Singing on Steroids

The show must go on. This phrase was drilled into my head as a kid when I was starting my career. I can honestly say that in my 30 years of touring I’ve never missed a show. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been sick… the demands of being on the road often mean lack of sleep, stressful travel and lots of pressure: perfect conditions for getting sick… and I have, many times. 

The mindset of the show must go on has always gotten me through. I might have to stay in bed all day, but when it’s showtime, the adrenaline kicks in and the body performs. Sometimes it’s a surreal experience, as if I’m present, but observing. Perhaps after having been in this position so many times, it’s somewhat of a comfort to know that my body and voice won’t let me down. 

Last month I had a couple of concerts to perform in Barcelona. I was feeling invincible before the show, and looking forward to incorporating a new percussionist into the band. We were well rehearsed, and enjoying a good vibe. Perhaps through over-confidence and thinking that even getting caught out in the rain without a coat couldn’t hurt me, I pushed myself way too hard leading up to the shows, stressing over details, trying to please too many people. And I got a whopping flu and lost my voice completely. But the show must go on … even if, in this case, it meant taking cortisone shots to get me through the show. 

The show went on, and it was fine, although not my greatest performance. The funny thing about steroid shots is that they work remarkably well, but for the days after you come off them, you feel like you’re gonna die. Really scary stuff! 

So, what did I learn? Notes to self: even after all your years of experience, you have to learn to slow down and take a deep breath when you start getting ahead of yourself. Prepare, prepare, of course. Keep variables down to a minimum (words of advice from my scientist friend Alex… applies to anything). Take extra care of yourself before big events, even if you’re feeling ‘invincible’ and excited… sometimes that’s when you let your guard down and do silly things, like over-stressing over details and going out in the rain without a coat. Basic stuff. Sometimes it’s good to get back to square one. And don’t worry, the show will go on

9 comments

  • Alan Walters

    Alan Walters South Wales

    We sometimes forget the pressure & the need to keep well. We know you have a passion for your music & your ecemplorary record speaks for itself. Well Done for putting the fans first & going through the pain barrier. I bet the Audience never guessed. Appreciate the high standard of your music so much. Looking forward to one day witnessing a live performance. Keeping the music alive is what you do for sure!

    We sometimes forget the pressure & the need to keep well. We know you have a passion for your music & your ecemplorary record speaks for itself. Well Done for putting the fans first & going through the pain barrier. I bet the Audience never guessed. Appreciate the high standard of your music so much. Looking forward to one day witnessing a live performance. Keeping the music alive is what you do for sure!

  • Phil

    Phil Sooke, BC

    Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm my body... breathing out I smile... dwelling in the present moment... I know this is a wonderful moment" - repeat three times, keeping your awareness on your breath. Repeat every hour. Dr. Boz

    Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm my body... breathing out I smile... dwelling in the present moment... I know this is a wonderful moment" - repeat three times, keeping your awareness on your breath. Repeat every hour. Dr. Boz

  • Per. Denmark.

    Per. Denmark.

    Hi Nancy. What about a little vacation. Denmark in summertime is such a lovely place. No, just kidding you. Take care, and remember, to listen to your body. We cant do the same, as when we was twenty. By the way, we have just ordered a trip to Almuñécar, not so far from Malaga. Cheers. Per. ;-)

    Hi Nancy.
    What about a little vacation. Denmark in summertime is such a lovely place. No, just kidding you. Take care, and remember, to listen to your body. We cant do the same, as when we was twenty. By the way, we have just ordered a trip to Almuñécar, not so far from Malaga.
    Cheers. Per. ;-)

  • Per. Denmark.

    Per. Denmark.

    Sorry, didn't know I was anonymous :-) Per.

    Sorry, didn't know I was anonymous :-)
    Per.

  • Vivian Oruvee

    Vivian Oruvee Tallinn, Estonia

    Please take care of you. I understand how hard this might be and I know that show will always go on. I hope that you can have a good rest before going on. I wish you the best, I love your voice and music. Vivian

    Please take care of you. I understand how hard this might be and I know that show will always go on. I hope that you can have a good rest before going on. I wish you the best, I love your voice and music.
    Vivian

  • Nancy Ruth

    Nancy Ruth Spain

    Thank you, Vivian! [quote=Vivian Oruvee] Please take care of you. I understand how hard this might be and I know that show will always go on. I hope that you can have a good rest before going on. I wish you the best, I love your voice and music. Vivian [/quote]

    Thank you, Vivian!

    Vivian Oruvee wrote:

    Please take care of you. I understand how hard this might be and I know that show will always go on. I hope that you can have a good rest before going on. I wish you the best, I love your voice and music.
    Vivian

  • Nancy Ruth

    Nancy Ruth Spain

    Almuñécar is a lovely spot! By the way, there are rumblings about a Scandinavian tour for 2017, so I might get lucky enough to tread Danish soil once again. Will be sure to let you know. Thanks, Per! [quote=Per. Denmark.] Hi Nancy. What about a little vacation. Denmark in summertime is such a lovely place. No, just kidding you. Take care, and remember, to listen to your body. We cant do the same, as when we was twenty. By the way, we have just ordered a trip to Almuñécar, not so far from Malaga. Cheers. Per. ;-) [/quote]

    Almuñécar is a lovely spot! By the way, there are rumblings about a Scandinavian tour for 2017, so I might get lucky enough to tread Danish soil once again. Will be sure to let you know. Thanks, Per!

    Per. Denmark. wrote:

    Hi Nancy.
    What about a little vacation. Denmark in summertime is such a lovely place. No, just kidding you. Take care, and remember, to listen to your body. We cant do the same, as when we was twenty. By the way, we have just ordered a trip to Almuñécar, not so far from Malaga.
    Cheers. Per. ;-)

  • Nancy Ruth

    Nancy Ruth Spain

    Thanks for that reminder, Phil. Every day good advice. [quote=Phil] Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm my body... breathing out I smile... dwelling in the present moment... I know this is a wonderful moment" - repeat three times, keeping your awareness on your breath. Repeat every hour. Dr. Boz [/quote]

    Thanks for that reminder, Phil. Every day good advice.

    Phil wrote:

    Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm my body... breathing out I smile... dwelling in the present moment... I know this is a wonderful moment" - repeat three times, keeping your awareness on your breath. Repeat every hour. Dr. Boz

  • Nancy Ruth

    Nancy Ruth Spain

    Thanks Alan. Live music is still where it's at, what most connects, and what I most enjoy. Hope to meet you someday! [quote=Alan Walters] We sometimes forget the pressure & the need to keep well. We know you have a passion for your music & your ecemplorary record speaks for itself. Well Done for putting the fans first & going through the pain barrier. I bet the Audience never guessed. Appreciate the high standard of your music so much. Looking forward to one day witnessing a live performance. Keeping the music alive is what you do for sure! [/quote]

    Thanks Alan. Live music is still where it's at, what most connects, and what I most enjoy. Hope to meet you someday!

    Alan Walters wrote:

    We sometimes forget the pressure & the need to keep well. We know you have a passion for your music & your ecemplorary record speaks for itself. Well Done for putting the fans first & going through the pain barrier. I bet the Audience never guessed. Appreciate the high standard of your music so much. Looking forward to one day witnessing a live performance. Keeping the music alive is what you do for sure!

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