Monday, April 30, 2012

Tour Time Explained

My friends and I have a ready excuse when we get our schedules mixed up. Luckily for us we're usually having our misunderstandings in the weeks and months before an event and not on the actual day. That excuse is the mysterious and wonderful anomaly of "Tour Time".

The short explanation is that you stumble off the tour bus, rub your eyes and ask the nearest human being, "What day is it?" The correct answer could just as easily be Philadelphia as it could Monday or The 12th.

That's because we grew up going to school or work for five days and then punctuating it with two days off where we do something different and then repeat. When your schedule deviates from that and you loose your point of reference, you are then on Tour Time.

You don't actually have to be on tour to have it happen. People that work in studios or on movies or even just put in long stretches at their office jobs loose all track of calendar information and start thinking of where they are temporally in terms like, "tomorrow's dress rehearsal", "the rough mix is due today" or just "three days from deadline".  

In a way it's actually good because it means that you've structured your life around the thing that is most important to you and you're setting yourself up to be dedicated to it. Where it gets complicated is when you have more than one temporal reality intersecting and "three days from deadline" is also "Friday when your daughter's dance recital is."

Another down side is when you ask what day it is and the answer is never "off".  It doesn't matter if you're an office drone, a pipe fitter or monitor engineer for Madonna. A brutal schedule with no breaks hurts your work and your health. Americans are terrible about this, for some reason we think it's a sign of weakness or betrayal to take some time for yourself. In Europe and elsewhere vacation is copious and also mandatory. Employers know that they get your best work when you get a rest now and then. If you're in the States you have to make a decision to carve out that time for yourself and make yourself take it and to hell with the guilt trip.

Well fellow Brethren of the Knob and Fader, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by, readership is ever climbing. One thing we're lacking though is your input. We're not some remote company, beholden to advertising dollars. We're just a handful of contributors who love their work in audio and we could use your ideas and input to make this space better. So leave us a comment, drop us a line on Facebook or hit us up on Twitter! We're listening.

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