Pumpkin spice latte with Halloween pumpkin

It’s that time of year, my friends. The time when temperatures begin to slowly drop, and leaves begin to change color. When spirits begin to rise as we all crawl out from our cocoons of air-conditioning to once again embrace the natural air and sunlight of the great outdoors. That long-anticipated once-a-year time when every food, beverage, automobile and underwear manufacturer infuses their product with the alluring taste and aroma of sweet pumpkin spice.

As with all mood enhancing chemicals imbibed recreationally, precautions must be taken. Overuse can lead to an addiction with untold negative consequences. Users must remain diligent and aware of their own limits and know when to stop. If you fear a loved one may have slipped into the insidious clutches of a pumpkin spice addiction, here is a list of symptoms to look for:

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Know The Signs of Pumpkin Spice Addiction*

MOOD SWINGS. Pumpkin spice addicted people can jump from deep depression in the absence of pumpkin spice, to extreme euphoria when they receive it. They also may seem giddy or elated at socially inappropriate times while under the influence.

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. Pumpkin spice addicts have been documented to commit crimes in order to fund their habit, including frantically shaking vending machines hoping that change will fall out.

SLEEPLESSNESS. Addicts of pumpkin spice caffeinated drinks may find it difficult to sleep while under the influence. Duh.

APATHY. Addicts may react negatively or apathetically to things not containing pumpkin spice.

CHANGES IN EATING HABITS.  Addicts often lose interest in other spices or flavors they once enjoyed. Pumpkin spice may also begin appearing on unexpected foodstuffs like vegetables and gravy.

UNEXPLAINED ABSENCES. Addicted people may seek secrecy regarding their habit to avoid harassment from those opposed to pumpkin spice, or to hide from their significant other how much money they are spending on maintaining their habit.

LETHARGY & CRAVINGS. As with many addictions, a person’s body may shut down when denied pumpkin spice for extended periods of time, leading to lack of motivation and lethargy. These “crashes” are often followed by intense cravings.

ANXIETY. Nervous behavior is common to those with pumpkin spice addiction, especially when their chosen delivery method is caffeinated drinks. Even greater agitation or anxiety may be caused by an extended absence of pumpkin spice, as the addict anticipates their next hit.

CHANGE IN APPEARANCE. Individuals who are addicted to pumpkin spice often look different than before they began using. Sudden weight gain is common. Some may take on an orange tone to their skin. Others may begin wearing clothes in browns and oranges, with turtlenecks and sweaters being common even when not appropriate for weather conditions. Orange-brown stains may be noted on the front of their clothes, and brown speckled rabies-like foam may be seen around their mouth.

CHANGE IN PEER GROUP. When immersed in pumpkin spice abuse, addicts commonly spend less time with long-time peers and begin associating with like-minded people who will not criticize or harass them, or point and laugh.

*Information provided by The Norma Leater Center, an in-patient pumpkin spice treatment facility in Affliction Alabama. Operating under the guidance and authority of the American Council on Seasonal and Holiday Related Diseases.

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If this list can help even one person, I will be proud to have posted this as a public service. You’re welcome.

As far as myself, I will admit to enjoying a pumpkin spiced drink or two. Or more. Not to mention pumpkin spice flavored cookies, pastries, and other offerings like sandwiches and soup. I will even admit that pumpkin pie is my favorite kind of pie. That doesn’t mean I am an addict though. I’m not. I can quit any time I want to. I just don’t want to.

I hear you over there chirping at me about how all this has nothing to do with voice-over, and you might be right. Except that you’re not. In fact, you are wrong. This has everything to do with voice-overs!

Well, maybe not everything, but it has a lot to do with voice-overs! Mostly.

Well, maybe not a lot, but certainly some. A little bit?

You see, reading the above highly regarded and academically authoritative list that I was able to acquire from anonymous sources from an undisclosed government agency that I DID NOT WRITE MYSELF so please do not attack me or threaten lawsuits, put me into a deeply reflective mood. I couldn’t escape the fact that I have my own demons, and will confess it here publicly for the sake of my ongoing recovery. Although not pumpkin spice, I do have my own addiction. Yes, your humble host is not flawless as you may have previously thought. I regret having to burst that bubble, but I humbly admit that I am an addict.

