Do you have a ritual of some kind before you perform?

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    I read where one girl always ate chocolate before she performed.





    I ALWAYS pray before I go out there that I will play well and we can have a beautiful (wedding, funeral, dinner, whatever.)

    Karen Johns

    I pray too- and if I have one, I’ll eat a banana to help calm my nerves about a half hour or so before the performance. It’s a fine line with caffeine for me- if I have one cup of coffee or a coke I find it helps my focus, but more than that and I’m jittery and hyper-nervous, ALWAYS a bad thing!

    I’m also looking into the alternative technique called


    Having been a dancer in my younger days, I try to always do some serious stretching before a high-stakes gig: shoulders, neck, back, legs- the works. It really helps!


    I go to the ladies room.

    Liam M

    My ritual is to avoid practice, jam with Jimmy Beffet and conduct all sorts of experiments with various harp configurations and ideas.


    I usually think about preparing myself. One of my better performances was when I had no time to do anything after rehearsing but get dressed and go on! Dark chocolate, I guess that’s the new ritual, and cola. I did find that a bagel and cream cheese was a nice fuel that went down easy. Heavy food is not good.

    I definitely think about making a transition. One is a persona as a soloist, not your ordinary self. You are making magic. I think about cleansing, leaving thoughts behind, dedicating the space, what I want to achieve, mostly what I want the audience to experience. I create a space for them. I tune to them like the harp, and with my program carefully arranged, I serve them a series of delights and stimulations until they are brought to their feet in ovation (or exiting). In fact, my record for standing ovations since I began programming very deliberately for them has been something like 9 out of 10 recitals. I messed up the last one because I ended with Salzedo’s Suite of Eight Dances instead of his Recessional, which has a very rousing ending. The Rumba is not rousing enough.


    Pieces to end a recital with:

    Salzedo’s Ballade, Recessional, Scintillation, Variations

    Hmm, I can’t think of anything else that is sure-fire. Salzedo was great at endings.

    And don’t end with a piece with an ensemble like the Debussy Danses or Trio. A Concerto like the Ginastera, okay.


    Why not end with Debussy Danses or the Trio? Both are fabulous pieces! Then again, concert order is something that is very personal. 🙂

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