after a tearful departure, complete with ugly-cry face (on my part - RR remained sunny cheerful and his usual encouraging badass self) I headed for the luggage counter thanking the stars that RR wisely avoided my "I only need to be there an hour early" confidence. Not every trip is for 9 consecutive weeks and accompanied by the world's largest suitcase.
boarding pass - check! Long line for luggage drop-off - check! Ignoring back and hip pain and managing to get the world's largest suitcase on the scale with no assistance from kindly lady or gent - check!! Luggage 8 pounds overweight - but of course!!
"You're going to have to lose 8 pounds or pay $100!" The lady says to me. $100! I'm incredulous and it's clearly been a long time since I checked in overweight luggage - whatever, this is tour, there are going to be 1000 challenges over the next 9 weeks. I was certainly up for this one. Moving aside, I started to shift between my four bags. Cute squishy fox (aka Pancake Fox for being flat and fluffy) that also serves as back warmer and lavender infused relaxer (thank you Jennifer Crooks) weighs 2 pounds! He is squishy so into the bag of toiletries he goes! Binoculars for all that hiking and bird watching I'm going to do goes into the carry on back back. Jewelry bag (which I'm hoping doesn't contain some sort of sharp object that gets taken by TSA) into the carry on purse. Other toiletries - sunscreen, moisturizer, mouthwash - moved from the world's largest suitcase (from here on out it's WLS) into the toiletries bag. I check. I weigh WLS again. I still need to lose 2 pounds - I'm a bit sweaty by now and wishing it was this easy to drop 8 pounds myself. Digging around my suitcase for something, anything. Scavenging like a trash panda for that perfect item that will somehow slide easily into my already bursting carry-ons, the solution comes!! WLS now weighs 49 pounds. With pride, I stride back up to the bag check, put WLS on the scale one last time, look confidently at the airline lady and quip - "you know sometimes you just gotta wear your cowboy boots on the plane." Not wasting a beat she replies, "For $100, I certainly would." Indeed my friend. Indeed. Here I come Memphis!! Me and my boots are ready for your BBQ.
In order to not continuously swamp social media with "here's what happened today in my life as the company manager of a show about abortion hitting the road for an 8-city national tour in a highly tense political year" I'm starting a blog. Also, to be honest, I've been needing a facebook break for a while and hopefully this will keep me away from it (a little less).
So, yeah, I'm the Company and Tour Manager for REMARKABLY NORMAL (as in #abortionis #remarkablynormal), a new play by the brilliant Jessi Blue Gormezano, commissioned by the great folks at Advocates for Youth and directed by my friend and creative partner, the extremely gifted Marie Byrd Sproul. Marie is why I'm here, indulging in some last moments on my lovely deck at home watching robins and blue jays chase each other through the trees. Marie is why tonight, I'm pulling out the giantest of giant suitcases and beginning to pack my (one VERY large - this cannot be overstated) bag for 9 weeks on the road.
Marie has been with this project since it started as a series of small vignettes - Out of Silence - performed in NY and DC in 2015. Last summer, she invited me on board as the Assistant Director for a run at the Capital Fringe Festival. It was while we were in rehearsal that she alerted me to the fact that Advocates was looking for a Company and Tour Manager and oh my, wouldn't I fit that bill??!
It took some doing. I had to untangle myself from my law firm day job of 8 years, sign up for spousal supported health insurance and wrestle with the very real fact that, as of July 29th 2016, I would not (and still don't - for the record!) have a job. The risk was huge but the reward was high.
It's Monday. At 9AM on Friday, I board a flight to Atlanta. 9 weeks across the country from Baltimore to Atlanta to Memphis to Miami to Austin to Denver to LA to Oakland to Chicago to Cleveland to home.
I'm here to tell you all about it.