Monday, 19 December 2011

All I want for Christmas....

Are you looking for a last minute present for a voice-over artist in your life? Here’s a few suggestions:

If you want to push the boat out, get a piece of amber – particularly a necklace. Amber has long been connected to the health of the throat and the voice. On an ‘it can’t hurt’ basis, I often wear an amber necklace when I’m working. There’s obviously a wide selection for women, but guys can wear it too – just choose a plain design and thread it on a bit of leather if you want it extra-macho. Do a little research on the meaning of amber and write up a paragraph to include in the package.

There are some cute charms out there; headphones or a microphone would be great. Put on a necklace, or attach to a bracelet.

For something more practical, you could buy some accent or voice production cds or download a selection to a little mp3 player. There are tons of them out there, but (as co-owner of the company) obviously I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug "The Lowdown: Improve Your Speech” series.

If your VO is an audiobook narrator, what about a gift subscription to Audiofile Magazine?

If money is tight, why not make up a ‘studio kit’ for your VO to have in the booth? You could include some of these: a tiny bottle of Tabasco (the late, great Bill Hootkins swore by two drops in a glass of water – he’d sip it throughout the session), a small jar of good honey, a packet of throat lozenges like Fisherman’s Friend or Vocalzones, some enlivening essential oil to sniff when energy starts to flag, an energy bar or two for that afternoon slump (but nothing with dairy or chocolate, which can make the voice ‘claggy’ – something like Kendal Mint Cake is perfect!), and maybe a refillable water bottle – hydration is important, and you’re helping  your VO to be ‘green’ at the same time.

If you’re really skint, you could provide a list of useful, clickable links: blogs about voice over (like mine, or the excellent Dog Eared Copy’s ‘pink chair’ blogs) and educational YouTube videos (like Amy Walker’s terrific series on accent production), for example. You could send these in an email, or – if you want a little something to put under the tree - put them in a Word document and load them onto a memory stick. If you want something extra, you could download Creative Content’s free vocalwarm up and add that too!
I hope that's been helpful! Let me know if you can add to the list...

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