Jean-Marc Berne, President/Talent
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Everything listed under: Voice Care

  • Is It Rude To Yawn?

    Sometimes. But not all the time. As a Voice Over actor you want to make sure to appear professional all the time. But there is one instance when I would encourage you to yawn.

    You're at a Voice Over gig or audition, and you just got called into the VO booth. Maybe a little nervousness creeps in. That is the perfect time to yawn.

    What happens is that by yawning you infuse your body with oxygen, and you also slow down your breathing. So not only are you supplying your body with much needed oxygen, but you're also calming yourself by slowing down your breathing. If you've ever seen Olympic ice skating champion Apollo Ohno before a big race, he takes a big fat yawn, takes his spot, and he's ready to go. You can do the same for your next Voice Over gig or audition. Just don't do it in the producer's face ; )

    And please let me know how it goes after you try it by sharing your experience in the comments section below.

    For more great Voice Over tips, info on Voice Over Coaching, Bilingual Voice Over production and Songwriting, please visit the Berne Media Enterprises page.  Until next time, may ‘The Voice’ be with you, and thanks for spreading the word!

  • Hydration For Your Voice Over Health

    We’ve all heard people talk about how you’re supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep well hydrated. But on certain hot summer days, that may not be enough. If you’ve ever experienced being dehydrated during a Voice Over gig or audition, not only will it affect your concentration, causing you to make more mistakes, but it’ll also affect your sound, causing more ‘pops’ on the mike. So why not boost your water intake with some healthy foods? Here’s a list of the top ten hydrating foods to keep you well hydrated this summer, courtesy of Laurentine Ten Bosch, Filmmaker for Food Matters.

    1. Cucumber
    At 95% water content, this crunchy summer vegetable has the highest water content of any solid food! It’s great in salads, sliced up with some dip, or blending into a smoothie, juice or cucumber soup! Cucumber also contains a little fiber and vitamin C!

    2. Green Peppers
    These hydrating vegetables contain 93.9% water, just slightly more than the red and yellow versions. They are also rich in antioxidants, and make a great snack with dip, sliced up in salads or stuffed with quinoa and veggies!

    3. Tomato
    Tomatoes make a delicious, hydrating snack, especially cherry tomatoes! Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your meal! They’ll provide a tasty pop of hydration plus lycopene and other vitamins and minerals.

    4. Watermelon
    Not only is watermelon a great source of water at 92%, it’s also a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serve icy cold for a satisfying Summertime snack!

    5. Strawberries
    91% water, strawberries are a great contributor to your water intake for the day! Delivering the most vitamin C of all berries, folate, fiber and antioxidants, they’re a great little snack to enjoy! Eat them as is, with some yogurt, in a salad, blended into a smoothie or even in a raw dessert!

    6. Papaya
    This gorgeous fruit tastes incredible with fresh lime juice! Plus it delivers a source of fiber and hydration with 88% water! It’s also rich in vitamin C and contains the digestive enzyme known as papain along with fibre which helps improve your digestive health.

    7. Grapefruit
    A juicy, tangy citrus with a powerful hydrating punch! Not only does it contain 90.5% water, it can help shrink your waistline, help lower your cholesterol, stabilise your blood sugar and potentially help reduce your cravings! Eat it straight, pop some wedges into a salad, juice with greens, blend into icy poles, or serve as a tangy granita dessert!

    8. Butternut Squash
    The humble, sweet and nutty squash is actually 88% water. Yet it provides over 400% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, as well as being a source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese! Roast some and serve in a salad, stuff small ones with lean grassfed mince and/or quinoa and vegetables, or turn it into a tasty dip with some bell peppers, cucumber and carrots to serve!

    9. Cantaloupe
    One six ounce serving (about ¼ of a melon) provides 100% of your recommended intake for vitamins A and C! Comprised of 90.2% water, it’s a nourishing snack that can contribute significantly to your water intake! Serve in a smoothie, blended with frozen banana ‘icecream’, sliced in salads, or served as part of a mixed melon salad with fresh mint!

    10. Radishes
    It’s not the first thing you may think of when talking about hydration, but these pretty vegetables are 95.3% water! Not only are they hydrating, but they are full of antioxidants including catechin (found in green tea!), adding a nutritious burst of spiciness and color to your plate!

    What about you? What are some of your favorite hydrating foods? Please share your answers in our comments section.

    And now that you’re well armed with this info, make sure to stay well hydrated! Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

    For more great Voice Over tips, info on Voice Over Coaching, Bilingual Voice Over production and Songwriting, please visit the Berne Media Enterprises page.May ‘The Voice’ Be With You, and thanks for spreading the word!

    For more info on Food Matters, go to

  • Kinetic Vs. Psychological Energy in Your Reads

    Last week we covered using Kinetic and Psychological energies in your reads. This week, we discuss voice placement when reading commercial Voice Over copy.

    First off, make sure to record yourself as you’re doing the following exercise. If you remember from last week, Kinetic energy is loud and projected. (Ex: Come to Toyota-thon! Sale ends today!)

    1- Let’s start by placing your voice in the middle of the mouth. Now mumble (trust me, there’s a purpose to this) with loud, projected energy: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name)” You’ll notice that the sound is bouncing around inside your cheeks.
    2- Now let’s move the sound to the throat. You should speak as if you were clearing your throat for proper placement. Now say again: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name)”. You’ll notice that your sound will be raspy and unclear, which is actually a good way to age your voice to play older characters or to make it sound like you’re sick.
    3- Move the sound back to the middle of your mouth (like Step 1)
    4- Now we place the sound at the mask of your face. First, pretend you’re holding an apple in your hand. Then, pretend that you’re about to bite the apple by loosening your jaw. Now imagine that the sound is shooting like a laser through your teeth, piercing the apple and being projected forward in a never-ending straight line. Then say: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name).” You’ll notice that the sound fills the room. That’s where your sound should be 99% of the time. This is where your voice will sound the sharpest, crispest and clearest. And, as a bonus, it takes much less effort to speak because your jaw is loose.
    5- Now repeat the same steps 1-4 using Psychological Energy. If you remember from last week, Psychological Energy is one that is intimate, as if you were confiding in someone who’s sitting shoulder-to-shoulder next to you. (Ex: Welcome to Visiting Nurse Service of New York. We’ll take care of your grandma).

    Please let me know how this worked for your next audition in our comments section. Next week we’ll cover how to apply both these energies to your reads and transitioning between the two energies to add more color to your performances. Until next time, happy Memorial Day Weekend!

    For more great Voice Over tips, info on Voice Over Coaching, Bilingual Voice Over production and Songwriting, please visit the Berne Media Enterprises page. May ‘The Voice’ Be With You, and thanks for spreading the word!

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