Ever found yourself rushing to a casting straight from work? Or feeling frazzled before an audition because your train is delayed? Rushing straight into the audition room before the panel, and realising you’re not at all in the right headspace and you’re not vocally warm is an actor’s worst nightmare, and can contribute to not feeling in command of your body, voice and skills. So, here’s a quick five minute vocal warm-up that you can use to swiftly get in the zone!
• Start by stretching up as far as you can, right to the tips of your fingers. Roll your shoulders to release any tension.
• Breathe in for three counts, hold for three counts and exhale for three counts, really focusing on getting the breath down to the diaphragm. Repeat three times.
• Give your face a brisk massage, ensuring to ease the tension out of your jaw and tongue root.
• Chew a big imaginary toffee, ensuring to get it all out of your teeth. Pretend that the toffee tastes horrible, and then delicious.
• Make a face like a lion roaring, then pucker up your face as if you’ve eaten a lemon. Switch between the two as quickly as you can.
• Stick out your tongue, make it into a point and write your name with it in the air.
• Gently hum on a variety of notes, making sure to keep the sound forward in your mouth-if your lips are tickling, you’re doing it right!
• Make a croaking sound like a creaky door in a haunted house.
• Make a short, sharp ‘SHH’ sound, feeling your diaphragm kick into action and repeat ten times quickly.
• ‘Bubble’ your lips together like a motorbike sound and siren up and down your full vocal range a few times.
• Siren up and down again, this time on an ‘ng’ sound (like the end of the word ‘sing’).
• Make a really nasal ‘NYA’ sound, like kids in a playground chanting ‘Nya-nya-nya-nya-nya’ at each other.
• Repeat a couple of your favourite tongue twisters. Try repeating quickly, ‘cheesy feet’, ‘wear a wig’, ‘call a cab’ and ‘lick a lolly’, or alternating between ‘proper copper kettle’ and ‘popocatepetl’ (pronounced ‘pop a cat a petal’).
Now go ace your casting with your beautiful, warm, resonant voice!
by Katie Brennan