Acting Lesson 4 | 10 Stepwise Head To Toe Physical Warm Up


Exercising Bollywood Actors
Exercising Bollywood Actors


Warm-ups and exercises for actors


Warm-Ups
An actor's job is to create compelling characters in interesting relationships. In order to achieve this, you need to understand your character and the "reality" in which your character lives.

But that's only the beginning!

Each character in a script has physical energy that underscores the words; the vocal and physical performance. Actors must also find that energy within themselves and release it through their body  and voice during the performance.
The starting point for all physical performance is a relaxed mind and body.

Once the body and mind are settled, the appropriate tension and energy for a performance can be brought in to create the reality of the character.

Tools of the Acting Trade

Just as a carpenter has a hammer and saw, the actor has their tools - their mind, body, and voice. It is of VITAL importance that actors undertake proper mental, physical and vocal warm-ups. If the tools fail the actor, usually that means the actor is out of work!

THESE WARM UPS SHOULD BE DONE EVERY DAY FOR 20 MINUTES.  MAKE IT A HABIT. THIS WILL  DO GOOD IN ANY FIELD YOU ARE IN.

Here are some warm-up exercises to help you. You need to warm up because acting can be an intensely physical, vocal; and mental workout.
REMEMBER: Don’t exercise too much at first if you’re not used to it!
Exercise gently and gradually at first. So, if you’ve never done sit-ups before, for example, don’t do 100 sit-ups on day one! Do one today. Then two tomorrow. Three the next day. Seven by the end of the week and, by day 100 – you’ll be doing 100 sit-ups!


ACTORS EXERCISE TIP #1


To STAY Healthy –Eat Healthy!


ACTORS EXERCISE TIP #2


Drink More Water Than You Want to and...Drink Less Caffeine


ACTORS EXERCISE TIP #3


Don't smoke! Quit or, better yet, don’t ever start smoking!  In the long run, smoking will ruin your voice control.  It'll ruin your breathing.


ACTORS EXERCISE TIP #4


CAUTION
Warm Yourself Up – but be careful with any exercises, warm-ups or simple stretches.  Move smoothly, don't bounce, and... if it hurts - STOP!  Don't try to make up for a year of inactivity in a few weekends of fitness!


1. Warm-Ups for your FACE Exercise Your Face


 - Stretch out your facial muscles. Yawn as widely as you can. Scrunch your face tightly. Expand to the biggest surprise yawn you can. Scrunch. Expand. Repeat!
Squish your face together, like a sour face, and hold. Then "open" the face, open the eyes and mouth as wide as they can go. Repeat three or four times.

Next, place the tongue tip on the inside of one cheek and make thirty to fifty circles with the tongue. Move to the other side and repeat, then lastly, circle the tongue around the front of the mouth. The Yawn-Sigh

A great exercise for relaxing the throat, jaw, face, and body:

2. Mouth stretch: 


Open your mouth and take a deep breath as you yawn.  wide :  Stretch the muscles of your mouth and face when you inhale. You can also tighten your shoulders and arms. When releasing the yawn, let the air out slowly as you vocalize a low-pitch sigh. Release any tension in your face, shoulders, and arms as you exhale. Take your time with this, and you'll probably find yourself yawn-sighing three or four times.

 3. The Tongue Stretch:


 You might want to do this one in private, or make sure no one is watching you! If your script is full of tricky words, tongue twisters or complex phrases, they will be easier to articulate if your tongue is relaxed. For this exercise, all you need to do is stick out your tongue and try to touch the bottom of your chin. Then stretch your tongue up to touch the tip of your nose. You get bonus points if you can actually do it! The Face Stretch This exercise will loosen up your face to allow for better facial expression during your performance. Start by opening your mouth as far as possible, stretching your lips, cheeks and jaw. Next, clench your teeth tightly and scrunch up your face, cheeks, lips, eyes and forehead as tightly as possible. You can also include your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and as much of your body as you like. Hold this for a count of ten - then quickly and completely release the tension in your body. Doing this a few times will create a very relaxed feeling of mind and body.

4. Warm-Ups for your NECK:


Exercises Your Neck: Roll your neck from side to side. Roll your chin down to your chest. Lift your chin straight up into the air. Turn your head to look over either shoulder. Roll your head in a gentle circle.

