In this Preshow Rituals segment, the pop artist, Rochelle Diamante, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can check out the story, after the break.
A concert is the ultimate high for an artist. Nothing compares to that feeling you get on stage when you know you’re in the pocket and right after you finish the best set of your life. On stage and in a recording booth have always been my happy places. That’s saying a lot because I grew up as an extremely introverted kid. You know, the type of kid who hid behind their parent’s legs when someone made any eye contact with them. The type of kid whose mom needed to introduce them to the neighborhood kids in order to make friends…ok this is getting embarrassing. THE POINT IS!! That shy girl was always fascinated with the performance life and the moment I first walked on stage is a moment that I will hold in my heart until I take my last breath. At 11 years old, I took to the stage and something happened in my soul. I was dancing, I was using the stage, I was singing my heart out and for the first time, I felt complete comfort in an otherwise completely uncomfortable situation. That was the beginning of it all.
But let’s fast forward to today (and just for the record, I have blossomed into a well-socialized human being). Having done some pretty cool shows, I have definitely established my pre-show Do’s, Don’ts, and Musts. First, let’s talk warm-ups. There’s a fine line you have to walk with your vocal cords on the day of a show. If the show is in the evening, I might run through my set sparingly early in the morning just to make sure I can hit those high notes. Once I hit them once, I don’t sing full out for the rest of the time leading up to the show. Next, on the way to the venue, I’ll go through 3 songs or so doing only tongue trills (rolling the tongue on pitch as if I’m singing it). After that, I put my voice into hibernation until the show.
Now, when it comes to eating or drinking. I’ve had professional vocalists and coaches say they love spicy foods, milk products, and I’ve seen artists with a beer in their hand throughout their set as their only water source. But for me, these are the opposite of helpful!! Spicy foods make my nose run which causes a congested tone. Milk products create a lot of flem in the throat that is not good or attractive. When it comes to beer or any alcohol, it’s important to note that I’m a lightweight. So just one drink starts a nice buzz and while that’s fun when you’re out with your friends and drinks are $20 each and all you have to spend is…$20, it’s terrible for controlling pitch and tone! I have tried a couple of times to sing while buzzing and I just can’t focus on my diaphragm enough to make sure I actually sound good. So that’s a big no-no. Plus, who wants to take away from the amazing experience that is being on stage anyways. Instead, you’ll see me downing A LOT of Chamomille tea with honey. A LOT.
The clock is ticking. I’m T-Minus 5 minutes away from taking the stage. This is when I say a prayer. I close my eyes and thank god for every blessing in my life and for bringing me to that very moment. I start picturing getting off-stage feeling on cloud 9. I picture the crowd’s smiling faces and cheers and chants. I picture everything going perfectly and riding that natural artist’s high. With a little jump and shake, I get my mind in the zone to have the best night of my life and to give the audience the best show I possibly can.
I’m side stage now. They’re literally starting to announce me but there’s one last ritual I must do and will never and have never missed. I do a quick cross and send a kiss up to the heavens above right as they finish saying my name and then boom! I’m out on stage. Showtime baby.