So, something occurred to me last Friday.. and again yesterday...commuting SUCKS! I packed up my car and set out on my six and half hour 'commute' last Friday morning.
LA--->SF that is. (*sidenote: I dont do that everyday..because..ugh..that would really suck buuuut I must say, it's well worth it when you're doing what you love for a living!) And yesterday I left my house in NorCal at 8am and spent most of my day in my car until I got home around 5.
Anyway...last Friday I got up at 4am, had my 1st coffee, packed the car and was on the road by 5am. I spend a lot of time in my car..more than I'd like to and definitely more than I think the human body actually should. Each time I trek from SF to LA or LA to SF or even Vacaville to SF, I make sure I do a few things just to ensure my trip will be pleasant and go by as quickly as possible. So, if you're like me and you're a hustling actor, working in two cities.. or maybe you just have a long daily commute.. here are 5 tips that I've found to be very helpful!
5 Tips for a better ride!
1. DONT TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF- I know..its tempting to get cozy for a 5+ hour road trip or even 2 hours stuck in traffic. I used to hop in my car, no makeup on, dressed in pj's and kick my shoes off. Heck, sometimes I even sit like a weird yoga pretzel in my driver seat.. BUT when you do that, your mind goes into auto pilot, a.k.a sleepy time and you'll be stoping at every Starbucks you see just to keep your eyelids open! (this is of course for SOLO road trips, if you're in the passenger seat then grab a pillow and blanket and see ya when we land!) Otherwise keep your shoes on and sit up straight!
2. CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY- plug in your bluetooth or headset and make a few calls. We're so used to scrolling social media to see what people are up to these days that we never actually have conversations with anyone! And no, text convos don't count. I am NOT encouraging you to actually use your phone while driving, I use my hands free bluetooth mode in my car and make Siri do all the dialing :)
Let people know ahead of time that you'll be available to chat and tell them to call you!
3. PACK A SMALL COOLER OR LUNCH BAG- I like to stop as little as possible and when I do, its a quick pit stop. I'm in and out, quick stretch, gas up and then back on the open road. I usually pack healthy snacks (stuff thats easily accessible while driving and usual GREEN!) and a few Le Croix sparkling waters. Sometimes its nice to have a piece of chocolate or a small cookie. I think of it as my "I'm almost there treat!" also the little sugar kick never hurts. ;)
4. PODCASTS- podcasts saved my life when I started commuting into San Francisco for auditions. I would get sick of flipping through static radio and the same songs on every station. Also, if you take interstate 5, your music selection is limited. If you have an iPhone then you already have the podcast app..its that purple one you probably never opened. Pick a topic that interests you or maybe something you always wanted to know more about. I found a few industry related channels that I love.
*Off Camera with Sam Jones- if you like to know how successful actors or film makers got started or maybe a few untold stories, then you'll love this one (its my favorite).
*The Nerdist with Chris Hardwick- he also interviews actors, directors, writers, etc. but they discuss more of the guests upcoming film or tv show.. he's a funny guy and his guests are usually very interesting.
*What it Takes- features intimate, revealing conversations with musicians, scientist, politicians, film makers, athletes... pretty much everyone who's ever been anyone.. and they highlight interviews from past years recorded by The Academy of Achievement.
5. MAKE A PICK ME UP PLAYLIST- after a few hours of chatting on the phone or listening to a few interviews you might need a little boost. Create a road trip playlist with songs that make you want to sing and dance. Mine usually consist of old classics and a few new hits.. theres something about Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye that just instantly put me in a good mood!
Ok, there you have it, 5 new things to try the next time you're dreading that awful commute. Let me know if you find these tips helpful.. or... if you dont!
Until next time!