Captain's Log Episode 8: Rough Seas
Or...Looking for Inspiration Wherever I Can Find It
Sometimes, touring is hard. Really hard. Really really incredibly fucking hard. It's hard to find comfort, it's hard to stay rested, it's hard to live in close quarters with people, even with people you care about deeply. It's in times like these, when the road is really wearing me down, that I turn to one of my favorite quotes about the circus, the sideshow, and show business as a whole, to find that place in my head that lets me walk out onto a stage, take a hold of a microphone, and no matter how sad, how angry, how tired, how worn down, beat down, dirty, smelly, and uncomfortable I may be, smile and welcome the audience to the show with all of my heart. I want
to share that quote with you now.
"The Circus is a jealous wench. Indeed that is an understatement. She is a ravening hag who sucks your vitality as a vampire drinks blood - who kills the brightest stars in her crown and will allow no private life for those who serve her; wrecking their homes, ruining their bodies, and destroying the happiness of their loved ones by her instatiable demands. She is all of these things, and yet, I love her as I love nothing else on earth." - Henry Ringling North
Ringling North, one of the brothers that founded the eponymous Ringling Brothers Circus, was not wrong. While I do not claim to be a circus performer, there are parallels to be found. This lifestyle, the travel, the long days, the longer nights, the shows that leave you out of breath and sore and, more often than not, bleeding, it's one of the hardest things that you could do to yourself by choice. It hurts, it's exhausting, it's lonely, it's mind numbingly boring. But, it's also so much fun, it's an adventure every day, it's thousands of laughs and smiles on a new set of faces every day. It's parts of the world that you can only see if you see it through the window of a tour van that smells like feet and stale bread. It's terrible, but it's also incredibly beautiful. And sometimes, even the best of us needs to be reminded of how wonderful it really is out here, even during the bad times.
I want to leave you with another quote, one that resonates with me on a deeply personal level. A level that took me away from my home and my steady (ish) day job to run off into the wider world to swallow swords and let people staple money to me. To be a means escape and a laugh to anyone who sees me on a stage. It's a quote that I first heard years ago, from a close friend and an inspiration to all of us here in Tinderbox. It's from poet, author, and painter, E. E. Cummings.
"Damn everything but the circus! Damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy. That won't thow its heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence."
See you down the road, Captain Darron von Awesome