Whilst on my morning run the other day, I started to let my mind wander - in the way you can when you're on your own in the fresh air...
I started to think about why I run and why it matters to me.
Here's where my mind took me as my feet took me along a path by the sea..
Obviously I run because it's good exercise. It's important to keep healthy and strong for so many reasons that we know and are reminded of so often.
As a Voiceover Artist in the autumn and winter, I'm especially paranoid about coughs and colds and wellbeing in general, so anything I can do to keep things chugging along successfully are part of my day to day routines. A sneezing voiceover is not a happy voiceover, I can tell you.
If you're not a voice artist yourself you may be surprised to learn about the physical aspects of the job! I don't spend all day sitting in a cosy box, quietly reading poetry into a microphone and feeling relaxed. Although I imagine with the diversity of our work, this is possibly the case with some VOs.
I work mainly on projects that require a fair bit of physical energy - that doesn't (usually) mean shouting into a mic.. it's often about having the energy in your body and delivering the read with all of the energy you have but in a more restrained way. It can feel like physically holding yourself back while you let the emotion and performance come forward.
Some reads / performances I deliver require "youthful" which for me, means a slightly different part of my voice. So, my energy goes into that aspect of my performance vocally and also the actual physical stance / movement of that "character" I'm putting across. How does she stand? How does she move? How does she feel?
I recorded a job recently for a client in a studio in London. It was a pretty warm day and I was booked for 2 hours. I generally stand when voicing and this read was young, chatty, massively conversational. So it was a pretty physical couple of hours! I wonder if people realise this when they hear the work of Pro VOs on TV and radio commercials?!
Running a business, especially one largely on your own requires quite a bit of externalising for me and endeavouring to find creative ways to work in both my performances and in my "office".
Running is helpful as it's time out of the office and away from it all. It literally is a new perspective. I find I can set my mind on something as I take my first step on the run and by the time I get back, I've gained a new angle. I'm really BIG on shaking routines up. Despite myself, I naturally gravitate to familiar - even though I KNOW I'm happier with adventure!
It helps to run somewhere beautiful.. I know I'm fortunate to live by the sea! I was running in a gym this time last year but it was too easy to press the stop button and go for a nice little swim in the warm pool. If I'm tired when I run outside, I have the sea to look at. Even when it's rainy, it's still wonderful and I admire it's changing moods - it's almost as if it's taking on characters too!
Apparently, the colour blue (of the sea and sky on a good day!) is really beneficial to our creativity. It seems to be a primal thing, with many of us drawn to hues of the sea. There is something about the sea as an antidote to the sensory overload we all suffer from. It's like sending your mind on a mini break! This feel like a good way to start the day.
I don't think I run to get away from anything - life's pretty good! I run to get TO things.. a creative state of mind, a healthy body that can meet the sometimes crazy, physical needs of the job, fresh air and humidity that are good for the voice.. it's good to be out there and feel connected.
When I return I feel refreshed and able to start my work.. sometimes my mind has even come up with an answer for that question I asked myself as I left the front gate.
So, I'll be running again tomorrow - pushing just that bit harder. Running to - not running from
Clare is a seaside based voiceover artist with a light yet warm, relatable sound and fresh air a plenty!
Voice over talent and broadcaster, speaking out.