Spoken word narration examples from Kabir Singh showcasing his poetic voice acting style & warm resonant tone through personal reflections.

Suffer from allergies? Nasal congestion? Sinus pressure in ears?

As a voice actor, this is something I can personally relate to – but it’s something that so many of us struggle with. For those of us in the voice industry, a sinus infection or lost voice can be a huge setback. (This is also why maintaining vocal health for singers and any other voice artists is so important.) And yet, you don’t have to be a voice actor to understand how frustrating and painful sinus problems can be.

In the latest episode of my Poetic Philosophy Podcast, I speak with acclaimed ENT doctor Dr. Naveen Bhandarkar, M.D. from UC Irvine Head & Neck Surgery Clinic. We discuss anatomy, diagnosis, treatments, children who suffer with sinus conditions, effects on vocal performance and so much more.

Dr. Naveen Bhandarkar is a board-certified ENT & sinus doctor, specializing in medical treatment of all disorders related to the nose and sinuses, as well as smell and taste disorders, nasal polyps removal, tumors and others.

This podcast episode is for all those that suffer from any nasal and sinus condition. Listen to it by playing the video above or through your favorite podcast player (Spotify ENT podcast, iTunes, Castbox, Stitcher, Libsyn).

Sinus Doctor - Poetic Philosophy Podcast

Not just for voice actors

On a personal note – I have suffered from sinus polyps, nasal congestion and allergies my whole life. These are issues that affected me long before I became a voice actor, but I need to take them even more seriously now that they can have a direct impact on my work.

Through my journey of trying to understand health better, I’ve seen how easy it is to go down the wrong path. So I’ve made it a priority to take care of my health and fix these issues I have.

For overall health, there are some things I can do on my own, like eating better and exercising. But with other issues, like nasal polyps and sinus issues, I need the help of sinus doctors and surgeons who can provide the most effective treatment possible.

That’s what led me to my discussion with Dr. Bhandarkar, who has been my surgeon and sinus condition savior for the last few years.

Understanding sinus problems and treatment

In my conversation with Dr. Bhandarkar, I ask several questions to get a better understanding of the sinuses, with the hope of educating others who are dealing with these same issues and looking for solutions.

Here’s a preview of some of the issues we discuss on the podcast:

  • What are the sinuses and how many do we have?
  • What is a deviated septum? What role does it play in the health and wellness of sinus cavities and sinuses?
  • What are turbinates and why do we even have them?
  • What are sinus polyps? How are they different from other types of polyps or tumors?
  • Does nutrition affect our sinuses?
  • How do allergens like dust and pollen affect our sinuses (or our voices)?
  • What role does genetics play in sinus issues or recurring sinus infections?
  • What is a neti pot and how can it help treat sinus problems?
  • Which sinus treatments work best?
  • Are there sinus treatments for children? What should parents be on the lookout for?
  • What can voice actors do to keep their sinuses healthy?
  • What causes a sinus infection?
  • Are steroids like prednisone effective for sinus infection treatment?

Where to learn more

I want to thank Dr. Bhandarkar for speaking with me and sharing this information with my audience. For more information about Dr. Bhandarkar or treatments for sinusitis and other sinus issues, visit https://naveenbhandarkarmd.com/.

PRO TIP: One of the best things a voice actor can do to maintain voice health (even if you have no other sinus issues) is to stay hydrated. Drinking water keeps your mucus thin, preventing your voice from becoming raspy.

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What is one’s identity? What is identity? How many types of identities are there? These are a few of the questions that I’ve thought about as I’ve become a young man. To bluntly break it down–I was an East Indian kid born in India but raised in a trailer park in a predominantly Mexican and African American community. So in reflection of that- I’ve had to search for my identity for a while.

In order to identify yourself, you must be willing to search the depths of your soul. Developing personal identity can be a rewarding journey. I had to realize the importance of self-identity through years of: failure, pain, sorrow, depression, doubt etc. I’ve always used art as a way of expressing my emotions and my identity developed alongside my art. Through all the searching and contemplating I can’t help but describe my identity today with only one word– human. I don’t really like to be identified by any race, religion, culture or depiction of anything. Only human.