I am addicted to voice-overs

Like many such stories, mine begins innocently enough. Oh, I have been around long enough to have heard a cautionary tale or two. Despite my child-like innocent face and shy, modest demeanor, I have been around the proverbial block a few times. But did I really know what I was getting into?

The signs were already there back in the Olden Days when I was in radio. The times when I would tell my wife little white lies about a flat tire or a raging bull elephant in the roadway on the way home from work, to cleverly hide the fact that I had yet again stayed in the production room for many extra hours without noticing time pass.

Signs

Then there were subtle indicators when I started to pursue voice-overs in earnest. The long quiet hours in my recording booth with no jobs to show for it. The endless nights learning and practicing, learning and practicing, when I would have previously been tending to home responsibilities like taking out the garbage and communicating with the woman who lives in my house. I think she is referred to as “wife”? I’m not sure anymore.

Weeknights spilled over into weekends, where hour after hour were consumed by my ever growing obsession with learning how to breathe, how not to breathe, how to speak, how not to speak, how to read, how to not read, how to record, edit, record, edit, record, edit. All the while this was going on, I had begun to spend money with reckless abandon. There was training, sound treatment, coaching, microphones (yes, plural), interfaces (yes, plural), webinars, more coaching, classes, booth furniture, books, demos…

Cha-ching!

Oh, it all seemed logical to me at the time. It was just a few dollars here and a couple hundred there, after all. In retrospect, I wish I could use Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine to go back in time to Mrs. Mackle’s first grade class so I could refuse to learn to add and subtract so I couldn’t be held accountable for how much it all added up to.

There is nothing left to do but admit I am an addict. I have let voice-overs work itself under my skin and into my life so thoroughly that even imagining being without it fills me with panic. To help others in danger of being lured down this same treacherous path, I have acquired yet another highly regarded and academically authoritative list from an anonymous source in an undisclosed government agency and WHICH I DID NOT WRITE MYSELF, which outlines the warning signs of a Voice-Over addiction.

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Know The Signs of Voice-over Addiction*

MOOD SWINGS. Emotional swings between frustration and elation are common, especially during the early stages of voice-over addiction. Tears, happy dancing and pulling hair out are also common, as are hyperventilating and laughing fits. Sometimes all of the above within a few minutes of each other.

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. Voice-over addiction costs increase as the disease progresses. Addicts will do almost anything to keep the endorphins flowing, including breaking the law. It is so common, it has become taboo in the industry to ask a voice-over addicted person what they had to do to get the money for their latest microphone upgrade or European resort training purchase. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

SLEEPLESSNESS. Addicts in the early stages may find it difficult to sleep while under the influence of voice-overs. Especially since working a full-time job while also attempting to pursue another insatiable time consuming endeavor requires more than 24 hours in a day. The first thing sacrificed is time in bed.

APATHY. Addicts may react negatively or apathetically to anything not mentioning or pertaining to voice-over. Your cat just stole your new Porsche and moved to West Virginia to start an illegal moonshine operation? Meh.

CHANGES IN SOCIAL INTERACTIONS. Addicts often lose interest in conversations not about voice-overs and will unconsciously insert voice-overs into conversations when inappropriate. They may also randomly change accents, voices or personalities in the middle of a sentence then wonder why you are looking at them oddly.

UNEXPLAINED ABSENCES. Voice-over addicts are known for disappearing at unusual and inopportune times, such as in the middle of a conversation or when asked to do the dishes, not to be seen for hours after. Research shows they most commonly may be found alone in a small padded room with the door closed, talking to themselves.

LETHARGY & CRAVINGS. As with many addictions, an addict’s body may shut down without recording themselves for extended periods of time, leading to depression and lethargy. In pursuit of relief, these “crashes” are often followed by intense cravings and excessive time spent in the booth, often for multiple days.

ANXIETY. Nervous or anxious behavior is common to those with voice-over addiction, especially after submitting important auditions or anticipating a live directed session. Signs may include trembling, vomiting, and asking for reassurance on Facebook.

CHANGE IN APPEARANCE. Individuals who are addicted to voice-overs often look different than before they began. Sitting or standing in place for long hours and never seeing the light of day may cause a sickly, pale pallor and weight gain. Others may begin wearing t-shirts with memes such as “Don’t make me use my announcer voice” or “I spend all day in a padded room talking to myself”. Another sure sign of voice-over addiction is wearing sweat-soaked clothes or being seriously underdressed while working.

