In this Preshow Rituals segment, the R&B artist, Amani, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can find out her rituals and listen to her newest single, house, after the break.
Every show I perform brings its own set of excitement and nerves and a lot of my preshow rituals started when I was very young. When I was about 9, I had my first big callback for the Lion King National Tour. I was so nervous because I wanted it so bad. My cousin, Daryl, came with me and he told me to do this thing, at the time I didn’t know it was a form of yoga, called the ragdoll. Essentially you let your torso completely fall to the floor and slowly with deep breaths you rise back up. Ever since that day in Pearl Studios, I do this for every show, audition, and meeting. Two other poses I do as a preshow ritual include Warrior I and II.
The second preshow ritual I have is visualizing the full show, front to back, in my mind. I envision everything from how I walk on stage to every lyric to what I imagine myself wearing that night. I try to encapsulate every little detail with my mind, especially how I see myself, how I want my audience to see me. Every show, even when performing the same songs, is wildly different. The people in the room bring a different energy, how I’m feeling that day brings new energy to each show, new things I’m discovering musically and lyrically even within the same material changes and grows and I love those little nuances. Understanding myself and meditating keeps me in tune.
The last two preshow rituals I have come from my family and love for God. I believe every show I perform is a blessing, being able to do what I am passionate about is a blessing. So an hour before every show I play As by Stevie Wonder, it’s definitely my hype song. There’s nothing more powerful than love and exuding love into the world is my ultimate purpose. And lastly, I call my parents and we pray together. These two rituals are probably the most important for me. They keep me grounded in understanding no matter what happens on stage I have a supportive family that always has my back and every opportunity is a blessing and I shouldn’t lose sight or take that for granted.