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Do You Know When To Rest Your Voice?

My other office. Photo by @ttslote.
My other office. Photo by @ttslote.

Sunday afternoon I was looking over some pictures I had taken in Las Vegas. I had returned the day before, but was exhausted when I finally made it home. I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to look over the pictures I had taken.

Shortly after 3pm my pager went off for a structure fire. I dropped everything and made my way to the hall. I geared up, jumped in the Pump, put my air pack on and started preparing myself mentally for whatever we were about to find.

Fully Involved Structure

En route we received an update the this was a confirmed structure fire. We pulled up to the scene to find very heavy smoke conditions. I grabbed the first attack line with my partner and we immediately went to work.

The fire was extremely hot. More so than others I’ve been to. The smoke was so thick at times we couldn’t see beyond a couple feet. We stood our ground and just kept spraying water. We did this for hours.

It was bitterly cold out. I was told something like -16C. Factor in the windchill and, truthfully, I’d rather not know the actual temperature. All I do know is that my gear was frozen. After I finished my second air bottle I had about a quarter inch thick layer of ice on my gear. My air pack was frozen to me. I had to basically pry it off and put a new pack on because I couldn’t even change my air bottle. That was frozen too!

On my third bottle I was sitting on a line in a pool of water. My right pant leg (my actual pants not bunker pants) were soaked and eventually froze stiff. My right boot was filled with water. It eventually started to freeze as well. To say the experience was a bit miserable would be an understatement!

24 Hour Call

My Other Office
My other office. Photo by @ttslote.

That call ended up being one of the longest I’ve ever done 13 years. It basically didn’t end until around 4pm the following day. When I finally got home I was freezing.

All I wanted to do was take an hour long hot shower and maybe sleep for about a week. But I couldn’t. My day wouldn’t end for another 7 hours! By the time I got to bed Monday night, it was actually Tuesday morning and I had been going for nearly 40 hours.

Vocal Rest

I was off work last week while I was in Vegas. So I was very eager to get back to doing voice over this week. Obviously that didn’t happen Monday because of the fire. As it turns out, it wasn’t going to happen Tuesday either.

When I sat down to do my first recording Tuesday morning I knew right away my day was done. My voice was tired. It was also deep. When my voice gets tired I sound a bit like Barry White. I suppose that’s cool, and could probably book me some fun jobs, but I also know it’s not good for my voice.

I couldn’t stand the thought of missing another day of auditions. But I also had enough common sense to know that missing one day is better than wrecking my voice and missing a week! So, I took the day off. Self imposed vocal rest. I barely spoke all day. I relaxed. Did a lot of reading. Watched a little TV and, of course, napped!

It was a good move though because I know I’ll be back and ready to go tomorrow.

QUESTION: Do you know when you need to take vocal rest? What sort of signs do you look for?