Clowns onstage

Never Leave Home Without It

Z Smith, who joined CWB – USA’s February, 2018 and September, 2018 tours to Puerto Rico, reports back on what’s essential, what works and what doesn’t, for a clown on the go.

Z Smith

I’ve just finished my second CWB – USA tour in Puerto Rico. I love traveling light and being prepared, so I made a list of what works for me—a clown traveling in a warm, wet climate.

Hang or clip everything

This allows for drying, saves space and keeps stuff off the ground. Though it adds a little weight, I find it beneficial to bring my own hanging system: plastic over-the-door hooks, S-hooks, carabiners, hangers, clothespins and parachute cord.

Speaking of, whenever I camp or travel, people always laugh at my clothespins and parachute cord. But sooner or later, they’re hanging things on my lines and using the pins. Also, the p-cord comes in handy for about a billion other things (like tying up your clown trunk if/when it busts open)!

A clip-on book light is another handy object, and I love, love, love mine. It clips to my book or to the side of the bed and/or van, or it can even hang from a tree. It weighs less than a flashlight and doesn’t blind my friends, like a headlamp.

Combat Smell Pronto

Performing in a warm and wet environment meant I was pretty much sopping wet and stinky every day. Hanging stuff up immediately goes a long way toward combating smell, but I also made a little bottle of vinegar-based costume spray to use between shows. Many travelers use a plastic bag as their dirty clothes bag, but that seals in the stink, plus any moisture left in the fabric. I use a light cloth bag to hold my dirty clothes, allowing moisture to evaporate.

Stay cool and protect yourself from the sun

Bring a table cloth. That’s right, a table cloth. This is a must-have travel item for me. It can be used as a blanket (most often in the freezing airport), a pillow, a bag, a towel, something to sit on outside, and a sun-protection fort (See: tying up the p-cord you brought and pinning the table cloth to form a tent).

You should also wear billowy clothing, whenever possible. I packed a bunch of tank tops, but after being wet and dirty all day, I ended up not wanting anything to touch my skin. I also brought a loose shirt and pants to protect against mosquitos. As it turned out, my New York Mets visor was not enough protection against the Caribbean sun. I wish I had brought a roll-up sun hat to cover my whole face and neck.

 

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