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Voice Coaches Radio #480 – Take a Deep Breath

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller, flying solo today. Flying solo this week on the podcast. No Sam, no Marissa, just me. Just me. So if you're sick of hearing my voice, then trust me, you are not. Uh, you may want to turn off.

I'm certainly glad you tuned in this week. And, uh, and again, thanks so much for joining us. I'll be honest with you, I'm not 100% right now. I, uh, I, I popped a rib head in my back. So I sublexed a rib head in my back. And, uh, and, uh, I am, uh, I'm pretty laid up right now, not gonna lie to ya, in, uh, in tremendous amounts of pain.

And, uh, I got a heating pad on my back, and, uh, it's tough getting old. Don't get old, folks. Don't get I mean, I did it at the gym. It's not as if I just woke up and this happened, but, uh, it's, uh, it's not not fun. Not fun. Uh, so, uh, but you know what? We fight through it because that's what we do, guys. That's what we do.

So hopefully everyone is doing well this week. Weather is, uh, it's beautiful today. It's absolutely beautiful today. And, um, yeah. So what I wanted to touch upon today was, uh, is actually a question that I've, uh, that I've had a few times this past week. And I figured, you know, If enough people are asking it, then maybe, uh, other people haven't asked, but are still curious about it.

And it has to do with something, and I know we've discussed this in the past, but it has to do with something, uh, and actually we did, we discussed it not too, too long ago when we, uh, when we talked with Marissa about, uh, you know, about voice acting with, uh, with her asthma. But it, it, it is something that I think, you know, even for, you know, for people who, who don't have asthma are, you know, it's something still important and it's breathing, right?

It's breathing. Breathing's important. You should do it. I recommend it. No, but seriously. Um. You know, I've had a few people ask me, are there any exercises, any things they can do to kind of help with their breathing, specifically so that it's not quite so obvious, um, you know, when they're, when they're recording.

And, you know, there's a couple things on that. The answer is yes and no. Um, you know, there are certainly things we can do to help mitigate that a little bit. Ultimately, though, it's not that big a deal because most of those things are going to be taken out, uh, in post production, right? They're going to get taken out in...

editing. Now, what I will say is, if you're going through a sentence, obviously there are going to be certain places that are more conducive to breathing than others, right? Punctuation points are the big one. There's already a pause built in there in the actual copy itself. Use it. Right? Use that pause to, to take a breath.

Now, if there is no punctuation, as is often the case, I'm reading an audiobook right now and, I mean, the author is just apparently allergic to commas, so there are none of them and it's super frustrating, but, uh, I digress. But no, if there aren't any, any punctuation marks and it's a longer sentence and you're not going to make it through, then you certainly are going to need to stop and take a breath.

Obviously you should. That's totally fine. Now there are places that are better than others for that. There are places where it's a little bit more natural to take a breath. And that's something that you and your producer can work on. That's something you also potentially could get a pretty good beat on a pretty good.

You know, idea of, just based off of feel, right? Does it feel like a good place to take a breath? Does it feel like a natural kind of lull here? But the main thing to impress is this. You can and should stop, breathe, and then continue. Right? Stop, breathe, and then continue. Don't try to do these little rabbit breaths, these little like, little, little quick half breaths.

Stop, take a breath, then keep going, because that is so easy for me as an editor just to clip it right out. Takes no time at all, right? Takes absolutely no time at all for me to do that. On the other hand, if you say, you know what, I'm gonna try to, try to muscle this one out, I'm gonna try to make it all the way through the end.

You may make it to the end of the piece, but you know, at what cost, right? How are we sounding at the end of the piece? Are we like running out of breath like this and we can't talk anymore? Like if you do that, I as an editor, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with that. Nothing. I'm going to throw that away.

That's a wasted track, right? It's a lost track. So, you do want to stop and take that breath, right? That's absolutely something you can and should do. And actually, it leads to another question that I had, which was, you know, what happens if I have to sneeze or cough? Like, okay, do it. Like, I don't know what to tell you.

