Touring is an important part of an actor's existence Daniella Gibb describes the pleasures and pitfalls in the life of a travelling player.
Our breakfast had been interrupted by a furry rodent.
“A rat!” I screamed jumping onto the kitchen side-board in my pyjamas “That was a *%$!!%!* rat!” Our breakfast had just been interrupted by a furry rodent that was (and I'm not exaggerating) bigger than a man's size 12 shoe as it sped across the floor into the shower room. My two housemates warily followed armed with broom and saucepan to the sounds of Stevie Wonder (they thought Stevie would soothe the rodent into a false sense of security) leaving me to phone the landlord to inform him there wasn't a hope in hell he would be receiving the rent.
Welcome to the world of touring digs!
When you get a job on a tour, you are given a “digs list.” It can vary from a sheet of paper to a big file listing accommodation in each venue and it's up to you to book places, trying to stay within your “subsistence” (an amount added to your wages to cover travel and accommodation). “Great” you think, “how helpful the company is”. But just wait. Some of these lists were compiled years ago with not all digs still available or with landlords that are still alive and your subsistence has to cover rent plus any train tickets or petrol costs. So it can prove to be tough especially as you can't view anywhere beforehand. It's basically a lucky dip!