This week I take to the stage myself, as I play 'Doralee' (a.k.a Dolly Parton) in '9 to 5 the Musical' and I thought it would be useful to share some of my rituals, that enable me to stay energised and in full voice.
First things first, REST! I'm writing this from my bed at 12pm in the afternoon; normally a shameful thing to admit, particularly on a Monday, however yesterday we rehearsed pretty much all day and my electric blanket is nice and toastie, so I stayed here! I've spoken before about the importance of getting enough sleep and rest; this becomes doubly important when you're in show mode.
GET SOME QUIET TIME. I've not spoken much at all yet today. Resting the voice itself is very important; I'm using it less now so it is in better shape when I need it later.
EPSOM SALTS. I plan to have a soak in a bath of epsom salts every day this week. This helps to relax the muscles after all the running around, plus it can help you sleep - often a problem when you're on a high after a good show.
STAYING ORGANISED. When I got home last night, I spent some time getting the house in order so I have one less thing to think about this week. The simplest thing, like a tidy room can stop you being distracted and really help you to stay focussed on the task at hand.
FOODS. I'm currently banned from consuming any of the following; dairy - including cheese and chocolate; caffeine; spicy foods; alcohol. All of the above have a particularly negative affect on the voice. I'll be drinking room temperature water to help me remain hydrated and food that has slow releasing carbohydrate - wholemeal foods are good to help stay energised.
WARM UP. This sounds so obvious, but i've seen it forgotten so many times. I will start this very soon, by adding in a simple hum a few times, followed by a loosing the jaw muscles exercise - something I'll repeat throughout the day today. The jaw muscle is the most used muscle in the body as we're either talking or eating! Letting go of some of the tension here, can really help with vocal freedom.
If you would like to find out more about any of the above or have more to add to this list, please get in touch. In the meantime, I'm off to cake myself in make-up!