Thirty days ago, we began our journey. For several of us it was familiar territory. Returning to a favorite pub or café, recalling an old memory from Tours past. For the remaining ten of us, a whole new adventure awaited. New territories, new cultures and new memories are to be made. For me, the Ireland tour was something I’d always had my eye on. Having costumed three tour shows, my secret wish was to one day to be asked to go on the tour. Alas, a Costumer was never needed. Who knew I would have to come out of “acting retirement” to get my ticket to the Emerald Isle.
The entire experience of the tour was unlike anything I or many of us have experienced in our lives. Every day we woke up in a country not our own, to go to work and that work consisted of doing the thing we all love. Often I would pinch myself in disbelief that this was my life. The memories that were made, the laughter, the songs and dance, the community dinners, the lock-ins, the Opening night jitters and Closing night strikes, the “tourists” days and the countless moments that took your breath away.
The comment I found many of us saying in our final days was “it feels like only yesterday.” It was an appropriate phrase to use, seeing as everything we had all been through together really did feel like it had only just happened — and yet, at the same time, felt like a lifetime ago. It feels like only yesterday we had just landed in Dublin and were busing to our apartments in Galway. It feels like only yesterday that, after weeks of rehearsal, we opened in Town Hall Theatre (I spent 9 minutes crying backstage, I was SO nervous). It feels like only yesterday we were driving to Kilkenny, with gorgeous weather on our side and the most scenic country views. It feels like only yesterday we closed at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork and bid farewell to Rae, Mike and the many friends we met along the way. It feels like only yesterday we were still in Ireland.
Thirty days ago, we began our journey. Some of us met as strangers, some of us as old friends reconnecting. In the end we all shared an amazing experience together. The experience, not to be cliché, has been a dream come true for me. How many people get an opportunity like this? It’s hard to believe so much time has passed and we are now back at home. This day felt so far away — but before we knew it, it was quickly approaching. While it is sad to say farewell, the adventure is only half over. We have ahead of us another four weeks of performance at Church Street. I am eagerly waiting to bring this fantastic show to Church Street and to reconnect with my fellow colleagues again and reminisce of our times in Eire.
Of course no trip is complete without the burdens of air travel. In our case, a four hour delay in Dublin followed by 90% of us not receiving our luggage in Washington Dulles. While waiting in the terminal in Dublin, Brad broke out the guitar and entertained us. He ended his set and our trip on a perfect note, with Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again.” Until then, Ireland, I’ll not forget you.