How to Fake Losing Your Voice

Two Parts:Modifying Your VoiceSupporting the Pretense

There are many reasons why people might want to pretend they’ve lost their voice, such as to play a role in a play, for a part in a movie, or to make an illness seem worse. But taking steps to lose your voice can cause damage to your vocal chords, and it isn’t recommended. Next time you need to fake losing your voice, try pretending instead, by emulating the symptoms of laryngitis. Laryngitis is caused by swollen vocal chords, and it’s a common cause of voice loss that can be brought on by viral and bacterial infections, yelling or singing too much or too loudly, and smoking. The symptoms of laryngitis include not being able to talk or being unable to talk at a regular volume, hoarseness, a raspy voice, and croaking or squeaking when you talk.[1]

Part 1
Modifying Your Voice

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    Sound hoarse. One of the telltale signs of laryngitis is hoarseness, which refers to the raspy, strained quality your voice gets when you’ve used it too much.[2]
    • To make your voice sound raspy and gravelly, practice vibrating your vocal chords like you're croaking like a frog.[3]
    • Also practice making bah noises like you're a sheep, because this will also vibrate your vocal chords.
    • After practicing making sounds, start incorporating that same raspy quality into your speaking voice.
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    Make your voice crack and fade. Another common thing that happens when you have laryngitis is that you'll experience unintentional changes in the volume and pitch of your voice as you speak.[4]
    • When you're speaking, try to make your voice crack as you say certain words, and then make your voice fade out briefly so it’s quieter than usual. Alternate between doing this and speaking in your regular (but hoarse) voice.
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    Throw in some strained whispering when you speak. In addition to the voice cracking and fading, you should also whisper more when you speak if you want to fake losing your voice. When you have laryngitis, your vocal chords will often have trouble producing sound, and you can replicate this by dropping your voice to a strained whisper intermittently as you speak.
    • Make sure you continue alternating between your voice cracking, fading, whispering, and speaking hoarsely at a normal volume.
    • When you transition between these different voice effects, try to make the transition as natural as possible so people don’t know you're forcing it.
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    Cough when you talk. Laryngitis often causes a rawness in the throat and a dry throat, so it’s common for people who’ve lost their voice to cough sometimes when they speak.[5]
    • Don’t cough too much, but throw in a few dry coughs if you’ve been talking for a while.
    • A cough is created when your body forcefully expels air from the lungs, which is different from vibrating your vocal chords to create speech, meaning you can still cough if you’ve lost your voice.[6]

Part 2
Supporting the Pretense

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    Complain about symptoms in the days leading up to your voice loss. On top of performing different vocal effects to give the impression that you’ve lost your voice, there are also other things you can do to support your act. If you want to lay a foundation for your voice loss, complain of a sore or tickled throat and a cough one or two days prior to losing your voice.
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    Talk less than you normally would. Regardless of what causes laryngitis, the best remedy is always resting your voice.[7] This means that if you really had lost your voice, you'd be trying to rest it so that you could recover quicker.
    • Try using your body language more, such as nodding or shaking your head, instead of talking when you're communicating with someone.
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    Write things down to communicate. Laryngitis is often accompanied by a sore throat and coughing, and both these things can make it difficult and painful to speak. In conjunction with talking less and using your body language more, try writing things down to communicate instead of talking.
    • You can alternate between speaking with voice effects and writing (to rest your voice) to support the impression that you’ve got laryngitis.
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    Drink a lot of water. Another effective remedy for laryngitis is drinking lots of fluids, particularly water.[8] To support your act, drink lots of water. Especially if you have to talk for an extended period, take small and frequent sips of water.
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    Suck on throat lozenges. Soothing lozenges and cough drops are common when people have lost their voice, so you can do the same to support the idea of your laryngitis.

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Categories: Acting