An acting warm-up is an exercise or group game that readies the tools, which an actor will be using while performing. Apart from readying an actor for an audition or performance, warm-ups can encourage creativity and stretch the limit of their imagination.
ACTING WARM-UPS : SHARPENING THE TOOLS
Acting is a physical, vocal, mental and emotional work that requires preparation in order to operate at peak performance. An actor’s body and mind needs to be warmed up in order to deliver their best to the audience. These warm-ups foster experimentation without judgement, loosening up an actor mentally, emotionally and physically. That goes both for solo performances and ensemble work.
PHYSICAL WARM-UP FOR ACTORS :
Much like an athlete, an actor’s primary tool is their body. Thus it requires attention, care and up keep.
- Stretching the body – Stretch your different body parts and stretching leads to improved range of motion and greater kinetic awareness, which can enhance your performance.
- • Shaking – A great way to eliminate physical tension is by shaking, wiggling and vibrating different parts of the body. This is a very effective way to increase kinetic energy.
- Stretching the face – Expanding your face with your mouth wide open and then scrunching it into its tightest configuration is called the “Big face, Small face”. There are several other facial exercises which are designed to give your facial muscle a literal work out.
- Energy Ball – Imagine holding a sphere containing powerful energy and feel it pulse under your finger tips. Try throwing the ball with all your might (against a wall or the ground) and then catch it as it bounces back. This is a great technique to get rid of pre-show or pre-audition jitters.
VOCAL WARM-UPS FOR ACTORS
An actor’s voice is an equally important tool that requires nurturing and attention.
- Articulation and resonance – Actors must use every part of their mouth – lips, teeth, tongue and palate – to deliver dialogues clearly. So practice diction and exercise those muscles before performing. Saying the phrase ” How now brown crow? ” is an example of vocal warm up.
- Enunciation warm-ups and tongue twisters – The delivery of consonants is equally important. Utter precise phrases like “Unique New York” or the “Peter Piper” to break the inhibition of the tongue. Play with pitch, volume and especially speed to really master control of your mouth.
- Diaphragmatic breathing – Your vocal warm-up routine should include breathing exercises to enhance your lung capacity by stretching the abdomen and stomach muscles.
- Sirening and humming – Sliding up and down the scale with mouth open and exaggerating a vowel sound like ” oh” or “ee” is known as Sirening. Doing the same trick with your lips close on a consonant sound like N or V is humming.
- Tongue stretches and exercises – Try toucing your tongue to every nook and cranny of your mouth, sticking it as far out as possible and making clicking or popping sounds
IMPORTANCE OF ACTING WARM-UPS
For an actor a good physical warm-up will help them relax, will help get rid of any anxieties and will make an actor more limber up in preparation for the physical demands of a performance. Acting exercises and vocal warm-ups also help actors train their voice for performance.
Before performance, warming up is a necessity. It will assisst you to respond physically, vocally and mentally and will prevent you from forcefully doing your work. So before auditioning or a performance, do the warm-ups because they will help you to get into a relax, focus space, where you feel confident to get out and nail that performance.