With the right acting exercises voice overs stay tuned.

In order to get the hang of using your voice, with acting exercises voice will get in shape!

Breathing

The first thing to learn is how to control your breath. Therefor we found these breathing exercises, with special thanks to C. Terwilleger. If you train yourself daily on these acting exercises voice and breath will become an instrument you can use as you want.

1. Inhale deeply and slowly through the nose. Exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat this.

2. Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Exhale slowly making the sound "ahhhh". Use your diaphragm!

3. Inhale deeply. Exhale in short explosive bursts (huh! huh! huh! huh!).

4. Inhale slowly and while exhaling count aloud clearly enunciating each number until you run out of breath. This warm-up exercise is also good for your articulators.

5. Read the following sentence as many times as you can on one breath. This sentence is filled with words that use air.

He hid at home and sobbed when his sister seized whatever he had on top in the thin five-shelved closet.

6. Take a deep breath and see how far you can read through this grouping of words. Make sure you are making each of the words come alive as you say them. Don't just race through them -- interpret! Read them as if it is the first time you hear the word.

Collecting and projecting, receding and speeding and shocking and rocking and darting and parting and treading and spreading and whizzing and hissing and dripping and skipping and hitting and splitting and shining and twining and rattling and battling and shaking and quaking and pouring and roaring and waving and raving and flowing and going and heaving and cleaving and foaming and roaming and moaning and groaning and dropping and hopping

With these acting exercises voice and body will get ready for the works.

Artculation

In using acting exercises voice won't be the only thing you work on. It is about overcoming “Immovable Jaw”, “Idle Tongue”, “Lazy Lips”, and “Too Much Speed”.

LIMBERING UP

Spread the lips in a smile for “eeeee”, open them for “aaahh”, and close them for “ooooo”. Repeat.

Rapidly say “fud-dud-dud-dah” several times. Now say “ira-ira-ira-ira-ira-ira”.

Make believe you are a truck. Trill your tongue. Be a rattlesnake

TONGUE

Say each of the following words 5 times, trying to keep the tongue forward, just behind the upper front teeth. Listen for brightness and liveliness of tone. Tea Deal Tick Dish Tail Thick Nape Table

LIPS

A stiff upper lip is one cause of miss-articulation. Say the words �pit-pat-pit-pat-pit-pat� many times. Try to pronounce the “P’s” and “T’s” very clearly. Now try to pick up the speed. DON’T LOOSE THE “P” AND THE “T”.

JAW OPENING EXERCISES

Say the following words while exaggerating your jaw opening. Hack Yacht Dot Paw Yard Dart Tab Tot Dark Hah Tat Lad

MORE LOOSENING UP EXERCISES

Repeat each of the following word groupings clearly over and over. Start slowly at first. As your articulators become more nimble and relaxed you will be able to pick up speed without stumbling. Do any sort of tongue twister that comes to mind. The more you loosen up before a session, the easier it will be.

Good Blood, Bad BloodBad Blood, Good Blood

Red Leather, Yellow Leather

Buttah, Guttah Guttah, Buttah

The Leith Police Dismisseth Us

Inflecional changes

Training means more than just saying the words in the right way. By following these acting exercises voice and interpretation are trained.

Record the following exercises and then listen critically to see if you can hear the difference in the way you interpreted the meaning of the words.

Say the word “YES” to indicate:

Certainty

Doubt

Indecision

Sarcasm

Say the word “NO” and, by changes of inflection, indicate the following:

Definitely not.

Well, maybe.

I’m surprised to learn that.

I’m annoyed to learn that.

I’m pleased and surprised to learn that.

Say the sentence "I’ll be there.” so that the following attitudes are implied:

Determination

Pleasant agreement

Surprise

Annoyance

Say the sentence “I like Bill.” to bring out the following:

A direct statement of fact. You mean literally what the words say.

A contradiction of the literal meaning of the words. You definitely do not like Bill.

Irritation and surprise that anyone could conceivably accuse you of liking Bill.

Indecision as to your feelings about Bill.

Specific indication that your liking is for Bill and not for anyone else who may be present.

Your answer to the question “Who likes Bill?”

An aggressive and emphatic answer to the question “Who could possibly care for a man like Bill?”


Using these acting exercises voice will make you a more trained voice-over, and if you already work in this field it is a great warming up. Also if you are an actor on stage, or a public speaker.

Voice and acting

"The articulate, trained voice is more distracting than mere noise." - Seneca


Adventures in voice acting

by Steve Blum (actor), Wendee Lee (Actor), Eric P. Sherman (Director)