But again, you'll want to stop, take care of what you have to. Sneeze, cough, burp, I don't know, you name it, I've heard it. Um. I hear lots of bodily noises in the, uh, in the booth, but if you have to do it, do it, do it, and then get back into it, right? Then as smooth as you can, get back into it. But all that, when there is that pause, then there are things that I can take out, right?

Things that I can clean up. Uh, funny one, an interesting one that I, that I have had a few times, actually not too much recently, but I have had a few times, is stomach scrolling. Yes, stomach's growling. And we've talked about this, right? That one is a little bit different because you're not really in control of that.

Like, you may be able to hold off a sneeze for a minute and stop and sneeze, but your stomach growling, that's probably going to happen, you know, regardless of whether you want it to or when you want it to. But again, whether it's a sneeze, whether it's a cough, whether it's a burp, whether it's, uh, you know, uh, having to swallow or...

You know, clear your throat really quick or whatever it might be. Those are all things that you can definitely do while you're still reading and not have it be a wasted track. Now, if you don't do those things, right, if you sneeze while you're talking and then go, oh, just go back, okay, but it's not going to be quite as smooth, right?

If, you know, you are, you know, again, if you're talking and you take a breath and it's kind of As you're talking, right, you're kind of doing this move where it's, you know, like, uh, taking a, taking a, taking a breath and keep going. If there's no pause in there, there's no real good place for the editor to go in and clean that up.

And that's what you want to make sure. You want to make sure there is a discernible stopping point, right? A discernible place for you to breathe. And like we talked about with Marissa, with, uh, you know, with someone who, who does not have that long winded breath, that's fine. We just have to do that more often.

Which is not a problem. It's something we can do. Obviously, it's something your producer needs to know. So that they can plan that out and they can help you find those places that are best for that. But, it's not a problem. It's just, you know, it's just a fact. It's just a fact. So, again, it's certainly not a problem.

So when it comes to breathing, try not to worry about it too, too much. You're going to breathe. Assuming. If you aren't, then other problems are occurring. But, in general, you're gonna breathe. Hopefully. And when you do, it's gonna make a sound. Right? You could turn from the mic a little bit if you want, that's fine.

And again, there are places that are better than others to breathe, but ultimately there are going to be breaths in that piece. And what you're gonna find when you're in the booth, especially if you don't spend much time in there and you're wearing headphones, you're gonna hear that breath a lot. a lot, right?

You're going to hear it. It's going to be very loud. It's going to be very noticeable. And that's for a couple reasons. Number one, it's because you're talking into a very sensitive, expensive microphone, probably. So it is going to pick it up. But more than that, you're not used to hearing it that much, right?

When you just talk and you breathe, you don't really hear that breath. But when you are talking into that sensitive microphone, and it's coming back into your headphones directly, you're going to hear it and you become hypersensitive to it because you're not used to it. And that hypersensitivity means you're going to be like, Oh my God, that's terrible.

And you know, a lot of times people be, you know, in the booth, they'll be like, Oh yeah, my breath, I'm breathing so loudly. And I'll be like, you know what out here, it's actually not as bad as you think. But even so. We'll still get rid of it afterward. So again, I don't want people to worry about that per se, and I certainly don't want them to change the way they breathe in order to mitigate that.

That's something that you and your producer can handle as far as finding better places to breathe. Now, as far as exercises and things you can do, honestly, it's about practice. It's about work, right? It's about, you know, reading things longer and longer and seeing how long you can hold out, right? You know, I have a lot of people, we do these, these breath, um...

You know, seeing how long they can, they can have their breath go and I'll have people who are, um, you know, yoga instructors or, or people who do, you know, a lot of yoga or things like that and yeah, they're, they're great at it, right? They're great. They have a ton of breath control, right? I love people who exercise a lot, a lot of runners.

Yeah. Oh, no problem. No problem. It's something that can be approved upon. Again, assuming there isn't some, you know, you know, obvious issue, say, you know, like asthma or something like that. If there's nothing like that, then it is absolutely something that, again, with work and practice, you can improve upon.

