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Bag Lady

Sometimes, people ask me “How do you manage such a busy life?” Strangely enough, it seems that the logistical side of getting the life-related STUFF from point A to point B is one of the trickiest things to manage. (Aside from the whole triple-booked problem, of course – this weekend’s performance schedule is impossible without time travel, and as you may note below “flux capacitor” is not in my car’s inventory.)

You can tell how zany my schedule is by how many separate bags I’m toting from my house to the car in the morning. Long gone are the days when a simple purse was enough to get by on. I realized at some point that splitting things into themed bags made it easier to only take what I needed, even if what I needed was a lot.

Thusly, I’ve ended up with a very specific system:

The Purse: Kindle, phone, wallet. Business cards. Headset for my phone. Sanitizer and mints. One nested pouch with makeup/hair stuff, and one pouch with toiletries including lip balm, a spare pair of contact lenses, eye drops, and my Tide pen (magic). Sometimes an umbrella, if it’s the big purse. I still don’t understand how other ladies switch purses all the time. Maybe they just have 5 sets of everything they need.

The Laptop Bag: Laptop, charger, mouse. Sketchbook and pens. Miscellaneous IT magazines.

The Tribble Bag: It’s a bag. Full of Tribbles.

The Gym Bag: Clothes and stuff. Has an abandonment complex caused by watching all the other bags get all the love.

The Show Bag: Makeup, water bottle, medicine for any potential ailment that wouldn’t derail a show, first aid accoutrements that I need far too frequently, comb, hairpins, hairspray, dry shampoo spray, Capezio tights, Twizzlers, moisturizer, baby wipes, socks, spare bra, curling iron.

The Annoying Oversized Extra Shit Bag: Typically any show footwear I’m providing (character shoes or boots) plus hot rollers and roller clips if needed.

The Musical Theatre Party in a Bag: Really just a bag for sheet music, scripts, and/or my audition binder. And purple eyeshadow. I don’t know why that’s in there.

The Overnight Bag: Since my partner still has to spend some time with his ailing mother in Tacoma, I end up needing to take overnight trips there every once in a while. It is what you would expect from an overnight bag, except there is likely to be something Pikachu-related in it.

The story behind the Tribbles was funny – I was at a fundraising walk last summer, telling a coworker about the new longform Star Trek improv show we were launching, and how it was based on classic Trek. She looks at me and asks, “Do you need a bag of Tribbles?” As it turns out, she had a whole bag of handmade Tribbles in her office. You know, waiting for the day when a friend of hers would need those Tribbles onstage.

Problem is I only have two shoulders, so on a bad day this gets pretty out of hand. Plus my trunk isn’t the largest since the hybrid battery takes up a lot of space. Suggestions on more efficient ways to handle this nonsense are welcome.

And then there’s the matter of the actor’s car – the things NOT in bags that should be. I have some strange things “for emergency use” including a strapless bra, double-sided tape, headshots, monologue books, work gloves, and sneakers. While I suppose this makes me well-prepared should I need to change into an evening gown in my car for some random audition after fixing a flat, I’m not so sure I’m defining “emergency” correctly. Plus ticket stubs and programs and postcards and all manner of other reminders of the hobby.

It’s a really exciting day for me when I only take my purse to work. Which is funny, since inherently the lack of bags means it is actually a rather uninteresting day schedule-wise. Uninteresting is the new interesting.

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