10 Feb 2020

Pre-concert Rituals: Shayna Steele

by Kathleen Sykes

Professional musicians often spend much of their lives on the road performing in concert venues around the globe. Amid the hectic travel schedules, rehearsals, practice time and adjustments to a different time zone, culture and climate, regular routine is sacrificed. We ask our guest artists to share what pre-concert rituals help keep them grounded. Shayna Steele describes herself as a full-time mom, wife, world-class vocalist and two-time marathoner, and she is one of the featured vocalists on Women Rock. Read along as she takes us through her pre-show routine.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have started my professional career on Broadway. The discipline I learned about warming up my voice and my body was something that became habit over time. When you’re doing 8 shows a week, it’s non-negotiable.

 When I started traveling with my band to Europe, the plane rides alone would dehydrate me, cause my body to ache and then at arrival, I’d have 24 hours to adjust to the 7-hour time change before my first sound check. The scenario is disastrous for a vocalist, but I’ve learned several tricks of the trade that get me through any situation effortlessly! 

 My pre-concert ritual is pretty much the same for every show. I also don’t drink alcohol, and if I do, I can’t do it when I’m singing. It’s like pouring gasoline on a bonfire; because of all of the singing I do, the voice is already dealing with an inflamed environment. 

 As far as how I stay grounded, my relationships with my husband and my little girl are my top priority. If my daughter is well cared for while I travel, then I can fully submerge myself in my work. My husband is also a musician, so we have a dream team of family, nannies and neighbors who help. Everyone is on board. I also meditate every day and get regular massages to keep me at peace. Also, sleep. I sleep a lot. It’s the only way to give your body the rest it needs in order to keep up with my marathon singing schedule. 

In addition to this, Shayna also gave us a list of what her day looks like leading up to a performance:

  • Wake up at least 3 hours before a rehearsal/sound check
  • Lemon water or Young Living lemon infused water followed by a cup of coffee
  • Hit up an Orange Theory class or hot yoga (I exercise almost every day) 
  • Eat breakfast, mostly a high protein breakfast with a green juice plus a ginger shot if I can find a fresh juice place
  • Shower and do lip trill warm ups and sirens
  • Get to venue 30 minutes before Orchestra rehearsal
  • 15-minute full vocal warm up
  • 2 to 3-hour symphony rehearsal
  • Eat lunch (usually fish or chicken with vegetable and rice or potato) 
  • take a power nap
  • Get to venue 90 minutes before start of show
  • Start glam
  • Full vocal warm up for 10-15 minutes/steam my voice
  • Get dressed 10 minutes before start of show
  • Go time! 2 hours. 2 costume changes. 

Glad to be in Utah. This will be my first time performing here and I look forward to seeing a lot of friends who live there!