Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Road Family Interviews -- Tiffani Ginn

So, you may have noticed that Dave and I aren't exactly touring as much in 2010 as we were in 2009. Hey, I'm not complaining. I am true loving the feeling of waking up in the same bed every day. But it's made this blog less of a road diary and more of a mommy blog.

Which is cool. Hey, some of my favorite blogs are mommy blogs.

But I still think of myself as a road parent. And I seek out other road parents and try to grab hold of some inspiration from them.

So I had an idea-- what if I interviewed some road parents I knew. Selfishly I could get my inspiration fix, and you the reader could get some more diverse insight into this life of travel and babies.

My first interview subject is Tiffani Ginn of the Fabulous Ginn Sisters I've known Tiffani forever, and her husband Bill for longer than forever. Bill actually was one of my first mentors. He taught me how to co-write (he's an amazing writer) and took me on my first tours. Tiffani is also a killer songwriter and has a gorgeous voice. And when you hear her and her sister Brit sing together...sister harmonies at it's best.

He and Tiffani had their baby Blue around the same time Dave and I had Lisel. We've been keeping up with each other via the interwebs. But let me just say in advance that I had no idea how hard they toured. All I'll say is OMG!

The Fabulous Ginn Sisters have been touring with Fred Eaglesmith, opening shows and singing backup. I'll let her tell you the rest

How long had you been on the road before you had a child?

We were on the road for about 5 years before the baby.

Did you always think you’d stay on the road after you had a child? Did you ever consider another path?

We never really seriously considered the possibility of stopping because of the baby- although many people assumed we would. We decided that we would try it & if at any time anybody was unhappy or we felt that traveling was compromising our family in some way, we would stop. We went into the new situation with positive outlooks and i think it made a huge difference. We didn't listen to the nay-sayers.

Do both parents travel?

Luckily, both mommy & daddy are on the road. As well as an aunt & 4 other band members that have become family.

What do you do for childcare?

My husband, Bill, doesn't play in the band so he keeps our son during the show.

For how long do you typically travel?

So far our longest tour with baby in tow was 87 days. We are currently on a 172 dayer! Blue started touring when he was about 5 months old & he is now 15 months old.

What kind of transportation do you use? Do you travel separately from the rest of the band? Do you ever fly? Oh, and how is that?

We roll in an RV. It makes those 7 hour, 12 hour & 2 day drives manageable. Everything is easily accessible. We have 2 vehicles that caravan & folks sometimes switch rides. We don't fly...yet.

What do you do for lodging?

We also sleep in the RV.

Where is the baby during the show?

Bill & Blue have all sorts of adventures while I'm onstage. They go for walks, have snacks, play with toys, watch the show and rarely fall asleep.

What are the most rewarding parts of traveling with your baby. What are the more difficult parts?

I feel so lucky to have a job that I love & allows me to be with my baby all day, every day. I don't have to miss much- except for alone time!

How have the other band members reacted to having a baby amongst them?

The other band members love Blue & he loves them. Since we are all together so much of the time- it's just sort of normal for us. They are a huge help with him. They have told me that the road is better with the baby and they are happier.

What does a typical day on the road look like for you and your family?

We have gone from waking up at 10 am to waking up at 8:30 am-it was good while it lasted. We eat breakfast & go outside to play as much as we can before we get rolling. We drive to the gig & depending on how far away it is, we will stop at a park or grocery store or book store or play ground- days that afford us those luxuries make me feel like a good mom. We grab a bite & get ready for the show. If there's a break in the show I will come find Bill & Blue to see how it's going. We are nursing, so usually I will put him down before the second set.

How have your expectations lined up with the reality of traveling with a baby?

It has been so much better than I thought it would be. And I thought it would be good! We got really lucky with our boy- he's easy going & up for it all. Also, we have the help of those traveling with us & the support of our loved ones who cheer us on from afar.

Do you have any tips for parents traveling with children?

Go with the flow! There are no rules- do what works.

What’s the most hilarious and/or ridiculous situation you’ve found yourself in.

As you know, being on the road presents all sorts of challenges that we wouldn't face at home. Recently in South Carolina we were in a bad wreck & totaled the RV. The road gods were looking out for us & we all walked away without a scratch. That RV will never drive again. NO, not hilarious, but renting an SUV & cramming the contents of a 31 foot RV into it & driving back to Texas was pretty ridiculous. Also, Bill had to have an emergency appendectomy in Glendive, Montana- middle of nowhere. The band went on to the gig and Blue, Brit & me stayed behind with Bill, who was in the hospital for 2 nights. We stayed in a nearby hotel and Blue decided that those 2 nights would be party nights. He was literally running himself to sleep up & down the hotel hallways. Flailing, falling, flinging himself around. Laughing hysterically. Brit & I were actually a little worried about him. It was funny. Until he crashed & burned, around 3am. It's hard to be a baby sometimes. But he gets to play drums onstage every night before sound check & he's getting pretty good. Watch out, Dave.

Where do you get your support and inspiration?

I find support & inspiration from my family & friends and moms like you, Elizabeth. There are days that aren't as fun as other days and moments where I start to doubt if we are doing the right thing. Then I remember that you are out there doing it, too. And I take solace in the fact that at least my kid won't be the only one messed up.

Thank you Tiffani!


Anonymous said...

isn't she wonderful? aren't you both? xoxo

Anonymous said...

I saw you at Class Act in Whitby, ON. You are a talented singer.