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.
It has been interesting to note how different my experiences have been from city to city. I can say with certainty that it feels like my journey will never lose its appeal, as there is always something new to look forward to.
My next stop: Shenzhen. What a gorgeous and bustling city. I could see Hong Kong in the distance from my hotel room – it happens to be one of our upcoming stops! Surrounded by Zara, H&M, and many other familiar shopping stores… the temptation was real. But it was not the tourist version of China I was expecting to discover. Shenzhen is now known as one of the main business districts in China, but it wasn’t always. About 30 years ago Shenzhen was just a small fishing village. Crazy, right?
As we arrived, after about an hour or two driving in a bus, we settled into our new hotel and decided to get some Wagas. Anyone who has ever been to China knows that Wagas is a MUST! It’s an amazing restaurant that has healthy Western food (with a bit of an Asian twist of course). It’s a little taste of home that we often miss. One thing I have realised about myself (and I’m sure other touring actors can agree) is that it’s so easy to get locked up in your room and not want to do anything, or go outside at all. Work is high priority and our hotel room becomes our temporary home.
However, a few of us decided to go out and explore a place called The OCT Loft, a small art district. It was an incredibly hot day and we strolled into art galleries, book stores, and a cute little Vietnamese restaurant. I ate a beef dish rated 1 chilli (out of a total 3 in heat)… It was a good laugh as I discovered that 1 chilli is a chilli too many!
A friend and I joined a group going to a park, which at the time was a quaint idea that sounded like it would make for an idylic afternoon. A “park visit” quickly became a hike of at least 700 steps up a mountain. It was a scorching day of 34 degrees and my doubts about my own wisdom began to surface in ever-increasing numbers. My escalating regrets, however, led to the most incredible view I have ever seen! I experienced something so special and I’m glad my friends were with me to share it. I would have been cooped up in my hotel room missing out on this unique perspective of a beautiful city. I was covered in sweat and exhausted but I was also rejuvenated. I giggled with my friends as we tried to walk back down the mountain while my legs shook and we were eaten alive by mosquitoes (through our clothing!) Our “park visit” was even more than the picturesque afternoon I had pictured.
The last few days I didn’t explore as much because there was a pollution warning. It said it would be better not to go outside unless you had a mask. Yep, this is China: the pollution gets so bad that you have wear filtered masks to protect your lungs.
Next stop was Zhuhai: a short trip for sure. We were only there for about 10 days and unfortunately there was a typhoon in Macau and we felt the aftermath: major rain storms that stifled our adventurous spirit. Luckily, before the storm hit, Frankie forced me out of my bed to go tobogganing. Anyone who knows me knows that I am scared of heights, and I didn’t quite realise what tobogganing would entail: a cable car ride up to the top of the mountain, with one single cable holding us up… It wasn’t very stable at all! We got to the top after cackling about my obvious phobia. We took mandatory photos, and laughed all the way down a crazy tobbogan ride.
I am a person who isn’t naturally adventurous, and on tour I’m being pushed to step outside my comfort zone. I’m enjoying this newfound perspective. Being outside of your normality back home can only motivate you to be a better version of yourself.
Until next time…