Sassy Actress, with a Side of Quirk

Life Musings by a Real Drama Queen

Off to See the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Omaha…

on September 19, 2014

That’s how the song goes, right? So for all of those who don’t know me, in short, my name is Dionna and I am a sassy, quirky actress gearing up to go on tour with the Omaha Theater Company. I leave Sunday and will be touring in two legs, one from early October thru Thanksgiving, and again from January 5th-March 8th. Being that this is my first tour, I was looking all over the interwebs for information on how to prepare, what to expect, and the experiences previous actors had had, but I came up short. I found that a lot of actors didn’t really log their experiences on tour and therefore, there wasn’t much literature on the subject! (Minus my friend Shaun who does an awesome vlog about his experiences on the Addams Family Tour. Check it out on youtube, Living Out of Suitcases)

I decided to change that! I am going to be blogging on tour about anything and everything. Part of my blogging will be to help other actors gearing up for a tour (specifically a non-equity one) by telling my experiences and what I learned. I also wanted to do this as a way of remembering all the awesome places and things I see and do while traveling cross country.

I have tried blogging before and found it difficult, not for any lack of love for writing, but because my blog wasn’t really focused, because, well, I wasn’t really focused. I loved food and health so I tried to do that, but I learned very quickly that I hate writing down my recipes since I kind of just improvise when I cook. I tried to do something more health based, but then I realized that my own views on healthy living are constantly changing so I couldn’t really vouch for that either. I am hoping, however, to change that with this blog since it is so specific. I hope to also continue writing about the ups and downs of being a theater artist because I think it is still a bit of an unspoken subject. Everyone knows about film and tv actors because they are famous, but theater artists still tend to be under the radar. This blog is primarily geared towards theater people but I also hope to shed some light on how difficult (and rewarding) a life in theater can be to those who aren’t necessarily well-versed in our craft. Because, lemmetellyou, if I get asked one more time why I don’t audition for American Idol or if I want to be famous some day, I am gonna vom.

So enough about me and more about this tour. I am flying out to Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday to start rehearsals on Monday for the show “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”, which is, yes, a children’s theater show. To all you children’s theater haters out there saying that it is less of an art form than say, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical or a Mamet play, poo poo on you. I will not try to convince you that children’s theater is indeed still an important necessary art, but I will say that without it, most of you actors probably would never have become actors in the first place! I think that children’s theater is just as hard, if not harder than a Shakespeare play or a big band musical because children are the most honest and brutal audience. You can’t pull one over on kids. If it sucks, they tell you, which is why I really believe that you must take children’s theater just as seriously as any other genre within the theater arts.

Okay. Now that my soapbox moment is over…I leave to begin rehearsing for this great show on Sunday. It’s a van and box truck show, so the cast is very small (6 people) plus a stage manager and we have to drive either the van or the truck during tour legs. I personally can’t wait to drive the box truck…Is that weird? In the show, I play multiple characters including a sassy cousin named Garland, a grandma, an fbi agent, and so on. I am really excited about it and will fill you in more about the show once we start rehearsing!

Another thing I will probably be discussing about at some point in different posts is what to pack and how to stay healthy on tour. I have packed for the tour already but have no idea if I packed too much, so I’ll give you a low down on what you need once we start touring. I also am a huge proponent of staying healthy, so I am also going to be talking about how to do that while on a budget (per diems, helloooo) and while on the road, when fast food is plentiful and healthy eating can be a challenge. I currently don’t eat a super specific diet (I tried paleo, vegan, perfect health, etc.) but I do try to eat whole foods whenever possible and have been avoiding gluten for over a year (though that may change on tour…we will see). Regardless of your own personal eating habits, I hope to give you some advice on how to eat healthfully while on a budget, traveling, and performing a LOT.

So yeah. I will probably post again on Sunday while in the airport about my favorite airport snacks. I am also going to post later today about what to pack in your carry-on. I am a big fan of a well stocked carry-on, because you never know if your luggage will be sent to a different aircraft carrier or will be lost in the shuffle of a transfer, so I always make sure I have essentials in my carry-on. But more on that later!

I hope that this blog proves to be helpful to theater artists of all kinds, whether you ever go on tour or not. I think that some of the advice and experiences can be helpful to anyone in the business, as we all travel at one point in our careers. Who knows when you will be stranded in Albuquerque and need to know where’s the best place to grab lunch on a budget? I will let you know when I tour there in February. And if you aren’t in theater? Well, I’m sure this blog will be both insightful to this hidden craft and entertaining. If not, well, go take a Buzzfeed quiz or something.

Bon Voyage for now!

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One response to “Off to See the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Omaha…

  1. Sandi says:

    Get it girl! I did some touring and although I never had to stay overnight somewhere I spent MANY hours in a van and I would love to give you advice if you wanted. Kick butt!

    Like

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