When I was home last, Erin and I took advantage of half price sushi night and made it a date that finished with seeing the new Dumbo. In my book, date night was excellent! We had great sushi, we both really enjoyed the movie, and I noticed something about a few of the scenes...
The film opened with a look into a traveling circus act. You saw jugglers, a strongman, a magician, a mermaid...you name it, and it was there. People bustling about, seamlessly performing their duties of caring for animals and building the tents and stages for the acts... and then you saw some children, welcoming their father back home. Back to work also, but definitely back home. Home to this crazy misfit family of freaks and talents that aimed to bring entertainment to the masses.
It hit me right in the face.
One of the most important things about touring is your family that you tour with. Very little about touring is the actual playing of the show. I’ve said before that we’re basically moving and travel enthusiasts that sometimes play music, and that’s honestly not far off from the truth. A common thread among us is that we love to be part of something that’s bigger than each of us.
My current touring family is comprised of five band members and four crew members. But, in the interest of efficiency and cost-effective operation, each person actually holds down multiple roles, having many different duties throughout the day. Driving duties are shared, sometimes band members will be their own techs, sometimes we’ll have to fill in at the merch booth, our tour manager is also front of house audio and also does monitors, lighting will also stage manage, some band members run the merchandising, some band members help on the business management end of things...and the songs certainly don’t write themselves. And that’s just the bare minimum to keep this train rolling - we’re also all human beings, with personal struggles and issues and other enterprises and adventures to manage. It’s ohsoimportant for all of us to support each other, in all of our successes and especially in our setbacks.
Life comes at you hard. All the time. Especially on the road. In this camp, we all help lift each other up. Sure, we have all the inside jokes and we constantly josh each other, but when it comes to actually supporting someone in a time of need, we are all in. Words don’t even have to be spoken - we’re that close. Everyone here knows when that one person needs the “hey man, tell me about it” look, and we’re all ready to listen and understand and help solve anything that comes our way.
Even if it means brutal, unapologetic honesty.
Because there’s no time to waste... load in is in 20 minutes, and I need to help set up backline today so my TM can make that personal phone call.