Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Are You Packing?

It's summer! There is a lot of traveling, visiting places, staying with family, going on vacation, for a lot of people. But not me. Nor many other performers who work with the library systems, helping children retain their reading level, or raise their reading level over the summer months. But traveling means packing whether it's for holidays or performances.

Steve Blunt at Whipple Hall
Photo by Simon Brooks June 2015
Today (24th June, 2015), I saw Steve Blunt performing for my local library at Whipple Hall in New London, New Hampshire (USA). Being colleagues and friends, we had planned for an ice cream after his show, so I helped, with the library staff, get his gear out of the hall and curbside. He had everything but the kitchen sink, so he said. And it certainly looked like it! The back of his car was FULL! This is the start of the Summer Reading Program Season, so, Steve told me, he had everything - Just In Case! Speakers, PA, brass instruments, drums, shakers, djembes, guitar, uke, a microphone or two, a few harmonicas, books, CDs - all sorts of stuff. As he was packing up his kit, it made me think of what I pack.

There is this new phase going round for something as old as pockets! EDC. No, it's not medical. Well, for some it might be! EveryDay Carry. Some storyteller I know carry nothing but the stories in their heads. Some have recorders, like Papa Joe. Others, like Odds Bodkin might be carrying around a harp, and guitar. EDC is what we carry, apparently, everyday. Things which are indispensable, or not, yet things we believe we absolutely need. Most teens these days have their keys and phone and maybe a ten dollar bill which they travel with. Parents have band-aids and boo-boo cream, and wipes or tissues, spare cash and credit cards, and maybe a Leatherman in case of loose teeth. I do! Bikers might have sunglasses, and gloves, toothpicks and combs to get bugs from their beards and teeth! Well, the guys anyway!

Summer, for me, requires a different kit than in winter, simply because of the amount of travel and work I am doing. So, what am I packing this summer?

I have my apple crate which contains:
  • My throne (old, and loved drum stool)
  • Duct tape and gaffer tape (always handy)
  • String (to tie my backdrop to a tree or post, if needed outdoors)
  • A basket for fliers and bookmarks
  • Spare fliers
  • CDs
  • Pens and mostly pencils for the newsletter sign-up
  • Newsletter sign-up sheet
  • My small bag of 'stuff' - mini props
  • Sometimes my singing bowl
  • My notebook of stories (contains lists of what I have told and where, as well as an incomplete list of the stories I tell)
  • My steel water bottle and sometimes an extra
I have my backdrop and its stand
My bodhrán and a number of tippers or sticks
My bull roarer and a couple of finger shakers
A Swiss Army knife (to cut the string, tighten screws on stands and such)

Most often in the summer I also carry my:
  • Powered speaker/PA
  • Speaker stand
  • My mic and a spare
  • A microphone stand
  • Cables, including a spare
  • Spare batteries
  • Spare shirt and undershirt, spare socks and spare sneakers (in the summer, nothing is better, after a couple of hard working gigs, than to slip on a new, cool and dry pair of socks and shoes!)
  • And a CLiF banner!
And everything fits in my trunk/boot, apart from the backdrop which is too long, so sits in the back!

I usually have a point and shoot camera with me in case I see something cool to photograph on the way, if I have time, or on the way between two gigs or on the way back home! Oh, and the camera is there if I remember to ask someone to take photos of me working my trade for possible future website shots!

Sometimes I have my kids with me. Sometimes I don't I don't

So what do are YOU packing this summer?

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