Are you "Breathy"? It may keep you from booking work.
Are you "Breathy"? It may keep you from booking work. - 6:58
Hey guys, welcome to another edition of "The Gift of Gab." Today, I want to talk to you about something that can really be a detriment in voiceover, and a lot of people just don't realize it. What is it? Stick around, find out.
Okay, what was that, Ridiculousness Gabby? What the—what the hell was all that? Well, that, my friends, was breathiness. It's that very forced back-of-the-throat kind of sound. It's almost hushed, right? It almost has, like, a whispery quality to it. But, of course, it becomes very airy when we speak. This is definitely something that speaks to my ladies, okay? 'Cause guys rarely do this. Every once in a while, I will hear a dude with a breathy read, but it's pretty rare.
Breathiness historically sends some very, very specific signals to the people who are listening to you. Think Marilyn Monroe. No kidding. The message is sexy, overtly so, if you really think so. A little bit airheaded. Are you kidding? A bit one-dimensional. Well, what do you know about that? Well, there's a slew of other words that are kind of disparaging. I'll let you go ahead and fill those in on your own.
It is a performance that people can easily misconstrue. Now, it's one thing to do it on purpose. It's another thing if this is just naturally the way you sound or if it's something that you're inclined to sort of slip into in performing. But you need to be aware of it. You need to be aware of it and you need to understand how to manipulate it because of all of the negatives that can be associated with it. Sometimes it is used with purpose, and it is a performance that certain clients will seek out, and they really want to have it be the overarching display of the material that you're recording for them. But in other instances, it's just too much. That's the big thing about it, right? It's too much. It's too overtly sexual for the average performer, um, and for the average client, for the average job. People just don't talk that way. It's not inviting. It's not something that commercially, um, commercial, corporate, industrial, uh, tutorial, explainer, Mo like, right? It's a character. It's a character unto itself, in the same way that Marilyn Monroe was a character. Go on, tell me some more. Compare it to somebody like Viola Davis, right? Compare that sound to a strong-voiced woman where nothing ever sounds planned or contrived. Right, her words seem super, super genuine, and I believe that guttural tone, that deeper application albeit right a little less pleasant from the ear of the speaker, keep that in mind, right? Especially if you're new to voiceover because you may be guilty of trying to sound too perfect.
When we hear ourselves do it, that guttural tone, that more genuine sound, um, can be a little off-putting to us. But to everyone else, it's very, very real, it's very believable, it is very natural sounding versus something really, really breathy that sounds very planned. The other thing about breathiness that's important to, um, sort of self-assess is, are you simply guilty of exhaling at the ends of your words? So when you're speaking, are you exhaling on a word that will absolutely get you branded as someone who sounds too breathy? And this is something you can correct. This is actually a really easy thing to fix, and it's remarkably simple. You have to learn to hold your breath and use breath control so that while you're speaking, you're breathing in between the words, not on the them, not with them, okay? Because exhaling a word will always give it that air of breathiness.
The other thing it can do, um, is give it a sense of aggravation, right? That's something we do a lot when we sigh or when we're sort of frustrated with a situation. We exhale out the word, you know, we kind of onto it. And again, it could just be that you're breathing, you mean absolutely nothing by it, but that's how people are perceiving it. Best way without a doubt to work on and to correct breathiness, if you believe that this is you, singing lessons. I don't care if you can't sing a lick, doesn't matter, okay? What singing lessons do is they give you a tremendous amount of vocal control, and they help you to learn how and where to breathe. For me, a lot of it came from chorus. It wasn't like I was taking individual singing lessons. Thank God because, trust me, nobody wants to hear it. But in a group setting, in a choral setting, um, it makes it a lot easier to learn some of these techniques and not feel so self-conscious about your voice being singled out.
I hope this helps. If you suspect you're breathy, if you're not sure if you're breathy, if you're kind of like in limbo about breathy, look me up, go to my website, schedule a free 15-minute consult with me. Let's talk about it, let's figure out what's going on, and see if we can't work towards correcting it. Thank you so much for listening, guys, and I'll see you soon.
Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, voiceover techniques, breathing, breathy, marilyn monroe, vocal care, singing