The past weeks have been pretty incredible. I’ve been to UVa and Georgetown, and tonight as I write this I am getting ready to go to Chicago for a brief rehearsal for some choreography, New York for a symposium and film screening, Boston for a lecture-performance and design project. That’s a lot of travel.

My greatest fear when on the move is that my chair will be damaged. Many of you will know from bitter personal experience how frequently damage occurs and how hard it can be to get things fixed. Plus, there’s the moment of horror when you realize that you are now stuck with at best half functional equipment and at worst entirely non-functional equipment. I’ve been lucky over the years (writing this will now jinx me forever). I’ve had several broken wheels and only one frame replacement. And while I have always been able to perform, there have been several occasions when I have arrived, the frame has arrived and the wheels have not.


Life on the road is beautiful, serious fun, difficult work and, at times, incredibly lonely. Whenever I call him, my father asks if I am in a taxi in New York on the way to a rehearsal. I usually say yes. He responds with a semi-jokey whine; I *only* ever call him when I am in a taxi, in New York, on the way to rehearsal. There are some very practical reasons for that. His schedule and mine rarely overlap when I am in California, and the gap is exacerbated by the eight hour time difference. New York is five hours behind; I am more likely to get a good overlap.

I’m convinced traveling is bad for your diet: too many late nights with microwaved food, too many snacks and not enough real meals, and sometimes, a schedule that means that I end up eating on the run. I frequently feel confused about where I am. Do I turn left or right coming out of my room? Is it 208 or 313? And what happens when the key for 208 works in 313? Smile. For the moment, though, it’s worth it to me because of the positives of meeting new people and performing in some incredible venues. I’m learning a lot.

Alice Sheppard Signature