As an actor, it is your job to be ready physically and vocally for the roles you take on. After all, your paycheck comes from your ability to embody a wide number of characters on a daily basis. Like any physical sport, the most important part of successfully pulling this off is the warm up.
Let’s Get Physical
Step one to any good warm up is to do just that—warm up. Common sense says that this is something you don’t want to rush into, and common sense would be correct. Start getting physical too fast and you run the risk of hurting yourself. Instead, you’ll want to start with light cardio. Stand up, walk quickly around the room or otherwise choose an activity that begins to elevate the heart rate and get the blood flowing through the body faster. After the heart rate is more active and you feel warm, begin performing light stretches to loosen the joints and the muscles, making them more receptive to sudden shifts of motion.
Let’s Get Loud
Now that the body and the muscles (including those that make up the vocal tract) are warm, it’s time to loosen the chords so your voice doesn’t strain. Like the rest of the body, your throat is made up of muscles that work together to produce sound. If those aren’t warmed up, they can injure just like any other muscle in the body. To warm them up, start with a moderate hum that rises and lowers in pitch. Once you feel good there, move to lip buzzing to loosen up the lips and continue rising and falling in pitch. Finally, throw out some tongue twisters let loose the tongue.