March 17, 2011

The Thing About Touring

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 3:23 pm

Yesterday I had a revelation. We had a show at the Sunrise Theatre in Ft. Pierce, FL, with a great crew and a really fast load-in, leaving us with several hours to kill along the Florida coast before our 5:30 show call.

I had lunch at a seaside restaurant (literally ON the water), and then went back to the theatre for a short time before the crew was released until show call. Then I took a leisurely walk by myself up and down the marina area, until being invited to dinner at the same seaside restaurant. Then on the way back we visited a cool store that sold lots of different microbrews (I’m not much of a beer drinker, but we have several beer snobs on the bus, so I’m learning by osmosis).

Over the course of this day, which despite being a 16-hour work day, still felt suspiciously like a vacation (and I’d like to point out, that is not normal), I realized what it is about touring.

Sometimes we get to spend our days in places where it would otherwise be expensive to live or hang out, and we get to do it as part of our job, with paid travel and subsidized housing and food costs. Yesterday I could have been sitting on a beach in Florida where it was 80 degrees, or I could have been working in New York where it was 40 and raining, fighting to get up and down the subway stairs. Now the flip side of that is that when it was 30 below in Brainerd, MN, I was wishing I was in New York where it was 20 degrees and sunny. But the other thing about touring, especially with as many one-nighters as we do, is that you’re never in the same place too long to get really sick of it. Don’t like something about the venue or the hotel today? Tomorrow you get a whole new set of living and working conditions.

I think that’s really what I find so fun about touring: it’s annoying at times, but it’s constantly changing, and every once in a while you end up someplace really cool. Maybe it’s because I never travel for fun, but I feel like I get to experience things that I couldn’t afford to do the way most people do — while on vacation — but I can have the same experiences while being paid to be there.

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