cting is physically demanding. The rigors of long rehearsals, daily performances (often times twice a day), rushing around trying to fit auditions into a busy schedule and all the stress related to these activities can really wear an actor down.
It is important that an actor stay in good physical shape and also learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress and to properly prepare his/her body before each rehearsal or performance.
The following exercises are for you to use to develop a brief, physical, warm-up routine before you rehearse or perform.
There are many different exercises and techniques that you can use. These are just a few. You can add others as you learn them in other acting classes, dance classes, even Yoga classes.
The main thing to remember is that these are gentle exercises. You should not feel pain of push yourself to the point where you feel pain. These are relaxation exercises, not muscle-building exercises.
Stand with your feet apart. Hang your trunk and arms down from your waist. Gently bob down, stretching your fingers to touch the floor if possible. Slowly stand erect.
Repeat, but this time sway gently from side to side, rhythmically. Slowly raise to erect position.
Begin as swaying, but build sway up to a vigorous swing that takes you in a full circle. On the rebound, continue with two or three strong swings, then a full circle in the opposite direction.
Stretch out each arm to the front in turn, fists clenched. Drop each heavily to your side. Rest
Clench your feet, arching them as much as possible. Release them. Rest.
Lock your knees back. Release them. Rest.
Round your shoulders, keeping your arms loose. Release them. Rest.
Hang your head. Gently swing it to the right and the left. Let it flop backwards. Swing gently to the right and left again. Let it fall to your chest.
Springing a little on your feet, swing your arms lightly, move your head easily. Feel your balance and posture. Your head should be erect, comfortable poised atop your neck.
With your head hanging,
Close your eyes tightly. Relax them. Let them open. Rest.
Open your eyes as wide as possible. Wrinkle your brow. Relax. Rest
Frown. Draw your brows together. Relax. Rest
With your lips closed, smile as wide as possible. Relax. Rest
Open your mouth as wide as possible. Inhale deeply. Sigh and slowly let out the air. Rest.
Repeat yawning - vocalize gently by say "Aaaah" on each yawn.
These exercises should not hurt. If you feel pain, stop. These are not muscle building exercises, they are relaxation exercises. Over-doing it or feeling pain is of no use here.
Actors must also warm-up and exercise their vocal apparatus.
Here are some exercises to help you do that
Breath in by pulling in the diaphram. Inhale through nose and mouth at the same time
Breath control: Breath in deeply. Inhale through nose and mouth. Round the lips. Release air gradually through the lips in a silent whistle.
Sit in straight chair, upright but relaxed. Pant rapidly with the mouth open, but don't inhale. huh-huh-huh-. pant seven times, pause briefly, inhale deeply.
Pant as above but with three slow huh's followed by a short pause
Pant with strong huh's inhaling between each, as a dog.
Take a deep breath, slowly let out through rounded lips until it feels like you have emptied the lungs. Inhale deeply.
Inhale. hum the air out. Go up the scale, one note with each breath. Empty lungs each time.
Inhale, count on each exhale One (refill), One, two (refill), One, two, three (refill) etc. to ten.