Take Action #17: The Count
1-2-3 inhale 1-2-3 hold 1-2-3 exhale 1-2-3 hold 1-2-3-4 inhale 1-2-3-4 hold 1-2-3-4 exhale 1-2-3-4 hold 1-2-3-4-5 inhale 1-2-3-4-5 hold 1-2-3-4-5 exhale 1-2-3-4-5 hold
Having a strong diaphragm will not only help you maintain your breath for longer periods of time, it can also help you yell, scream, shout and make fighting and reaction noises, all of which are likely to come into play in voice acting. Continue exercising and strengthening your diaphragm so that no matter what type of VO job you jump into next, you’ll be that much more ahead of the game.
Certain sounds (“s” and “z”) will naturally help you ‘hold on’ to your voice and increase the amount of time you can breathe in or out. The next exercise will help you to strengthen this ‘muscle.’ Using the “s” or “z” sound, (rather like a snake hissing) try to slow the air down as much as you can while pushing it out. Start by counting to a lower number (say, three) while inhaling, then exhale on the hiss for three as well and up the count as you feel comfortable doing so. Try also adding a count between breathing in and out, so you’re breathing in, holding, then breathing out, holding, then breathing in again, and so on.