I try to keep up on any and all the skills that contribute to being a good performer. Singing, meditating, yoga, tongue twisters, accents, mugging, improvisation, sight reading, and so forth. One of those things is breath control, as in not sucking in between and before/after sentences. I'm working on a project now that is challenging my ability to do this in long form, and it will be on a regular basis. Guys, I'm kinda scared. Quiet breathing is really, really hard.
It's not that I don't understand the root causes of loud breaths- the shape of your mouth can exacerbate the "sucking sound". Drawing in breath from your lungs instead of your diaphragm is a no-no. You need excellent posture to ensure proper air flow. Slow down if it's too hard to get across in one breath. You don't talk until you burn all your oxygen in normal conversation, so don't do it in a VO setting. All of these make sense, and I'm aware of them. I just can't....do it.
And I'm trying my best. I really am!
I guess I'm spoiled by having free, unsupervised rein of myself all the time, since apparently I rely too heavily on editing. I'm taking voice lessons starting next week or so, and I'll make an update on when I finally conquer this beast. Or maybe quiet breathing is a myth, since even with a modest amount of compression, every tiny aural nuance that exits my head is crystal clear, and breathing must occur if death is to be avoided. Maybe I'm just a slouch and need to learn how to properly warm up, stay fully hydrated, exhibit perfect posture, smile while breathing off mike, quickly, from the diaphragm, every time, with perfect execution.
Or maybe being a perfect voice actor is really hard and this is one of things that's hard about it.
In any case, it's a new nut to crack, and one that I will at least pretend to attack with gusto and zeal. In reality, I'll probably bitch about it constantly until I figure it out.
(I'm working on that, too, Lala, if you're reading this.)
UPDATE: It is a myth! Natural breathing is what I was really going for, and thanks to Pat Fraley, I'm now getting the hang of it. Thanks Pat!