I would have loved to name this “How to Follow Your Dreams” and then have the body just say “Don’t” but that’s not really my style. So I am here to recap my fantastic PNW Summer Tour and impart to you the knowledge I gathered on tour, in LA and on the road by myself. Sure, I’ll tell you about some of the cool stuff that happened along the way but this is about me teaching you something that you don’t need to know.
Maybe you do need to know. Maybe you want to take a long trip by yourself? Share your trade with different parts of the country? Or just get the fuck away from people for a while? I can give you some unqualified advice on how to do and deal with those things.
September 10th of last year was the first show on the Blanket Fort Comedy Tour, I had quit my day job, spent hours booking three months of shows all over the country and was ready to really be away from the only life I had known. The reason I don’t feel comfortable sitting here and telling you not to follow your dreams is because I’m a huge supporter of just doing it. I wear a lot of Nike and underneath this resting bitch face is a lot of optimism for my life and yours.
We did it. Left home with a giant bag packed ready to tell jokes to strangers anywhere they would pay us or let us sleep on their floor. Three months of seeing new cities, new people and eating. Well worth it, if you are thinking of traveling or road tripping I do recommend experiencing America and all its nooks and crannies. It changed my life, I know now that my retirement life will take place in Santa Claus, Indiana. You have to get out there and discover those things for yourself.
Moving to Los Angeles was just the next step for me. That’s confusing to some people and no, if I wasn’t moving keeping my career in mind I would not have chosen Los Angeles. Mostly, because I don’t really like people much and this is where they are. However, I had never lived anywhere outside of Renton or Seattle, Wa. So a move needed to happen regardless and this makes sense for my career. It gets overwhelming, I still travel a lot so I can refresh my memory of how to do more than 5 min of stand up and yes the disgusting climate is cause for concern. Other than that I really like it here, it’s fast paced, it pushes you and the worst thing that can happen is you go home. So what? If returning to Seattle is the worst case scenario, I have set myself up just fine.
Summer is a perfect time for more travel as Los Angeles becomes a desert planet over-populated by sweaty walking penises. Starting in July I drove from LA to Bellingham, Wa in one trip. I did it in 18 hours and only took one 30 min nap. That’s pretty good. It did get real questionable in there at times but you can be the judge if the fake television interview I did with myself or the purposeful yelling of wrong words to songs was weird or not. That specific drive was very motivating actually, in that I wanted to work hard enough to never have to do it again. #Planes.
It started the tour of the Pacific Northwest. A tour that stemmed from an annual family vacation in late July but grew just based on the awesome comedy communities in that area of the country. It turned into a very long, exciting, fun, exhausting and learning experience. Here are my most exciting moments of the tour and my tips for how to stay sane in a situation like that.
The Good-Do Stuff!
- People Came – The most fun part of working in the Northwest was having all the people who I spent 5 years convincing I was funny come out to shows when I was home. I got to close out some of my favorite rooms, got to work with some of my favorite comics and got to meet new amazing comics that I never even dreamed I would work with. Do stuff because people.
- My little baby Secret Show- While home in Seattle I got to do the Seattle Super Secret StandUp Show that we created and it was so fun to see that she is still doing so well (thank you). Then to hear that the September show was a fucking rock star with so many Bumbershoot drop-ins and well supported! Love that. Do stuff because you will never be proud of what you haven’t created.
- Nick Swardson- The highlight of my career to this point was getting to feature for Nick Swardson for a week. I have worked with some pretty cool people but Nick’s credentials in my mind put him at the top. He was one of my favorite comics since I was 12, I have quoted his specials systematically in conversation since then. Then to not only get to work with him but watch him spill out genius, hilarious, NEW material for 8 hours. Not to mention he was an awesome dude and we got along great. Amazing shows too, loved every minute of it, it was a die happy type of experience. Do stuff because that’s what your heroes do.
- Greg Proops- I was also given the opportunity to work with Greg Proops and have my tiny mind blown by someone who really has figured out how to be a person. One of the nicest and definitely smartest comedy stars I have worked with, we smoked pot and talked about Abraham Lincoln for an hour. I have never met someone who was so comfortable, confident and smart while still being so genuine. Fantastic dresser as well. Do stuff because you might meet Greg Proops and he will teach you something.
- Talking farts with grandma- My favorite part of my summer trip, because I don’t know if I have ever consistently laughed that hard for that long. Picture this: me, my cousin, my uncle and my grandmother on this lovely balcony right on Lake Chelan in Washington, underneath a beautiful night sky. Gorgeous. Sharing the funniest stories we could each think of about someone accidentally farting when it was quiet. Do stuff because you may remember it forever.
Just the Tips- Trust Me
Here is a list of suggestions if you ever find yourself on a 2 month long road trip alone.
- Sex Strategy- Save sex for people you will never see again or wait until the end of the trip when you have to leave. These trips are and will continue to be way better when you are single. Unless you are doing the adventure together with someone you love and then I can’t help you because I don’t know what that is like. Trust me, it’s better off solo.
- Sleeping Bag- You never know. Will you be sleeping outside? Probably not. I have entered into a horrible secret grudge match with Motel 6 and similar lodging companies. I like to put pubes on the towels myself, thank you. I keep the sleeping bag (and tent) in the car for these purposes: camping if necessary, car sleeping if necessary but most of all gross sleeping scenarios (they will happen). Could be a hotel, a couch in a house with too many animals or that big shelf we walk on, the floor. Trust me, better bag than sorry.
- Almonds- The perfect snack. I try to keep my healthy lifestyle, Sports and Exercise Science degree bullshit to myself but eating on the road is one of the most interesting and difficult parts of long trips. Almonds are delicious, high in protein to keep you satiated between stops. Trust me, because snacks.
- Don’t Drink- But smoke pot. Drinking is actually ok but people are going to be so excited to see you or meet you (no matter who you are, people just get excited) which can lead to lots of drinking. That’s fine but if you do it all the time, the trip becomes painful, you miss out on fun stuff and it kills your immune system. Getting sick on a trip is THE WORST. So pot. People will think you are cool. Trust me, you look cool.
- Time- Be aware of the length of time you will be able to handle. Being in other people’s space, the actual traveling can be very exhausting. A couple of weeks may be the best idea. A month would be fun or if you are insane like me do multiple months, I dare you. Starting slower and then ramping up to a longer trip is a solid idea. Or you can succumb to you agoraphobia, fear the world, just stay home and never be happy. Trust me, moderation.
In closing, I am extremely happy with my choices over the last year. I feel liberated just by making the choices. Hasn’t even mattered what the outcomes are or will be. Can I do more? Oh yeah but if you don’t acknowledge the good things what is the point of doing them. I suppose if you take anything from this suggestion wrapped in an update, it’s to do stuff.
Suggestions for stuff to do: Listen to the HugLife Podcast (or shop on Amazon through the banner on that page), like my fan page, add yourself to the e-mail list that I will use less than once a month, stop reading this so you can tell a friend about it. You do you, girl.