In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, Joe Marson, shares what he does before every show. You can check out his rituals, after the break.
To be honest, I have thought about this a lot since I began performing. I’ve always searched for the best set of activities or rituals to get me in peak state. My main goal is to reduce the amount of stress. Nervous energy is great and often times helpful, but stress and anxiety rarely do anyone any good.
I usually wake up and meditate for about 10 minutes every morning whether I have a show or not. I just try to relax all day the best I can. Sometimes I have things to do and errands to run as any (semi) adult person does. But if I don’t, I like to read or watch movies. I eat about 2 hours before show time. I run over all the practical things in my head. Again I want the minimum amount of stress when I hit the stage, so knowing that I have taken care of all the practical issues is calming.
I usually feel pretty neutral all day up until about an hour before. That’s when I start getting that nervous, excited energy. I start vocalizing and getting into a musical zone. I will sing along with people who inspire me. Usually Donny Hathaway and Jeff Buckley. Plus vocal warm-ups. Sometimes I’ll do drugs in this time period. And by drugs, I mean caffeine in the form of coffee. I check in with my guys or whoever I am performing with, go over the setlist, then head to the stage. As we’re on stage, about to start, I like to take a deep breath and slow everything down. I usually turn around and connect with the band one more time. I’ll say something along the lines of “Let’s have fun. We know the songs, we’ve practiced. Lets just groove. Let’s sound like a band because we are a band,” and other sort of obscure things. Just depends on what I feel is needed to be said Sometimes nothing.