VO Chef Deb’s Vocal Home Recipe – Working Through Vocal Damage and Colds

VO Chef Deb’s Vocal Home Recipe – Working Through Vocal Damage and Colds

Posted by John in Articles

Vocal Tips To Get You Through The Day!

1 sick or damaged instrument

1 Talent eager to fight

1 Script

1 Recording Environment

1 cup of warm/hot water

1 cup room temperature water

1 Green Granny Smith Apple

and more ingredients to taste


This is one recipe your don’t want to have to use, but when you’re in a pinch, you must rise to the challenge and fight.  Each person has different reactions to what they do to their body and what they put in.  Whether you have vocal damage from use and abuse, allergies, or a cold/flu, there will most likely be some point in your career where you must get through the day and record anyway.
First of all, don’t audition when you are sounding sick.  It’s easy to mask the sound of a cold, if those receiving the project don’t know your natural voice.  When you audition or voice a project with a cold, when you are better, you won’t be able to match what you did.  Client is then disappointed.  So when you’re sick, do your very best to listen to your body and sleep it off and get better, but if you absolutely must voice, here are some things to consider:

–      Colds are more prominent in the night, so avoid night voicing

–      Sleep as much as you can

–      Always have a Green Granny Smith Apple.  Dry, too moist, clicky etc. take a bite of the apple, then voice.  Use as much as needed.

–      Water will cure many things – try warm if you’re lungs are heavy or your throat is dry.  Use room temperature when you need to wet your whistle or get rid of sticky, dry or clicky mouth noises.  DRINK TONS OF WATER

–      TRULY pretend you don’t have a cold.  I can fake my way through it usually.  Some colds are more severe than others.

–      Spicy food helps to clear your sinuses

–      Tbsp of Olive Oil – coats the throat and smooths out the instrument

–      Entertainers Secret and organic throat sprays – DO NOT USE LOSENGZES OR COUGH MEDICINE unless it’s organic.

–      Use Kleenex with lotions for your nose.

–      Pay attention to what you’re eating – dairy products will add mouth/throat noise and congestion.  Salad is your best friend.  It will give you energy and clarity.  EAT SALAD!

–      WHEN DESPERATE – 30 min prior to session take two advil cold and sinus (or equivalent) with a cup of black coffee.  Gives you a good 30-60 min of clarity, however I don’t recommend medicines whenever possible as this can add mouth noises and even damage the instrument.

–      If you absolutely can’t sleep through the night, I take Nyquil to put me out.  I don’t normally take any medications but it puts me to sleep and your body needs rest the most.  I don’t get very mouth clicky from the medication but that might not be the same for everyone!

–      Avoid drinking and smoking if you can


If you have a damaged instrument consider:

–      voicing for characters that suit a damaged instrument (video games & audiobooks are usually a great place for this)

–      Avoid smoking and drinking – it will enhance the damage

–      Throat specialist

–      A more extreme vocal exercise routine – consider a professional to help you make sure you do them right

–      Times of day

–      Pay attention to your intake – what you eat could be contributing.

–      Throat x-rays


There are many home remedies.  Just keep in mind you want to be alert, articulate more then normal, clear your nose and throat as best as you can, avoid medications as much as possible and find the remedies that work best for you.


This is a great starting point.  Protect your instrument!  Without it, your career as a voice actor is over.

If there is any way I can help you – please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Until next time everyone

All my best
VO Chef Deb – aka Deb Munro



22 Sep 2015 No Comments

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