A few nights ago I played my 80th and last show in New Zealand. I felt shockingly unemotional about it. While I do irrational things from time to time, like go on tour across NZ on a bicycle, I think I’m a remarkably rational person. I wanted to be weepy and nostalgic and celebratory and overwhelmed. I found myself packing up like I’ve done 79 times before, rather matter of factly. Maybe it will hit me on the plane, or on the subway and I’ll weep like a teething baby, like a painting elephant, like John Boehner. I hope so. I could use a good cry, I’ve been smiling too god damn much!
This has been a powerfully informative experience for me in regards to performing, pushing through limits, and thinking about what kind of work I want to create in the future. It has also been a wonderful way to meet an incredibly diverse group of people. I am supersizedly grateful to every individual who has been a part of this tour. I could not have asked for more from my hosts Ash and Josh, Sophia, Brad, Matt, Mark, Sylvia, Peter, Jill, Chris, Henry, Julie, PJ, Steve, Eileen, Sass, Emily, Juan, Bear, Moodie, Jess, Kat, Dick, Brad Chrissy, Alton, Katherine, Alice, Gavin, Angela, Kirsten, Jimmy, Rosie, Alistair, Leslie, Pryce, Bunny, Joe, Zed, Irene, Ray, Anna, Lox, Mo, Jamie, Michelle, Nick, Jeremy, Jen, Oscar, Mel, Mike, Dan, Kath, Sally, Paddy, Tom, Gillie, Marina, Richard, Roger, Jeanette, Graeme, Stephen, Linda, Lian, Dave, Aaryn, Brooke, John, Sally, Zander, Fiona, Alistair, Simon, Eric, Esther, Sarah, Murray, Daniel, Jenny, Harry, Harriet, Lachy, Sam, Ben, Jack, Annabelle, Midge, Jen, Kalem, Donna, Puds, Paul, Celia, John, Michelle, Anna, Rick, Amelia, Roslyn, Shirley, Vicki, Cree, Phil, Michael, Sue, Prue, Steve, Jenny, Laurie, Rob, Heidi, Felix, Luca, Annete, Mark, Dave, Scott, Rachel, James, Jen, Ray, Graeme, Wayne, Paula, Charlie, Jill, Chloe, Tanya, George, Alex, Maddy, Warwick, Muna, Monica, Pania, Vinnie, Abi, Michael, Akushla, Ryan, Renee, Logan, Shieva, Becs, Lynda, Dylan, Andrea, Vic, Lee, Nigel, Andrew, Angus, Sam and Carmelle.
I can’t quite remember what brought me into this tour, but I know what compels me to start working on the next one. It’s the look on someones face when they are surprised. When, if only for a moment, they are lifted into someone else’s secret, joke, perversion, wound or dream. I make that look when someone shares their vulnerability with me, their invention, raw unparalleled failure, insight, or performed incoherence. It’s a thousand words I wear on my face that all mean the same thing – Thank You! I got that look a handful of times on this trip and it meant a lot to me. It made me feel larger then my narrow self. I want to see that face more. I’d gladly write another 619 emails just to see that face one more time. I’d write another 619 emails to be welcomed into one more beautiful home. It’s a sacred thing to me this welcoming and I thank everyone who was brave and curious and open to take part in such a project.
From the day I created my gmail for this tour till now I’ve written 619 tour related emails, received 1,883 (not including facebook) and made approximately 200 phone calls. I ended up biking 4,300 kilometers, accepting car lifts for 320 kilometers and taking the train from Auckland to Wellington (678k) to be able to get southerly for my outgoing flight. I spent about 415 hours on the bike, 150 hours packing and unpacking the bike and 90 hours performing. By my return I will have taken 7 flights to get to New Zealand and back. I have eaten 165 kiwi home cooked meals, spent $720 on white flour based food snacks and sampled 37 different meat pies across the country (Jacksons inland of Greymouth is by far the best). I have changed 3 flat tires (one in a thunderstorm), purchased 3 sets of new tires, employed 25 zip ties and two sticks to hold my trailer Wiglaf together. I have listened to 146 podcasts and 12 albums while riding. I have lost my mind 3 times. I have stolen 0 items. I have stayed in hotels or motels or backpackers for a total of 8 nights. I have slept in 4 caravans, 2 house buses, 2 house trucks, 2 horse drawn cabins, 2 yurts, 1 bar floor, 1 jungle hut, 6 sleep outs, 4 couches and many many guest bedrooms. I have bathed in 2 fire baths. When I played shows folks gave me some money as koha or for cd’s or tea towels. I made between $6 and $550 per show while the average was about $125. I spent $300 for internet connections along the way, $400 for cell phone calls (most expensive rates in the world I hear). I flooded 1 hosts kitchen and spent the next 5 hours furiously cleaning it up. I got drunk 3 times. Stoned 2 times. Waltzed once. Sexy slow danced once. I wanted to kidnap 3 special children, but did not. I was given 11 thoughtful gifts. I wore through 2 pairs of $15 socks. I got one bloody nose. Lost 2 hats, one plastic camera attachment, 1 pair of possum merino socks intended as a gift for my brother, 2 water bottles, 1 quick drying towel, 1 reflective vest and 1 passport. I went on 3 dates. I got in 1 fight (i used my words). I left 1 water bottle with pee inside in a hosts truck house (sorry). I used 12 composting toilets. I swam in the sea 2 times, 1 time in a wetsuit with a knife strapped to my ankle. I bought 3 external hard drives to hold 3,000 gigabytes of video footage. I rode in 1 horse drawn carriage, lost 1 go cart race and drank 1 beer (gross). I was in 12 papers, 3 radio shows and 3 TV programs. I rode during the night 9 times and was only hit by 1 double milk truck.
Just amongst my hosts I met a builder, equestrian, resort manager, sky diver, journeyman, jack of all trades, fixer upper, barman, DOC worker (department of conservation), banker, beer promoter, car mechanic, coffee professor, movie artist, linguist, possum skinner, kayak instructor, horseman-renegade-plumber, woofer, green partyest, mom, houseman, primary school teacher, bush guide, weaver, diplomat, B&Best, hot springs maven, community leader, surveyor, special ed teacher, accountant overlord, yachtist-ship-chef-gardener-painter-builder-guy, viticulturist, muso, DJ, CPA, OMG, drainage specialist, environmental activist, thespian-director, guitarist-caterer, architect, psychologist, dolly-wiggler (I didn’t make that one up), jeweler, top-secret policy writer, chemist, belly dancer, counselor, animator, gardener, gift shop owner, massage therapist, potter, painter, biker-accupunturist, kiwi grower, avocado farmer, chef-sculpture-host, filmmaker, lodge runner, satirist-ukulelist-dramatist-fopolitico, community leader, pro story teller, graphic designer, photographer, classified parliament translator, paua diver, future restauranteur, exhibition writer, civic entrepreneur, earthquake retreat host, school bus driver, small business consultant, custom-stereo-custom-tire-cover-locksmith, nurse, principle, celebrant, engineer, barista, gold miner, philosopher, demo derby referee, fertilizer salesman, derby girl, hunter, saleswoman, pianist, mental health counselor and an avalanche specialist.
If you have an idea. If you have an inclination towards some venture large or small I suggest you employ Nike’s advice and “just do it”. I say this from a perspective and experience of privilege and support which I am daily grateful for. I do believe so many of us have an idea that seems too god damn unreasonable. I think that can be a sign it’s a good idea. I’m so happy to have pushed the idea into a happening and so very eyelids to the ceiling – jaw to the floor grateful for everyone who was an essential part from kickstarter backers to hosts to audiences. Thank you!