Tiffany Chang

conductor

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Back to flying

Posted by tiffanychang on January 31, 2020 at 9:30 PM

This is the calm before the storm. In a few days, I resume my weekly commute between MA and OH. People always are surprised that I take a plane to get from one work to another. I have been doing so for almost three years, and actually, quite a lot of musicians (and non-musicians, like consultants) do this, and have been doing so a for much longer time.

We all agree it’s not as glamorous as it seems. It’s a lot of suitcases, having two sets of everything while maintaining two places of residence. If I forgot something I need in Boston, too bad! Planning meticulously our travel and work itinerary. For example, next week I get off the plane and go straight to class. I’ve prepared all my class materials in December when I was last at Oberlin. I knew I simply wouldn’t have time to do it after getting off the plane.

In 2019, I was away 118 days. I know my regular airports super well – like how long it would take for me to get to certain gates, where the TSA precheck lines and (nice) bathrooms are, and which food places are open at midnight (because I had to spend the night at the airport one day a week for a year). I can recite the flight schedules between BOS and CLE by heart, by airline. Some TSA agents know me by name.

In December, I had to miss my first rehearsal ever due to a weather-related travel debacle. Considering I’ve been flying weekly for 3 years and this is the only rehearsal I’ve not made, it’s a pretty good track record. However, the terrible feeling resulting from that unfortunate day still reminds me of how quickly things can turn from manageable to impossible.

This March, my travel will be taken to a new level. Within the span of 3 weeks, I’ll be going through three states in the US and internationally to Dubai. A few of those days I’ll be cutting things close and flying in and going to dress rehearsals. I’m grateful for the busy schedule, but I’m also anxious about making it all happen. I can only hope that the weather cooperates – my weather karma should be fully replenished after that experience in December!

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