Anyone in the touring industry can tell you that it’s an experience like no other. The pre-show anxiety followed by a shot of adrenaline as you walk on stage and face the crowd of people yelling, cheering, and singing for you. The words and chords that were written in solidarity are now coming to life before your eyes. In the moment, you feel invincible. Then the final chord rings. The tens or hundreds or thousands of people throw up their hands and scream for you. Once you walk off stage and return to the green room or the bus or the van, the indescribable high is met with a low just as great. The faces disappear and then it’s just you, a tiny space to sleep and the rumble of the road beneath the tires as you and the crew move on to the next city.
The highs are noteworthy and keep your momentum alive; however, the memories of those highs are diluted when your mind gets stuck in the low moments in between when you miss your family, your friends, or perhaps a pet that formed the routines that you knew before life on the road. Although eventually you may make adjustments and learn how to take the punches that touring life throws, the transition back to life back home brings up similar issues.
Your mental health matters and touring, as freeing as it may seem to be, can also be the perfect place to destroy it if you don’t have the proper tools and resources. Being aware of your mental well being, knowing how different situations can affect it and how to cope when things go downhill is invaluable in daily life and on tour. Hopefully, that is what I can provide for you.
Now, why should you listen to me? You shouldn’t. I am a senior in college that works in fast food and owns two guinea pigs. I am a Music Industry major and I have interned with a mental health nonprofit for about a year; however, I am not an artist, I am not a crew member and I have never been on tour. I have not walked in the shoes of the people who actually experience the situation I just referenced. So, please, don’t just listen to me. Listen to the people that I will be speaking with. Listen to the resources that I will provide and listen to the advice that is known in the mental health community but maybe not to the world outside of it. I will provide the platform for these critical conversations and hopefully you will take the steps to improve your life or further understand the life that a loved one is living.
Caesura: breath, a pause, before continuing a journey.