How To Calm Your Nerves Behind the Mic: It’s Not What You Think
By Susan Berkley
Does the microphone make you nervous? Many people tell me it does. They say they’ve been dreaming about a voice over career and want it more than anything else. Yet when they actually start to perform they are gripped with anxiety.
An Inside Voice Over subscriber wanted to know what alcoholic beverage he could drink to calm his nerves without affecting his voice!
Under no circumstances do I recommend drinking or using any drugs to lessen anxiety. Not only because of the obvious bad health effects, but because it makes the problem worse.
I can speak with some authority because I used to suffer from debilitating and terrifying panic attacks myself. They came frequently years ago when I was working in radio, hosting a very popular show with hundreds of thousands of listeners at a south Florida radio station.
I remember being on the air, unable to catch my breath and feeling like I was going to die. I crawled to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face because I was afraid I would pass out if I stood up.
It’s still difficult for me to talk about it today.
I’m fine now thanks to my mentor Dr Norberto Keppe who gave me the insight that helped me heal. He taught me that rather than trying to mask our symptoms, we must discover what our anxiety is trying to show us or risk a never ending downward spiral,
Anxiety is like a fever in your soul. It’s a symptom of a deeper problem that must be addressed. In the case of panic, the person has caught a glimpse of certain attitudes within himself that he finds indecent and is trying to hide.
Dr Keppe writes surprisingly that these attitudes are often an unconscious resistance to goodness. This may seem shocking—why would anyone resist goodness and success? But if you look around you, you’ll have to admit that it’s true.
The world of music, art and major league sports provides many tragic examples of successful people at the top of their game self destructing through substance abuse, bad company and bad business decisions.
In my own case, I achieved massive and sudden success early on in my radio career. It’s not that I was afraid of success, but rather I was afraid of seeing how I unconsciously resisted my own professional growth and sharing my talents.
And it goes even deeper. People unconsciously believe that if they share their talents for the benefit of others, those talents will somehow become depleted.
Of course the opposite is true.
Dr Keppe calls this phenomenon psychological inversion. He has found in his research that human beings are upside down, gaining a kind of sick pleasure out of not using their gifts or destroying them altogether.
For more information on Dr Keppe’s work visit www.healingthroughconsciousness.com where you’ll find many terrific, free resources.
I am, of course, no different than anyone else. We are all inverted to a greater or lesser extent. The good news is, as soon as I was able to accept seeing this attitude within myself, I became calm and the panic disappeared, never to return again. Seems counter intuitive, but it worked.
So I write this today for anyone who has one foot on the gas and the other on the brake about their voice over career. I encourage you to take the next step and reach out to us at 800-333-8108 x229 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a number of programs for people at all levels of voice over and I look forward to giving you my coaching and my mentorship.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
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