Possibly one of the most important aspects of being a voice actor is maintaining a consistent sound. Your clients need to know they can depend on you to deliver the moment they need you. Obviously, the way to remain reliable is to stay as healthy as possible.
I'm a bit of a health nut. No, I do not work out at the gym nearly as much as I should, but I do take care of myself. I get regular check-ups, plenty of rest, and maintain a healthy diet.
Occasionally, however, a bug can sneak up and bite you when you least expect it. I spent the last week with the mother of all colds. The minute I felt it coming on, I went to the doctor. She prescribed some antibiotics and lots of rest. Unfortunately, it didn't help. This is one I've just had to wait out.
First, I completely lost my voice (it hasn't happened in years, and the timing was horrific). Once the voice came back, the coughing started and there was no way I was going to get any work done. I couldn't hear, couldn't talk, couldn't sleep...I was completely plugged up and miserable.
The first day my voice returned was Wednesday. The timing was nice considering I had a morning session with Nancy Wolfson and 3 commercials to record for DR Horton. I barely made it through both (a special thank you to Nancy for rearranging our lesson to something that was vocally 'quiet').
Thursday, the cold came back with a vengeance, and today is the first day I've begun to feel almost human again.
I'm not writing this blog looking for sympathy (although I've earned it after this week!). I write because we are headed straight for cold and flu season and it is likely each of you will deal with this at some point.
Since this is my first major cold in quite a while, I wasn't sure how to handle my business. It turns out people can be incredibly patient if you are upfront and honest. For each job that came in, I was open about my inability to record. I asked if it was possible to wait until my cold had passed. In each case, it was just fine. I didn't lose any work throughout the week (phew!). I did miss out on some killer auditions, but I just have to let that go. What is meant to be will be, right?
Remember as the cold months approach that you need to take care of yourself. Wash your hands several times throughout the day, get plenty of sleep, and take your vitamins! If a cold hits, don't panic- your clients will understand.