My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights:
Travelling is hilarious.
And it is increasingly eccentric to spell 'travelling' with double L's.
These are the two mantras that will get me through the rest of the 2012 tour schedule with my music duo plus toddler act (baby is NOT part of the show, but he's definitely a main event of the pre- and post-show).
I'll admit, it is getting tough to tour with a kid. My husband and I made our living performing i.e. travelling before our son was born; and when he came along in September 2010, it was somehow easier to just keep doing our thing with baby in tow. Nearly two years later, we finally have the reserves to do some creative re-structuring, and in 2013 I have some juicy composing projects lined up--including a kid's musical!!--and some exciting teaching jobs I can do closer to home. This will give us just enough time and renewed energy to travel to venues we trust and adore, doing a few compact music trips, spaced well apart.
While many of my friends are building up their touring--and it has been fun to help musicians enhance their bios/image in preparation for increased touring efforts (full circle round for this daughter of writers)--I am thrilled to be shifting the balance the other way for me and my family.
But I am still in it to win it for the next six months. I will be traipsing all around the States and Germany, and I have some really exciting shows. (Might as well end my full-time touring on a high note!)
My coping strategy on the road will be to appreciate the absurdity of moving through the world with a little truck-loving boy and his wonderful daddy:
I learned to spell TRAVELLER in the second grade in Nsukka, Nigeria. It is the older/British spelling; and it is the spelling that shows up in traditional ballads from Ireland and the British Isles, which I work with all the time. Every time I write and see the word, I am committed to this elegant spelling and to the history and importance the word has for me. And every time I write and see 'traveller' through the end of this year, I will try to remember that travelling is hilarious; and that committing to thoughtful approaches that work for me (like spelling traveller with two L's) is better than any spell-check on earth.
- to hold my head high while Baby N yells "Mom, tractor poop!! backhoe poop!!!" in the middle of an intimate and honest radio phone interview I am conducting in the front seat of the car
- to welcome an appreciative audience with grace and openness while subtly re-fastening my bra after a quick pre-show nursing session
- to be grateful that for all the inconvenience, my lifetime of travel has given me my own set of rules and resources that guide me as I parent, support my spouse and friends, write music, collaborate with gifted players, create landscapes in my home and garden with very little money, speak fluent Thai, and, yes, spell TRAVELLER with two l's.
Labels: Leap Forth, Raise Little Frogs