Hello! It’s Taylor Salgado here. I’m going to be giving you insight into the international tour of Matilda The Musical. My on-tour-diary is a sneak peak into the life of a performer and what it means to pack up your bags and head off on a new adventure.
June 25th, take off day. Excited and nervous? A definite understatement.
Leaving for 7 full months and being away from my family and friends was majorly on my mind. But I was packed and ready to go. I didn’t know what to expect, this being my first touring contract, but I knew that I was so blessed to be in a show that I loved. I was getting to tour all over China; a massive country with so much to see!
We arrived at Guangzhou Airport and we took a bus to the first city we would perform in: Dongguan. The hotel was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Feeling a bit like a fish-out-of-water I decided to take the week easy – Dongguan was only a week-long leg. One of my first stops in Dongguan was the Walmart, where I experienced a whole new world. Nothing was in English, and I ran around like a headless chicken with my Google Translate (my new best friend) trying to figure out what each item was, and what was in it! This was the moment it all sunk in, and I realised that I was in a new country, where the new “normal” was absolutely anything and everything but my “normal”. After two hours of excessively well-researched shopping, I decided it was time to go back to the hotel.
We had a few days of rehearsals and it was just so wonderful being back in a Theatre space with all the amazing people in our cast. Tech had arrived and as I stood on stage I had an amazing realisation: the Matilda stage was now my home. It was the one place I remembered and felt that feeling of belonging. I realised that this was my “normal” and where I felt safe. We started the shows with audiences and I felt this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. The people were so responsive and kind and I was just so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful production that can touch people’s lives in many different ways. Theatre truly is a universal language and one of my favourite quotes perfectly describes this:
“Theatre doesn’t last. Only in people’s memories and in their hearts. That’s the beauty and sadness of it. But that’s life. Beauty and sadness, and that is why theatre is life.”Sherie Rene Scott
Chat to you next week where I’ll tell you all about the next city I’m in: Shenzhen!
A side note (something I’ll make use of from time to time): A moment of serious gratitude towards our Technical Crew – often the unsung heroes. If even for a moment a performer feels like touring can be a touch tiring due to traveling, our Tech Crew manages to surpass us with a handful of all-nighters. Productions only happen as a result of our Techies. A big thank you and shout out to you!