America Day 12 – Chicago Arrival

We are all bundled into a stretch limo, rolling down the road to Chicago. Kaffe just put on “Sweet Home Chicago”. It’s only an hour and a half on the road but we will cross into a new timezone which works in our favour. It won’t be too late to go out if we’ve got the life within us. And with this group I’m pretty sure we will find the life. This is the start of the tour proper now.

It’s a strange and delightful life, this tour. We did our last show this evening in South Bend on a football Friday and we had another amazing reception. We threw off our costumes as the audience left, and reconvened on stage in order to fold up the show and put it all in a blue suitcase. Katherine reads a list. We check everything off. It all goes in, in a certain order, under Katherine’s watchful eye.

And then the reality dawns. We are off now. Out. Away. Loose. We say our goodbyes to Scott, to Deb, to Jason, to Sydney. There’s lots of hugs. Scott covers us with silly string. This is the level we’ve reached. The laughs are tinged with the knowledge that this is it. A miniature shattering. Suddenly it’s just us again. Five actors, a suitcase and loads of ridiculous in-jokes, banging around to lots of interesting places, making a story and sharing our practice. Our support network will stay in South Bend and we will scoot all over this huge country and meet all sorts of people and see all sorts of sights.

Everybody is listening to Chicago the musical now. Someone opened a bottle of champagne that Jason got for us. We are leaving the home ground and we are hitting the windy city for a filthy weekend before the flight to Texas on Monday morning. I’m gonna join the conversation.


If the limo hadn’t got lost we would’ve been here in time for a drink. As it is I’m contemplating bed having just walked into this cavernous suite on the 19th floor near the river, West Side. It’s 1am local time, 2am body clock time. I’ve got a fridge in my suite, and a hob. A good sized sofa, a shower you could carve an elephant in, a massive bed, a high view of another tall building, and the ubiquitous air con. I can’t help myself. I’m going back out to see the late night street. Although I need to see this town again, so I’ll need to get some sleep. I’m just excited both to be here and to have two consecutive days off in it.


I bought a Pacifico from 7-11. I’ll have it in the suite in my pajamas. This is a luxurious start to this leg. I do love working like this. At a Q&A session today someone asked me if it’s hard to work like this, so far from home. I told them how happy I am, but also that I miss my friends and Pickle. But this is gonna be beyond awesome. Lovely show in lovely company, in the second city…

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Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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