Performers Toolbox -
Vocal Warm Ups
In an Instagram and Facebook post I shared 5 Reasons to do a Vocal Warm Up. Here I’d like to take this time to expand on why and when every Actor and Public Speaker should do one.
An Actor and Public Speaker should do one before they rehearse and most definitely before they perform. This should be a tool in their Performance Toolbox that they can easily do with very little effort. There are many places where one can find tongue twisters and vocal warm ups.
A good Vocal Warm Up doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to serve a specific purpose. Beyond just warming up your voice, it needs to help you “stretch” your articulators the same way an athlete would warm up and stretch the muscles in their bodies. Now I don’t mean you literally stretch your mouth as wide as you can, though I have seen people do that. (Ex: BIG FACE - mouth stretched open, eyes wide, and now small face - eyes closed and the face tight and squinting.)
What I want is for you to audibly say many different rhymes that have very specific consonants used to that are spoken in various places in your teeth, mouth, and opening of your throat. Here are some of the ones I use for my clients.
When using specific Vocal Warm Ups, you’re not having to waste time thinking of things to say. They’re right there for you. I just gave you some if you click the link I posted earlier. When you have a specific Vocal Warm Up this allows you to use your mental energy to start getting in the correct headspace for what you’re going to be doing. You may also decide to do a physical warm up too. (Next blog I’ll discuss why those are important too.)
When should a Vocal Warm Up be done? Each time you either rehearse or perform. It doesn’t matter if you’re rehearsing alone or you’re with someone. You need to develop the habit of making this part of your routine. This so you can perform at your very best.
When you add something so simple as a Vocal Warm Up to your Performers Toolbox the results are a lot greater than without having it at all. This is one of many steps that can be taken to elevate your value as a performer and as a person.
Don’t be afraid to do a Vocal Warm Up anywhere. If you’re unable to find a quiet, private space, then find a space where you can talk aloud without disturbing others. If someone asks what you’re doing, then tell them. It’s a great way to start a conversation and share what you do as an Actor or Public Speaker. Plus you’re in a position of being in front of people to begin with, so put down the self-judgement and don’t let that get in your way of doing what must be done to deliver your best possible performance.
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