My concert tours are always a combination of wonder, delight, humor, frustration and exhaustion. People have a romantic idea of what it is like to tour.. So in these next days I will attempt to offer a few snapshots into life on the road from my most recent trip into the Sierra Nevada's. This is a circut I take in May and October because the weather is usually gorgeous then and it is delightful to be in the small northern mountain towns. Of course in the past it has always managed to snow at least one day..enough for me to be forced to purchase chains for my tires so I could get over the mountain near Tahoe....
After months of calling around, confirming, then changing and reconfirming dates and venues the sound healing tour is finally set.
Day One of a twelve day concert tour really begins several weeks before with middle of the night thoughts of 'what I must remember to take with me" for 12 concerts, several private sessions, a house clearing, sleeping gear, sales items, data collecting items, visa machine, food, computers, chains for the car in case of snow, down time items (ie books, paints, folding bike), schedule of where to be when to set up, venue phone numbers and about a million more items. Of course I have a check list but that seems to always be changing so a pad of paper by the bed is vital!
Then I must make sure the car is ready with the oil changed, tires ready, books on cd, gas tank full for the nearly 2,000 mile trip. It is no fun to have car problems on the road with all the equipment, money, cd's and other sales items stuffed into the back. And all this between clients, attending to my students and the general work of maintaining my small business.
When the day actually arrives, I normally get in my car at 4:30 am in order to make the 9 hour drive north to my first destination and miss sitting in traffic in L.A. Timing is important as I need to get to my destination in enough time to get in a short bike ride, food and a nap or I will not be totally out of it for my first evening concert. A celebratory Frappachino on the road is always part of the ritual.. and yes, with a bit of whipped cream because day one is a special day and I have been doing green smoothies religiously so I can do this!
But this tour is different. My first stop is only a few hours away in Ojai. I have never performed singing bowls and gongs at this place before and am looking forward to being in that beautiful town. Healing in America is a lovely wooden and spacious building with cathedral ceilings that offers a variety of modalities. The owner is British and very pleasant. A small group of three help me to move chairs out of the way and reorganize the room to set up my equipment.We have to figure out a way to position the light show and manage to do it by tacking up some sheets. It is hot hot hot but I then take off on my little bike for a couple of hours of revitalization and in search of some good nourishment. I manage to always find a sweet bike path, even in the most remote of towns. Biking is much better than walking on a path because often bike paths are homes to the homeless and I feel safer on my bike than walking past groups of guys under a bridge or something.
Evening: the room fills up, the concert works perfectly, people are delighted and ask a lot of questions. They linger and their curiosity is refreshing. It has been a long day and I am very tired. The lovely British owner says this has been 'exceptional' and hands me an envelope with a check. Great! Later when I look at it I see that it contains only 1/2 of the evenings proceeds. But this is much less than my normal fee. No matter. He has gone home and I will leave him a nice note saying that there must be a mistake because in the 'logistics' on my press packet the split of the door is clearly stated... I hate having to run after money. It dampens the whole experience for me and brings in a smallness that is uncomfortable. But this is my life.. so .... End result. Nope. He thinks that is fair. No compromise, no acknowledgement of the original email... So.. I will not be going back there as beautiful as it was. Maybe another space or another town.