I’ll be honest with you; I’m deathly afraid of air travel.
The train or cab ride to the airport is an ordeal. I’m nervous the whole ride. I can’t listen to music and if I speak, it’s usually just jokes and bits. I can’t stand waiting in lines and waiting in line to be inspected and examined is awful. To avoid the added pressure of a time-crush, I usually get to the airport waaay too early.
Once I’m on the plane I try to settle in and fall asleep as soon as possible so I’m not thinking about being suspended in midair in a metal tube filled with explosive, flammable liquid. I have (what I’ve always called The Jimmy Leg, but realize that it might be better to call it the Restless Leg Syndrome) and my attempt to quell it leads to me looking very jumpy and then I feel jumpy.
With all that above listed, it’s very logical that within the past 5 years I have traveled to Australia (17 hours in the air) and to the Philippines (12 hours in the air) and now I’m heading out to London (8 hours, 50 minutes in the air. These times, of course, discount the flight time to the connection (either LA or Charlotte.)) At least the times are getting shorter and shorter.
Of course, I love new place, new friends, discovering new things. At all of these wonderful destinations, I have taught long-form improvisation which is, quite literally, a dream come true. I am, by many definitions, the luckiest sunnuvabitch on the face of the Earth. To toot my own horn, I’ve been teaching, coaching or directing improv for the past seventeen years and I feel I have things to share. Getting the opportunity to teach/preach improv in other lands is mind-blowing. I’m very, very lucky and I know it.
Someone please invent long-distance teleportation. A Star Trek transporter would be swell.
I am nervous/paranoid about flying so much that I frequently write an e-mail that is set on a delayed delivery system (the web-based Yahoo and G-Mail both provide this.) This is pretty much my feelings of gratitude to my friends and my last will and testament. Of course, now I’m also paranoid that something will happen and that e-mail will be accidentally sent out or I miss the time-stamp and I’m unable to deactivate it before it gets sent.
Ach, I worry too much.
Or not enough. Aahahahahahahahh!
To be honest, the flight to and from the Philippines (Mabuhay Class) was quite lovey. Lots of space, amazing food and I slept lot. I slept most of the trip to Australia, but my knee blew up. The trip home from Australia I was in the middle of the cabin, hemmed in on both sides with people coughing (don’t get me started on that) and I woke up and had a little bit of freakout. I realized “We’re no where! We’re over the ocean in the pitch black! We’re flying on instruments alone! Ahhh! It’ll take them days just to find us!!” So, I had to wake people up and take a little walk around the plane. Then I felt much better.
Flying in a plane is torture to me. But it’s worth it to see new places and meet new friends who love improvisation as much as we do in Chicago. To see old friends warms my heart. To have the opportunity to see long-form shows in their natural setting and not at festival is wonderful. Whenever I teach I learn something new about myself and improv and when I travel that is doubled.
To everyone who has invited me to visit and teach their group, I thank you from the bottom of my soul. You, literally, keep me going. London and Brighton, I cannot wait to see you, touch you, smell you. I’ve been tangentially obsessed with you for years (Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock, Spaced, Downton Abbey, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, et al) and visiting England is one of my dreams. I thank you in advance.
To my future friends, thanks! I can’t wait to visit you! (I’m like a vampire though…. You have to invite me!)
Chicago friends, I miss you already. See you soon.
(i hope! Gulp!)