In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, James Maslow, shares what he does before every show. You can check out his rituals, after the break.
Oh, the pre-show ritual. For those of you who don’t play music, every artist has a different routine before they hit the stage. Some stretch and warm up, others do vocal scales and some just need a shot or two of whiskey. Me? Well, my pre-show ritual has definitely evolved over the years. Eh, “evolve” may not be the most appropriate word actually as it’s definitely become more loose and fast than it once was haha, but it’s changed none the less.
I used to have a full-blown “lockdown” where a minimum of an hour before the show my dressing room would literally be locked, my phone put away and I’d begin a set of vocal warm-ups and stretching. I’d even do yoga or meditate if I had extra time. This was a way for me to forget about everything else and make sure everything from my voice to my mind was ready to crush the show. Especially at the beginning of a tour, I’d also run through the entire set in my head: music cues, lyrics, choreography, pyro cues. The same way I would visualize a game when I played sports (I mean high school and such, not pretending to have gone pro…but maybe I could have just saying) I’d visualize my set. Honestly, this was a great way to make sure everything went off without a hitch.
But, the more I’ve played shows the more I’ve realized one thing; If I’m not having fun on stage, the audience won’t be either. So, of course, I still warm up my voice and body, but my routine is far less stringent now. If I have friends at the show, I let them hang out in the dressing room or backstage and have a good time. I play my favorite music loud and dance and sing along to that instead of finding a piano and doing scales. If it’s a big show (or any show, let’s be honest) maybe I have a shot of Tequila beforehand! Or two! I start the party before the show now and let that carry on to the stage. I find myself being far more relaxed and that the experience is just more fun for everyone.