Deep into her Outsider tour, our glorious founder Sarah Millican is sending us dispatches from the frontline of comedy as she visits towns, cities and islands across the UK.
There’s a lovely rhythm to being on tour that I don’t get in any other area of my work. A routine, I suppose. Outside of tours, every day is different. I’m writing a thing, going to London for a telly thing, trying new jokes out at a place. But a tour ticks the boxes left unticked when I handed in my notice at the civil service. The uniformity, the sweetness of knowing what you’re doing every day. The following things currently happen every day of my working week.
I check my tour bag. I take out any dirty washing and replace it with clean clothes. I quadruple check the important stuff – makeup bag, notebooks, spare pants, gold shoes, current favourite biro.
We travel to the venue. I always fall asleep in cars when I’m not driving. So I now have a neck pillow and blanket at the ready. It’s good to know yourself.
We get into the venue and during the sound check, one of my team (tour manager and support act/friend) will ask if I’ve played there before. I will whisper that I’m not sure but sometimes I do that into the mic. I often ask the venue staff if there’s a ghost in the theatre/town hall/arts centre/corn exchange. There always is.
I hang up the two dresses I have brought with me. The one with the fewest creases by 7.30pm is the one I wear. I’m so girly!
We eat backstage. It’s usually something my tour manager, Barry, has foraged. I often steam my throat; it’s a long tour and I need to keep my vocal chords in bouncy health. I worry when people pop in the dressing room as it looks a lot like a bong. My drug of choice: hot water. I’m so dangerous! I don’t chuck tellies out of hotel rooms but I regularly get Dairy Milk skiddies on the sheets.
I sign a box of tour programmes. I try not to get distracted while doing this, as if my mind wanders, so does my Sharpie. Towards the end of the last tour, I was a bit homesick and missing my cats (we call them our mittens and I have no idea why). My mind was drifting and I glanced down to find I’d signed a programme, “Love Sarah Mittens xx”.
I put my makeup on. I love putting my makeup on. And I’m now comfortable enough with my tour manager, Barry, to pluck my tash and beard in front of him. He doesn’t notice or give a shit. I toyed with bringing heated rollers with me and putting them in every night. But then I realise, I can just brush my hair and it looks nice. I’m still not used to having long hair. I regularly jump because I think a spider is on my arm when it’s just a stray hair. I’ve killed so many hairs and trapped some under glasses.
To be continued… Find out in part two of my tour routine how many last wees I have and what I get up to in the interval.
Sarah’s Outsider tour runs until 23 September 2016. Visit her website for more dates and details: www.sarahmillican.co.uk3989 Views
Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.