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The Hard Part

Aug 16, 2009

I hear it all the time. “You’re so lucky to making a living doing what you love.” And I am. They quote the old saying, “Do something you love and never work a day in your life.” That’s partly true, but not entirely. There are hard parts to doing what I do.

For starters, I spend a lot of time away from loved ones. It stinks, but it comes with the territory. It makes it really nice to come home, though. To have friends, family and dogs waiting for me to return is really nice. I’m fortunate to have that.

My least favorite part of this job – by far – is figuring out and dealing with the logistics of travel. Having to figure out what time I need to sleep in order to get enough rest to wake up at what time is the first issue. I usually get to an airport no less than 90 minutes before a flight – even for the tiny airports (TSA in small airports can tend to search bags with much more scrutiny than in busier airports). Then there’s figuring out transportation. In most cities, I rent a car and need to allow time for that. There are many variables. I can control a lot of variables when traveling with my show. Using the same load in/set up/sound check schedule, packing things in the same consistent way(every item has its unique place) & following hotel routines all help. But there are always going to be those factors over which I have no control.

Last weekend it was traffic in Atlanta. I had left Albany, GA 5 hours before my flight, which should have gotten me to the airport 2 hrs prior to departure. Then, when I got 10 miles from the airport – boom – 8 motorcycles crashed into each other and stopped traffic for two hours, making me miss my flight. Situations like that are enough to give you anxiety if you’re not prepared to accept them. I’m getting better at not worrying about it, but it’s still the hardest part of the job and can get very stressful.

I’m writing this onboard a flight that I just barely made – had to sprint to the gate before they closed the doors. My luggage probably didn’t make it. As soon as I land, I have about 8 hours to do laundry and sleep before I have to be back at the airport to fly to Oklahoma. It’s a stressful thing, traveling for a living. But I wouldn’t trade it for any 9-5 desk job. It’s true that I’m lucky to do something I love. I never dread going to a show. They’re all awesome experiences. Last night I did my hour show for a crowd of 1700. You just can’t beat that. It’s the parts before and after that that are hard.

P.S. I apologize to anyone who read the title of this post with different expectations. Pervs!

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