Dear West End Producer: ‘What is the best way of sustaining my relationship when I’m away touring?’
— Jo Ridings (@jo_ridings) September 26, 2017
Having a relationship with a performer can be difficult – especially one who is touring. It’s always harder for the person who is left at home – they feel as if they’ve been left behind while the other person has gone off on a brilliant adventure.
If you’re dedicated and try hard, the challenges of making a relationship work can actually be fun. But the commitment to this has to come from the person who is away – they mustn’t get lost in a touring bubble.
Being surrounded by beautiful new people and feeling successful because they’re working can make people forget the ‘normal’ life back home. But remember that life on the road is not real life. It is just an artificial theatrical family that disappears when the job is over, whereas what you have at home is constant.
Touch base with your partner frequently – let them know how you’re doing, what you’re up to and don’t forget the life you have with them. Enquire about them, make them feel loved and let them know that they’re more important to you than the acting job.
Jealousy often occurs – especially if you’re out every night and spending a lot of time with your cast mates (perhaps including some rather bendy and nicely six-packed dancers). Never prioritise your cast mates. Even though it feels like they may be really exciting to spend time with, the excitement never lasts. Your life back home is far more important.
Luckily, technology such as Skype and FaceTime enables you to see your partner as you chat. It even allows sexy video calls at night – something that makes long distance relationships much easier. However, do be careful when indulging in such saucy interactions – you don’t want your landlady overhearing and suffering a heart attack due to overexcitement, dear.
Here are some handy hints for sustaining a relationship when touring:
• Don’t flirt with the dance captain.
• Avoid touching your understudies.
• Remember that your touring life is just a bubble. Your real life is your relationship and family and friends at home.
• Don’t believe the ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’ phrase. It doesn’t. The truth is: what happens on tour stays on Twitter.
• Locals will want to sleep with you. Expect this, but never entertain it.
• Go home as often as you can.
• Always tell your partner you love them.
• Remember that you are the one on tour having fun. Your partner may be doing a job they hate, missing you dreadfully – the highlight of their week is when you return home.
• Never take your relationship for granted.
• Your relationship is not a tour. It is a constant.
I’m as guilty as anyone of forgetting these pieces of advice. Life away can be hard, and temptation is rife. But your life back home with your partner is far more important than a little dalliance after some Dom, dear.
Send questions to your dear agony aunt via Twitter @westendproducer