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Matthew has just asked about thespy warm ups in a post. And I was… - Sally's Journal
May 18th, 2005
12:46 pm

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Matthew has just asked about thespy warm ups in a post. And I was thinking, for my own sake (and maybe for his, if he decides warm ups arn't the spawn of the devil) that it'd be good to have some written down somewhere. There's nothing like that blank "I can't think of anything" feeling when someone actually asks you to talk about something you ought to know!

So either comment so I can build up a useful and helpful LJ post, or point me at a book and tell me to stop wasting your time :-)

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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
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Singing 1, 1-2-1, 1-2-3-2-1 up and down the scales
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From:lisekit
Date:May 18th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
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Also A-E-I-O-U up and down scales, or just on one note.
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
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Playing zip-zap-boing
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
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Penguin racing!
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
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Potacatapetel / Copper Plated Kettle
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 18th, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC)
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Popocatepetl (http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/ north_america/mexico/popocatepetl.html) :-)
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
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Going round saying any of your lines from the play
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From:lisekit
Date:May 18th, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
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Or anyone else's lines.
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
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Going round all saying the same famous line, in charactor.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)

warmup games

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that's that one where someone goes , in character, "I said a boom chica boom" and the cast copies him, "I said a boom chica raca chica raca chica boom" (likewise), "oh yeah", (see above), "uh huh", (as before), "one more time" (etc) "(insert character name here) style"...and it then passes to the person named. all very very silly. not sure how typical it is either.
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
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Rubber Chicken
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From:satanicsocks
Date:May 18th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
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similar is Hitting Targets

instead of right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, you have four targets in front of you (vertically) and you hit the top one four times, the next one four times, so forth, then three, then two, then one. When you're finished you can shout anything, we usually do the name of the show, or something topical :)
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From:atreic
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:50 am (UTC)
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Pretending to chew a huge ball of gum.
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From:bopeepsheep
Date:May 18th, 2005 11:58 am (UTC)
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Old MacDonald Had A Farm, but with a twist.
You've not lived until you've figured out the right noises for 'bookshelves', 'existential angst' and 'handcream', all while keeping the tune.

I also like 'I'm Not A Pheasant Plucker...' but some people just cannot do it and get sniffy. ;-)
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From:satanicsocks
Date:May 18th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC)
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We often (to my despair) play Tag as a warmup.

Also there are improv specific warmups that we do like What's In The Box?, Seven Second Character and similar -- humanpingpongball.com has quite a few.
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From:leonato
Date:May 18th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
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This should be done on each person's "natural note", never on middle C (no man can get lip buzz that high!).

The trick is to find the natural note, which is the one where your lips and nose buzz most easily. Get people to hum on this note, count to ten on it, and then speak at that pitch. It should be the proper pitch for good projection.

It's a great exercise for getting quiet people to speak louder.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 18th, 2005 12:26 pm (UTC)

The Notorious Fruit Impersonation

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Individually, each person impersonates a fruit, either in appearance or in essence/character.

--Mr. Pineapple
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From:satanicsocks
Date:May 18th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)

Re: The Notorious Fruit Impersonation

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Fruit's an interesting one. One of our core improv rules is "never, ever, ever, do animals". You always get so locked into crawling around and mooing (or whatever) that you don't do good improv or good comedy. But then, that's more a show thing, not a warmup.
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From:benparker
Date:May 18th, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC)

Ah-ha! Thespy question

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The warm up I run should always reflect what you're doing in the rehearsal. In fact, a lot of time warm ups for rehearsal are a bit thespy and not necessary. It depends what people are like, if they're up and ready to go then no need, if they look tired then do something physical. Anything physical. Penguin racing is good. If the cast don't know each other very well, then some kind of personal game might be better- an icebreaker.

If, for example, you're trying to get people to concentrate on their diction, tongue twisters are great. If it's breathing, then breathing games, or singing. If people are singing in the rehearsal, again you might want ot get them to work on their breathing, or do some easy stuff so they get into a musical frame of mind. THeir's loads of things.

For a performance, you really want people to get to the stage where they're ready to say the first line and it won't sound like a first line- hit the audience running. too often you see plays which are poorly warmed up and the first half scene sounds like you're working off a script. So a list:

- Penguin racing
- Humming and concentrating on breathing
- Aerobics to get physical
- Stretching if there's a lot of action involved in rehearsal/play (V. important)
- Diction
- Getting people to think about lines in context of character and not in context of a play. Avoiding mirroring.
- Accents
- Get-toknow you games- i.e make up a lie, trust games,
- Working on movement, diction, posture- breathing again I find drives this
- Lines backwards to work on line learning
- Improvisation, etc, to work on character

The list goes on... oh I miss directing!

Ben xxx
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