Well, there have been several reasons why I haven’t written much in the last few months. I created a pretty large piece of Immersive Dance Theater, and have also been performing on a National Tour. So life’s been a little hectic, to say the least!
But I just want to say a few words about touring, because it’s been an interesting experience. Our director out and out told us that we should aim to be better by the end of the tour than we were at the beginning of it. And of course, he was referring mainly to our performances, to our work onstage. However, I think there’s another takeaway here.
Whenever we, as artists, receive a great “break”- like a tour, or a sponsored gallery show, or whatever, it usually comes with a whole mess of perks, big and small. In my instance, the big things have been pretty clear- we’re doing a beautiful show in beautiful venues for a few months. Nice. We’ve also gotten all sorts of fun little things, like free coffee all the time, and lots of free food at various hotels and theaters. I think it’s really easy to appreciate the big perks. But I think using the little perks to one’s advantage is key as well.
Now, take hotel coffee. Do I like it as much as the Starbucks around the corner? No. However, drinking that darn hotel coffee every morning, as opposed to running out for some, will put an extra few hundred dollars in my savings account at the end of this. And so will eating the free food, when the free food is an option. And so on. And the money I save very well may give me the flexibility to take a great artistic (but poorly paying) opportunity next year.
Sure, I want to leave tour a better artist. I know we all do. But I also want to leave this tour in a better financial position. And I think looking at opportunities in this way is really helpful. If you’re given this chance to actually accumulate a bit of a financial cushion, by all means, try to take it!