With 156 shows under our belt now, we’re down to our last 18!!! I’m finally taking an hour or two since this last leg started in Yakima, WA to sit down and write a little bit and it feels wonderful (considering we don’t always have the best internet at some of these hotels so I have to get things done on my comp quickly, lol). We’re chillin in Kansas City, MO on our way to Wichita, KS and I have no idea what hotel we’re at but it is soooooo nice.
We have had some hilarious happenings this last leg for sure. Things I can remember off the top of my head –
1. I lost my right contact lens during the middle of Act 1 last week and it was crazy to do When You’re Home all the way to the end of the Act feeling cross-eyed and queasy. I kept grabbing for props and realizing they were much farther away from me than I thought, hahaha… That same show, I think, was when one of the ensemble dancers went to move one of the prop chairs on one of the balconies and it literally fell apart. That had to have looked hilarious to whatever random audience members actually saw it.
2. We flew from San Jose, CA to Tucson, AZ… when we landed at the Tucson airport, our Company Manager called the hotel to see if our rooms were ready. She was told that the Hotel Arizona we were staying at… went out of business that day, hahaha. How do you shut down your hotel and not call the group of 50 staying there for a week that they should probably find another place to stay!!! We ended up staying at a really nice Motel Inn called the Riverpark, but it took a while to get everyone’s room ready considering we had to relocate the entire group, lol.
3. Fly from Tucson, AZ to Denver, CO, drive an hour to Greeley, CO… get to the hotel and luckily my room was perfect, but other people, not so much. One of the sound engineers put her card in the door, it unlocked, and she walked in to find people already in the room. It happened to about six other people as well. What is goin on with these hotel folk, how you gonna give some body a key to a room that’s already occupied… What if you walked in and someone had just gotten out of the shower, or worse… use your imagination, hahaha. C’mon people, let’s get it together!!!
4. The AC/Heat valve on our bus is broken… ugh, so the bus is either 60 degrees or 90 degrees. NO FUN, lol… the we blew a tire a couple days ago. Traveling is not this tour’s forte, which makes no sense, right???
As for tour life and how it affects you after 150+ shows and 7 months of traveling, I have to say it is much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. At least in college when you got “cabin fever” in the dorm, you could just leave for a little while and come back more relaxed – but on tour, you don’t have that option. You live with the people you work with, travel with them, eat with them; it’s a lot to ask that of 40 or strangers to do for such a long time… and I know some of you who don’t travel for work sure as hell wouldn’t want to be with the people you work with beyond work hours, so you can imagine the pressures. So it really comes down to finding ways to keep your independence despite having very little control of your time and absolutely no control of the company you keep. Sounds like a crazy psychological science project right, lol
Here’s what I constantly remind myself and remind others when the day-to-day shenanigans get outrageous and what ALL people should remember when you’re having daily struggles… You live in the United States of America, aka the most spoiled country in the world. In China, the government controls nearly everything you do, how’d you like your local Senator to come to your house and demand that you have an abortion or they’ll do it for you??… here, not only do you have the right to choose, but the country’s leaders care enough about the issue to debate it, rather than just slice you open and do what they want to you… In Greece, THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS BROKE!!! Not the people, the name “Greece” is pretty close to useless to Europe at this point in time. Talk about government bailouts, unemployment rates, monetary values; what if you woke up one morning, went to get breakfast at some cheap place like Denny’s or something, handed your money to the cashier, and the cashier laughed at you, ripped your money up, lit it on fire and then pee’d on it because it isn’t even worth the dirt on the ground. Let’s not even get into Africa – any one want AIDS, genocide, country-wide hunger, decade long droughts?… didn’t think so…
But here’s the funny thing about so many of us… when things are happening to you specifically, it’s always the worst thing that could be happening. It makes sense biologically, our bodies are built to seek out things that make us feel good, so when things are not up to par, the brain wants to shut down… Here’s how I decided a while ago to help myself get out of that mindset. Anytime I feel like something is the worst thing that could happen to me, I obviously vent and get the frustration out like everyone, but as soon as it’s out, I immediately pray for someone who isn’t me. It doesn’t matter who, there’s a little girl in AZ who just got kidnapped, 40 some people’s homes were destroyed in a fire a few days ago in San Fran, I find something that is as far away from what ever problem I’m having and turn my anger into love, compassion, and care for a complete stranger. I pray that someone who has something that is absolutely far more awful that my problem, finds positivity, happiness, fulfillment, or even just a moment of not feeling absolutely scared and lost and can maybe at minimum see the light at the end of their tunnel. Now, am I a super religious person? Not in the least, but I’ll tell you something… It always makes me feel better.
That just works for me, but I’ll say when I hear people complaining about the absolutely ridiculously frivolous things that people complain about, it actually hurts my feelings that they don’t see how insignificant many of the complaints are. I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. was a special human being, and I absolutely believe this quote:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can do that
Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that
Anyway, that’s just the thoughts of a young man traveling the country and dealing with the day to day like everyone else… but trust me, I’ve seen the effects, the more you put LOVE out into the world, the less things make you angry, the less things get on your nerves, and the more compassionate a person you will be to your friends, family, and loved ones, even when they are pissing you off, hahaha
Well I’m out for the evening, ugh, we have to be on the bus 7am tomorrow… yaaaay!