MICHAEL NEILSON (April 2018): Touring can be tough for an actor with a family

Horsham actor Michael Neilson
Horsham actor Michael Neilson

To tour or not to tour?

Well personally, if it’s a long tour, it’s not for me. I’ve done a few short tours and also one long tour of The Rocky Horror Show with my wife, which I loved, and that leads me to the reason I’m not keen on touring.

It takes me away from my home and my family.

There are actors who love to tour and actors who don’t, and I think, by and large, the ones who enjoy it are not tied to home by a partner or children.

Of course, sometimes actors need to go on tour simply to earn money. However, the money is often not very good, you will be away from home and then you have to find ‘digs’. Most actors have to find their own digs for a tour and this can be tricky.

The first thing you have to do is ask for a touring schedule to get the precise dates of the tour. Then you have to phone each theatre and ask if they have a ‘digs list’. This is usually a list of theatrically minded people who have a spare room to let. If the tour is weekly, for a year, this could mean 50 theatres and half a dozen or so phone calls for each venue. Daily touring is more of a nightmare of course. You may be starting to see why touring doesn’t exactly set my heart fluttering with excitement.

Of course, the first time you actually see your accommodation is on your arrival in the new town.

Usually the digs are okay, sometimes they are acceptable but occasionally, they are absolutely dreadful.

My first ever digs were in Plymouth in 1983. When my mum came to visit me, she cried. I was in a small ground floor flat in a terraced house, with no central heating, no carpets and a hole in the centre of the kitchen floor, which I had to walk around to get from the door to the oven.

I was only 20 and I didn’t really notice. I was just happy to have my first professional job. These days, I want a nice comfortable place, which is warm and close to my family.

It’s called ‘home’.

Follow Michael on Twitter.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page

3 Follow us on Twitter

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

Be part of it.