A month ago my first tour experience with the National Theatre for Children came to an end. In the time I’ve been back in the Twin Cities there are two questions I’m asked a lot:
How was the tour? How does it feel to be home?
To be succinct: “Good. Weird.”
As part of NTC’s tour wrap-up process the actors are asked to complete a survey. For 30 days I’ve been reflecting on the tour and how to thoughtfully answer their survey. Now that I’ve submitted the survey I feel okay blogging about the tour in more detail than merely “It was good.” Below are thoughts I’ve been thinking about the tour, how it felt to do the work, and how the tour affected me.
First and maybe even most importantly: my tour partner, John Potter, was awesome to work with.
He’s kind, talented, fun, adventurous, and a weight-loss champion! John made the tour a blast from beginning to end!
And we’re proud that we performed every show! We didn’t have any sick days or bad weather. There wasn’t any trouble crossing state lines. And we certainly weren’t going to let a disabled tour vehicle keep us from a 9AM show!
We busted ass on the tour! We took care of our voices, bodies, minds and spirits and showed up to perform every day with passion.
Over the course of 131 performances I got to act, play, and be silly for thousands of kids! These students taught me lessons in listening and patience and kindness and acceptance.
And then there were a handful of kids that are just flat-out courageous inspirations dealing with life the only way they knew how: living.
Moments like the above were peppered throughout the tour. Bittersweet, unexpected nuggets of humanity offering a solemn reminder that the happy work we were doing through NTC far exceeded the mission to educate and entertain. Simply, the tour changed my life.
I’m thankful to’ve had the opportunity to tour. I’m thankful to do something I love. I’m thankful for the awesome sense of worth and purpose I received at “work.” I’m thankful “work” means “play.” I’m thankful for the people met and experiences had. I’m thankful for such a wonderful tour partner. I’m thankful to work for such an awesome company. I’m thankful to be able to share these things with you.
In a few weeks I’m going back out on the road with NTC and the tour can’t come soon enough!