“The service and loyalty I owe, in doing it, pays itself.” Macbeth I.iv
Rules of the Road: We’ve just finished the second full official day of touring, and I thought I’d take a moment to give you a glimpse of what being on the road means. These are our “rules” by that, I mean, these are things that make all of our lives a lot easier on the road, both as an acting company and as friends traveling together. So, in no particular order, other than the first rule is the most important and most often used rule:
- If somebody wants a Twinkie, stop and get them a stinking Twinkie! This is a rule we have inherited and respected from the late, great Danny Peterson, who used to do this same tour some years ago. Basically, this rule is if someone says, “Hey, I’d really like to stop and get a bite to eat.” or, “Gosh I could really use a coffee.” or even, “I need to read the newest issue of Vogue RIGHT NOW!” Just oblige. Everyone will be a lot happier in the long run if everyone’s needs are met on the road.
- No texting while driving; actually, no anything while driving other than driving. That’s why there are passengers, to help you navigate, DJ, man the walkie-talkies, call schools to let them know the roads are icy but we will be there soon, etc.
- If you see a cologne dispenser in a road-side restroom, don’t put a quarter in there and assume to get a mini bottle out of it. It just sprays you. Right in the face, if you’re not regular trucker height. Veronica learned this the hard way. Then the rest of her van mates learned it the hard way with her.
- Never hit the road without making sure Luke has had a coffee, and Dakotah a food (see rule 1).
- Always lock the vehicles. Always.
- Leaving fifteen minutes before the scheduled departure time is leaving on time.
- Tour buddies eat together whenever possible. We try to eat together once a tour day, even when we’re not out of town. It’s a good time to talk about the show and how things are going.
- Minivan always leads the Penske truck, unless we’re driving back roads at night, then the Penske leads because it’s more likely to survive hitting an animal that the mini van.
- Never snap at each other during load-in or load-outs. You’re either going to realize how silly the thing you were mad about was in five minutes, or you’ll forget about it entirely.
- Don’t break the seal. Meaning, don’t pee until you really have to. If you break that seal too early, you’ll just have to go every thirty minutes, and on a ten hour drive, that’s just rough.
- If you fall asleep in the minivan at anytime, you must be Von Tobled (meaning Veronica will take a picture of you sleeping and immediately post it to Facebook).
- You must get the free, fresh baked cookies from the Comfort Inn promptly at 8pm each evening. If you do not, you are a fool.
- BYOP. (Bring your own pillow).
- Take up knitting. Yeah. Knitting. Only one tour member this year has yet to learn, give me two hours and this will be remedied.
- Bring a swimsuit.
- Never trust Google maps implicitly. The successful tour uses Google maps, an Atlas and, this year, a GPS.
- If you can’t find something… did you check your ditty bag? (It’s a bag that hangs with your costume that holds small costume items, glasses, phone props, bracelets, etc.)
- If you get to drive the van in town, you drop off the dry cleaning.
- Wash your costume regularly. No one wants to be the smelly kid on tour.
- Always bring your road kit, in-town show or out. Actor’s road kit includes: Water, Ricola. Emergen-C, AirBorne, Water, Tums, Chapstick, hand sanitizer, ThroatCoat Tea, IBProfen and water.
- In Pocatello, you go to Buddy’s and you get a salad. In Sandpoint, you go to Eichardts and get anything (or everything) and you always take the suggestions of the locals. Always. (Especially if that suggestion is, “You really shouldn’t take that road at night.”)