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What's Blocking You From Performing Voice
Over At Your Best? Learn And Move Forward ...

By Emily Maguire
Voice Actor and Life & Business Coach

Your voice over performances can be inhibited not only by physical factors but also by psychological ones.

However, both have a knock-on effect on each other.

For example, thinking negatively, or letting nerves control us, can cause our body to tense up and our neck and throat to become restricted. Which results in poor performance.  

In this two-part series, we will explore how and why our performances can be blocked and what we can do to remove these self-limiting beliefs.

We will also look at:
  • how chakras can impact us,
  • ways to learn how to trust your instincts, and
  • coaching tips on how best to prepare for the workday ahead.  
Life coaching works with clients holistically in that we treat the whole person and not just the symptom. Our mind and body are all interconnected, and removing one block can have a substantial effect on all other areas of your life.

This advice can help empower you, as you go forward, to present the best possible version of yourself in work and in life.  


There is a great quote by Michael Shurtleff, who was the major force for casting on Broadway in the 1960's that goes:
"Listening is not merely hearing. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening is active."  
For the majority, voice over work tends to be a solo job even when a project consists of multiple roles!

However, one thing that always applies is listening, be that to others or be that to yourself. As performers, we need to follow our instincts, listen, and trust our intuition.


Our body is made up of several different energy centers, called chakras, including the voice / throat chakra.

If blocked, this chakra can severely affect our ability to communicate, and hence, our vocal performance.

These restrictions we place on ourselves can stem from past and present fears that can block our vocal performances.

For instance, not trusting our intuition or our instinct can lead us to make the wrong choices when reading scripts, or to perform poorly for auditions.

In the case of blocked chakras, they can reduce our vocal capabilities, leading to poor audition performance and / or loss of work.

A blocked throat chakra can also lead to imbalances in all other areas of our body.  

Blocked chakras restrict the flow of energy through our body. When we stress too much, we become further unbalanced by placing too much pressure on the blocked chakra. This can then have a knock effect on the energy of the entire body, causing sore or dry throats, the production of too much saliva, tension across your neck and shoulder, migraines, and headaches.

All this causes stress in our body and limitations to your vocal range and capabilities and can inhibit performance.

Where do these blocks come from?    

Blocks/restrictions are called self-limiting beliefs, and in my coaching sessions, I work with clients to help remove them.

A person cannot achieve their GOALS or self-actualise until those blocks are removed.  

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that to self-actualise, all humans must achieve these five fundamental needs:
  1. physiological well-being,
  2. safety,
  3. love,
  4. belonging, and
  5. esteem
So, in order to be the best you can as a performer, it's important for the key needs of esteem and physiological well being to be balanced.


And what can we do to help increase our confidence and feel better?    

Let us look at confidence and nerves that can all be linked to a person's sense of self-worth.

Nerves can result from many things, for instance:
  • Not feeling good about ourselves, which might stem from past judgments from peers, negative feedback, or criticisms over how you have previously performed.
  • Childhood experiences from parents who are unsupportive and give the message to their child that they are not good enough. 
  • Trying to live up to peers by emulating them to the point that we try to be exactly like them or achieve at the same rate.
  • Seeing someone booking work while you are not.
Low self- worth can lead to feelings of inadequacy, which only goes to restrict us further.  


We all have our own path to walk in this world, and we will all get there at the stage of life we are meant to.

The endgame cannot be rushed. For each person, learning and growth occurs at different rates.  
"Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are all in harmony."
- Mahatma Gandhi  
Emily Maguire is an experienced Life and Business Coach with 20+ years of business management and mentoring experience. She is a member of The British Psychology Society (BPS) with a degree in Psychology, and a MAC member of the Association for Coaching. Qualified to Level 5 in Professional Coaching & Mentoring by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), and holding a Life Coaching Diploma, she specialises in Business Coaching, Career Coaching, Coaching for Performers, Executive Coaching, Mindfulness Coaching and Spiritual Coaching.  ​Working as a Talent Manager for over 10 years as the Managing Director of 'Reflections Talent Agency' and as a performer for over 20 years, she has a wealth of industry knowledge and can help guide entertainers to unlock their full potential. ​

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