…an actor on tour.
I suppose the simplest thing to say is that no day or week is the same. Different places, different venues, different shows. However, I can give you a rough idea of what my life on tour in Spain as an English actor is like. Yes, we have a lot of fun on tour, but some days can be really hard for many different reasons, whereas some days you feel like you almost have a day off.
My week tends to start on a Sunday, afternoon or evening when we travel to a hotel in some part of Spain (hopefully) near the venue we will be performing in on Monday morning. So I walk to the office, meet my assistant for the week, get my paper schedule (I have a copy in my emails as well, but this paper one includes any changes) and my expenses money. Then I pack my costume, put it in the van with my suitcase and off I go on tour for the week! The drive could be up to 7 hours.
I am likely to have shows everyday of the week, the average in a week for me is probably 11 or 12 shows. So thats mostly 2 shows in a day with a couple of 3 show days. We are sometimes lucky enough to be in the same hotel and venue all week, but for the most part you move around a bit.
The general day from Monday-Friday runs like this:
We get up early, have breakfast and drive to the venue so we are there an hour before the show starts so we can set up and check the microphones and sound. When we get to the venue we are usually met by a technician, if we are in a theatre, or a teacher, if we are in a school. Although, in some instances no one meets you and then things get complicated… Once we have set everything and got changed into our costume we wait for the kids to arrive and then we have a great time performing. For the most part we will have a short break of between half an hour and an hour between the shows to reset and change our costume. Having said this, we sometimes don’t get this time due to schools being late and shows overrunning. If this happens, we end up doing shows back to back which can be very stressful. We don’t always perform the same shows on the same day so we could do up to three different shows on one day. If this is the case it means we have to change the set between the shows. Once the shows are finished for the day we pack up the set (if we are moving to a different venue later or the next day), reload the van and then it is time for LUNCH.
By lunch time we are usually starvingly hungry. Lunch normally consists of us finding somewhere that serves a Menu Del Dia (Menu of the day) which usually includes a starter, a main course and then either a dessert or hot beverage. These are usually served from 1:30pm onwards, so if we finish earlier than this and want a Menu, we have to wait.
Sometimes we have a show after lunch, in this case we will go to the venue we were in earlier in the day or a new venue, set up and perform again. However, if not, we tend to go back to the hotel and relax for a bit, and then explore the town/city we are in later. Depending on how hungry we are in the evening (I find Menus very filling) depends on what we do. Sometimes we just find a supermarket and buy our dinner from there, or sometimes we find a restaurant or cafe to have something small. The latter is of course the more fun option!
This pattern happens in a few different variations throughout the week until Friday where after the shows on Friday we take down the set, reload the van and get something quick to eat, like a bocadillo (a baguette sandwich) then jump in the van and drive back to Valencia!
This is a general week for me on tour. Sometime things are more complicated, for example, today in Alicante our van’s wing mirror got smashed into by another car, so our assistant had to go to a mechanic to get it repaired.
What happens in your ‘Day in the life of…’? Let me know in the comments below!
If you liked this post, check out my Survival Guide: Theatre Tour post.