BEARCAT, AKA Renee Yohe, isn’t your ordinary artist. She first came into the spotlight for her non-profit, To Write Love On Her Arms! She has a lot of wisdom and advice to share with you on the subject of touring, so we’ll let her take it away with her Tour Tips after the break.
1. INVEST IN A MEMORY FOAM PILLOW- this little miracle has saved my life being the smallest person in the van… this means I am nearly permanently assigned to passenger seat at all times and trust me, trying to fit yourself into the front seat comfortably enough to sleep is a fucking nightmare. Any other pillow is shit and will fail to conform to wherever you need to shove your face to get a few hours of sleep before the next show.
2. HYGIENE- (AKA DON’T BE A DIVA) I highly recommend Big Sexy Hair’s texturizing dry shampoo… stock up, get your cosmetologist friends to use their discount… especially being a girl, you never have a garuntee of showers, not to mention it’s a pain in the ass to deal with clean hair and it takes forever to style it… you can just spray that shit in your hair and you’re good to go, I think I managed to be on this last (first) tour to only actually wash my hair in the shower perhaps twice and it just kept getting more awesome. Get a few packets of those face wipes, I prefer Oil of Olay Regenerist…these serve multiple purposes, you can one: wash your face anywhere you are without a sink or water, and two: if you don’t get to shower, it’s a great little ghetto shower, just wipe yourself down and you’re good to go. Keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in a little bag so you can brush your teeth no matter what. Also, make sure you have whatever hair products you use…headbands are a GREAT cheat if you don’t feel like fucking with your hair…. added bonus within a bonus tip… accesorize the shit out of whatever you wear and your hair doesn’t have to be that awesome. (Obviously these are girly tips, though I’m sure there’s some long haired hippieshits or pretty boys out there who would benefit from these tricks. haahaaa, no offense!) AAAnnnnd also, bring a shit ton of underwear and socks, cause you never know when you’ll get to do laundry, in addition, dryer sheets or fabric softener sheets are super cheap and you can rub them all over your clothes if you need to. hahahahaaa
3. HAVE A STOCKED COOLER-this saves a shit ton of money and allows you to stay away from crappy fast food and spending precious money on snacks etc. Also, if you’re touring with someone who has awesome riders (or you do) half the time everyone gets to drunk or busy to remember the food and drinks in the greenroom so RAID THAT SHIT as soon as you know everyone is done with it, you can never have enough good snacks and beverages.
4. MUSIC/MOVIES/ENTERTAINMENT/HEADPHONES- Everyone needs there space after a while, putting some headphones in and escaping for a bit does a world of good…plus, a lot of the time you just might not want to be forced to listen to hours of radio hits that make you want to kill yourself or just shit you don’t like just because you forgot to bring your music and your headphones. …bring as much as you can as you’re going to get tired of listening to the same stuff after so long.
5. BAND/TOUR UNITY- Make sure you are all doing everything you can to be patient and tactful with each other. Take care of each other! The golden rule is truly golden. Make friends with the artists you’re traveling with and the people you meet along the way, and try to make an effort to find fun free things to do in your off time so you can actually enjoy the area’s you’re in. I’ve always had what I call “the adventure blanket” which is a soft comfy huge ass blanket you take with you at all times so that no matter where you go or whever you want to stop you have something cozy to sit on and enjoy yourself and the blanket ends up with a bunch of stories and memories… You’ve just got to make sure everyone you’re playing with has their heart in the right place, after the same things, and will have each other’s back at all times, there’s nothing more unnerving and tragic then bands turning against each other and becoming toxic…plus, if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing and doing it together, your fans can tell, and it’s a real put off. Be gracious and loving to each other, and take the time to invest in the people at your shows, you wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for them… and you never know what impact you might have on someone by taking the time to be intentional and actually give a fuck.
BONUS TIPS: *Probably the most important thing actually, is to make sure you are taking good care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you aren’t giving yourself the things you most need, you’re going to fall apart and possibly damage the people around you.. or worse, risk losing the opportunity to be out there living this dream. It’s crucial to have someone in your phone you can call and get a pep talk or have your perspective refreshed or just a safe place to word vomit if you need to, planning ahead to see friends and take time to get away for a bit really helps a lot too.
*Make each other laugh til your going to puke on yourselves, having some fun acting like complete idiots really goes a long way.