CHANGE IN PEER GROUP. Addicts commonly spend less time with long-time peers and begin associating almost entirely with marginal acquaintances on the internet, many of whom have false names.

*Information provided by The Nada Spicer Center, an in-patient voice-over treatment facility in Affliction Alabama, operating under the guidance and authority of the American Council on Voice Performance and Recording Related Diseases.

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If you or a loved one is showing signs of either of these serious afflictions, please contact the appropriate agency. I would provide contact information here, but no matter how much I begged and cried, they refused to pay for advertising space, which was the sole reason for my writing this blog post in the first place.

There! My good deed for the day/week/month/year is done! I feel so good about myself for performing this grand public service in light of the lives that will be saved from harm. In fact, after I finish polishing my halo, I think I will dare to venture outside in the unforgiving and unrepentant blaze of the sun as it scorches my chalk colored skin into cracked, flaking strips in order to pursue a colossal (Doesn’t colossal come after grande?) hot, caffeinated drink adorned with the seasonal ecstasy known affectionately as pumpkin spice. Lots and lots and lots of pumpkin spice. Then, back to my booth. Alabama, here I come.

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If you enjoyed this post, please comment below. I love the interaction, and it can be good for your website SEO as well as mine. To make sure you get every issue of The TL;DR Voice-Over Blog, subscribe! Your information will not be shared and the only thing you will receive from me is an occasional notification of a new blog post. Thank you for reading!

-Jon

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8 Responses

  1. I truly love that YOU love pumpkin spice everything…. It is the least favorite flavoring on the planet for me personally :^) …. I do share your addiction to Voiceover however!

    • Is paranoia one of the symptoms? Have you been spying on me? How did you know my cat just stole my new Porsche and moved to West Virginia to start an illegal moonshine operation?!??

      I’m apathetic to pumpkin spice. Voiceover is life. I’ll be in my padded room talking to myself and sweating if anyone needs me.

      • About your cat. I tried not to be too specific, but the label on the jar of moonshine I just bought was from “Billie Jo’s Runaway Cat Who Stole Her Porsche and Moved to West Virginia to Start an Illegal moonshine Operation Company”. It took me a while to read between the lines, but I was able to puzzle out the implications of the name.
        Apathetic to pumpkin spice? How is this possible? And until now I had you on such a high pedestal, Billie Jo! Still, I am right there is the booth sweating alongside you. Wait, that sounded bad, didn’t it? I don’t mean RIGHT beside you, that would be way too crowded and too hot. Ewww.

  2. Jon, I salute you sir! Very, very funny and unfortunately all too accurate, although my addictions are more in the realms of chocolate and hot chai tea lattes. Same difference. And voiceover, of course! Hmmmm… With all those pumpkin spiced drinks and whatnot, guess we now know why they really call it “Sweet” Alabama.

  3. Only you, Jon. Only you could successfully write an entire blog composed of 2009 words – 12181 characters!!! – linking similarities between pumpkin spice addiction and voiceover addiction. Only you. While I found your blog refreshing and immersive, I cannot help but “chirp” over here. What am I chirping? Glad you asked. Here is what I am chirping:

    “WHEN THE $*&@ WILL YOU HAVE A BLOG ABOUT BOTTLE CAPS ADDICTION?!?!?!?!”

    Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my sautéed vegetables and gravy with pumpkin spice.

    • I have long thought about providing the much needed public service of writing a blog warning of the perils of Bottle Caps addiction, but did not want to seem as if I were pointing an accusing finger at you. I didn’t want you, JOSHUA ALEXANDER, to feel targeted if I were to even imply that JOSHUA ALEXANDER IS A BOTTLE CAPS ADDICT. My caring and compassionate nature would not allow me to say publicly that JOSHUA ALEXANDER IS A BOTTLE CAPS ADDICT out of the desire to protect your reputation. I care about you way too much to let anyone even suspect that you, JOSHUA ALEXANDER, are a BOTTLE CAPS ADDICT. So no, I won’t be writing that post. It is beneath me, and the strength of our friendship, to even consider writing a post about BOTTLES CAPS ADDICTION and the loss and grief it brings to the lives of people such as yourself, JOSHUA ALEXANDER.

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