How far would you go, how far have you gone, for a gig?
I'm talking about the distance you would drive, or fly, to play.
Many working musicians regularly travel in order to sustain a career in music. This does not surprise me, but sometimes people don't understand that musicians often keep regular jobs in distant cities, with much of their earnings absorbed in the expense of traveling.
Personally, I've certainly had this experience. When I lived in Omaha, Nebraska, I had a contract in both the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies -- Lincoln being about 60 miles away (I-80 being a sheet of ice across which the snow blows horizontally, a dizzying drive in the dark). When I lived in Denver, I had a contract with the Colorado Springs Symphony -- about 70 miles, but a different kind of snow because it involved going over a mountain pass. I was fortunate that I wasn't in the caravan that once was stranded in a developing blizzard. When the police came to dig out their car, they had to leave their instruments behind, the horror! Living in California, I regularly drive all over the very wide Los Angeles metropolitan area for work in various symphonies and groups.
I haven't flown all that often to play, but concertizing soloists often fly multiple times a week, finding themselves in a different city or country every few days.
How sustainable is this lifestyle? It's pretty tough, but for many musicians this is simply a normal part of life.
How about you? What is the farthest distance you've traveled to play? Do you have a regular gig that requires a long-distance commute? Have you taken touring that took you away from home? Do you simply live out of a suitcase? Is this okay, or does it make you crazy? Please vote, and tell us all about it in the comment section below. (Also, I realized that for some, traveling to another country is a short distance! If you can say 'yes' to more than one answer, just pick the one that seems most appropriate to illustrate your travel for gigs.)
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