Written a few days ago, just posting it now. Today I am enjoying a much needed day of rest in Calgary, AB. No show and no driving. Just some glamorous glamorous laundry and catching up on bills. Ahhhhh, the life of a touring performer! Enjoying the rest while I can since tomorrow is a 3 show day. Fortunately the performances are all at the same school so we won't have to pack up in between shows.
Our first week of shows for The Little Prince was in the Vancouver area. It was pretty nice to be able to go back home, especially after a two show day. Early on I hit what Tara Travis affectionately dubbed TYA-lag. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, TYA stands for Theatre for Young Audiences. The lag part refers to jet lag.
As if getting over the New Brunswick to British Columbia jet lag wasn't enough, here I was feeling loopy for a completely different reason. On show days, my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for a 7:30 local pick-up. Then we head to a school, set up, perform, pack up, have lunch, drive to another school and do it all over again. While this gets me home by 3-3:30, it means I'm already passing out by dinner time. I'm not much of a morning person, so this has been quite the adjustment.
On Friday, as we left a school in Langley, we officially started the "touring" portion for this production. We arrived in Vernon for our first community show and here's where I discovered some major differences between the school performances and our public ones.
School shows typically take place in a gym. We have about half an hour of set-up time and our lighting design consists of finding a guy with keys to turn off a bank of fluorescents. Community shows normally take place in a theatre. We get a proper tech time (usually around 11 a.m. Which is downright civilized) dressing room and they put us up in hotels. In Vernon, we got an incredible fruit basket that we took with us to munch on the road. In Nelson, we got chocolate and wine.
You'd think the perks would make the community shows my favorite, but that's not necessarily so. I like the energy that emanates from the school shows. Community shows are filled with parents and kids, so they tend to be a bit more reserved. School shows have a bit of rowdiness that I enjoy. They're also more intimate since the kids sit on the floor and we're not separated by any kind of stage.
All that said, my favorite part of any show is the Q & A we have at the end. I love hearing all the questions the kids have and hate that we have such a short time we can't get to them all. But that is a blog post for another day.