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Veronica Varlow
  -  Adventures On The Road   -  How To Survive Out of a Suitcase: A Guide To The Road

I am proud to be a traveling showgirl.


Killing time waiting for my number to be called for a truck stop shower.

In the past six years, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life on the road, touring all over this world, out of a suitcase.

And while you gotta bring the glamour to the stage every night, the truth is, sometimes, you’re scrubbing your makeup off in a truck stop shower or standing naked in some grungy punk rock backstage on a garbage bag wiping yourself down with makeup wipes (we even wrote a song about that one!)

Here’s some fun, random tips that I’ve picked up that are absolute Must Haves for the road:


Rocking the arm warmers that used to be knee socks in the back lounge of the tour bus.

1.  Fashionable Germ Prevention is as easy as ABC!
A.   Get a pair of knee high socks.
B.   Cut the feet out of them.
C.   Wear on your arms.  Every time you are opening grungy bathroom doors, etc, just simply pull up over your hand to protect yourself from whatever random germs might be lurking (this is coming from a girl who makes out with a different girl every night on stage as part of the show).

2.   Scented Lint Rollers.  For those times when there is not a laundrymat in sight and you’ve got another day until you get to one….and there’s people waiting by the bus who want to hug you.  Simply lint roll your clothes and voila!  Fresh smelling goodness.

3.  Make Up Wipes.  Truckloads of ’em!  These are great for an instant traveling shower if you’re in a pinch.  As I type this, our Our Stage Manager, French Fry is sitting next to me in the front lounge of the tour bus reading this over my shoulder and this convo actually just happened:
Fry:  “C’mon.  Have you actually ever taken a baby wipe shower?”
I look over to Mel, our Tour Manager who has seen me doing this backstage every night.
Me:  “Yes, Fry.  Welcome to my life every night on tour.”
Fry:  “Yeah, but have you ever taken a baby wipe shower in a port-a-potty?”
The answer is hell to the no.  Unfortunately for Fry, he did have this awesome life experience while doing the Warped Tour.  Fry has seen some crazy shizz.

Me and Fry, veterans of thousands of make up wipe showers.

Me and Fry, veterans of thousands of make up wipe showers.

4.  Nice Smelling Pretty Things to Put On Body. Lush Aromaco or Coconut Deodorant or anything Karma at Lush – I use these for the bottoms of my feet, I dust on my stage costume after shows and I crumble it up and put it in my shoes to make them smell pretty.   This is especially important because we’re a band that likes to have fun on the road.  We love games, and we love Truth or Dare.  One night, after rounds of playing this – someone dared a certain other girl to lick my feet. (All names are concealed to protect the innocent – or not so innocent).

MagPie and I backstage.  Oh, the things we have seen in Truth or Dare.....

MagPie and I backstage. Oh, the things we have seen in Truth or Dare…..

I was horrified.  We had been on the road for three months.  I had been dancing in those shoes day in and day out.  I was totally freaked out.  I was pinned down to the floor by three girls as I hysterical laugh/cried.  There was a mirror on the ceiling like tour buses sometimes have – and I watched, as the girl stripped off my stockings and licked the bottom of my foot like a champ.  Ever since that day, I take impeccable care of my feet.  After all, we still play Truth or Dare all the time….

5.  Sandalwood or cedar incense and vanilla candles.  A little way to transform a backstage in seconds flat.  In fact, one of the guys from our show at the Kingdom, came up and remarked, “This backstage has never smelled this good.”  Yep.  Me and the girls – making punk rock backstages smell damn good since 2007.

6.  Hair Thingys.  If all else fails and you feel gross, just put on a hair thingy.  And by hair thingy, I mean, hair flowers, tiaras, barrettes, ears, hell – whatever gets you through the day.  Little kids will point at you and smile – and you will momentarily feel like you are doing something right.

Or you can scrap all these rules and follow sound guy Josh’s advice:  “The best way to survive the road is to stop giving a F.  Look at me.  I have wine stains on my shirt.”

From left to right:  Tour Manager Melissa, Merch Girl Rachel, Stage Manager French Fry and Sound Guy Josh (who does indeed have wine stains on his shirt and doesn’t give an F.)

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