Developing self identity man with paint

I respect all different types of identities but only identify as a human. There’s something very powerful and pure about the simplicity of just being human. I feel like I can relate more to people if I weed away all the things that keep me boxed into a specific identity.

The identity struggles we face growing up can be challenging and often times painful and I’m not sure if there’s a right or wrong answer in our search. However, in my personal experience with identity struggles I can only come to the conclusion that you must identify yourself.

Be your own guru. Be your own identity. Do not be enslaved to the imagination of an avatar that people create of you.

Just be you.

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Insecurity can be a very powerful force. Insecurity can lead to confidence issues but it can also lead to moments of empowerment. Insecurity can be defined in many different ways. I know many insecure people including myself. We all have insecurities. Overcoming those insecurities can often be a challenge. Insecurities have a powerful way of injecting us with false beliefs of ourselves: the sense of belief that we may not be good enough or skinny enough or pretty enough… the list goes on.

When I was younger my list of insecurities could fill up a novel. I was insecure about everything. It showed in my confidence levels and in my communication with others. One of the most damaging results of my insecurities was loneliness. No one really wants to be around somebody that’s overwhelmingly insecure. Even though we all have insecurities, the negative energy associated with it is often undesirable.

Overcoming insecurities

There are many “overcoming insecurity” quotes out there. There are many motivational videos and books that can help build one’s insecurity into confidence. For me, overcoming my insecurities required solitude, exploring the depths of my ego, overcoming fear, participating in challenging sports and a few other things. One of the most beautiful things about insecurity is that it can be molded into confidence and self-awareness. Your insecurity does not own you.

Insecurity can hide in the deepest darkest places. Whether it’s career based, personal based and/or community based- insecurity is everywhere. The relationship we have with insecurity can grow over time. I encourage you to explore that relationship to its deepest degree. The benefits of turning insecurity into confidence can be overwhelming. Understanding that you have the power to become secure, confident, self-aware and healthy is vital to your success in this journey.

Be brave. Respect solitude. Explore your ego.

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Never stop dreaming. We hear it all the time- Never stop dreaming. But, what does that really mean? Many would argue that life is like a dream. Is life a dream? Or is life just reality? Reality vs Dreams is a spoken word poem I created when I found myself at my own crossroads with these types of questions.

When I was younger I didn’t enjoy my reality. My reality was abusive, crime ridden and full of fear and loneliness. However, in my solitude, it was my dreams that helped me through the pain. My dreams were my positive thoughts. My dreams were my true escapes. The dreams vs reality philosophy is one that I reflect on often in the darkest moments of my life. I find myself either wanting to escape my reality or pleading for a bigger dream.

Man with lights in puddle

When I reflect on my voice over career I never imagined I would be living my reality as a full time professional voice actor. I dreamt about it all the time, but to actually live it is a whole different experience. But, it was my dreams that keep me going. It was my desire and willingness to accomplish my goals that kept my dream alive. My dream is now my reality. So, is life a dream?

Never stop dreaming. I can’t help but abide by this rule now. Everyday is a new day to dream and live a life full of all possibilities. We each possess the ability to dream and accomplish our most far out goals and endeavors. It just requires a bit of courage. Dreaming reality into existence is nothing but a belief in oneself and a few good years of hard work away.

Is life a dream? I am too inexperienced to fully realize that as of now. But, I can’t help but reflect on the old nursery rhyme we all know so well….

“Row, Row, Row your boat gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily- life is but a dream.”

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How do you show love? How do you receive love? I’ve often thought about these questions as I’ve grown into a young man. I didn’t really have a relationship with love when I was growing up. I didn’t understand love. I would often hear people say “be love” or “it’s all about love” but if you have never known love, this is a distant practice. I have come to believe that love is too beautiful to not practice daily, and to love authentically, one must practice daily. Whenever life presents the moment- shine your light of love. Show love to those around you by small gestures of kindness or empathy. We must be love if we seek to understand love.