The Neck Stretch (or Head Roll):
This is an excellent warm-up for relaxing your neck. Begin by sitting straight in a chair. Pretend a string is attached to the top of your head, and allow it to lift your head away from your shoulders. With your head now slightly raised, slowly tip forward as though looking at your shoes. Keep your body straight, but allow yourself to feel the stretch along your spine, upper back, shoulders, and neck. Now slowly rotate your head to the left, allowing the right side of your neck to stretch. Continue rotating your head to the back and then to the right.

Head rolls: Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart and gently roll your head in a circle. Don't collapse the neck in the back; keep the head in a controlled circle. Roll left to right five times - then reverse the direction.

CAUTION: If you feel any pain at any time, stop immediately - you may have an injury that needs to be checked by your doctor.

5. Warm-Ups for your SPINE:


Exercise Your Spine - Starting at your head and tipping each vertebra as independently as possible, nod your chin to your chest and then roll forwards down the spine, arms loose, until you reach the hips and drop into a toe touch. Hang for a moment and then reverse the motion, pulling each vertebra back into place as if they were threaded like beads on a string.

Warm-Ups for your ARMS Exercise Your Arms – Do Windmills!
Shoulder and arm circles: Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart and roll the shoulders in a circle, back to front for five times and then reverse front to back. Then bring the arms parallel to the floor and swing in circles. Begin with small circles and gradually increase the circumference until the arms have made a complete circle.

Arm Flex: Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart and extend the arms parallel to the ground. Turn the hands upwards so the fingers point toward the ceiling and the hands form a ninety-degree angle to the wrist. Flex the fingers toward the body so there is obvious tension and hold the arms perfectly parallel for two to three minutes. DON'T STOP BREATHING! After the time limit is up, drop the arms and shake out the arms and shoulders.

6. Warm-Ups for your WRISTS:


Exercise Your Wrists – with forward and back bends. Warm-Ups for your ANKLES Exercise Your Ankles – with Ankle Alphabets! What you do is point your toe and "write" out each letter of the alphabet in the air with your big toe. This will make you rotate your ankle in all directions. Do once on each foot, and gradually build up to doing more.

7. Exercise Your Ankles:


 with Lifts! What you do here is stand normally, toes pointed slightly out. Slowly lift up to the balls of your feet, then - slowly - lower back down. This works both the calf muscles and the muscles immediately around the ankle. Try it ten times to start. If your balance is good, do this exercise one-footed!


Warm-Ups for your LEGS and SHINS Do general stretching for the legs – exercising your thighs, hamstrings, ankles etc.


8. Exercise Your Shins:


with Toe Lifts. Here you rest your heel on the ground. With your heel still on the floor, lift your toes up towards your shin. If you have weak ankles, you may not be able to lift the ball of your foot very much off the floor. Lift as high as you can, ten times. Repeat with the other foot.


9. Warm-Ups for your HIPS:


Exercise Your Hips – Wiggle to and fro!
Warm-Ups for your FEET Exercise Your Feet:
 Point your toe as sharply as you can, rest your big toe lightly on the floor. Your heel should not touch the floor. Now, gently rock your heel from the left to right, extending as far as possible with your toe still pointed forward. Rock back from right to left, again extending as far as possible. This is a  very slow, gentle movement. Don't bounce. Don't force it. Now... do five on each foot!

10. Warm-Ups for your WHOLE BODY:


The Shakeout: This one will help relax your entire body and release inhibitions. You' may have seen dancers shake their arms wildly at their sides just before beginning a dance routine. The wild shaking gets their muscles warmed up and blood flowing.

Stand quietly with arms at your sides. Begin by rapidly shaking your hands, and allow the shaking to gradually move up your arms to your shoulders. After only a few seconds, you will begin to feel invigorated.

You can involve as much of your body in the physical shaking as you like. The purpose here is to release any tension in the body, relax the muscles, and gets the blood flowing.

Now you have to relax and prepare yourself to guide, motivate and challenge your mind to be ready for a battle in this  inhospitable world for actors!

In the next post, we shall discuss, in my view and experience, the most important part of training:   -The art of relaxation and developing mental strength....
based on: http://www.dramatrain.co.nz/index.php?page=g



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