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Exercise One: Laugh, Release the “Feel Good” Hormones that Make Us Happy

Laughter is a highly beneficial activity. In The Ultimate Actors’ Warm-up it is “Exercise One”

The Ultimate Actors’s Warm-up

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Don’t you love the times you start to laugh and you can’t stop yourself even when your belly starts to ache you continue to laugh uncontrollably.

Sometimes it happens in situations were you shouldn’t be laughing at all.

You try so hard to stop. You need to hide your laughing at all cost or you will face embarrassment, get someone offended, loose out on an opportunity, or get kicked out all together.

You name it! I have been there.

The worse is when you are talking someone, or rather, someone is talking to you and you get this laughing craze moment for no reason. You try like a maniac not to burst out in laughter to their face. But you fail. You try to make up an excuse for why you are laughing and before you manage to get the first word out with a straight face they have walked away.

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My favourite time happened in a Yoga class.

I was in the first row of the class and I started laughing, for no reason, softly containing myself, totally unable to stop. My face was adopting all types of forms and shapes as I was trying to constraint giggles and loud outbursts of laughter alike.

I felt bad for my Yoga Instructor.

Fearing she might think that I wasn’t taking it seriously or that I was laughing at her practice, her methods, or her instructions.

She was the only one who could see me because I had only one student to my left and she was slightly behind me, the rest of the class were right behind me, about fifteen in total.

Credit: Unsplash

At first, the yoga instructor, consciously tried to avoid looking at me.

She would look through the corner of her eye and then quickly look away.

I was growing in embarrassment which made it even more difficult to stop laughing. My silent giggling intensifying by the second. Now everything made me laugh like a silent maniac. Every word she said, every pose I saw, every move I made.

At this point the whole class could hear me for sure. I was relieved with the thought that they couldn’t actually see me laughing and maybe they didn’t know where the laughter was actually coming from.

Trying to keep my face straight and follow the class, in spite of the embarrassment, I looked at my instructor and I was a strange mixture of shocked and thrilled when I saw that she had joined in with me!

She was laughing, uncontrollably, for no reason other than me laughing. She laughed uttering giggles while doing the moves and giving the instructions. Occasionally during the practice she would laugh out loud the instructions for us to follow and giggle her heart out while doing the poses herself.

As soon as I saw this and during the rest of the class it felt like it was just me and my instructor, Carolina in the room. Laughing our hearts out while doing the practice, as if playing like little kids. We couldn’t stop laughing. Others joined in, some didn’t. I have no clue, I couldn’t really see anyone but Carolina.

The best part of this was that, the embarrassment, the guilt, the worry, the shame, the awkwardness, it all melted away with the laughter.

It was impossible to feel any type of negativity for long while laughing. On the contrary. The laughing was the best part of the class, of the day and of the life.

We were two people laughing in class. So what? It was wonderful!

The more delicious of this story is that Carolina Romero Gonzalez, my yoga instructor has been my best friend from age 11-years- old. My soul sister.

We were in our 30s that day and it was one of the many beautiful moments and experiences we have shared together, truly memorable.

She ended the class saying that laughter is good!

As it happens she had, for a long time, incorporated “laughter therapy” in several of her Mind Body and Soul healing programs.

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The Ultimate Actors’s Warm-up includes the laughter exercise.

In my book I have put together a set of exercises that will have you Character-Ready in 15–45 minutes

The Ultimate Actor’s Warm-up will relax, condition and energise your body, mind and soul. It will enhance your creativity and awaken your senses.

After completing the warm-up, you will find yourself feeling vibrant with new energy, ready to take on the next part of your day, a rehearsal, an audition, an acting class, film shoot or a performance.You will be like an inspired artist equipped with paint, brushes and looking at a fresh canvas, ready to create.

Here is exercise One

1. Laughter

Performance Duration 1–3 Minutes (or more, try all day for best results)

Laughter Session

Start laughing and continue to laugh for a total of 1–3 minutes. Produce different types of laughter at different tones, pitches and voices. Do so taking care not to strain your vocal cords. Let the laughter flow without forcing it or straining your voice.

Objective

Relaxation. Improve your mood. Boost confidence. Raise your level of energy. Loosen your body. Full body stimulation.

Benefits

  • Laughter will boost your oxygen intake and release endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make us happy.
  • Laughter is a stress-reducer, immunity-booster, heart-helper, and confidence-builder.
  • When feeling tired or lacking in energy laugher awakens your entire body. It energises you and refreshes you. Laughter increases your immunity. It strengthens and promotes heart health by reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow.

Tip

I highly recommend practising this exercise or finding funny things to laugh heartily about all day long, 1–3 minutes of laughter can go a long way.

Credit: Unsplash

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly it’s the think I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person”

Audrey Hepburn

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain”

Charlie Chaplin

The Ultimate Actor’s Warm-Up

Do you ever wish that you can be in-character and in-the-moment from the second you walk into your scene?

Without wasting those few eternal seconds feeling out of place and not fully ready to give your all?

Those few seconds of

“getting-into-it”

There is a simple way to achieve this:

Doing a good, sharp, thorough warm-up before your performance

With “The Ultimate Actors Warm-up” 14 Exercises

You Gain

  • Physical Full Body Warm Up
  • Voice Warm Up
  • Greater Focus and a higher ability to Concentrate
  • Enhanced Creativity and Imagination
  • Characterisation Preparation

Main Benefits: Confidence, Readiness, Agility, Focus

Warming up before rehearsals, auditions, and performances is utterly important.

To prepare for rehearsals, auditions, or performances, you need to cover three components in your warm-ups: Physical, vocal and mental warm-up.

Depending on your needs your warm up can last 3–45 minutes.

If you are prepping for a specific character for an audition, rehearsal or performance you can take your prepping warm up as far as you need.

While doing your physical warm also work on your focus and concentration, by paying attention to your breathing and being fully aware of how your body feels.

Throughout the warm up let your thoughts flow be observant to help with

  • Reduced tension.
  • Correct Breathing
  • Natural and easy flow of thoughts
  • Higher awareness of your body and environment
  • Increased Creativity

Achieve all this!

Sylvia Love Johnson is an Acting Career Coach, Filmmaker, Producer helping talent around the world Master the Craft. Join MAM. Method Acting Moments News Letter to get Method Acting training directly to your inbox. See her 7 Steps to Acting Career Success Method Coaching Programme.

Get The Ultimate Actors Warm-uP ebook here

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