Voice Exercises for Actors
Voice is an important asset for an actor. There are a lot of voice exercises for actors to add in their craft. Actors always think that acting is all about expression. They are not wrong to some extent but an actor can express itself through eyes, body language and voice also. You work on every element of a character but forgot to work on the voice. A good voice is the most powerful instrument for an actor.
Artists use their voice to predict emotions, body movements to interpret a story. Because of a skill that requires coordination, the voice of the character is a must. Having a strong and healthy voice is essential as an actor. One can do a great vocal warm-up either as part of your morning routine or before the take.
So, here are some Voice Exercises for Actors:
Voice Warm-ups Exercises For An Actor
Breathing, in general, is important for humans to survive. But for an actor, proper breathing is also important. You can do it through yoga, morning exercises, etc. Sometimes it is important in the scene, you have to hold your breath for 5,10,15 seconds. One can achieve this only possible by practice & practice.
- Massage on your face
Massage your face with your fingertips. Apply light pressure to your jaw. Make sure you also massage your forehead with your hands properly cleaned.
- The “Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha” & The Hummmmm sound
This is one of the most effective vocal warm-ups. Done by stand/sit with your shoulders resting and your face pointing forward. Place your hand on your stomach, and breathe in so your stomach expands. During your exhale, make steady “Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.” & Hummmmm noises. Repeat this exercise so many times. You have seen a lot of people do it the parks.
Sometimes an actor has to perform the scene in 1 single breath, without having a single pause. It becomes very difficult to say & also clarifies each word in the sentences. Here are some twisters in English & Hindi for you to practice:
- Khadak Singh ke khadakane se khadakati hain khidkiyan, khidkiyon ke khadakane se khadakata hai Khadak Singh.
- 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?
- Chandu ke chacha ne chandu ki chachi ko chandni-chowk mein chaandi ki chammach se chatni chatayee.
- Bobby Bibbit bought a bat. Bobby Bibbit bought a ball. With the bat, Bob banged the ball, Banged the ball against the wall.
This is the most important for exercise for an actor because if we cannot communicate, understand with the actor of what he/she is saying, then it will affect the performance. Improve by putting pencil b/w your teeth & try to read in English or Hindi or any other language.
The power of OM is so powerful for your voice. But you have to practice it all the way. You should be able to say it with the nose, throat & stomach. It clarifies the pitch voice of an actor because a character can be a loud, slow or medium pitch.
This exercise is basically for you to pronounce the words clearly & not mumbling within it. It is a mixture of vowels(a,e,i,o,u) & consonants like use of M(ma,me,mai,mo,mu). Similarly, you can use it with N (na,nee,nai,no,new). There are some tongue twisters also to improve this exercise. For example
- Red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather.
- Whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is hot, we’ll be together whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.
- Serious Sally sells seashells on the salty seashore.
7.Ability to perform different voices
If you have an ability to perform different voices, you can easily get a job of a mimicry/voice-over artist because in that you have to different emotions of voice. Examples like Rocket(Bradley Cooper) & Groot(Vin Diesel) in Marvel Universe, Sharad Kelkar Voice became the Hindi Version of Bahubali.
Whether you are from Hollywood or Bollywood or any actor around the world, you should also excel in your voice because the voice of an actor is his instrument. What should be the voice of a character? Depends on an actor’s interpretation of characters. The best example of voice characterization is done by a lot of great actors around the world.