January 05, 2015
To kick off the new year, we asked touring artists to look back at themselves when they first started out. (After all, 2015 is pretty much the year of time travel, right?)
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out as a touring artist?
Deb from theatre company Shameless Hussy Productions learned a lesson from a very, um, memorable experience:
If I could give someone just starting out touring some advice I'd say: When you're packing, remember your corkscrew and sense of humour -- but equally important is a great packing checklist for show stuff. Check them off when you leave home and when you leave each venue. I forgot my left breast behind once (true story)... thank goodness for FedEx.
Raphael from latin jazz group Rumba Calzada knows first hand the value of being organized:
The advice I would give myself as a touring artist is to be prepare in advance with all travel details and gig details. Preparing in advance for any circumstances that can arise and prepare in advance for the obligations that need to met while on tour. Prepare all travel documents when travelling internationally and even call the embassies if you need any special visa or work permit or just to find out information you may need for that country. Make sure the festival you are playing has all or most of your back line needs so you can travel with just your personals and your CD's or merchandise to sell. Try not to travel with too much cash and use a safe place to store passports and cash at the hotels you will be staying at. These days with the internet and wi fi, we are able to easily locate places, distances and times between locations, venues, rehearse spaces, etc. so that preparing in advance can be a bit easier.
Sarah from puppet performance group Rock the Arts reminds us to stop and smell the roses (even if you're in the tour van):
I would tell myself to take a minute and step out of my tour life to hit the pause button and remind myself how special and unique touring is. When you are on tour it becomes your norm and it's important to remind yourself how awesome and different your life is as an no matter how tired you are!
Last but not least, African Stages Association of BC's advice is short and sweet:
Have more work and fun together.
Road Diaries: Answers and Advice from ArtStarts Touring Artists is a series that features voices of the talented artists who are part of ArtStarts' Artists on Tour Directory. These professional artists travel schools across the province, bringing meaningful creative experiences to young people in urban, rural and remote communities. Read more Road Diaries.
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