Warm Up Your Voice

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The Fynest Wares for the next 30 feet at least! Gooooooood Gent-CRACK-les -- oooh how embarrassing. You'll never make it to the end of your shift now. You need to warm up your voice!

First you'd better make certain that your body is up for the task. Speaking, much less hawking all day requires practice. This is true outside of faire for speaking positions like teaching or sales. You need to keep your voice fit and vibrant, watch your enunciation, learn your natural pitch, and project from that pitch.

Drink More Water Than You Want To
The first place dehydration hits is those nice soft moist overused tissues of your throat and voicebox. All that hot, dry, dusty air ripping through there... ow! Drink, Drink, Drink! And note, your body can only take in so much water at a time, so pouring down a liter every 6 hours doesn't help much! Put down a few cups in the evening before bed (especially if you've been drinking) and then another cup or two in the morning and then sip it all day long! Can't find a fountain or hose? Ask at any booth -- water is the best free thing at faire!
Avoid Irritants
Coffee, booze, cigarettes -- these will all thrash your throat! I limit myself to one cup of coffee, and put down a cup of water to match it. The cited rule is two cups of water per cup of beer.
The Privy Is Your Friend
Pee three times a day! Piss Clear! Cultivate friends who possess a private privy! Learn the secret privy locations backstage!
Stop When It Hurts
Voice breaking, throat hurting? Stop speaking. Drink some water, some lemon or throat tea. Still working? Gesticulate wildly! Get in people's way and point! Use it as a bit -- point to your throat and shake your head, open your mouth wide and let nothing come out. Smile, point, shake your head, smile more -- move on to the next victims.

Now that your throat is prepared physically, lets loosen up that phlegm, and ready yourself for torrents of flawless invective! Heading for work for the big presentation, power-tie with a perfect crease, better not stumble over your words...

Warm Up Your Face
Stretch out your facial muscles. Yawn as widely as you can. Skrunch your face tightly. Expand to the biggest surprise yawn you can. Skrunch. Expand.
Start Your Engines
Lips closed, making baby motorboat sputtering sounds, spray your saliva for a moment -- mmm, tingly lips. Now increase your pitch and frequency slowly upwards until you hit that of a tiny 2" baby. Now drop the pitch and frequency all the way down until your lips stop sputtering and just slide the air out. Repeat.
Grunt!
Find your base range with some primal grunting. Pretend you're a great ape and project "ooo", "eee", "aah" from your diaphragm.
Twist That Tongue
Slowly at first, and then with more speed, force your tongue to shape every syllable clearly and repeat until you get them all out. Exaggerate the movement of your lips with each!
  • To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life long lock, awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block.
  • She stood on the balcony, inexplicably mimicking him hiccuping and amicably welcoming him in.
  • Through darkest mists with stoutest boasts he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • You can take a scrub and a rub-and-a-dub in a two foot tank of tin, you can stand and look at the swirling brook and think about jumping in, you can chatter and shake by the cold black lake, but the kind of bath for me, is to take a dip from the side of a ship in the trough of the rolling sea.
Increase Your Air Intake
Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Inhale MORE. Repeat!
  • Laughing is contagious and it's advantageous - ha ha ha ha ha ha - haaaa
  • Repeat, increasing the sets of 6 haws each time. 12 the second time, 18 the third, 24, etc. Deeper breaths each time, how far can you get?
Exercise Your Range
Using your base range you found by grunting, try some simple vocal scales up and down your range.
  • La, la+, la++, la+++, la++, la+, lahhhh
  • Tum-ble-tea-hee x 4 up and 3 x down
  • Zum-ble and Bum-ble as above
Try Some Beer Scales
Dough, the stuff I buy beer with
Ray, the guy I buy it from
Me, the one I buy beer for
Fahr, the distance to the store
So, I think I'll have a beer
La, la la la la la lahhh
Ti, no thanks I'll a beer
Which brings us back to Dough, Dough, Dough.

Whew! Its almost time for the gate to open isn't it? Better get out there.

References

Vocal Warm-Ups: 200 Exercises for Chorus and Solo Singers
Vocal Warm-Ups: 200 Exercises for Chorus and Solo Singers
Klaus Heizmann
Buy New: $12.14 / Used: $7.33 (17 avail)
Singing Tongue Twisters A-Z
Singing Tongue Twisters A-Z
Brian Kane
Buy New: $19.88 / Used: $19.88 (7 avail)
Complete Handbook of Voice Training
Complete Handbook of Voice Training
Richard Alderson
Buy New: $22.69 / Used: $2.98 (58 avail)



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