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The Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commission said I broke a record on Tuesday. That’s not true but I appreciate the sentiment shared by Alfred Cervantes. That day I made a trip from Houston to Dallas to Austin to Houston. I call it the Texas Triangle and the miles covered exceeds 600. In one day!
Just a few days prior, I left Houston for Dallas and then traveled on to Austin the same day. I made the trip in reverse the following day. Although I didn’t finish the triangle, the miles covered topped 900.
I’ve been quite efficient at getting to auditions in Texas—without a vehicle. (For those reading outside of Texas, pronounce the “h” in vehicle when you’re here.) While Megabus has been getting lots of attention, it seems Greyhound quietly made dramatic changes since I last rode it before fall. The express buses I’m using now provide outlets and free Wi-Fi. Plus, the prices are terrific. My first round-trip from Houston to Dallas cost just $36. It helps to order online at least one day in advance.
After years of making these drives by car, and nearly falling asleep at the wheel on several occasions, the option of taking the bus looked very attractive. It gives me a chance to rest, prepare for the audition and meet interesting people, like the exotic dancer I met one night on the way back to Houston. She seems to have a lot of pics of cash and shrimp on her Facebook page, by the way.
Last night while talking to a friend in Florida, I tried to determine how many miles I’ve traveled in Texas since I started acting in 2005. I wish I had kept meticulous records just to stun people now. I bet it’s at least 250,000 miles. I mean, I just did 2000 miles in 8 days so a quarter of a million miles in seven years seems reasonable.
To get in 600 miles in one day, I get an early start.
12:45 am Departed Houston
5:00 am Arrive in Dallas
9:15 am Audition for Texas Lottery
10:15 am Depart Dallas
1:15 pm Arrive in Austin
3:30 pm Audition for iMeet video
5:30 pm Depart Austin
8:30 pm Arrive in Houston
Now that might have been a long enough day for some people, but I grabbed a cab to a film fundraiser for three crew members injured on set by a drunk driver. By the time I got home, it was 11:30 pm, close to 24 hours after I first started walking the two miles from my place to the Greyhound station in downtown Houston. And I still wasn’t ready to sleep!
You’ve heard the phrase, “getting there is half the fun.” I disagree. As an actor in Texas, I think getting there is at least 76% of the fun. Each trip provides a series of challenges to overcome, like how to clean up between traveling by bus and getting to the audition, how to strategically fill a backpack and bring only the necessary items, and which mode of travel to rely on once in my destination city. I do prefer to walk to audition locations within 3 miles of downtown Dallas, especially if I arrive in town hours before my audition slot. If you see me walking past you at 6 am one day, feel free to toot the horn.
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