Thoughts after Nashville

Chicago, Monday, May 24, 2010.

I cannot begin to tell you what it's like to have more than 15,000 people cheering for a show that I've been part of developing and am part of presenting. I love working with James, our great band and singers, and the more than 80 staff and crew members on this tour. I didn't expect to be touring at age 68, or to enjoy touring as much as I do. But acknowledging a wider spectrum of life on the road than the high of being onstage and being part of delivering what audiences have come to see is how I keep a sense of balance in a business that lends itself very much to imbalance.

For nearly three hours on a show night, the band, James, and I experience all the joy and glamour of show business to the Nth degree. The rest of our time on the road is spent on travel, trying to catch up on sleep, and attending to basic necessities such as eating, doing laundry, showering, sleeping, and visiting a gym or a pool whenever that's possible.

Whenever I find life on the road challenging, complaining is not an option - not when I remember that the crew's workday lasts many more hours than that of the band. Including but not limited to drivers, riggers, audio, video, lighting, and instrument techs, tour and production management teams, crane and forklift operators, assemblers and operators of the mechanism that turns our stage "in the round," and everyone else in the disciplined and dedicated group of people who pack, unpack, and move a staggering amount of large production cases from venue to venue, crew has all the challenges we do and more.

The crew's unfailing good cheer, professional conduct, and, as they keep reassuring me, personal satisfaction in making it possible for the band, James, and me to deliver the aforementioned hours of joy to ourselves and our audiences is the standard to which James and I aspire. I know James feels the same because we often talk about how much we value everyone who makes this experience possible. Thank you.

- Carole