I’m stepping away from my usual running chit-chats to let you know what’s going on over here in “Water” World.
I fully admit. I am a very lucky person. I have a job which enables me to travel while I do what I love (comedy, friends!).
This week is probably one of the more stressful weeks I ever have doing this job, however. We are preparing to head to Chicago for a two week rehearsal period, and then off to our next ship for about four months. Once we get to Chicago, it’s easy to give ourselves over to the process when surrounded by our fellow actors, and wonderfully supportive producers and directors, but getting there is always a ride.
This means packing, learning lines, studying DVDs and then more packing.
So much packing.
We are getting pretty good at it, but there are facts like this: we’ll be packing for 3 seasons. That’s right. Two weeks of this craptacular polar insanity (Winter) in Chicago, Sundays in New York City from late March (Spring) onwards, and then Caribbean-ish temperatures until late July (Summer).
- Tank tops
- Shoes (dress, casual, sandals)
The trick is, how much of everything. Inevitably, we end up coming home with clothes that we didn’t wear once the whole time we were at sea, so I’m going to work hard at packing “outfits” rather than piles of pieces.
- Three Show outfits + improv clothes
- Show shoes
- Jewelry and accessories
- Make Up
- Hair Dryer
The trick to show stuff is to buy quality pieces (with a little stretch) that will last, even if they cost a little more. You don’t want to bust a seam during a show and whatever you buy has to stand up to the ship’s laundry. We’ll be doing our shopping when we get to Chicago, where the prices are better than in Toronto. This, of course, means we have to leave that much more extra room in our suitcases when we leave home.
Then there’s the gym stuff:
- Resistance bands
- Foam Roller
- Yoga Mats
- Yoga Blocks
- Workout Clothes
- Running Shoes
- Gym Shoes
- Weight Gloves
The gym is our true refuge on some of these contracts. Ship food is fattier and saltier than the food you’d make at home, and so you need a place to work off the excess calories you’re inadvertently taking in. The trick is to bring your own yoga mats because – well, lord knows how many people have downward dogged on those ship’s mats. Second trick, bring a few more pieces of gym clothes than you think you might need so your excuse can never be “I can’t work out, I’m out of shirts”.
And of course our “stay sane” stuff:
- Mini-blender (NutriBullet)
- Measuring cups
- Sound Machine
- Hard Drives full of TV and Movies
- X-Box & Games
- Power Cords
There is inevitably going to be a day (or night) when we just want some quiet time. The trick is to balance work and play in a healthy way.
We usually travel with one big suitcase each, plus a large duffel bag and a garment bag. This time around, because of our ports of call, we are tempted to pack a golf bag with a partial set of each of our clubs. This, of course, means that we have to cut back on of our usual bags (2 suitcases, 1 duffel, 1 garment bag, plus carry-ons).
That’s making my head swim.
Sounds like it’s time to go study some scripts…
Do you have any great packing tips?
I am an actor/writer/director based in Chicago, IL.