Love can be expressed in many ways. So can hate. Love trumps hate and I believe love will always trump hate. Hate is all around us, like love, it too is a daily practice. Once people begin to hate, they hate everything from small things to big things. In the end, hate is reflected inwards. Just like love, hate is an inner journey to the soul and just like love, hate is very powerful.

Love Trumps hate

When I was younger, I hated everything. I hated myself, I hated people, I hated nice people, I hated nice things… the story of hate goes on. It wasn’t until I reflected on the countless moments of someone showing love to me, that I began my journey to becoming more loving. Ego is the shield of love. Ego makes us love less and hate more. Ego disguises itself as love only to leave you there standing naked in sorrow. In order to be love, one must be egoless. Becoming egoless is a journey we all must aspire to travel, and the beauty is, it is a journey that never ends.

If you find yourself, like me, lost in between hate and love, don’t be afraid. The journey takes time and the mirror of the soul will break often. Love daily and love authentically.

Love trumps hate and always will.

Kabir Singh

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How does one find spiritual awakening? I’ve often thought about this but I would be a fool to say that I know the answer. However, love is the first emotion that comes to my mind. One must be love and learn how to show love. For most of my life, I didn’t know how to show love. Loving myself was the biggest challenge, let alone having the ability to love anyone else. Your love for yourself and your love for others will grow as you grow: mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

How did I begin loving myself? I put that mirror up and reflected on all the ways I communicated a form of negative energy. For instance, the way I would misjudge someone because of my own insecurities or the countless years I spent eating away my sadness instead of working out and taking care of my health. I would sit and complain about how no one wanted to be my friend but that was not the problem. The problem I had was- I didn’t love myself and I never searched inside myself to discover why.

Search inside yourself.

What if I told you that – inside yourself is where the ultimate love resides? Its where the diamond is. The diamond we all search for. Call it happiness. Call it success. Call it whatever you want. I believe that loving myself and loving others authentically has led to my success in business and life. Now, it’s not that easy to just go grab the diamond of love. You have to search and grow into spiritual maturity. The spiritual maturing process means observing and dealing with one’s: ego, lust, hate, envy, jealousy and a plethora of other ego dissolving challenges. Love in the brain. Love in the heart. Love Love Love!

Illustration of a diamond

When I searched inside myself and dealt with all my issues that promoted a negative energy- I found nothing but true love. Love is the key to spiritual growth. But, you have to be careful. It is often easy to fake love. To follow the illusion (maya) of love. Spiritual improvement is a slow processes and you are your own guru. You have to be loving and show your love with the utmost truth and vulnerability.

There are many ways to show your love and search inside yourself for the answers you seek. There is no right way. I started by just being kinder. Kinder in all my relationships. Kinder to my mom and sister equally as kind to a stranger. Kindness is the precursor to love. You cannot love without being kind first. I would catch myself being: negative, angry or judgmental and consciously make an effort to listen and observe first. What is spiritual growth anyways? It’s a journey filled with observation, effort, mistakes and growth. Kindness will guide you, even in the toughest times.

Again, search inside yourself. This requires some solitude and quiet time. Spirituality and practice go hand in hand. Practice your kindness, practice your love and practice your curiosity. When I reflect on my personal growth, from weight loss to financial success, I can confidently say none of it would have happened if it weren’t for the help and advice of others. The key? People showed me a lot of love. Friends, neighbors, strangers and co-workers, all loved me enough to share their time with me and look out for me when I was lost in life. Loved me enough to let me discover my spiritual awakening on my own. It’s a cycle of love. The diamond that you search for is inside of you wrapped in a blanket of ego and only love can help you touch it.

Love Love Love = Spiritual Awakening.

Artist: Kabir Singh

Musical Score/Production: Eric Tucker (Tree of Dreams Music)

Editor: Jeremy Irion

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