In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, Allie Moss, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can check out the story, after the break.
Every day on tour, I aim to move my body. I need to get my blood moving and work out the aches and kinks. Often this is something like a HIIT or weight lifting video and other days it’s more chill, yoga or stretching or a walk through the town I’m in. It helps me get in my body and be ready for the show physically but, to be honest, I exercise mostly for my mental health. Serotonin!
It’s small, but also a big thing: I time eating dinner a while before the show. I can’t sing well if I’m full, but I also don’t want to be lethargic and hangry. 2 hours is ideal. I also drink a lot of water throughout the day, usually at least 80 oz.
In the hour before the show, I warm up my voice and put on makeup, sometimes at the same time. This little routine is something I find really calming before a show! I’ve learned to do makeup in a moving vehicle, a dark green room, almost anywhere. My mom’s a makeup artist, and I’m grateful to have been taught by her. But also youtube is a great resource. My favorite is Lisa Eldridge.
I usually start vocalizing with a few minutes of straw phonation, which is my favorite gentle warmup. (They can also be done discreetly if I find myself without privacy to warm up.) I recently found a company that makes sustainable stainless cocktail straws. After straws, I vocalize a bit more, maybe 10 minutes, on some scales and arpeggios or rotate through voice lessons I have saved. Often I’ll sing or play through any challenging bits of songs.
If I’m not feeling nervous, then I usually just look to hang with my bandmates, listen to some music, or run through the setlist in my mind. If I am nervous, the first thing to reveal that in a show is that I lose my breath control. Something that’s really helped as of late is an app called State. It’s a simple app with short guided breathing exercises, which adapt to you over time. It has lovely visual and audio cues. I’ve found it really helps! I usually pick Feel Calm or Be Present before a show.
With the Ingrid band, we usually have a little pre-show huddle. Each tour has its own song or chant that evolves. It’s usually a bit silly but makes us smile, and we make eye contact and connect. Lastly, before I hit the stage I do something a mentor told me over 15 years ago: feel my feet beneath me. It’s a little woo-woo but I swear it helps me feel grounded.
Post-show ritual varies depending on where I am, who I’m with and how I’m traveling. Sometimes I want a few minutes to myself and I might have a cup of mint tea or Four Sigmatics Hot Cacao with Reishi. Or I’ll pack up and then catch up with friends for a drink. Talking over a loud crowd is so much more tiresome to my voice than singing a long set, so whichever way the night goes, I try to find a quiet place to hang. My friends know that sleep is my favorite thing so while I love people, being rested is the only way I survive the travel without getting sick so I’m usually off to bed as soon as I can. Rinse and repeat!