1. I learned that being a "performer" and being a "musician" on stage are equally as important. For the entirety of "Meg and Dia" I believed that having my bangs cover half my face in a dramatic swoop and an incoherent mumble in between songs fulfilled my requirement as an entertainer. Only during the second half of the Blake tour, by watching and learning from both Dia and Blake, did I realize that the crowd deserves to have the entertainers on stage be appreciative and show their respect by smiling and moving with the music.
2. I learned to not sweat the small stuff that happens on stage. People aren't analyzing the show in detail as much as the band and I are. When two cowgirls are sitting in the third row, sipping on beers and laughing hysterically to each other, they are not making fun of me for missing the A minor in the 2nd verse, they are remembering the "stuck up" mechanical engineer who spilled Miller Light all over himself while hitting on them at the bar last night.
3. I learned about how to respect hierarchy in a tour production this enormous. Just like an employee in a corporate situation is supposed to first address an issue with their higher up, and then the higher up relays the message to their superior, etc…, those same rules apply on tour. (For some reason, I thought if you were in the band you can do what you want and I could just go talk to Blake's tour manager myself with issues. Well, I learned my lesson! No "after show" Taco Bell for me!)
4. I learned to depend on our crew in a time of crisis. They know what they are doing. I need to trust them to handle their jobs. We recently had a technical issue where we didn't trust the front of house engineer to handle it. I freaked out and stopped playing my part altogether because I believed we were playing way off from each other and we ruined the song. Turns out our sound guy heard the mistake, fixed everything instantly, and to the crowd the song would have sounded perfectly fine had I continued to play my part.
5. I learned how to pee in a stall where boys are in the next room in an open "locker room" type space. Dia and I share green rooms with all the guys in our crew and band. At first, it was a little awkward to step into a stall and realize that everyone in the room could here me peeing. Now, I shout over the stall to them about how great or not so great the tour was and the coming presidential election.
6. I learned that women can be in charge in a man's world. Beth is in charge of production, and man you should see the big tough men bow down to her. The authority and power she has amazes me every day. I think it takes courage and balls, and she has both!
7. I learned how to shower in under 3 minutes. We are all usually extremely stinky and dirty by the time all nine of us roll up to the hotel after a couple days of no showers, sweaty shows, and "load-ins" and "load-outs". There is no time for singing in the shower, no time to shave, no time to stop and enjoy the water pounding on your back. Just in and out, like a snow storm. Next!
8. I learned not to take things personally. When Dia says that the guitar tone sounded like screeching sirens in her ears, that's not my fault. It could be a myriad of problems: monitor issues, room issues, mixing level issues. Just gotta let it slide off my back, because I know I have killer tone. Duh!
9. I learned that just as coffee and Dave Grohl don't mix, coffee and Meg are just as terrible of a combination. Never again.
10. I learned that cultivating connections with people on tour is extremely important. You never know how people can help you down the line. You all know about Jenee, Blake's blue-grass fiddle player, I spoke about in a previous blog. If I wouldn't have met her, I never would have been introduced and inspired by new genres of music and different styles of guitar playing.