, um, and I came back upstairs, so, because we have a raised ranch, that's my parents house, So, like, what, 10 stairs?

And I came back up, and I instantly just flopped down the couch because I couldn't breathe. And my mom was like, Are you okay? And I'm like, I'll be okay in a second. And, okay, 15 year old, normally healthy, can't breathe, right? So, she immediately took me to the doctor. On the other hand, 15 year old, probably a little overdramatic.

I don't know if that was overdramatic. I couldn't think. Probably a little. Well, I'm sure of that, but if I was overdramatic. Yeah, maybe. I don't know. I feel like I was a good kid. I don't know how dramatic I really was. But, yeah, so she instantly took me to, like, an urgent care, which misdiagnosed me. So then, like, a couple days later, I end up at my doctor, and she immediately diagnosed me with, uh, bronchial asthmatic pneumonia.

And in that doctor's room, I had to take Three nebulizer treatments, I think, back to back to back. That's how bad I was. And, you know, right in that moment, she diagnosed me with asthma, and I have not been normal ever since. No, but that's interesting. And obviously, you know, you have, you know, the tools necessary to deal with this if something were to happen, say, now, or at any time, you know, in the booth, in the studio.

And you need to be prepared, over prepared. uh, I would imagine. You know, just in life at this point, you know. That's fair. That's true. No, that's, that's probably very true. You know, and so you, you need to make sure of that. Now, one of the things that we go over with people is this idea of functional breath support, right?

Making sure that, that you not only have the capacity for the air, but you have the control over how you release that breath. And you know, going through that with people, and I have done that with a few people who are asthmatic. They obviously can't, you know, uh, sustain that sometimes as long as others.

That's not a problem. It's just something that. You know, you need to tell your producer about that. They need to know about because if you do need to breathe more often, that's okay. We can do that. We can find places for you to breathe like that's not a problem. And those can be edited out easily, but they need to know about it.

So, you know, you do need to be upfront about that as well, just to let them know, Hey, this is something that, you know, just a heads up on this, you know, be aware of it. And I think that's, you know, kind of being upfront with your producer like you would anyone else is important to do. Yeah. I think what's also really important is just looking at this.

As if you're going to the gym, you know, you are you are essentially working out in a different way So utilizing an inhaler prior to going into a booth is only going to help you because it's just allowing more Functionality, I guess You know, it's just opening those lungs, um, and allowing more air. Like, the worst thing I've ever experienced is swine flu and having to take a breath after every other word, like, it was awful.

Um, so I know how strenuous it can be, and I know just I have exercise induced asthma. I have allergy induced asthma. Like, I know how it can just creep up. You just have life induced asthma. I know. I, I mean, I'm just a walking problem. But, um, you know, having, knowing that going in and, and being prepared and, and taking that inhaler ahead of time really does because, you know, it allows you to automatically, I think, feel more relaxed.

Yeah. Because you already know, okay, I'm, I'm, I'm okay. I took some medicine. There's one less, one less thing to have to worry about. You got enough to worry about in the booth. Right. One less. thing to have to worry about. Yeah, because especially like your first couple times, like there are going to be nerves involved.

So when that happens, you know, you've got adrenaline going. You're maybe, um, utilizing, uh, you're breathing in a little bit of a different way. So you're going to feel tight maybe from that asthma. Well, and that's not just for an asthma. I think that's everyone. I know. For me as well, when I get in the booth, one of the, you know, sometimes early on, especially if I'm doing a longer read, I'll find like, I'm running out of breath.

I have no idea why. And it's, it's just that, it's you, you're, you're amped up. So that's something that, you know, regardless of, of condition, that's, that's probably potentially going to happen. But obviously it's exacerbated, you know, if there is that, uh, that underlying symptom. I also feel like that could happen the lifespan of being a voice actor, because I've said this to people before too.

