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Warming up for a voice over job

 This ensures that your voice is ‘in the right place’ and that all your articulators are ready to cope with any tricky words or combinations of words. Here are a few tips on what your warm up should involve.

Warming up the vocal chords. The best place to do this is actually in the shower as the steam will really help to loosen everything up as you’re getting into ‘good voice’. So start by doing a series of gentle hums up and down the scale for about five minutes as you’re having your morning shower. Two birds one stone and all that!

The next thing to do is ‘wake up your face’ so that everything feels nice and lively. All you have to do here is pull a series of Jim Carey faces and really work all the muscles around your mouth. So grin as widely as you can, pout your lips as far as they can go and generally give your whole face a good work out. You might look a bit ridiculous but you’ll really notice how much more alive and alert your facial muscles feel afterwards. And nobody said voice over work was glamorous!

Breathing – absolutely essential for voice work particularly if you have a lot of words to get out in a short period of time, i.e. most commercials. Spend at least ten or fifteen minutes working on your breathing, taking a deep breath in by breathing into your ribs rather than down into your stomach. The idea is to make your ribs swing out away from your body. Now focus on a spot in front of you and slowly let your breath out on a ‘shhhh’ sound and count how long it takes to let the breath out fully. The aim is to increase this count and as you do so you’ll be increasing your lung capacity. As you improve you’ll find it so much easier to work with wordy text and you’ll find that your words start to sit nicely on the breath rather than ‘running away’ from you. Most top voice artists have pretty impressive lung capacity.

Now to get your articulators working – in other words your tongue, teeth and lips. A great way of doing this is an exercise which takes you through all the consonant sounds in a nice easy rhythm and goes something like this, ba bah ba bay ba bee ba bay ba bah ba baw ba boo ba baw. You might need to read that a couple of times! Once you’ve got it then work your way through all the consonant sounds in the alphabet, so the next one would be ca cah ca cay… and the one after that da dah da day etc. Another really good exercise for articulators is to say the following sentence while over articulating every word and picking up speed as you go along: The tip of the tongue, the teeth and the lips. Repeat until you trip yourself up!  

 

Finally round the warm up off with a few really awkward tongue twisters which will help to engage your brain as well as your voice and articulators. Even if you’re a really experienced voice artist it’s a good idea to make this part of your prep routine. After all it can only improve your session in the booth. 

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