Nina Schofield's hit the UK with a live tour and she shares what it's like to be up on stage with Female First.
One of the most exciting parts of my being a singer is bringing my music to life on stage and recently I've had the honour of supporting Gareth Malone's BBC winning choir Sons of Pitches on their sold out UK tour. Every single show has been incredible from start to finish and I feel so lucky to call this my job.
So far I've been to Bristol, Maidstone and Shrewsbury with Bury St. Edmunds being next on the list!
When preparing for a show I always think about how I can connect with the audience, especially when it's a larger audience. Now that I've found my comfort zone on stage I realize that talking to the audience is just like talking to your friends - after all, everyone watching wants to feel involved and at ease. That means I always have a loose idea of what I plan on saying, but I tend to improvise a lot of what comes to mind depending on the show and that way it feels like a more natural interaction. For instance at each show I've been doing a massive selfie with the audience (see below photo taken in Maidstone) which has been absolutely incredible. It takes the audience and myself out of our comfort zones and can create some hilarious results!
Before each show I do a vocal warm up, and if my guitarist is accompanying me we will run through some fun songs and have a bit of a laugh to feel more at ease before we go on stage.
The seconds before walking onto that stage are the most tense for me - suddenly everything comes down to this one moment and I have to really focus and calm my nerves. Luckily the boys from the Sons of Pitches have been so welcoming and supportive that they've helped me feel at home on their stage. I walk out to the most electric crowds and the reactions I get help to motivate me from one show the next.
So much preparation goes into these performances that they seem to be over in a flash - I find that trying to be in the moment and not over-thinking results in the best shows for me, and wow what a tour it's been so far!
I couldn't pick a favourite venue or crowd simply because they've all been amazing for their own individual reasons. At Shrewsbury the atmosphere was electric and the theatre was brand new so it was great to feel the energy and vibe in there. In complete contrast The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone had a really cool old school feel and as soon as I walked in I asked the lighting engineer if the place was haunted - he instantly replied 'Yes!' and pointed out where each of the ghosts sit in the auditorium. I didn't see them that night but I could definitely feel it in the atmosphere! The St. George's Theatre in Bristol was amazing thanks to the world famous acoustics - in my sound-check I was able to sing without a microphone and have it bounce back to me with no problems at all! The lighting in there also meant I could very easily see the crowd which I absolutely loved.
After each show I get to do one of my favourite things: talk to the audience in the lobby! I've had some amazing chats with some really interesting people at every single one of my shows. We take more selfies (!) chat about music and I get the opportunity to get to know some truly lovely fans of live music.
I'll be sad to say goodbye to this tour but so grateful for the experiences I've had and to the Sons of Pitches for having me. With some really exciting tour news in the pipeline for my new album Shapes, I know that the future will bring even more incredible memories and I just cant wait!