This is the third part in my acting warm up series. This is how I currently do things, but I know that how I warm up will evolve over time as I learn more about acting and about myself.
Just in case if you missed the first two here they are:
Essentially, acting process and voice work need to be unified; alignment needs to be linked to centre, identity, and assertion; breathing needs to become responsive to impulses, vocal onset needs to identify the actor with the character; and vocal response needs to reflect the experiences of the actor/character in the present moment”1
- Start from the all fours position, with head in neutral.
- Take a deep breath, feeling your diaphragm filling and stretching.
- As you blow out you begin to bow you back. The movement is like trying to get the top of you head to touch your tail bone. Both are stretching to reach one another.
- Once you have expelled all of your breath and are in the bowed back position, begin to inhale.
- As you inhale start to arch your back. Get a very nice deep breath and feel the full curve of your spine.
- Do this cycle a few times.
Adding in the vocals
- Now we add sound to the exhale with a “vvvvvv” sound.
- After completing this, we shift to ending the sound with a vowel sound, beginning with “vvvvvaaaaaa.”
- Then we shift into “vvvveeee.”
- I run through each sound three times, or a bit more if something doesn’t feel right.
Pairing the voice with explosive movement
- Now we pair the voice with explosive movement. Throw your right arm out in front of you body as if you were trying to punch someone (you don’t have to make a fist) and the apex of the movement sound with “va.” Then do the the same with the left arm.
- Next, move your right leg back with a mule kick like motion. Again at the apex of the movement make an explosive “va” sound. Remember to really connect to your diaphragm.
- After you’ve done both legs several times, then move to using arms and legs at the same time. Punch and kick out with opposing arms and legs. Meaning if you punch out your right arm, you kick back with your left leg. Again at the apex of the movement make an explosive “va” sound. Do this movement several times per side.
- Now, we will shift to throwing both arms up. Staying on all fours push your chest up and throw your hands to the sky. Making an explosive “va” sound at the apex. Do this movement several times.
- Now, we move to the legs. Staying on all fours push your legs up so you are only on your hands momentarily. Making an explosive “va” sound at the apex. Do this movement several times.
- Once completed, do the same movements again but with a “ve” sound.
- This concludes waking up the voice.
You should never move into pain, so if you physically can’t do some of the movements, don’t worry.
I am going to go back and add some videos to these blog posts to make better sense of things, so next time I do a self tape I am going to block out time to make some movement GIFs.
Things Mentioned in this Blog Post
Voice into Acting: Integrating voice and the Stanislavski approach by Christina Gutekunst and John Gillett