This week, we are doing a series of one-night only shows; Sarasota, FL, Tallahassee, FL, Pensacola, FL, Flint, MI and Morgantown, W. Va. A new hotel, new town, new theatre, every single night. Every morning, our friendly actor “bus mules” help us load the luggage onto the bus and we all settle into our bus seats to schlep to the next city. We leave anywhere from 5 to 9 a.m. each day, depending on how many miles we have to go. I always hear that Bob Segar song in my head when the bus roars to life “Here I am, On the Road, Again…..” Also, sometimes I have a medley of traveling songs going on in there including Journey’s “Faithfully” and John Denver’s “Country Roads.” I look out the window and watch all the Shoneys, Burger Kings, and Flying J rest stops roll on by and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
When we get to a new town, the Addams Family tour bus pulls up in front of the hotel. The actors that are assigned as our “bus mules” unload our bags for us onto the sidewalk. We then wait in line for the company manager to hand us our room keys, and then we line up to get on the elevator to get up to our rooms. With so many bags and so many people, the lobby can become a chaotic scene. We all help each other move our bags as we wait in line and everyone helps lift each other’s bags that are too heavy. It takes a village to get The Addams Family settled into a new town. And just as many of us to help figure out the new terrain. We have google maps and maps provided by the hotel and maps given to us by the Company, and we all still bump into each other on the street trying to find a good restaurant.
Sometimes, if we are lucky enough to have a Walmart nearby, the bus will drop us off at a local Walmart for a 30 minute only shopping spree to stock up on necessities. It is like a bad episode of a shopping game show, as we race through the store, grabbing deodorant and bananas in one giant swoop, and racing to get back on the bus before the bells rings. If you see a fellow cast mate struggling to carry it all, you try to assist (thanks to all of you who do not laugh at me as I try to carry cases of Diet Coke, Water and boxes of oatmeal up onto the bus in high wedge sandals without falling). We listen to each other complain about the room being too hot, or too cold or how far away the hotel is from civilization. We try to come up with fun activities to make the time go by on long days. We are there for each other. We are our own community, our own family.
Back at home in AZ, I am relying on a team of people to help when I’m not home. Thanks to my fellow cheer moms who flew Lauren back with them to Phoenix after our cheer competition in San Diego last weekend so I could go to meet Sam in Florida. I have Aidan’s teachers who call me to let me know how his days go, and lots of neighbors and friends who are always offering a hand with anything and everything. And our families who have given so much to help Sam with this.
In times of good, and in times of bad, we rely on the community around us for help in fighting for the greater good. We count on each other for support when we stand up and fight for what we believe in. My community in Scottsdale, AZ continues to band together to fight for teacher rights in our School District amid budget cuts and administrative hurdles; my neighborhood in Paradise Valley, AZ, continues to come together monthly to meet and try to find ways to add to our incredibly small police force. We join as a community to stand up for things we believe in, things that will protect us and our families. We will continue to fight for what is right and we will not give up.
Our Jewish community watched today in severe grief and sadness as a family buried their daughter on what would have been her 12th birthday after a weekend car accident. There are sign up sheets to help bring them food and meals for months to come so that they can feel the love of the people around them. It will not ease the pain and suffering, but it must feel good to know that there are so many people willing to help. To do anything for their friends and neighbors.
We cheer each other’s kids on at competitions and at games, at graduations, and, of course, if you are friends with the Primacks, at performances. We remind each other that we are all doing the best we can, and laugh at the insanity of daily life with kids. We constantly remind each other that we are not alone. We give advice when we can, and seek out advice when we need it.
Just like this the cast and crew in this touring show, everyone, everywhere is constantly running into new terrain and new challenges every day. We need each other to help carry our baggage when we are not strong enough and to help us unload it if it just gets to be too much. We need each other to help us all find our way.
It takes a Village. That is the only way the show will go on.