Tag Archive: Tour

Where in the World is…

The past year has been a crazy one for me. I haven’t stayed in one place very long. As I get ready to leave Toronto and head to the Sunshine Coast to really dive into another fantastic project, I couldn’t help reflecting on the crazyness of this year. So here we go:

(Week 52 is equal to Aug 26 – Sept 1, 2013)

Christopher and I at Niagara Falls (on our way to Niagara on the Lake to see Light in the Piazza)

Christopher and I at Niagara Falls (on our way to Niagara on the Lake to see Light in the Piazza)

52. Vancouver

51. Gibsons (Sunshine Coast)

50. Toronto

49. Toronto

48. Toronto/Niagara/Niagara-on-the-Lake/Stratford

47. Toronto/Ottawa

46. Toronto

45. Toronto

44. Toronto

43. Toronto

42. Anacortes/Vancouver/Toronto

With my dear friend Mel outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

With my dear friend Mel outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

41. Vancouver/Gibsons/Anacortes

40. Vancouver

39. Vancouver

38. Vancouver

37. Roberts Creek/Vancouver

36. Vancouver

35. Vancouver

34. Vancouver

33. Nanaimo/Vancouver

32. Nanaimo

Kholby and I at the closing party for Ride the Cyclone in Nanaimo.

Kholby and I at the closing party for Ride the Cyclone in Nanaimo.

31. Saskatoon

30. Vernon

29. Winnipeg

28. Winnipeg

27. Winnipeg

26. Toronto

25. Edmonton

24. Edmonton

23. Edmonton

Eating cupcakes with my best friend, Jaime, in Edmonton

Eating cupcakes with my best friend, Jaime, in Edmonton

22. Vancouver

21. Vancouver

20. Vancouver

19. Vancouver

18. Vancouver

17. Calgary

16. Victoria

15.  Paris/Victoria

14. Gotenburg/Paris

13. Zurich

Lexi and I at the top of Grossmunster with all of Zurich in the background.

Lexi and I at the top of Grossmunster with all of Zurich in the background.

12. Zurich

11. Zurich

10. London/Amsterdam

9. Vancouver

8. Vancouver

7. Vancouver

6. Vancouver

5. Vancouver

The whole family down in Mexico, together, for a week of sea and sun.

The whole family down in Mexico, together, for a week of sea and sun.

4. Puerto Vallarta

3. Vancouver

2. Vancouver

1. Vancouver


I’m kind of looking forward to just being in Vancouver for the next two or three months. Sleeping in my own bed. Seeing those friends on a daily basis. But the amazing thing about being constantly on the go is the number of people who become a part of your life. I’ve had to change my cell phone plan to be unlimited Canadian calling because there are too many important people in my life, spread out all across this country.

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

Ride the Cyclone Tour Stop #1 – Calgary

All of our travel items have the Cyclone logo spray painted onto them

All of our travel items have the Cyclone logo spray painted onto them

I’ve been in Calgary for four very busy days now and am having a hard time believing that my first week of Ride the Cyclone is coming to an end. It feels like we’ve been in Calgary both longer and shorter than we have. Because our appearance in Calgary is part of a festival, our load-in/tech time was limited and so there was no time to go through and Q2Q the show here. Instead, I got my first chance to ever see the lighting cues, costumes and props in a dress rehearsal as I called the show for the first time on the afternoon of opening. I was nervous and I was stressed about it.

That was Wednesday. Now it’s Friday (well, Saturday really….) and I have three performances under my belt and I’m starting to feel like I’ve got a handle on what is going on. Which of course means that it must be almost time to head to the next city and start over. But there’s also something exciting about that, especially this time because we have things technically that we just didn’t have time to really look at here in Calgary that I know we want to fix in Vancouver.

All bundled up for the cold Calgary nights.

All bundled up for the cold Calgary nights.

Calgary has been really beautiful and really cold while we’ve been here.  Today was down around -20 for a good portion of the day, and while my prairie relatives would think I’m weak for being cold in that, this Vancouverite is finding the cold to take some getting used to.  I am getting good use out of the winter hat I picked up in Zurich and have good memories of exploring the city in search of something to keep my head warm! Sadly the picture on the right is a bit grainy from my iPhone camera so you can’t tell that I am covered in snow in it.When I snapped the photo yesterday it was snowing quite hard outside.

In addition to the cold we’ve been battling the dry air, higher altitude, and a nasty cold that has hit many of us working on the show – myself included. For me this is a show where I barely stop talking for an hour and a half, and I’m definitely not used to being the one worried about my voice, but Thursday night I nearly lost my voice and ever since I’ve been following all the advice the singers want to give me about keeping my voice healthy.

Rielle & Sarah with the Amazing Karnak in the background

Rielle & Sarah with the Amazing Karnak in the background

The show itself continues to be wonderful. It’s a great joy to get to listen to a new audience discover it every night. Tonight someone snuck a photo during the show on their iPhone and then tweeted it. I figure that makes it fair game, so the first production still of the 2013 tour is to the left of this text.

Tomorrow my parents are coming to see the show since they are in Calgary on their way to vacation and then Sunday we head to Vancouver where our lighting designer is already busy supervising the lighting install and getting ready for our arrival. Vancouver is the only city on the tour that has seen a previous version of the show. I can’t wait to see how they respond to the new and improved version!

I mean, the Calgary Herald really liked it. They called it “an exhilarating blast of theatre with bite” and ” a wild ride, offering everything from emotional resonance to laugh-out-loud moments to hummable tunes that will have you singing the raunchy lyrics the next day.”

Tour – Death of a Clown in Victoria

Chelsea Haberlin (director), Angela (the intern) & I on the ferry on our way to Victoria

It’s only been three weeks since I left Chemainus, and here I am on the ferry making my way back to the island. This time I’m heading to Victoria with the lovely folks from ItsaZoo Productions. We are taking a production of Death of a Clown to the University of Victoria where we will be the “Alumni Spotlight” show. For most of the cast & crew this is a return to their alma matter, but for me it is a new theatre that I’ve never worked in and a chance to explore another city.

I’m excited to have this time away – I’m going to be living at a B&B while we’re there, so it really will be like a working vacation. I have every intention of taking time to relax and enjoy the time. And when you’re touring with a group of nine, fun is kind of guaranteed (at least until people get at each other’s throats and start fighting…but let’s hope we aren’t away long enough for that to happen).

I don’t “tour” shows often. When I worked in Kamloops last summer we toured one of the shows to Vernon for a single performances, and even this, to most people, wouldn’t be considered much of a tour.  It’s why one of my goals for while I’m away is to prep myself for a class 4 license driving test.  If I want to tour a show, having a license that will allow me to drive a 15 passenger van with the set would be a good first step.  I picked up the study guide from the licensing office last week and plan to take the written test when I get back into Vancouver.  Because why not?  I already have my firearms safety certification & my serving it right (the license to serve alcohol) and I figure why not keep expanding the possibilities of what I am able to do.

Anyone have any suggestions of other courses or licenses that would be beneficial?