Ashley McBryde has a few rituals when it comes to performing in the circle at The Grand Ole Opry.
In a new interview with Variety, the country songstress relived some of her fondest memories at the historic Nashville venue. Her Opry debut was on June 16, 2017. She revealed that she had to get her makeup done four times because she kept happy crying. When she entered room four, the dressing room which is exclusive to first-timers, she lost it again.
“You’re terrified, but I was constantly hearing, ‘Hi Ashley. We’re so glad you’re here,’” she recalled. “And I knew that this would be the only time I get to stand in this room, but what I didn’t know until I walked in was what the contents of the room are.”
The room is lined with photos of legends like Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, and Taylor Swift. It also has the signature guitar pick number on the floor of the entrance. It’s a magical experience for artists and fans who tour the venue.
“So you, you feel like the Opry puts its arms around you immediately,” she continued. “Then you don’t get to go back and room four and use it as a dressing room. The only time you’ll go back is to congratulate somebody else on their debut.”
McBryde has done just that, she refuses to “even go in past the threshold” of the room.
“I just stick my head and say ‘I want to congratulate you on your debut.’ I’m not going to go back in because it keeps it sacred. We have so few things like that.”
Ashley McBryde’s Must Do Tradition
Ashley McBryde is a big believer in traditions when it comes to life and her music career. This extends to her performances at the Grand Ole Opry. She’s performed on the legendary stage more than a handful of times over the span of her career. Each time is a special moment to her and it doesn’t get old.
“I’m sure everybody has their little rituals. There’s that big picture of Minnie Pearl back by the artists’ entrance, and she’s got her fingers laced and her palms are toward the floor and her elbows are locked and she’s smiling in the spotlight. It was one of my first favorite things about the building.”
So anytime that Ashley McBryde is at the Opry, she welcomes Minnie by saying, “Good evening, Minnie.” When she leaves she says, “Goodnight Minnie.” She believes that the portrait “has just got good juju on it.”
“But there have been times where it’s almost time to get on stage and I’ve took off running down the hallway past security because I realized, I hadn’t said hello to Minnie. These girls can attest to it,” she added.