Voice Prep for Tonight’s Party Entrances

Before any actor goes on stage to perform, he or she has typically done months of rehearsing. They’ve memorized lines, worked on their voice and movement, interpreted the script, developed a character, practiced in costumes, put on stage make-up, etc.

And on the night of the performance, before the curtain rises, the actor does a warm-up. They get into character before they walk onto the stage.

The fabulous Viola Davis had only five minutes of screen time in the 2008 movie, “Doubt.”  Yet she blew everyone away with her performance.  She played the mother of an altar boy who may (or may not) have been taken advantage of by a priest played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I read that Davis wrote her own sixty-page back-story to help her prepare for her role.

There’s something for the non-actor to learn from this.

I’m sure you’ve prepared to go out to parties and make grand entrances. The hair, manicure, make-up, killer dress and shoes all making you look fabulous.  But do you warm-up before entering the room?

Are you fully “in-character” when you walk into a party?

And what sort of preparation do you do before entering your place of work? Do you arrive “ready?” Or does it take you thirty minutes of coffee drinking, yawning and throwing cold water on your face before feeling like you’ve finally arrived.

You can use some of the same warm-ups as professional actors to prepare for your party entrances:

  • Relax. Do a quick body scan from the tip of your toes to the top of your skull. Be alert to any muscles that you may be gripping or tensing.
  • Learn some of the names and a bit of background of others attending the party, before you arrive.
  • Enter the room in “ready” mode, just like a tennis player is ready for the ball. Be ready to meet and greet people. Be ready to receive greetings from others.
  • Use body language that says, “I’m here.”
  • Pretend you’re a king or queen entering the room. Walk tall. It will make you look and feel confident. It will open up the side ribs giving space to the lungs. In turn that will open the space for the voice channel.
  • Smile. When the cheeks rise the voice gets a lift too. It will sound a little higher and more energetic.
  • Make eye contact with people. See people and let people see you. You’re at a public event.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. It will give your whole body some energy and vibrancy.