In keeping with “the challenge” I was poring over some old notebooks and found the diary I’d kept from when I was traversing the Eastern and Southern United States on tour with a children’s theatre operation. So I will reprint some entries here. This blog experiment owes a conceptual debt to Matthew Gallaway’s Saturnine Tour Diaries Project. (Though my travels in a van with a company of actors is in no way comparable to being in a rock band. It could quite possibly be the EXACT OPPOSITE. Still!) So we’ll begin at the end. Why not?
Last show of the tour at a high school in Silver Springs, Maryland. Hungover as a motherfucker. Hurled in a trashcan off-stage during “Magi”…”good gifts” *barf” “sacrificed…” *barf*. [This so did happen, and the big industrial-sized trash bin was unfortunately located near our unflappable stage manager, K. I delivered my few lines in the adaptation of “The Gift of the Magi” then exited the stage to perfunctorily vomit in the available receptacle. I believe this is known in certain acting circles as the Peter O’Toole method.]
I didn’t feel as sad ending this show, I just wanted to depart. Hate that I was ill but c’est la vie. We had gone the night before to Ruby Tuesday and they had a special–buy one drink get the next one for a penny. I had four glasses of the house Burgundy. Big mistake! I was so trashed. Apparently I fell on the floor, though I remember none of this. Hope I didn’t embarrass myself too much. [Though I remembered the hangover and the performance distinctly, it was not until re-reading this entry that I was reminded it was due to terrible house wine at a terrible chain restaurant. Serves me right? Who quaffs the house Burgundy at Ruby Tuesday? Oh, poor actors, that’s who.]
It’s so weird that the van just drops us off back in NYC, like we’re returning alien abductees or kidnap victims. It’s hard to integrate back into “real life” after an experience like this. After establishing a social hierarchy, a common language (i.e. poop jokes), it becomes necessary to dismantle all that and go back to the previously established customs and norms. [The return to “civilian life” is jarring. Poop talk is universal and a great bonding subject among disparate personalities. Everybody poops! Right?]
I hope I learned something on this tour. Now it’s uncertainty, confusion, jealousy, frustration. Well, until the next gig. Do I want a next gig? I certainly want things…union benefits, an agent. These are goals for the new year. [These goals were never manifest. In fact, my next gig was as a performer with the children’s theatre program at the Central Park Zoo.]