In this Preshow Rituals segment, the adult contemporary artist, AILSHA, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can check out the rituals, after the break.
On the day of a show I usually set my alarm for some time mid-morning. Early enough to prepare, but late enough to know that I’ll have the energy to put on a good show. Plus, there’s always the potential for a lovely pint after the gig. A large coffee with Oatly Barista fuels me for the big day ahead.
The first thing I do to prepare myself on show day is a shower and pamper head-to-toe! Lots of scrubbing, shaving, and skincare goes on (all using cruelty-free products, something I’m very passionate about). I sing while doing the above and go over any melody lines I’m unsure about. Then it’s time to pop on a good deodorant- it’s always worth trying to fend off mid-show spotlight sweats.
I then spend a few hours practicing for the gig before I head to the venue. This includes a general run-through of the songs on the piano, timing the set, and making any adjustments to the order of songs. Then it’s time to pack the equipment and my tiny gig handbag (or sometimes just a pocket will do), and off we go!
Having worked as a makeup artist for many years before I pursued my career in music full-time, I do my best to ensure my makeup is on-fleek for a show. Sitting in the green room (or dressing room, if I’m lucky!) with a cup of chamomile tea (to calm the nerves) I carry out my stage makeup routine while singing along to an upbeat Indie-pop playlist. On goes a full-coverage base, shimmery pink eyeshadow with razor-sharp liquid liner, and bubblegum pink, matte lip. The look is complete once I slide into the night’s attire, usually a sparkly or lace dress.
Closer to show-time I go into the bathroom to warm up. 9/10 times the deodorant I applied earlier in the day probably didn’t work with the nerves, so I go into the cubicle to meditate. The kind of nerves I get before a gig feels healthy and natural and can be a relief from the general day-to-day anxiety of life sometimes.
In the end, I focus on doing the best gig I can. My nerves turn into gratitude and the show becomes a good, fun time. And, of course, as soon as the gig is over I go to grab that good ol’ pint of Guinness.