Tech Week Part II: Actor prep

So, besides hair and make-up, there’s physical and vocal prep (at least for musicals). For me, that usually means some yoga/stretching/ballet moves (like plies and releves) to get things moving and warm. Even if I’m not dancing in a show, there’s still movement involved, and I like my body to cooperate–so I try to treat it nicely. 🙂

Vocal warm-ups are a science, and every vocalist has their own preferred methods. While there is a mass warm-up pre-show, usually led by the music director or a music teacher in the cast, I like to warm myself up. This involves the typical warm-ups: me-may-mah-mo-moo, or just vowels; vocal slides; humming up and down the scale; ti-ay-ti-oh-te-ahahah. Yes, they are funny to write out. But if you’re a vocalist you know what I mean. I continue until the voice feels sufficiently pliant. You don’t want to blow everything on warm-ups! In my bag I also keep some throat lozenges to suck on if need be.Usually some sort of arm swings accompany the warm-up, to get the blood flowing, and I usually stretch my neck and shoulders out so there’s no tightness there.

Also, for vocalists, warm/hot water is actually better for the throat than cold, because cold constricts the blood vessels in the throat. But if cold is all you can get, that’s OK. But don’t fill your water bottle with ice! Yikes!(The temperamental voice is another post coming up shortly.)

So, after makeup, hair, costume, and warm-up, the show begins!


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