Professional advice and guidance for aspiring actors.
Actors are performance artists and their medium is themselves. If you want to be a successful working actor, it’s important to learn how to prepare your body, voice and mind for the work.
Every good high performance athlete has a warm up routine they do daily, it’s your job as an actor to do the same for yourself.
When your instrument is warmed up and ready to perform, you feel your best and produce your best work. Developing a great warm up as a part of your daily acting habits is a small action that has a massive impact on your acting development.
Your warm up is a great way to center yourself on set. When your warm up is a part of your work routine, your body recognizes the movement as a cue to settle nerves and get ready to have fun. Get used to doing your warm up in your trailer before going to set and you’ll find yourself performing with more and more confidence.
Here are some great warm-ups that are guaranteed to help you perform on the set.
Becoming physically and vocally limber and mentally relaxed helps you prepare for any performance. Warm-ups are critical for actors. A good warm-up will lower anxiety, connect you with your breath and set you up for success regardless of how physically or mentally demanding a role may be.
A great warm up routine is short and sweet and covers the big three: your body, your voice and your mind.
Your body is your instrument, and taking the time to get yourself physically ready for the work will set you up for success in your acting work; whether it’s an audition, a class or a performance on set.
Pro tip: Pick a song for your warm up that reflects the mood of your work for the day. Working a comedy scene? Pick an upbeat fun song! Working a dramatic monologue? Go for your favorite moody ballad.
Here’s how to do it:
Open your eyes and mouth as wide as possible, and stick out your tongue; like a lion, then close your eyes, pucker your lips and scrunch up your face as hard as you can; like you just ate something really sour.
Switch back and forth between your lion face and your sour face 4 or 5 times.
An actor’s voice is a major part of the actor’s performance, so warming up your voice before tackling a scene for an audition or for performing on set is a crucial step in your warm up routine. Enunciation, projection, resonance; warm up your voice to make sure you can nail your vocal performance without damaging your vocal chords or your confidence.
Here are some of the best vocal warm-ups for actors:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Betty bought a bit of butter. But the bit of butter Betty bought was bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter will make my batter better. So, Betty bought a better bit of butter.
She sells seashells by the seashore. The seashells she sells are seashells I’m sure.
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock, awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock, from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
Now that you’ve warmed up your body and your voice, it’s time to get yourself mentally warmed up for your work. And no, that doesn’t mean anxiously repeating your lines over and over again in your head. It means the complete opposite, in fact! Taking a few moments at the end of your warm up to get yourself in the right mindset will have a significant impact on your acting work.
Experimenting with different warm-up exercises is vital for any actor. Try the ones outlined here and then explore and find others to try to! Once you have your favorites, make them a regular practice and you’ll soon find that your warm up becomes a habit that propels your acting work to new heights.
Like anything else in life, consistency is key. Success as an actor isn’t luck, it’s the result of dedicated commitment. When you’re ready to be a full time actor, check out the Laura Mac Method online courses and get all the information, training and support you need to become unstoppable. Your acting dreams can be a reality! And the Laura Mac Method team is here to help you every step of the way.