Living well, Voice-Over

Voice-Over vs. Allergies

Voice talents have it pretty rough. Sure, our workday commute starts in our bedroom and ends in our home studio; and yes, we have the option to spend our workdays wearing super-cozy pajamas, if we choose to. But there is a danger out there, lurking in the trees and in the air, creeping into our homes and infecting us – no, debilitating us!!! – before we realize it has even struck.

LARYNGITIS. (dun-dun-dun!)

This nasty beast has conquered me a time or two: a simple sore throat quickly turns into a cough, which develops into a painful expectorant of icky green muck that requires a committed heave-ho from my diaphragm. All that, and I sound like I’ve been guzzling radiator fluid, too.

Ahhhh… allergy season.

In celebration of its arrival, I’m sharing my favorite defenses and remedies to help you combat this nasty beast before it sidelines you.

1) SORE THROAT TEAS: I typically use THROAT COAT by Traditional Medicinals. The inner bark of the Ulmas rubra tree provides a slippery, pleasant lining to the throat, bringing awesome relief. This tea has helped me to forge ahead on days when my throat is in a very painful place. I trek along until I either feel better or I have to call it quits and get some rest. It does a great job of squashing the pain, though.

This season, I might try some home-brewed remedies, as well. My plan is to start with these lovelies:

Sage Tea Recipe

Sage has a long history of easing sore throats, coughs, and mouth inflammations, thanks to the astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial qualities found in this less thought of herb. According to, fresh or dried herbs can be used for this aromatic tea.

Pour 1 cup of almost-boiling water over 2 tablespoons of fresh or 1 tablespoon of dried sage leaves. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes and strain. Add honey and/or lemon, if desired. Sage tea may also be used as a throat gargle.

Hot Sauce Tea

When you have burning symptoms, Dr. Oz says to fight fire with fire by using hot sauce or cayenne pepper to ease your pain. Add a few shakes of either into a cup of hot water, and sip. Though do it slowly. According to, this tea packs quite a punch.

Turmeric Sore Throat Tea Recipe

For a scratchy throat and gross phlegm – which is typically my situation – Dr. Oz recommends this Tumeric concoction:

Stir 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 cup Hot Water, 1/2 tsp Tumeric, and 1 Tbl honey until they combine and dissolve. Gargle the water and spit.

Cinnamon Sore Throat Tea*

Because being sick does not mean you have to drink sick. This little lovely from looks absolutely delectable. My fingers are crossed that it actually works.

Place 1 cup of your favorite milk (try cashew or 2%) in a small saucepan and scald (heat) on low until hot but not boiling. Stir in 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, and 1 Tbl mild honey until well mixed. Sip to soothe.

Or, place all ingredients in a microwave safe cup and microwave on high for 1-1 ½ minutes (microwave times will vary), or until hot. Stir and sip.

*featured in photo

2) REST: I’ll let you in on a little secret: People get sick. Voice actors, too. And every one of us are allowed to take the necessary guilt-free time we need to heal, whether that is one day or one week. Resting is probably the best thing you can do for your voice so trust your clients to want that for you. There is no shame in turning Auto-Response ON and cell phones OFF.

3) NASAL SPRAYS: For years, allergy season would knock me out of commission for at least one week (including weekends!). When it started impacting me for two weeks every allergy season, I had to call in the professionals. After extensive poke-tests and lots of waiting, I learned that whatever I am allergic to cannot be tested (i.e. cigarette smoke, pollution, etc.), so my Allergist recommended two nasal sprays. I use one in the morning and one in the evening, daily. Eureka! It works. I am now mostly phlegm-free during allergy season.

4) EXPECTORANT: Mucinex-DM is my hallelujah! What would I do without this muscular little pill that DDT’s the muck and dropkicks it right out of my chest? Once the muck is gone, I can get back to the mic fairly quick.

I hope this helps you to combat allergy season and its beastly spawn, laryngitis. If you have a remedy to share, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to comment below.

Happy VO’ing!

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