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Acting Exercises - Warming Up The Body 

As an actor, your body is really your primary tool - and you want to make sure before any performance that you warm up your body and your voice. If your tool fails you - you've got nothing left. So, be sure to always warm up your body and your voice before any performance.

If you don't practice yoga regularly, consider trying it. Many of the warm up techniques that we'll suggest here are frequently used in yoga. As with any exercise, remember to do what's appropriate for you - and always consult a professional if you're unsure.

Head Rolls are a great way to start. Stand upright, with your feet about shoulder width apart and gently roll your head in a circle. Don't collapse your neck into your back - but keep it in a tight controlled circle. Do this about five or six times.

Then warm up your shoulders with shoulder and arm circles. Stand upright, with your feet about shoulder width apart and roll your shoulders in a circle on the floor. Begin with smaller circles and generally get to larger ones.

Actors should always do an arm flex as part of their warm up. Stand upright, with your feet about shoulder width apart and extend your arms parallel to the ground. Turn your hands upward to the sky so that your fingers point toward the ceiling and the hands form a ninety degree angle.

Remember, actors, remember to breathe as you're doing any of these exercises.

When you warm up your legs, try just doing some simple leg stretches as you might do to prepare to run. Warm up your thighs, ham-stings, angles etc..

Finally warm up your face. Make funny faces, move your lips wiggle it around. Open your face, close your face. Experiment with what that means. Repeat all of this four or five times.

Okay shake it all out. Your warmed up and ready.


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The Actor's Life
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