by Cameryn Moore
These are the things that I travel with, lo, even to the Edinburgh Fringe. Because I have very specific needs, and have learned to identify them over three years of touring, I feel absolutely fine and in no way insecure about my need to pack these items…
- Bundt cake pan. I will be making my famous monkey bread at least once in Edinburgh. The pan is one of those specialty cooking items that you cannot count on finding in a regular sort of rental.
- My cowboy boots. Obviously. It’s even more obvious if you know that the previous owner of these boots, my friend Heather Macallister (she passed away in 2007) was all or mostly Scottish. These boots are going to Scotland.
- Boot goop and the brush and rag to put it on with. Boot goop, that’s not right. Leather grease? Something to keep them looking good and more-or-less water resistant. I have accidentally toured in the boots without the proper maintenance materials, and it always ends in tears and wet feet.
- The packing-tape gun. My whole promo bag, actually. I don’t know how much actual postering is going to happen there, but this lovely bright yellow courier’s bag is perfect for fringing. Wide strap, two compartments to keep postcards separate from sweaty water bottles, enough room to keep an apple from getting too bruisy.
- My stuffed rabbit. I am not pathologically attached to it, I mean, I don’t sleep with it or anything. But it has been with me since 1977, and I feel like Sgt. Fuzz would probably enjoy being there. I hope they don’t confiscate him at the border as a bio hazard.
- My easy chair. No, wait! This is actually really practical! It totally comes apart and packs up into a suitcase-like item, complete with cushy handles. The idea of trying to locate an easy chair in Edinburgh made me a little nutso just thinking about it, and honestly, I’ve tried to make do with other chairs before, and my lines just don’t come out right. I call it the Throne of Truth for a reason.
- A tutu. It’s actually just a square-dance petticoat, yanked up to my tits and strapped down with a long-line strapless bra, but the result is very tutu-esque. Also very Desperately Seeking Susan. I bring it along as a natural mood elevator, which I assume I will need at some point. I mean, nothing boosts your and everyone else’s mood like a tutu with fishnet stockings, amirite?
- My writing notebook. I need to finish jamming out my script for next year, oh god. And while I don’t seriously plan to have a lot of time to work on this in Edinburgh, there are all the plane rides and train rides and, well, you never know.
- A bag of Jolly Ranchers for this dude at the Fringe media office. When I contacted them way back when about something, and asked if I could bring anything from over here, and that’s what the guy said. They don’t get them in England, apparently, and I for one am all about bribes. They absolutely are the grease that makes the Fringe wheels run.
- Bandannas. When I do not have room for a towel, a la Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a bandanna is the next best thing. One of them knotted around the strap of my purse at all times gives me a sweat rag, a hand towel, a mini-picnic blanket, a sleep mask…
- A bag of homemade candied ginger for me. Some Fringe artists at the Vancouver Fringe gave me some last year, when I was still recovering from laryngitis, and to be honest, I was skeptical. The stuff is not pretty candied ginger, no; it looks like something that a mysterious old woman would scoop out of a locked and bound jar at an occult shop, and put in a packet with stern instructions not to open it under the light of a full moon. But it worked! Made me feel GREAT before a show! Huh. I think it’s ginger…
- Bananagrams, and maybe my travel Boggle set, if it can fit. I have a fantasy that I’ll have out these games at a table in an airport and some other word-oriented extrovert will just walk past and say, “holy shit, Bananagrams? Can I play?” So far that hasn’t happened, but I want to remain open to the possibilities.
- My red metal water bottle. My Boston friends all signed it with silver Sharpie when I first left there in 2010. The signatures have all worn off, but I still take it everywhere. It has been backstage with me at every show since then.
- My sewing kit, packed in a metal Hershey’s old-fashioned-looking tin. There’s always something. The full-on sewing scissors went in checked bags, of course.
- My newest touring acquisition, an 8-in-1 dolly/handtruck job that only weighs 17 pounds (compared to my first model that weighs 40 if it weighs an ounce). I’m strapping it to my table-box (two tables latching together, with a handle on the outside), taping the wheels in place, and wrapping the whole thing up in garbage bags and tape for the plane ride. Hopefully they won’t ask too many questions. It’s going to be a heavy, weird-looking piece of baggage.