But even someone who has the best breath control can hold, you know, can, can just absolutely go on and on and on for seemingly ever, they're going to have to breathe and they're going to run into a sentence that there just is no place to breathe and it is too long, even for them. And at that point, what are they going to do?

The same thing the rest of us do. They're going to breathe, they're going to breathe, and it's going to be fine. And it's going to be absolutely fine. So again, you know, don't worry about it. Be aware of it, right? If, again, if you are someone who, you know, struggles with breath control, because the other thing is, and this is a good point also, when you're in the booth, especially early on in your career, you're going to be nervous, and that is going to throw your breath out the window, right?

That's going to change. Everything. You're gonna be nervous. I'm not saying you're gonna hyperventilate in there, but it is gonna be different. It's gonna be very different, and you may have pretty good breath control. When you get in the booth for the first time, you may not. You may not. So, you know, obviously the more comfortable you get in there, the less, you know, effect that's going to have, but at first, absolutely, that's something to be aware of.

So again, to try to mitigate that as best you can, obviously, yeah, you know, practice that, right? Try to strengthen that muscle, right? That diaphragmatic muscle. But ultimately, you know, try not to worry about it. Don't let it affect you and your breathing. Just be aware of it. Try to mitigate it by planning out when you're going to breathe, if there are sentences that you can't make it through.

And again, use your producer to help you with that too, because they'll help you find those places that are going to be easiest for them and smoothest for you to take a breath and jump back in. Alright, so that is, uh, that is that. But again, breathe. It's a good thing. Right in general. So definitely do that.

All right. So, uh, so that is, that is it. So again, like I said, I have had a few questions about that breath, about that breath control, about having to, to work on that so that we don't run out of breath so quickly. Again, you do the best you can, but even if you don't have great breath control, like we talked about with, uh, with Marissa, who does have asthma, you can make it work.

You can make it work. It's going to be a little bit extra planning ahead of time, but you can make it work. And for those who don't have those underlying issues. Right? Spend some time. Try to stretch that out a little bit. See how long you can go. See if you can stretch that out. It's like any muscle, right?

It just needs to be worked upon. It just needs to be worked upon. And that, by the way, could just be getting active. Could just be getting active, right? Go to the gym. Go for a run. Do some yoga. All those things are going to help with your breath and your breath control as well. All right? Uh, so, uh, but when you do, if you do go to the gym, uh, please be careful.

Don't, uh, don't hurt yourself like I did. Because then you're gonna end up like me where I can't take a deep breath right now because it hurts so much so much Don't get old. It's the worst Anyway, so that is that is it for this week's edition of voice coaches radio solo edition. Just me Thanks for tuning in this week guys.

And if you have any questions any issues any problems anything you want to discuss? Let me know Josh at voicecoaches. com. That's the quickest and easiest way to get in touch with me, josh at voicecoaches. com, uh, for any of your, uh, your questions or your issues that you'd like us to discuss. Cause remember it's not just my show guys.

It's yours as well. It's yours as well. So hopefully everyone is doing well out there. Uh, I didn't get a chance to, uh, to, to mention this last week. So I certainly want to now, but for all the mothers out there, happy mother's day, happy mother's day to all the mothers, the soon to be mothers, the daughter, everybody.

Happy Mother's Day. You guys, you guys deserve it. You guys deserve it. And a special Happy Mother's Day to my wife. Not that she's listening, but she, uh, she's been a superhero during all this, as I, as I know most mothers have. So, thank you again to, uh, to all the mothers out there, and thank you all of you for tuning us in this week here on Voice Coaches Radio.

Again, joshatvoicecoaches. com is the best way to get in touch with me. But until next time, so long, everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

After receiving numerous questions about breathing, Josh discusses the importance of breathing in voice over, aka, BREATH! He also looks at ways to strengthen breath control and how and when to replenish that oxygen.