Tag Archive: Cue

Five Tour Must-Haves

I’m now into month number three of the Ride the Cyclone tour. Add my five and a half weeks in Europe onto the front of that and that is a long time to be living out of one suitcase and one carry-on. There are some things you know that you are going to need like a computer, comfortable shoes, and enough clothes. But on top of all that, despite limited space, I’m so glad I have these things:

1. Portable Printer
This is the one item on this list that is fairly stage manager/production manager/producer specific, but having a portable printer with me on tour has saved me many hours and dollars. In every city there are new schedules, contact lists, copies of the script, and many other items that need to be printed. With my own printer, I print these things in my hotel room at 1am after Q2Q and don’t have to try to find a 24 hour Kinkos or wait until the next morning to go to staples and pay per page. I bought the HP Office Jet 100 color printer and couldn’t be happier. It takes up only a small amount of my suitcase (both in terms of physical space and weight) and when set to “draft” mode prints very quickly. I did not have my printer with me in Europe, and I wish now that I had. I spent many evenings fighting with the hotel’s printing stations, trying to get schedules to print. Doing it in my room is so much better! Also, having a color printer makes it very easy to make beautiful opening night cards.
2. Talisman

My on-the-road talisman is my ducky, Cue, who makes every theatre feel like my home base. But bring something with you that makes wherever you are feel like home: framed photos of friends, your own pillow, a teddy bear, fridge magnets, an action figure, etc. A figurine also makes a great travel companion/something to take photos of when you are in places that you can’t always get a good selfie.
3. Spices (in baggies!)
While it is easy to eat out all the time when touring, it is so much healthier and cheaper to do some of your own cooking. We have been really fortunate on this tour to mostly be in hotels where we have suites with kitchens. However, it is not possible to travel with a full kitchen cupboard in one little suitcase. To remedy this, I have four plastic baggies: garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and basil. Between the four of them I can add some flavor to whatever I’m cooking, but it doesn’t take up much extra space.
4. A pleasure item or two
What brings you joy? Figure that out and then bring that with you. Whether its an e-reader stocked full of books, a video game console, an external hard drive full of your favourite movies and tv shows, or a relaxing bubble bath, there will be time off that will need to be filled and having the option to relax while doing something you love can be a welcome break from exploring.
5. Sleep Aids
For me, this is melatonin, but I know that everyone has a different sleep aid preference. On tour you switch beds more frequently than some people change their sheets. You may also find yourself changing time zones and the constant “Oh, I guess we’re back to tech week….again” gets old. I highly recommend having some sort of sleep aid, especially for the first night or two in

Fringe, Renovictions, & Neuvo Vallarta

The last two months – since I returned to Vancouver from Toronto – have been crazy.

Hanging out at the Fringe with volunteer (and SLIP-friend!) Jordan.

Upon my return I jumped straight back to work at the Fringe. And when I say straight back to work, I mean I caught an early morning flight, landed at 9am, and was in the office – still dressing in my closing night party clothes – by 10:30am.  Things were running full steam and the Festival this year was bigger than ever. I was so proud of the work that the Onsite artists did this year, and even pushed some of my own boundaries by giving a speech and presenting an award on the last night of the festival.  My final “shows attended” count for the festival this year was 44 (including Pick of the Fringe shows).

Just as I was attempting to recover from the Festival (and really, two weeks of not eating or sleeping right do require recovery), I got word that the building I’ve lived in for the past three years had been sold and the new owners wanted to meet all of us. The next day I was handed a piece of paper saying that I had two months to move out as they were going to be renovating the building.  Here in Vancouver, we call this “renovictions” as they often happen as a way for owners to get rid of longer term renters whose rent is below current market value so that they can crank up the rent. But they’d done all the right paperwork, so I’m now getting ready to move out in 5 weeks.  Thankfully when landlords do something like this, they give you some time rent free, so financially that’s helpful.

Even Cue got in the vacation spirit, lounging on the beach with a novel

And then a week later I met up with my parents and jumped on a plane to Mexico to really relax. My brother flew down from Mexico to meet us there.  I got home last night after a full week away and my body hasn’t stopped feeling like I’m still being rocked by the waves yet. I would spend many hours a day in the water, many more reading, and none of them working.  I read a novel completely for pleasure, two non-fiction books that were semi work related, five scripts for upcoming projects, and a couple of classics that I have in my Kindle app, but am sad to admit I had never read before (like Alice in Wonderland & The Jungle Book). It was wonderful.

And now I’m home, packing, organizing, and preparing to jump into the next couple of adventures – and don’t worry, there’ll be more on them soon.