The dreaded cold…the nasty flu!  Nobody wants to have anything to do with either of those.  Doesn’t matter what you do for a living.  But for the voice actor a cold or the flu can really slow you down!  Even worse it can make you lose money.  A couple of years ago I went back to the east coast to visit my in laws for the holidays.  It was great seeing the family.  Unfortunately, I came back home with a nasty flu.  And I kid you not I had a residual caugh for about 5 months!  While I was still able to work through out most of that time it definitely was a challenge.  This is an extreme example…but man I don’t ever wanna deal with that again!

So how do you protect your health as a voice actor.  It’s tough some times because during the winter it seems like everywhere you turn someone is coughing or blowing their nose.  While voice actors do sort of live in a bubble…aka a voice over booth…we can’t stay in that booth at all times.  Though sometimes I wish I could!  But inevitably you will have to go out into the real world with all those germs!

That said, there’s a lot of things you can do to avoid getting sick.  First…try to take care of yourself.  Get a good night sleep, exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins.  Another big thing…wash your hands.  A lot.  It may sound like an OCD thing, but it can really be the difference between catching the sniffles and staying cold free.  Next would be to try not to be around people who are sick.  If a friend or family member is under the weather I do my best to keep my distance.  If your spouse is sick…not much you can do there.  Strangely my wife and I don’t seem to get each other sick.  It’s actually kind of weird.  It’s like certain strands seem to beat her up and others take me down for the count.  But rarely do we end up passing it back in fourth. 

Now, as far as some preventive things you can purchase at your local pharmacy…I’m a huge fan of Zicam.  The key to making it work is to start taking it as soon as you are feeling just a little bit sick.  I always keep a container of Zicam on hand especially if I’m traveling.  But in general I hear any Zinc product is good.  Echinacea can also work well.  Try different things.  Do what works best for you. 

If you do get sick don’t be afraid to take a day or two off.  I know…it’s hard.  And I’m not saying that if that 100K job comes your way should tell your agent your sick…but if you do get sick maybe just hang low.  Do less auditions.  Rest.  Drink a lot of fluids.  If you’re able to push a session for to the following week that might be best.  It’s often better to lose a couple days of work and then be ready to rock it the following week vs not slowing down at all and being sick for closer to a month.

Take care of yourself.  As a voice actor you’re the product.  Gotta keep that product in tip top shape so it’s functioning at the highest level!  Inevitably we will all get sick.  But hopefully we can stay healthy more often then not and when we do get sick we can get better quickly!