The Long and Winding Road: Not for the Faint of Heart

Chicago, Illinois

The last three days have been the most challenging of the tour.

The ordeal began with a 20-hour drive from New Mexico to northern Wisconsin. I drove so much that I couldn’t fall asleep that night, and when I finally did, I would jolt awake thinking I was falling asleep at the wheel.

We loaded in Friday morning. The entire crew was only one young girl, so we did most of the heavy lifting ourselves. After performing and loading out on Friday night, we were on the road by 6am, headed to Madison, Wisconsin.

Again, one crew member, but after loading out I drove for an hour south to Janesville where I got about six hours of sleep and got on the road by 7am to drive another 2 ½ hours to Schaumberg IL and set up in four hours to do a 2pm matinee. This is the kind of stuff that separates the pros from the amateurs, the troopers from the poopers. It is not for the faint of heart, and takes tremendous amount of stamina and perseverance.

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While the cast is sleeping in the van I have to remain wide-awake and alert. When we get to the theater I am on the boards and calling the shots with the crew until the show is packed out and away.

Exhaustion is a curious thing because the body forgets how to rest and sleep. The emotional state becomes numb and my body vibrates internally. One night of sleep is not enough to recover.

Back Where it All Began

There was some real joy in Madison where a number of people came up to me and said they saw the show so many years ago, (back in the 90’s) and never forgot it.

This was at a time when LUMA was being incubated in a warehouse, and was very unsophisticated compared to where it is now. One woman kept our original program as a treasured item, and was very firm about not selling it back to me. Another had two sons who are now both 27 and brought them to see the show when they were kids.

One member of the second cast showed up in Chippewa Falls to see the show and two of the original cast came to see it in Madison. They have fond memories of performing and were so excited to see all of the changes.

For me the sign of a life well lived is the memories I have left behind in other people’s hearts and minds. I had a vision all those years ago and there were times of great famine and there has yet to be times of great feasting. It has supported a very modest and some would say, Spartan lifestyle. But my life has been rich in experience.

Looking Ahead

Today an agent who has known me for thirty years, and has known of LUMA since the 90’s, contacted me. He has believed in the work and me all this time and has never given up. He is submitting us for a venue in Korea where Stomp has played and another venue where they want to replace the Cirque d’ Soliel show. The fact that LUMA, my brainchild, is even being considered to follow these iconic works is so heartening and breathtaking that as a soon as I am rested and recovered, I will get excited about it.

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