The Wanderer

It didn’t take but a moment to respond to Nichole’s “will you write a travel spot?” with a resounding “YES”. 

It wasn’t until afterward that I began to think it through....

Sure, I fly: A LOT.  

There are the numerous trips I take to NYC for audition purposes. Or the others I take for various gigs or jobs to Miami or San Diego.

Like that one time I was working in New York and Chicago simultaneously. Rehearsals at the Lyric Opera of Chicago started before I closed a show at The Metropolitan Opera. Right after the penultimate performance in NYC, I flew to Chicago for two days of rehearsal, flew back to NYC for closing night and immediately caught an early morning flight back to Chicago to continue rehearsing. The moment I arrived in the dressing rooms I took a nap on the table.

Last, and perhaps my favorite, are my seat-of-the-pants trips to Europe.  

So I get around plenty, but what does a dancer-singer write about?

Required writing assignments throughout high school and college rarely inspired me to do anything besides groan.

In my search for answers, I decided to explore other travel experts and what THEY say on the topic. So, on a recent flight, not surprisingly, from NYC to Chicago, I took Southwest up on their free inflight tv programming. Browsing the channel options I came across the Travel Channel.


The first title to grab my attention was BOOZE TRAVELER. I clicked and ordered my free wine (which were supposed to be free via credit card perks but ended up being free just because no one ever charged me for them).

As suspected, Mr. Booze Traveler, Jack Maxwell,  scours the globe in search of rare, unknown alcohols of remote locations. This particular episode was a journey through South Africa, whose liquor products came as a huge shock to me, as I rarely venture outside of beer, wine and gin. For instance, there is a  certain mead-like alcohol made from bee embryos and a root that numbs the drinker’s face and mouth. And then there’s palm wine, which only take a day to prepare since it starts fermenting immediately (luckily for my sake, we have no tappable palms in Chicago).

Continuing my research, I stayed tuned for the next program, a sober episode, but no less exciting (I, of course, continued my mile-high drinks quite literally as a booze traveler).

Up next on Mysteries at the Museum, I learned that the mammoth set of the 1923 silent film The Ten Commandments mysteriously disappeared OVERNIGHT, only to be discovered years later under sand dunes in Guadalupe,CA. It was common in those days to reuse a movie set for a cheaper film, something De Mille did NOT want done with his. The first time any audience member laid eyes on his glorious set had to be in HIS film, not some, sub-par B-list film. So bury it in the desert overnight!

A few years earlier on the other side of the country was a historic trainwreck in outside Cleveland, OH. Sadly, fast mail train #14 collided with the Toledo Express, killing 9 men, but eventually led to the standardization and syncing of the pocket watches of railroad engineers. Watches now were required to show all arabic numerals and each minute, allow for variations in temperature, and have a weekly inspection. The discovery of the unsynced watches by watchmaker, Webb C. Ball, led to the well-known term “On the Ball”

After a few more US city specific discoveries, my flight landed and I continued my journey on land until I got home.

I felt better prepared to tackle this writing task. Seeing that even places like Cleveland, OH and Guadalupe, CA had unique things to uncover reassured me that no matter where I am, there is something fun waiting to be unearthed.

It’s only January, and as I gypsy I tend to plan things by the seat of my pants. But so far, I already have a travel itinerary taking me south and west. First to San Diego to perform in Balanchine’s Square Dance with City Ballet of San Diego and then back to my birthplace, Houston, TX where I’ll perform in Tony-award winning director Rob Ashford’s production of Carousel. Stay tuned to read up on those cities for sure, but who knows where I may pop up during my down time!