I wrote this article to provide a step by step plan of what you need to do as a singer on the day of a performance. We have discussed in previous articles what you should do as a singer in the months and weeks leading up to your big day, but today, I want to go over what your conduct on the day of a performance should be. What you do on the day of your actual performance is important. You must take special care in the hours leading up to the performance because a great performance just doesn’t happen. You need to make a conscious effort, informed by proper vocal technique and vocal hygiene to make it happen. Preparation is the key to a successful performance and I have outlined the step by step plan to serve as a guideline for every professional voice user below:
1) Vocal care should start in the morning as soon as you wake up. The quality of the voice that you wake up with in the morning is sometimes a result of what has happened the night before. If you have acid reflux, you need to take special care the night before a big performance to ensure that your voice is in top shape in the morning. Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach acids come up to the oesophagus causing a sore throat and heartburn. If you are affected by this condition, what you eat and when you eat it determines how your voice will sound in the morning. Acid reflux is aggravated by certain foods-spicy foods, acidic fruits, caffeine, alcohol for example. Also, eating large meals late at night makes the condition worse. It is recommended that you stay away from the foods that aggravate acid reflux and also eat at least three hours before you go to bed. Antacids after meals also help.
The last thing you want is a sore throat on your big day. Also if you are out talking and using your voice in places with very loud music like a night club for instance, you will end up doing some vocal abuse and you will wake up in the morning with a voice that’s tired and abused.
2) Drink lots of water and try to drink the water before you do any talking. Let water be the first thing that gets into your tummy in the morning. This helps to begin the process of the moistening of your vocal cords so that they can vibrate freely and produce sound unhindered. You will need to drink water throughout the day but it is important that you start early before any speaking activity, singing activity and before vocal exercises.
3) The next thing would be physical exercise. It’s important to feel good about your body when you are performing and exercise in addition to keeping you healthy, helps you feel good within and without. A performer that’s insecure about their body is more likely to give a self-conscious performance and you might not really let loose and be free. Exercise will also help you build physical stamina. Performing constantly under lights and having to do choreography or stage movement can be very stressful especially when you are not physically fit. I have also said many times before that your physical health affects your vocal health as well so, physical exercise is integral to your routine on the day of your performance and for your overall health all year round.
4) Drink some herbal tea. I wouldn’t advise tea that contains caffeine or beverages that require milk. I suggest camomile tea or green tea, something with all natural ingredients. Herbal teas are great for relaxation and calming nerves. It’s nice to slowly sip some tea before vocal warm ups.