Tune in to the Tony Awards this Sunday June 7 on CBS.
“I do my makeup. I put Vicks up both nostrils. I go into my bathroom and sing, among other things. I get into costume. Then I pray!”—Kristin Chenoweth, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
“Before I go on stage, I close my door and privately say special prayers for the performance, friends and family in front of my beautiful personal altar of memorabilia. Then off to the stage. I do it for ‘Grace.’ ”—Chita Rivera, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
“In scene 1, Bryce (Pinkham) and I do a tiny dance together, and when we were working it out in rehearsal, the trickiest part was this dip we do. And so before our first few shows, we would practice it at the ‘places’ call before my first entrance. Eventually, of course, we didn’t need to practice it anymore, but it became kind of a ritual, and we were superstitious about it so we did it before every single show. We called it ‘dance call.’ It lasted five seconds, and we took it very seriously.”—Elisabeth Moss, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
“I try not to be too dependent on rituals before a show other than warming up my voice and finding a little gratitude. There was a time when I was superstitious enough to think I would fail without certain rituals, but then life got in the way and forced me to trust other things.”—Kelli O’Hara, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
“While I don’t have any pre-show rituals per se, I do have some consistent things I do from show to show. If the dressing room is big enough I’ll always bring a couple of pictures of my uncle, Brian Kelly. He was an actor and starred on the TV show Flipper. I’ll also FaceTime with my 13-year-old daughter at intermission so I can say goodnight to her.”—Brian d’Arcy James, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in Something Rotten!
“I would walk from stage right to stage left with my husband, Joe Tapper, say ‘good show’ with Crystal Dickinson to the crew stage left, double check my pointe shoe ribbons, rub the pointe shoes in rosin and say a prayer for the worst dancing on Broadway—because I purposefully did the worst dancing on Broadway each night.”—Annaleigh Ashford, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
“Each night, Nathan Lane and I do a speed-through of the first scene of the play. It’s our way of checking in and getting the motor running. Now that we’ve done it almost 300 times, we occasionally do it in various dialects/genres. British drawing room is a favorite. Sometimes after we do that, we tell jokes as a series of characters that we’ve created over the past year—one is Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird as a theater lover who is obsessed with Nathan. It’s like yoga for comedians.”—Micah Stock, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
“Music and sound helps me a lot. I’ll listen to field recordings of rainstorms or windy moors—environments that my character would be familiar with. One thing I always do is sleep about an hour before the show—40 minutes will usually do it. It really clears my head of the day and helps me recharge, focus and rev up for the performance.”—Ben Miles, nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play