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Within this industry, we hear the phrase ‘vocal health’ frequently. However, in this article, I will not be talking about vocal health but rather about the overall health of the voiceover artist. With any industry that has freelance work or self-employed elements, there is one common and sometimes painful truth: ‘If you do not work, you do not get paid.’ So, with that said, what is a voiceover artist supposed to do when they are sick?

Measuring the Health of a Voice Actor

There is a massive difference between dealing with chemotherapy and nursing a cold. Though, a cold is an issue for voice artists because of what it does to the sound of their voice. The congestion can trigger a nasal sound that is not typical of the voiceover artist. It is important to ensure your performance is consistent. If it is inconsistent, it makes revisions, re-calls, and future bookings less likely. should you have been booked from a demo or audition piece, you need to sound like that material. If possible, allow a day or two for the cold to pass, and then consider working on the project when your voice sounds normal. Should the deadline arrive, it is a courtesy to inform the receiving party of your situation. The good news is you can often still deliver an amazing performance even when unwell.

Dealing with Health Challenges as a Voiceover Artist

Sometimes health issues last much longer than a common cold. Perhaps it is something similar to the chemotherapy treatment above, or perhaps is a broken leg. Whatever it is, long-term sickness can be a challenge. With this, it is essential to underpromise, giving you the space to over-perform. But what about the bills? savings, insurances, and relatives are the most likely option to help here. It is important to plan for this long before anything happens – just in case.

Managing Health

If you are physically not well enough or incapable of working, it is best not to push it. Pushing it may aggravate the situation further and ultimately lead to a longer recovery time. Unfortunately, a longer recovery time will keep you out of work for even longer. That said, don’t be scared to work if you feel capable but ensure you take it easy. Having a smaller, portable, desktop-sized studio set might also be of value should you want to be sat down for a voiceover recording.

Voiceover Health Summary

Each situation is very different, but it is important to plan ahead. The cash flow slowing down, accompanied by health implications, are always exceptionally challenging. Worse yet, it is even harder to manage this when you love what you do. The key thing to remember is to rest well, plan properly, and work at your own pace. The good news is the work will be waiting for you on the other side regardless of if it’s a common cold or a hip replacement.


Voiceover Health by Alan Shires, Actor, Voiceover Artist, and Presenter