Sammy Heck Tour Diary: Part 2
Day 10- Lafayette, LA: The show I booked for for tonight fell through, so I have another day off to spend with some friends. It’s nice to visit with friends I only get to see a few times a year, but interact with a lot online. We sit in one of their living rooms and watch Sailor Moon DVDs for a few hours before heading to bed.
Day 11- New Orleans, LA: I get into New Orleans a couple of hours before the show so I can wander around the city for a little while. I went to Sisters In Christ Records, and as soon as I walk in they started playing the new Coping Skills record. I immediately struck up a conversation with the person at the counter and find out we’re friends with a lot of the same bands. They have to work tonight so they can’t come to the show, but we add each other on Facebook so we can keep in touch. It’s funny how even halfway across the country, you can walk into a random record store and meet someone who frequents the same social circles as you. I bought a gift for my partner and a gift for my dad for Father’s Day before heading to the show.
Another outside show tonight. I don’t think I played a single outdoor show while I was in Samurai Tiger (my old band). The show is at the amphitheater on University of New Orleans’ campus. It’s sparsely attended but it’s super fun anyway because it’s just a bunch of friends hanging out, singing each other’s songs. Here’s my close good friend Zack Theriot and I.
Day 12- Tallahassee, FL: Today’s drive is the longest of tour so far, and ended up being longer because of a road closure on I-10. I wind up having to stop at multiple gas stations to pee thanks to the anti-androgen I’m taking that doubles as a diuretic. This is always stressful because rest stops in the middle of nowhere are so scary. Surprisingly, everyone at every single gas station is nice to me. Every cashier calls me “ma’am” or “honey”, which is kind of cute. I can’t tell if I’m getting better at passing or if the cashiers are all tired and overworked and don’t bother to look at me very closely.
Tonight’s venue is a vegan restaurant named 'The Bark'; they give me a vegan BLT for half off because I’m performing, which is sweet of them. I’m gonna go ahead and plug them, if you’re in Tallahassee, you should try the Bark, they’re great.
Have you ever had one of those sets where you fuck up at the beginning, so you just totally disassociate through the rest of your set? That was me tonight. No matter how much I tried I couldn't seem to make myself present in what I was doing. I ended up playing a set that I’m really not proud of, which is honestly fine. Out of the 10 shows of tour so far, this is the first one I’ve felt bad about. That’s pretty good in my book.
Day 13- Atlanta, GA: I crashed at my friend Tyler’s house, so I get to see the studio where he works: the Lathe Cave. I’ve been ordering lathe cut records from Audiogeography since I was in my first real band at 15, so it’s like being at Disney World getting to see all the machines he uses to make lathes.
After visiting the Lathe Cave, I grab some lunch at a sushi place with some people I met at the show last night. It’s nice to meet new people and make new friends on tour.
The show tonight is an early one, because everyone in Atlanta wants to go see Full of Hell at 9PM. I don't blame them, and honestly, I’m stoked to go to bed early. It’s a cozy little living room show, and I have fun playing to everyone while they’re sitting on the couch or in chairs. I definitely want to play more low-key, quiet, matinee shows like this one.
After the gig I try my best to go to bed right away but fail miserably. Instead, I do what every trans girl does at some point in her life: I give myself bangs. On impulse, I chop off the front of my hair with a pair of scissors in my friend’s bathroom (sorry Elliott). I realized what I’d done and I kind of freaked out a bit. Whoops.
Day 14- Greensboro, NC: My bangs look cute as hell and I look great. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.
It took me six hours to get to Greensboro because of all the lane closures on I-85. It’s another matinee show tonight, which is nice because I spent most of the night worrying I was gonna look stupid so I didn’t sleep well. The show is at a coffee shop, and I feel like I’m bothering everyone who’s just trying to drink their damn coffee. I was asked to turn down my amp for the first time in the life of this project.
Day 15- Raleigh, NC: The house I crashed at last night was so hot that I couldn’t sleep. I hang out in Raleigh for most of the day and drink as much coffee as I can in order to stay awake. My energy level is more consistent now, but my heart feels like it’s going explode.
I grabbed some dinner with my friend Andy before my set. He’s from my town originally but moved to North Carolina a little while ago, so it was nice to see him. He has every single thing my label (Deep Sea Records) has ever released, which I think is pretty neat.
My tour dates got a little mixed up so I hopped on a show at a bar tonight kind of last minute. The only problem is that the aforementioned show is a bluegrass/country show, so I don’t fit the bill at all. I’m nervous as hell. This kind of music makes my feel like I’m ten years old, and sitting in the back of my dad’s pickup truck. Surprisingly enough, people really liked my set. A bunch of dad-looking dudes told me they loved my set, which was really nice and heartwarming. I feel like a lot of this tour has been me bracing for bad things to happen, only to have everything turn out fine. I feel like I think people are always going to be a lot worse than they actually are. This is definitely a flaw of mine.
Day 16- Richmond, VA: Last night of tour tonight. It’s bittersweet: on one hand I miss my friends and I miss my cat, but I love touring and I’m so sad for it to be over so soon. Luckily I’m going on two more tours this summer, but even that probably won’t satisfy my love for touring. Tonight’s show is at a little spot behind a church in southern Richmond. I’ve played here before, it’s a fun smaller space. For some bizarre reason I’m on first tonight, so I load in all my gear and set up as soon as I get there. Some dude won’t stop calling me “he” while I’m setting up which immediately puts me in a pissy mood. I play my set and pack up everything immediately after I’m finished. I feel immature and stupid for getting so upset.
At this moment, the Weak Days roll up. I haven’t seen Dustin since I was in high school. I met their bassist RB for the first time, and we immediately became pals. After hanging out with the two of them for a bit I was in much better spirits. Here’s a pic RB took of me with my sword.
Day 17- Forest Hill, MD: All in all, this has been a pretty successful tour. I only got upset a handful of times, and I was generally in good spirits the entire tour. I drank a lot of orange juice and water, and stayed in good health. I have bangs now. I sold out of all the merch I made except for two shirts. I met up with 18 old friends, I made 10 new friends, and I met 12 friends from the internet in real life for the first time. I’m now at home, laying on my couch with my cat. I’m gonna go to sleep for a few days now.
Big shout out to Zack Theriot, Rene Duplantier, Tyler Bisson, Elliott Brabant, Fenn Belvin, Vacant Company, Chris Campbell, the Weak Days, Hermie, and Phluff for letting me air my grievances, gush about my friends, and tell you about my experiences Touring While Trans.