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In Conversation with ASMR YouTube Star Voxonaut ASMR

S: How did you come to learn about ASMR and what motivated you to start making ASMR videos?

V: About nine years ago, I was searching YouTube for massage instruction videos and found a channel called MassageClips. Her videos were great, but I ended up watching them more for her relaxing voice than anything else. I searched the Internet to see if there were other people who found her voice relaxing, and that's how I found the "whisper community", which later became part of ASMR. I started making ASMR videos because I thought there was a chance that others may find my voice relaxing as well. I remember one of my colleagues once told me "I think your voice is so relaxing. I could listen to you all day." That person later approached me and suggested me to "make some of those meditation audios" — if only she knew! The thought of being able to help others is a pretty powerful motivation.

S: How do you prepare to shoot your videos?

V: It normally takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to start recording, depending on what kind of video I'm making. "Sounds" videos take hardly any preparation at all, unless I'll be showing my hands in. If that's the case, I'll give my nails a nice manicure, but I typically only show them if my nails are longer and even — which is difficult to maintain! For anything involving my voice, I'll do vocal warm ups, drink water, and brush my teeth to make sure my mouth isn't dry. For roleplays, I generally have to do about two to three dry runs before getting a usable take. I still get nervous before any video I appear or speak in, so it takes me a while to work out my nerves. I have a fair number of clips of me messing up and spazzing out before I appear calm and serene in the final video. Haha

S: What inspires your videos and do your viewers affect your decisions?

V: I usually draw inspiration from things I enjoy watching, or everyday situations or objects I find them relaxing. I get a number of requests from my viewers as well. I don't always feel inspired to make them at that time, but I do keep a running list of their ideas and plan to work on them at some point.

What is your day job? Does your job have anything to do with the role-plays you choose?

(I'd prefer not to say at this time, but maybe someday! <3) I try to keep my job separated from my channel content. It'd be hard to guess how many of my viewers work in the same field that I do, but I don't think they're necessarily in abundance and they tend to have rather specific knowledge. I have a theory that videos on a topic someone already knows a lot about, especially if it's not talked about as often as others, can be less relaxing, since people naturally tend to scrutinize the content even if they agree or find it accurate. That tendency can distract them from the purpose of the video, which is less about presenting information and more about relaxing, if that makes sense. I also try to protect my privacy somewhat. Lots of crazy things happen on the Internet you know...

S: Have you ever experienced desensitization to ASMR? If so how have you gotten over it?

V: Yep! It happens from time to time. I just know I have to take breaks from watching ASMR videos and eventually it comes back.

S: Where do you think ASMR videos are going in the future? Do you think ASMR will be offered by doctors as a therapy?

V: Perhaps ASMR be sold, or creating content could become a career? That's a good question! It's possible that once ASMR is better understood with more research, doctors could recommend it as they do with other relaxation techniques. I think a few channels may have already made a career out of creating ASMR content on YouTube. People can receive revenue from advertisements, donations, and sponsored videos, and some even offer custom Skype sessions. Beyond that, technology is evolving at an incredible rate. I can't even imagine what possibilities we'll have for creating and delivering any kind of entertainment, let alone ASMR. Personally, I think it'd be neat to see it as an add-on service to therapeutic treatments like massage

S: How do your friends and family react when they find out you're doing ASMR videos? Is it hard to explain?

V: I haven't told many people about my channel, but generally they're just impressed by number of people who watch my videos — not because they're astounded that anyone would want to watch my content, but can you imagine them all in one room? Yes, it's a little challenging to explain, especially if they've never experienced it themselves. I tend to use an admittedly vague analogy floating around on the Internet: "You know that sensation you get from hearing nails on a chalkboard? ASMR feels like the opposite of that."

They often don't quite understand it, but they understand that some people find it relaxing. Once I get through my awkward song and dance explaining ASMR, they're very accepting.

S: What tips and tricks would you offer to people who are new to ASMR and still unsure how to enjoy it?

V: Wear headphones! :) They make the sounds a bit clearer and more intense, and make binaural audio more immersive. Get a nice pair of plug-in earphones, find your own comfortable position and let ASMR does the MAGIC !!

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