Food glorious food! Yes we all love to eat. And even if you don’t love to eat you have to still do it if you wanna keep that body going. Three square meals a day, snacks in between and don’t forget those liquids!
Yep, I like food just as much as the next person! That said I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that during the work week I have to be really careful about what I eat before I step up to the mic for a session or even an audition. As a result, I have to limit what I eat and how much I eat before I let those vocals flow.
You may be asking yourself how much does it really matter? And I would imagine that for some people it doesn’t matter as much. But for me the food I eat can have a big effect on the sound of my voice.
So what are some things that I experience when it comes to food and my voice? If I eat a meal…especially if it’s an unhealthy meal…my voice can actually change. I may lose my deeper tones and instead get more of a raspy sound. I may even get a bit horse especially if the food I ate was extremely heavy.
Another thing I notice is that if I eat a big meal it can make my stomach feel bigger. Since I stand for all my voice over work…this is definitely not the way you wanna feel when you’re at the mic.
Got also watch out for any food that causes those pesky hiccups, burps, or that annoying urge to clear your throat.
I know…this is all kind of a bummer! And while people who don’t talk for a living probably never think about this stuff, as a voice actor it’s just something ya gotta be aware of. And hey…I really do enjoy eating a good meal. But for whatever reason food and my voice don’t play nice!
The good news here is that with a bit of self control, you can keep these problems at bay. It’s not easy but it makes a huge difference. One thing I always aim for is to try and wait at least 30 minutes after eating before stepping up to the mic. While this usually isn’t a problem, on really busy days it can sometimes take some planning. And ideally 45 minutes to an hour is better. This just means that after I eat lunch I usually work on other stuff like marketing or accounting.
I eat fairly light for both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is usually oatmeal. Then I do my morning workout. Lunch is usually salad with some other light snacks like nuts and fruit. Apples strangely enough make my mouth tingle and actually get dry. Maybe I’m slightly allergic to them who knows. But that means no apples during the work day. Blueberries, strawberries, and peaches…all good!
Rarely do I eat the unhealthy stuff for lunch…pizza, burger, tacos…it’s all so tasty! But oooh sooo bad for my voice and my stomach. I avoid them. Icecream is also one of my guilty pleasures…but it messes with my vocals a lot. So no ice cream during the work day.
Everyone’s voice reacts differently to food.For some people it doesn’t have too much of an effect.For others like myself, it can really throw things off.But if you take note of how your voice reacts to certain foods you can easily get around this issue.Just like a pro athlete has to be careful of what they do off the court so they don’t injure themselves… a voice actor has to protect those vocals so they can always serve that ace or hit that home run!