How to survive in Vo when you’re working sick.
No, not sick of working! Just sick while you’re working. It happens to all of us at some point. You get on an animated series and 2 weeks in, you get a sinus infection and fear sounding like the uber-nasal Janice on Friends. Or you show up to a commercial callback and you can’t stop sneezing from allergies. Or in my case, your child has a 102 temp and sore throat for a few days and suddenly the day you’re going in to do your pre-records for a huge gig- (The Emmy’s)- you’re battling a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, not to mention major sleep deprivation because you’re little one has been up half the night coughing, miserable and needing lots of TLC to get back to sleep.
So I did what many people do when they’re sick- I made a huge pot of hot tea and went back to bed. Wrong! In our line of work, there are no sick days…no paid time off…no excuses.
You book it- you do it.
Sick or not, the show must go on. (If you have laryngitis and can’t make a sound- that’s different. Then you really need to watch the video on here about taking care of your voice.)
I took a few breaks during the Emmy’s 3 hour session where I provide the entire “scratch track” for the show so they can use it during the rehearsal week. I kept hydrating. Brought in my own Huge mug of tea with a lid on it and refilled it every chance I could. Had sugar free cough drops on standby.
I’m not gonna lie, it was rough, even though I was excited to have the work. Especially since I was recording 2 completely different kinds of award shows in the same day. The other was The Streamy Awards- super high energy.
Later that week I was in rehearsals for the Emmy’s and now doing battle with a bad cough. Hot tea, water, green apples, cough drops and yes- even a spit cup handy if needed. Gross I know!
We went LIVE on Sunday and guess what?! I made it through. And big bonus- no one knew I was sick. I only received positive feedback from my director and friends who watched the show.
I suppose since I grew up in musical theatre, I learned how to persevere through the tough times in those early years. We didn’t have understudies in community kids theatre.
We had sweet parents who took care of us- made sure we got rest and healthy food, water and lots of encouragement and love. Thank you mom and dad!!
So as adults we have to do this for ourselves. I didn’t have an understudy for the Emmy’s. I was determined to make it work. I prayed a lot. I rested my voice before and after the show. I spoke less. I warmed up. Stretched. I did everything I know to do and it worked. Thank God.