Playin’ in a Travellin’ Band

I love to travel. This shouldn’t be surprising. A lot of people like to travel. You probably love to travel. People who don’t love to travel have either 1) not travelled or 2) not travelled right… yet. (There’s still hope for them.)

There were a few things I worried about when I made the leap to the life of a comedian. One was: will I ever have enough money to travel again? (Noting that I spent a year in Europe back in the pre-comedy days and it totally changed my life.) It’s well documented that amateur comedians often don’t lead the most glamorous lifestyles. Most of us are just scraping by to make rent and / or feed ourselves. A lot of us end up getting day jobs to make that process a bit easier. (See The Constant Struggle Podcast.)

When I was getting started, it seemed pretty obvious the only way I could ever continue to travel was to become a stand-up comic, get hired by Yuk Yuk’s and only ever travel in Canada. So I gave stand-up the ol’ college try. (Literally. I went to college for stand-up.) Along the way, I got side-tracked with this wonderful thing called improv, and again by the calling of the craft of sketch. What can I say? Humans are by nature social animals. (And empaths don’t do super well listening to that much misery and misogyny.)

In spite of the joys I was getting performing sketch and improv, I kept telling myself if I wanted to travel, I needed to put more emphasis on my stand-up.

I’m only now realizing that I was dependent on an outside source to give me the ability to travel; when, like many other things in my career in comedy, it is in fact possible to just do it myself. Thinking back, in my first year outside of Humber, I co-produced a tour that hit three Canadian cities; Stratford, Ottawa, and Montreal. Afterwards, I was part of a Fringe show that took me to Winnipeg for the first time in my life. I took some personal trips to the comedy meccas of New York and Chicago. Another Fringe took me to Halifax for the first time, where I also took the opportunity to road-trip around PEI in case I never got back! Last year my sketch troupe visited Boston. I began teaching workshops and doing shows that took me back to my alma-mater city of Ottawa, and this summer, I’m booking regular shows in my stomping grounds in the Niagara Region.  And lo and behold, should I be ever-so lucky to have been asked to do some travail that’s taken me the furthest West I’ve ever been in our great country. Vancouver! And on my birthday, no less.

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They have mountains AND water here!

I am grateful. I am happy. I am travelling!

The long and short of it is, if you want to make travelling a priority in your performance plan; make it so, number ones! Just take a look at what the awesome gang at Daisy Productions are doing. Funding can be an issue, so they worked hard to raise a bunch of dollars to take their production LOL LOL LAND all the way to Orlando later this year. With that, they can combine performing AND a trip to DisneyWorld all in one shot! It’s genius. As I type this, my Assembly buds Grim Diesel are currently rocking the Chicago Improv Fest. Improv pros RN & Cawls are currently Down Under teaching courses and no doubt getting more material for their podcast while they’re at it. And I’m here in Vancouver. On my laptop. When I should be on a suspension bridge or something! Maybe not. It’s pretty late.

I guess this is just my own reminder, and maybe it’s helpful to you too, not to wait for someone to tell you what you can do. Figure out how to make it happen, and in the immortal words of everyone in Letterkenny (which I think is appropriate given how that show came to be. Look it up.): PITTER PATTER!

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