Friday, October 15, 2010

Wellness: Mo’ Caffeine Mo’ Problems

This blog is being written to address one tiny thing voice talent may do, before auditioning, that may seal their fate when they step behind the mic. Important to remember: Caffeine is a ‘drug’. It can be found in soda, coffee, pain relief medicine, energy drinks etc. If part of your audition routine is to make sure you have any of these before you get behind a mic, you may be harming your ability to effectively audition.

Now, no one need write and explain their morning habits or how they work. I refer to those times when one thinks the way to ‘wake up’ for an audition, or give it more excitement, is to pour on the caffeine.

Please take a look at this article.

What leaps off the page, related to auditions?

  • “Even when moderate amounts of caffeine are withdrawn for 18 to 24 hours, one may feel symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, depression , and poor concentration. The symptoms peak within 24 to 48 hours and progressively decrease over the course of a week. To minimize withdrawal symptoms, experts recommend reducing caffeine intake gradually.”

Losing it?
When you are speaking behind a mic, you must have control of your:
  • Diction
  • Concentration
  • Thoughts and thinking clearly, in order to connect with a script and convey a point.
Irritability and depression lead to negative thoughts that will vibe through your reading, which is the ultimate trigger for...not succeeding. It also affects the ability of a person to be confident in his/her creative decisions when reading copy.

The Crash Test Dummy
I am not one to make statements without having ‘street cred’. I remember an audition specifically in 1998, when I had to go to a studio, but I felt tired. I stopped at a cafe, first. I definitely woke up, but...I also remember sitting in the waiting room was just a nightmare, and I could barely talk behind the mic. If we ever meet at a Voice123 Meetup, I will tell you more about it. That was indeed the last time I ever drank coffee before an audition. I have also worked some late nights in customer service, purely on Red Bull. wings were clipped at some point, and I crashed, leading to some interesting posts on our Twitter and Facebook pages. In closing, caffeine is not a solution; just an additional problem.

If you have any audition stories you would like to share, please let me know!

Thank you!

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Steven Lowell
Community Development Manager
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Carole said...

The USA is one of the very worst nations in the world for bad diet resulting in clinical obesity. And you worry about caffeine intake? Oh please!

The Voice123 Team said...

I am not sure if you ever went through a Weight Watchers regiment, but I found out that Caffeine exists in almost all of the food chemically produced in the USA. It is considered a 'trigger' by which caffeine in-take may lead to one eating or drinking things out of habitual addiction (e.g. coffee & food & soda)

Oh please is right! Its terrible how we treat ourselves!

Doreen said...

Thanks, Steve, for that reminder. It's not about caffeine being good or bad or addictive, it's about what can help or hurt our auditions. I, too, learned years ago that coffee will ruin my performance, while at the same time I've witnessed great performers have a beer before going onstage. Everyone needs to honor what works for them.