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Connect With Your Breath To Power Up
Your Voice-Over Auditions. Here's How ...

By Jean-Marc Berne
Voice Actor & Coach

Sometimes all you need is to reconnect to your breath to create a state of calm and mindfulness in your body.

Why do I bring this up and how does this relate to voice-overs?

If you're a working voice talent you know how stressful it can be to be running from one audition to the other and rushing to make it on time. This can create a state of anxiety and throw you off your game when preparing for an audition.

So what do you do?

First off, I recommend that you give yourself extra time to arrive about 20 minutes before your audition time.

Then, connect with your breath.

One of the things I teach all my clients is that your breath is your center of power. It fuels your lungs and your whole body, which in turn, powers your performance.


To start, breathe in through your mouth.

Place one hand right below your belly button, on your diaphragm. Take a deep breath through the mouth. You should feel your diaphragm expanding frontwards, to the sides, toward your back, and down toward your pelvis.

Feel that? This is your full lung capacity.

Now this next part is a breathing technique that I have borrowed from one of my mentors, Manuel Herrera, and have adapted with some Yoga technique. It's called "Square Breathing." This is how you do it:
  • First, take a deep breath through the mouth for 5 seconds.
  • Pause for 5 seconds.
  • Exhale for 5 seconds.
  • Pause for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat cycle at least three times.
This exercise will help you feel relaxed, energized and more alert.

It will create a state of calm and mindfulness in your body and mind, which in turn will help you focus on the audition at hand.

The more mindful you can be of your breath, the more mindful you'll be of how you speak, and the more present you can be with yourself and the people you're auditioning for. Making you more malleable and flexible to take on any direction.

Now, go rock that audition! May "The Voice" be with you.
Jean-Marc Berne is president of Berne Media Enterprises and a busy voice talent, audio producer, singer-songwriter, voice-over coach, best-selling author, and a bilingual international professional public speaker. He is the voice-over coach fot the hit animated series The Octonauts on The Disney Channel and created a series of workshops, including "Power Marketing For The Voice Over Actor," "Branding For Voice Overs," "Spanish Voice Over Technique," "Dubbing For Video Game Animation" and "Kids Voice Over Technique."  He's voiced, produced and cast hundreds of multimedia projects in English, Spanish and French, and has been the creative consultant for print and radio ads for HUD, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, and the National Crime Prevention Council. His list of commercial work includes Bud Light, McDonald's, Western Union, Timberland, Pollo Loco, McKinsey, Pfizer, VNSNY, Xfinity, NFHA, HUD, National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Metro Cable and Eclipse Gum to name a few. He also narrated Pulitzer Prize and McArthur Genius Grant winner Junot Díaz's audiobook "Negocios," and Nobel Literature Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa's audiobook, "La Fiesta Del Chivo." He's spoken on stages and voice trained public speaking organizations in Dubai, Bahrain, Cairo, Dominican Republic and all over Canada and the U.S.    

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Comments (1)
Rosie Goodman
9/30/2019 at 1:59 AM
Thank you, Jean-Marc, for your VoiceOverXtra article.

I also want to add that I found some time ago that the more I included cardio workouts, including swimming, the better my lung capacity - which in turn improved the breath control for narration-type copy.
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