The National Tour I did was not the most high end of tours. We traveled to a lot of small towns and were frequently the only professional show the town would see all year. They would get a grant to bring us in, and even if the houses weren’t filled, the people in the seats were so grateful.
The downside of traveling to these small towns was that there wasn’t always a nice hotel near the theatre. Sometimes there was only one hotel, and it was scary. A frequent phrase was “this hotel looks (or smells) a little murdery.” Or perhaps “all this hotel is missing is a hooker in a mattress. Then we could be on Law and Order.” But it was no one’s fault that Marriotts don’t exist in Pound, VA.
There was one motel that was particularly unfortunate. It was a little gross and a little murdery, but we all went to go into our rooms. We all left our luggage outside our rooms to do the bedbug check, looking under the fitted sheets and such, when one cast member ran around to everyone shouting, “Don’t put your luggage in your room!” One of the boys had found a bed bug and caught it in a cup! He caught a bed bug! Ahhhhhhh!
We all took our things and went out to stand by the bus. The standing by the bus bit only lasted for a few minutes, because we all got cold and took refuge in our bus seats. All except for the boy with the bug. He waited outside with the bug in the cup to show the hotel manager. We wouldn’t let him on the bus with the bug, which I think is very understandable. While he was waiting to show the manager, a custodian came by and tried to take the bug away!
The boy with the bug went all ghetto and started yelling at the man, but he still wouldn’t give it back. So, the grizzliest, scariest man in the cast walked over and shouted “Give the Boy his bug!” I’m amazed the custodian didn’t poo himself. Well, he might have. I really don’t know. I was too busy cheering with the rest of the cast through the bus windows.
He got the bug back, and we all got moved to a different hotel. And most importantly, the cast banded together for a common goal. The only power we have in life is to stand together. It’s amazing what a group of cheering actors can accomplish.