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Does anyone have any advice for vocal warm-ups.

im SMing. its not a musical, but we really need them to warm up their voices.


what kind of warm ups do you do before the show.

I have a few. but this cast is older and "too-cool" to do a pre show shake down.

also, what kind of stuff do you do after rehearsals or shows.

I have been to some theatres where after an intense rehearsal they will do breathing exercises.

but once again. this cast is too-cool for that!.

which makes me mad. cause I have all this stuff I wanted to do with them but they look at me like im an idiot when I try to do it!



and finally. what kind of pep-talk do you give them on opening night?


any help would be great!

I plan on using alot of this kind of stuff on my next show!


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Whenever I help with shows for most of the societies at university they always seem to be making a lot of noise and enjoying their warm ups from the sounds of things. I'm not sure of exact words and these may be too musical based but might give you a good start.

  • "Oh what a wonderful show"
  • "Do, a doe, a female deer, ray a ray of golden sun..."
  • "We like the flowers" - not sure if that title is correct.



After a quick Google (without the help of Lightnix & Co. :)), shows that the second one is in fact from the Sound of Music.


Doe, a deer, a female deer.

Ray, a drop of golden sun.

Me, a name I call myself.

Far, a long, long way to run.

Sew, a needle pulling thread,

La, a note to follow sew,

Tea, a drink with jam and bread!

That will bring us back to do oh-oh-oh!


No luck on the other two unfortunately.





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I had great fun with this sort of thing while at uni. I have never seen actors more motivated as when I played something from my laptop by accident. TV Themes. If you can get the right era (Round the Twist worked for them) they will sing along like troupers. I then downloaded as many as I could find, but as is fair, I no longer have the collection. Try this site as a start:


Sadly more and more of these sites are closing down so some of their links may not work.

Another thing was to sing this line with different speeds, pitches and harmonies etc:


Mah-hah, bay-loo-loo-me-chambre,


We also sung an old African song, which was a call and answer thing (ie 1 sung a line first then cast replied) to fast clapping:


Cumelah, cumelah, cumelah, cumelah-vista,


iney-meany-decimeany, oh-ah, teawannameany,

ratndata, ratndata, oh-oh, si-ratndata,

[repeat above once, but faster]

[then this line even faster]

ratndata, ratndata, oh-oh, si-ratndata,

[and again even faster]

ratndata, ratndata, oh-oh, si-ratndata,

[then end with a slow]


Have Fun!

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I'm a bit confused. If the cast are older, and really don't want to do this - why make them. Those who want a warm up will do it in the privacy of their dressing room, and those who don't require one won't bother participating much anyway. Vocal warm ups for the serious singers are pretty vital, but not so useful to others. For trained singers the vowels and upwardly rising scales make sense IF you have a pianist.


Pep talk?


What do you want them to do, that they aren't doing?

what do you want them to stop, that they are doing?

Marks, and how they must be hit.

Staying out of the way until called if stage space is tight.

Prop discipline.


Worked with an amateur company once for years called everyone on stage for a radio mic check session. Nobody in costume, usually holding the mic head - totally pointless - more of a line check than useful.


One thing, if you are much younger than the majority of the cast, be prepared to be totally ignored. If it's important, get the director involved. And whatever you do, you must mean it - empty threats never work.

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To be honest the Warm Up is not your responsibility as a Stage Manager it is that of the Directing Team (Director, Assistant Director etc.). You should be concentrating more on your crew, ensuring pre-show checks are completed, liaising with FOH etc.


As for a pre show prep talk if it is really necessary you could go over Health and Safety again (should have already been done by your Production Manager or yourself as soon as they got into the space for the tech/ dress etc.), Props and any other important information. I stress important as they (and you) will have enough to worry about without boring them or making them agitated over minor things.



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People who might be found doing a warm-up:



Assistant Director

Resident Director


Assistant Choreographer

Resident Choreographer

Dance Captain

Musical Director

Assistant Musical Director

Resident Musical Director

Member of cast asked to do so by one of the above


Person who should not be doing a warm-up:


Stage Manager

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Hello all.


Thanks for the input. To the people who said that it really is not my job to do this, I do realize that. But being that we have such a small cast and no assistant director or anything of that nature, I feel that I have to do all I can to help them. We don't need to go into a long drawn out serious warm up, I just wanted something to hype everyone up and get their vocal cords moving! I have found that at the theatres I work at, when we do these "cheers" almost, it really gets the energy up and also brings the cast and crew together. It is a very small show with a very small cast and crew, in my opinion we need it, and the director is with me on this.


Light Console, Thank you so much for posting Cumelah! That was one of the ones we did at a show I recently did. I'm happy cause now I actually know the words, that one is so much fun!


Thanks to everyone!

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Guest lightnix

Even if it isn't a musical, a little singing can help loosen up the voice very nicely.


Try singing rising and falling scales to the following, with one note to each syllable and a one tone raise in pitch with each recitation:

Rising: "Polish it in every corner"

Falling: "Polish it behind the door"

It always raised a smile back when I was a chorister (many, many years ago).


Tongue twisters are good for improving diction. "Peggy Babcock" is a good (inuendo-free) one to begin with.

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Hey no problem. I must say that those words are how it sounded to me, I made a note of it at the time, I have no idea how you spell or notate it. But if you know it then great! I am trying to remember one other they did. Not a happy one, but one that helped remind people who was playing who, and some of the lines. It went something along the lines of:

[insert cast name here] died the other day,

Here are the very last words I heard him/her say [cast member then sings a line]

Cast repeat, then somehow it passed onto another member of the cast.


As a Lighting Designer for that show, I didn't mind joining in with the warm-ups!

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Most of this stuff is warm up designed for amateur groups and students, who usually suffer from reticence and need persuading to join in. Good stuff in schools and colleges as ice breakers. It really has b**ger all to do with real theatre. As for the lighting designer joining in? Back stage crew, foh crew, lx and sound ops and members of the creative team DO NOT JOIN IN WITH THE LUVVIES.


The worst thing in the world to ever see, is a load of scruffy, black covered people, being dragged on stage to look extremely stupid on a last night!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do find the idea of non performing staff (crew, LX, Soundies ECT) doing warmups a little daft, but hey if it motivates you into a better show, then I cant see it being bad.


Im an LD a singer, and a trained Street jazz dancer, so I warm up before everyshow, regardless of what im doing, I find that it relaxes the senses, nerves, and prevents damage.


Im only a full time LD/LX opp now (gave up rest, still do street dance for fitness though)


if im singing. I run through the scales a few times, non of this mumbo jumbo singing type warm up(never worked for me), check the falsetto out, have a tot of rum. And my voice is spot on. takes about 10 mins in all.


If im dancing (very rare now) do a couple of LIGHT stretches, shake down ect.


if im LX/LD ect, then crack the fingers, and im ready to work.




(all those that say warm up is nonsence, I earge them to try it one night, you will see how much it improoves performance, even if your on LX)

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Ah now then, this was only in the rehearsal room, not once we were in the theatre. It was at Uni, and for me at least (shy) it was an ice breaker. I must confess, I have never seen this sort of thing outside of Am-Dram/Youth Theatres, apart from the odd vocal warm up - a few scales. Still I find them fun, and that is what matters. TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More, as they say at work!
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