I adore my touring life. We are like a family, from my sound technician, 4-person Band, stage manager, merchandise sales team and management, I have quite the entourage. As soon as we arrive at a theatre, everyone dashes off to their areas to prepare for show day. The band go to stage, sound man to his sound booth, merchandise to the foyer and me to find the best dressing room. When it’s your show you can always give yourself the best dressing room. People always want to know what I do next; how do I prepare for the show.
People always say to me “tell us something that we don’t know about you, what are you like offstage”, etc. Ok, the first thing that people never know about me is that used to personally manage Pamela Anderson, and also worked as her make-up artist for five years. I love well-groomed eyebrows and I’ve slept three nights in the Big Brother house whilst on air and no one knew. But I digress. However, during this time of working with celebrities I never had the performing confidence I do now. I wouldn’t have dared even touch Cher in the early days with fear of criticism. Now it's one of my most requested voices. This time of working with high profile celebrities gave me the character basis of how I wanted to be as a persona. Not a diva but have status and presence.
To be show ready, it takes me 2 hours to construct. That includes hair and dressing. My essentials in my make-up bag are my homemade lashes which consist of 3 pairs stuck together to get the desired length and fullness. Also, I have a foundation in an aerosol can from the States which is amazing, sweat proof and quick! I literally spray my face and done! Once in my dressing room I lay out all my jewellery on a towel, my makeup, I even travel with my own kettle. I like areas. So, I’m not searching for things or working in a mess. A makeup area, jewellery area and drinks and food etc. I always play upbeat music whilst unpacking and getting ready. My energy has to be kept up and I’m usually excited.
Once my makeup face is on my hair is done, the stage persona literally appears before me in the mirror? I then go and check my quick-change area. I make sure my fully crystallized shoes and sparkly costumes (1000's of flatack crystals lovingly placed by hand) are ready and place powder puffs etc in the wings for when I’m sweating to keep me powdered and shine free. Once I’m ready and fully dressed. I usually prop open my door and chat to the band and team. I love loads of people in the dressing room, banter, jokes and chaos. I find this warms me up and literally throws me onstage with my energy level hitting the back of the theatre.
Don’t get me wrong I get nervous and I like space to prepare and go a bit inward to focus on what I’m going to do. I get snappy when I’m nervous, so being alone gives me space to snap at myself, being with people around stops me freaking out. I turn the music up and usually dance to the diva women I’m going to be singing in my show…it’s party time!
As for the songs I like to sing onstage, I choose them based on the women who sing them. I adore a singer who gives every bit of her soul to a song or performs like it’s the last song she will ever sing. Therefore, big belters show songs from Liza, Shirley and Cher are my favourites. I like to sing high and loud! I want the audience to witness a performance not just a song being sung.
It’s not always down to me and my performance, which can have mishaps or be unpredictable. Audiences can bring so many unexpected aspects to every show. I’ve had people stripping, people at weddings standing on tables which have collapsed and even someone who decided to run on stage and hug me while I was singing a Disney song to tell me that it was his funeral song! He then got his friends to carry him above their heads as if they were carrying him in a coffin. I tell you, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo is not the obvious funeral choice