It's the week before rehearsals begin! My contract has been negotiated and signed, the cast has been announced, and I have the schedule. Better get busy, there's a lot to do!
People often ask me about the logistics of going on tour- where do you live on tour? What do you do with all of your stuff? How do you get around? So I thought I'd talk a little bit about that today, and give you a glimpse into another part of tour life.
On tour, you live in a hotel that the production company manager arranges and pays for. You also receive a “per diem,” which is basically a weekly allowance that is untaxed, and can be used to cover your basic living expenses- food, toiletries, etc. You can also chose to find your own housing in each city, and if you do that, you are given a higher weekly per diem to cover the cost. Each tour member is allowed to bring two, fifty pound suitcases with them, and you are provided a fifty pound trunk for bulkier items that the company transports from city to city for you.
So on one hand I'm thinking, “YAY! I have a job and room and board for a year!” And on the other hand I'm thinking, “what do I do with my apartment in New York and all of my furniture? What do I do with all of the stuff that won’t fit in my suitcases?” I mean, I’m from California! I can’t exactly drive it home to mom.
…So here’s what I'll do:
I set aside what I want/ need to bring on tour.
Then, I figure out what other things I might need over the course of the year considering season changes, auditions, the inevitable costume party (haha!), and pack that in a box to mail home to California.
Finally, I pack the rest (kitchen stuff, microwave, books, music, sewing machine, etc.) in boxes and bins (labeled clearly!), and put those in a public storage unit…… see photo. I’m telling you it’s not easy getting the boxes up there! Also, it is FAR away from my apartment so I try to avoid the expensive cab ride by carrying the boxes there on the subway. It adds up to a very long, tiring day. Prices on storage units vary considerably, so shop around for the best price. I’ve found it’s the least expensive, most efficient way to store everything when you’re from out of state. It also gives me peace of mind knowing everything is stored in one place.
Now on to the apartment itself. I got really lucky this time because my lease ends the same day we leave for tour, but if that wasn’t the case, I would have to find a sublettor to move in so that I didn’t have to pay rent while I was away. Instead, since we are moving out, I have decided to sell all of my furniture. Luckily, this is very common in New York, and there are programs on Facebook made specifically for, and by actors and artists! Check out ‘Gypsy Housing’ and ‘Gypsy Furniture’ and Craigslist.
So far, it’s all going according to plan, but let me tell you, it’s a lot of work! Wish me luck, and if you have any ideas or tips I’d love to hear them! Now, on to practicing lines and music before rehearsals begin!
Lots of love kitties!