Friday, August 16, 2013

The Lara Project: Vocal Health

So since Lara first graced the scene she's been sporting a ridiculously epic and sexy attribute: her voice. Her first voice actress, Shelley Blond (1996) had a voice that was described as "sexier than Kathleen Turner as Jessica Rabbit" by the New York Times.

So why is this important? On my quest for ultimate badassery, vocal health is extremely important. I do theater and film, I do public speaking, I vlog, I sing, and currently I'm recording an audio-book for the amazing Blake Northcott. That can put a TON of strain on your vocal cords.

Or heck, even just being at a concert/a convention or anything that requires you to speak longer and/or louder than you're accustomed will put you at risk of vocal strain.

So how do we go about avoiding this to keep our voices smexy?

Steps for everyone to follow:

  • Stay hydrated! Most people don't drink enough water (yes, WATER). Soda or booze doesn't count as both dehydrate your body.
  • Avoid known irritants such as smoke or fumes.
  • If you yell, do so from your lower register/diaphragm. Unsupported loud belting (where the energy is pushing from your throat) is a really quick way to damage your vocal cords and cause a sore throat.
  • Avoid sharing drinks/food if you can (you know this)
Steps for performers to follow:

  • All of the above
  • Vocal exercises! Even if you aren't a singer, you should try to incorporate some kind of vocal exercise into your daily routine. When you're in the shower, before bed, when you're driving to work--whenever is easiest for you. It's one of the easiest things to do because you can do it pretty much everywhere but it's also the one we seem to easiest forget. Push your vocal range, you do not want ot lose it. That's part of your livelihood. 
  • Avoid dairy products the day of a performance. If you have issues with casein (and most people don't' know if they do or not) this will cause phlegm to build up in the throat (not fun). If you don't have an issue with casein, the fat content of that dairy product can thicken the phlegm and the more phlegm you have to deal with, the harder vocal performance of any kind tends to be. Unless your Phoebe Buffay. Then you just sound sexier.
I've been bringing a mug of warm tea with me to record. The hot liquid helps soothe any irritation I may be gaining by long recording hours, along with the little bit of honey I add to it. Also a little bit of lemon because this helps cut down any mucus or phlegm that may be building due to prolonged use etc etc.

This weekend is pretty dull for me, I'm working to finish recording and polishing Alys before Toronto Fan Expo next week. I will be done with the recording by the end of August at the latest but it's taking up so much of my time right now that I really want to be done with it as soon as possible--while still maintaining good quality, mind you. Oh shoot, I think I also have to record two videos this weekend. Eek.

I'll catch you guys on Monday!




  1. Personally, my favorite voice actress for Lara Croft was Keeley Hawes.

  2. Big fan of the TR series and actually loved the voice of the latest incarnation(Camilla Luddington) quite a bit. Great tips on vocals. I myself have been a singer/back-up in bands over the years. I'm a smoker tho and have really noticed lately that I'm having a much harder time with it. Time to quit me thinks :D