Many would be actors and actresses dream of becoming their favorite superstar. They dream of becoming the future George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston or Nicole Kidman. They work hard going through drama school and acting classes to perfect their acting skills.
Just as the superstars of their dreams, delivering those believable performances on screen and stage involve more than just acting. Actually, acting alone would get them nowhere. They have to be able to articulate their voices and speech along with their facial expressions as well as their entire body movement. Perhaps that is why acting classes integrates voice exercises for actors into the training.
Voice exercises for actors involve four important areas. Breathing that provides fuel for speech, throat where the voice box is located, mouth muscles where the lips and tongue helps to shape the words and finally, the mind/body influence which involves a lot of positive thinking. Voice exercises for actors are where it all begins to bring out that natural acting talent. It helps to get rid of the nerves that clutter the voice, the stammers and the tense jaw and lips. The beginning of the exercises is aimed at opening up the lungs for more breathing space. It improves posture and promotes mental focus. The objective is to drain the nervousness away to make the actor more self-assured and confident in front of the audience or camera.
An audience normally pays to be entertained. They want to laugh, cry, be jolted and shocked or even challenged and inspired when they watch the actors and actresses delivering the storyline. It is a temporary escape for them. An audience cannot be engaged if they are struggling to hear what the actors and actresses are saying. Clarity of speech is much important than being loud. Voice exercises for actors are designed to help identify and use the mouth muscles correctly to deliver clarity of speech. Further to clarity, intonation helps to make an actor’s presentation more interesting. This is achieved through the varying of tune and pitch of the actor’s voice.
There are several exercise designed for actors to perfect their voices. One called ‘Spanish Onion’ is an exercise to relay the mouth muscles and make them more flexible. Another is called ‘Big Toffee’ which helps the words to come out more clearly by working the tongue, lips and jaw. Last but not least is an exercise that is most common among singers which is called ‘sirening‘. It is designed to gain energy and tune in their voices.
Practice make perfect. Working through the voice exercises for actors regularly will help to improve an actor or actress’ performance and definitely lend them more possibilities of getting noticed by the audience and the movie-makers.