How I Start My Day is a series revealing the intimate details and wisdom behind the morning rituals of successful characters in youth culture and beyond.
Touring is an exhaustive experience, and it’s one that Dodie knows all to well. The singer-songwriter born Dorothy Miranda Clark has been on and off the road since her first outing in 2014, offering her distinct blend of emotionally complex balladry in her native United Kingdom and, now, across the good ol’ USA.
Naturally, this provides its own set of challenges for one’s normal routine, or rather, one must adapt entirely unorthodox routines to acclimate to the lifestyle. With this year’s Human EP serving as her most consummate release yet, it’s a lifestyle Dodie better grow accustomed to a whole lot more of.
Read on to learn about how Dodie stays sane in the midst of a hectic touring schedule and essential skin care routines that can be maintained from the comfort of the tour bus.
How is your morning going? What have you accomplished so far today?
It’s going well! I woke up on a bus in Dallas, Texas parked outside the venue. We couldn’t get in until 12 so me and my tech guy Sam walked to a breakfast place just around the corner – it was VERY HOT outside and were sweating by the time we were munching on muffins. Then I packed my day bag, dragged it into the venue, set up camp in the pokey green room, typed in the wifi and facetimed my flatmate to soothe my homesickness. I showered, dressed, and am now going through some emails before it’s time to soundcheck!
What time do you typically wake up and why?
It really depends. At home it’s any time between 9-11 – I feel most creative at night and so stay up late – or I’m at some kind of event in the evening. On tour it’s a lot later – after a show we’re either on a hype – so we party – or it was an okay show and we need to pick ourselves up – so we party. Also there’s not much to do on a bus other than sleep!
What are you usually thinking about as soon as you wake up?
My dreams. I usually dream about the past and it can put me in a weird mood. I haven’t learned how to let go of those feelings yet!
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make a cup of tea. Hug a friend. Watch the news while I make breakfast. Look over my to-do list for the day. Knit!
How do you prepare for the day ahead?
Honestly, I don’t really have anything specific! I have a calendar and a to-do list, I make sure to get washed and dressed and fed and watered, but that’s not too special.
What is your skincare routine?
Oh, I just splash with cold water and that’s about it. Just kidding. I’m actually on medication for my acne (spironolactone), and I use a salicylic cleanser with warm water. Then I use a prescription cream (finacea gel), let that sink in, and then mix sunscreen with non comedogenic foundation. This is the only routine that works for me – I have had hormonal acne for 10 years and have tried absolutely everything. I obviously still get spots and I probably will forever – I just have that kind of skin. But I’ve gotten to a place where I feel okay about it now!
Where are you currently based? What goes on around you in your apartment?
Currently based on the outskirts of London! I live with a friend and have a lot of friends in my neighborhood. They are my family and they play SUCH an important role in my sanity and security. I work a lot – but we also all talk a lot and process our feelings together as a team. A lot of teas and sofa chats and cries.
Are you a morning person? Why are mornings important to you?
Mornings are important because they are a reset. Everything can feel very heavy and too big at night – you’ve lived a day and carried these experiences and it’s easy to think you will feel this way forever – but a sleep is a reset. I can’t remember where I read it, but somewhere I saw the words; “the sun will rise, and we will try again” – and that really helps to soothe my brain. A morning is a promise!
How do you practice self-care?
I’m not very good at it when I’m depressed, which is more common on tour. But I’ve just come out of a bad patch because my best friend Shannon said something I really needed to hear yesterday. She reminded me that happiness and pain can co exist – you don’t have to be void of sadness and other hard feelings for joy to exist. It’s such an obvious thing but it’s so easy for good feelings to disappear when Bad Brain says they aren’t real because of all the heaviness you carry. So I will take her words and use them to be kinder to myself more often. It’s a very internal way of self care – but still very important. Physically I practice it when I’m understanding with myself in situations where I have an expectation to go out, to party, to have fun. Sometimes I need to go to sleep. Sometimes I can’t give other people what they need. I am only human. That helps me a lot.
How does your morning routine change when you’re traveling?
I promised myself on this tour I would make more of an effort to go outside – instead of downing vitamin D gummies from Walmart in an attempt to feel better. Even though there is nowhere to wash yet, and I have to brush my teeth in the tiny bus sink with a bottle of water, and go outside in essentially my pyjamas – it’s worth it to breathe new air and more than the 30 seconds of sun I’d get dragging my bag from the bus to the venue.
Next up; here’s how BMX rider Chad Douglas starts his day.