It's like. You may always have this like, almost nervous anxiousness in your belly that goes from more nerves to excitement, but that's really just because you care about what you're doing. So that feeling may always be there, because you care, and that's a good thing, but It also could play into why, why your body is acting like you're working out, you know, you're sweating a little bit and you're, you know, you have like, you know, a little bit of tightness and, and all of that, so it makes a lot of sense.

I sweat a ton in the booth. It's, it's, it's bad. I mean, I can see it. You're sweating right now, Josh. Calm down. I probably am sweating right now. Like, it's... It's true. Like, it's, you know, that's just because I'm nervous to work with you. That's all it is. Um, but you know, I love that, that you mentioned that it is like, like exercising, like working out.

I mean, people who, who have never spent any time in the booth, when they come in, say, to do their demo, which they're in the booth for a good hour and a half plus. It's exhausting. It's exhausting. You do an audiobook for a while. It is, it's physically taxing. You're not doing much, or at least not actively doing much, but you're doing a ton.

You're doing a ton. And it is, it's a, it's a tiring experience. Yeah, I mean, well, the whole thing, like when I do a radio show, it's It's, you're being as on and as excited and as fun and energetic as you can for five hours. You know, you might only talk 30 minutes of that five hours, but the entire time you are at like maximum capacity.

So you're going to feel very lethargic at some point if you're not used to it. And then add to that the fact that you probably early on are a little bit nervous, a little bit excited. You're already burning a ton of energy there, right? So it, it, it stands to reason that when you're done, you're like, man, I, I.

I'm worn out. I mean, we're not saying you're going to get a six pack from this, but we're saying that it's, it's a different kind of work. Probably quite the opposite. In fact, probably quite the opposite. Um, but no, and, and, and, and obviously for someone who, who does, you know, who does deal with that, knowing that, knowing that this is, you know, a, a you.

Strenuous activity in many respects and preparing for it like that's the case is, is, is crucial. It's crucial. Definitely. Awesome. Well, I, I, I do think that we need to end by, by saying if you have asthma, that's not a problem. It's not a problem. It's just, it is. It just is what it is. Yeah, I'm living, walking proof that you can do this.

I've done this for almost 20 years. And so don't think that just because you have something like that, this is something that's out of your reach. That's not true. Obviously, there are different things that you're going to need to be aware of, different things that you're going to need to do and prepare for, and that's okay.

I have to imagine, like you said, that's, that's pretty much every, every aspect, every avenue of your life. You have to kind of take all of that into consideration at the same time. This is no different, but it's certainly, it does not preclude you from doing this by yourself. Thank you. any stretch of the imagination.

100%. Awesome. Well, you are an inspiration. Oh, thanks. I'm like a superhero. I feel it now. I agree. Thank you. Um, but, uh, but glad you're feeling better and, uh, and, and, and thank you for your perspective on that. I mean, it's one thing for me to talk about it, but I don't have any experience with it. Um, which I am thankful for as it happens, but, uh, but I, I certainly appreciate that.

I'm sure our listeners appreciate, uh, appreciate that as well. So thank you so much. And it's a delight having you back on again this week. Awesome. Well, if you have any questions for myself, for Marissa, for anyone here at Voice Coaches, send me a note. JoshAtVoiceCoaches. com is the best way to get in touch with me here for the podcast.

We can talk about whatever topic you would like to talk about. Questions, comments, concerns, anything like that. Because remember, it's not just our podcast. It's yours too. Please feel free to, uh, to reach on out. JoshAtVoiceCoaches. com. Marissa, I'm sure we'll be talking with you in the weeks to come as well.

Hope so. Absolutely. But thanks again for, uh, for sitting in with us here again today. Day and uh, and thank you all for listening at home. Certainly glad to have you here this week. We will be back next week as you could imagine. Same bad time, same bad channel. And until then, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches.

com for more voiceover news and information.

Josh welcomes Marissa back to the pod this week. Marissa talks about life in voice over and broadcast while dealing with her asthma and how it hasn’t held her back…a doesn’t need to hold you back!