Happy Holidays –– the global pandemic edition. –– Having spent a significant amount of time over the past 16 years living out of hotel rooms across the country and around the globe, I have spent many holiday seasons in a Doubletree, Holiday Inn, or apartment in whatever city the itinerary pointed me towards.
Having spent a significant amount of time over the past 16 years living out of hotel rooms across the country and around the globe, I have spent many holiday seasons in a Doubletree, Holiday Inn, or apartment in whatever city the itinerary pointed me towards. The one constant in all these memories was the existence of a family-like grouping of friends and colleagues, many of whom are typically quick to say yes to a random day-off excursion in whatever city we find ourselves in or a bite to eat at the hotel bar after work, and all of whom typically share in the company-sponsored holiday celebration. While this group does not always coalesce as best it could –frequently during long days in the middle of longer weeks, tension builds, tempers rise, and conflicts ensue– at the end of the day, we all share a similar nomadic existence and a mutual buy-in to this unique touring lifestyle that this 9-month absence has only made my heart only grow fonder for.
There is no good way of expressing these past 12 months other than as ones of personal contemplation and growth. Throughout the past 288 days, I have been searching for answers to questions that I could not fathom a year ago. While I have not found most of the answers –and frankly I am still looking for clarity on better understanding quite a few of the questions– I have lately fixated on one thing. I miss the camaraderie of touring.
So much of our humanity is based in shared experience. It is the core element in the storytelling that is so central to the industry I love, and while the celebratory circumstances on the road can frequently be challenging –the big-box store decorations, catered meals, and optimized holiday-week performance schedules may not be the stereotypical way of celebrating– it is these memories, and the shared experience of them, that I find myself missing most of all.
I continue to find myself wanting to express a sense of appreciation that this year has forced me to step back and reassess many of my personal goals and values. I would have never taken the time to recognize challenges and work to rebuild my perspectives otherwise, and I am sure I will dig into this idea more in the coming days/week. For now, I have spent time thinking back and realizing how much I appreciate the memories of the holiday party in San Francisco with the Shrek Tour, celebrating in Boston with the Memphis Tour, or the absolute magic of the City Center season with the Ailey company surrounded by NYC at Christmas. For those of you who shared these and so many other holiday memories with me in person, please know that I am thinking back fondly of them and on all the other holidays I have spent surrounded by colleagues and friends. I am thinking of you all today.
Wherever this holiday season finds you, I hope that you are safe, and healthy, and as happy as possible given the current circumstances in the world. I know that next year, I will have a newfound appreciation for the 2021 holiday show schedule, the company meal that is certain to follow, and the camaraderie and friendships of trusted colleagues and theatrical family.
Sending Love and Light to you and yours.
December 25, 2020