In case you were wondering, keep reading. If you don't really care, skip this posting.
So, just how do I get ready for this juggernaut of a musical? Very simply. I warm up my voice, then listen to some great music, and finally get started with my wig prep, make-up and costumes. Here is my routine, broken down, for an 8 PM performance:
7 PM - Arrive at the theatre, and sign in. I get my key from the stage door keeper, then head to my dressing room and settle in. I put down my big bag, take out my cellphone and iPod, then start warming up. My dresser Leslie usually pops in at around this time to check if I need anything. She'll prepare some hot water for Throat Care tea and fill my water bottle. Once I've taken enough of a breather, I start warming up. That takes around 15 minutes.
7:20 PM - MUSIC TIME!!! I put my iPod into my speakers, and take time to pick something cool for the day (last night it was Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite). I then take my costumes out and start getting dressed. Actually, at this early stage it's just my Fantine undergarments, my microphone, tights and boots. My actual corset and dress are put on downstairs in the wardrobe room.
7:30 PM - I do my own wig prep (as taught to me by our hair and make-up guy). It takes a few minutes to do, and I make sure that no stray hair escapes and that it doesn't come apart. My costume quick changes require a solid wig prep, as I'm ripping wigs on and off in seconds during the show. After my wig prep is done and my microphone is put on my head, I start make-up.
7:45 PM - Make-up is still under way... I'm sipping some tea as I groove to the music on my iPod. My valuables are collected at right around this time, too, by the stage manager that's going to be on deck.
7:55 PM - My face and body make-up are now done... I put my boots on now and head down to the wardrobe room to get dressed: a ratty skirt, a corset, a nice celadon green cotton dress, a choker with a cameo, and an apron. With my hat in hand, I head to the wig station to have my long wig put on. Then the hair dresser helps me with my hat. After all is done, I return to my room, turn off my music, sip some more tea and run through the lyrics of I Dreamed a Dream once, then test my highest note after that's done.
8:15 PM - I head downstairs and backstage, saying hello to different cast members on my way, and grabbing a cup of water from the cooler to sip while I wait for my cue. I go all the way upstage to the prop area, where my locket is. I then put it on, and stand by.
That's about it!!!
Right after Fantine's Death, I head back to my room and get dressed in my bullet boy outfit, and that's what I'm in for the rest of the show until the Finale.
My routine slightly changes with each show that I do, but the basics remain the same. I just feel it's important when I feel really prepared and ready to perform, to have a ritual of some sort before getting on stage. It relaxes and centers me, keeps the nerves at bay in order for me to have a wonderful time.