by Lane Shuler of I.N.K.
“Food Is Essential To Life, Therefore Make It Good.” – S. Truett Cathy
While more honest words may have never been spoken, we like to live by another quote entirely.
“Good food is essential to travel; Therefore, make it life”
It’s no secret that we are obsessed with food. So obsessed in fact, we made a poem about it! So when we hit the road for our college tours, the first thing we do is figure out what restaurants we need to hit along the way.
When we first got into show business, the idea of getting paid to do poetry was this magical thing we could barely fathom. What we quickly learned was, the payment wasn’t why we were doing it at all, we were doing it for the experiences. In 2016 we embarked on one of the craziest journeys of our lives, an 18 day tour of Texas, Louisiana, and everything in between. And while the paychecks were nice, getting an inside peek at the culture and food of the people of Texas, was truly the reward.
In our travels, we’ve eaten some spectacular food. Travel Channel’s “Best Sandwich In America”, in Philadelphia after performing at PSU-Brandywine, the famous Nacodoches Meat Pie, on a rainy afternoon just off the campus of Northwestern State University in Louisiana, and a juicy steak on the edge of the West Texas badlands at Cattleman’s Ranch, just in time to watch the sunset over the unforgiving western plains.
The best part of all of these experiences is when the students and staff of the schools give us tips on where to head. On one hungry evening at a school in Kentucky, a student proudly proclaimed that “Cosmic Pizza was the best pizza in the world”. The pizza was great, but the best thing in the world was the fact that he was willing to take time after a show just to tell us the best place to go to get a great meal, in hopes that it could make us happier.
So, when that act comes to your campus, remember, they aren’t just there for the paycheck, this is a page in the journal of their life. Give them some tips, let them know where the locals go, what the locals eat, what dishes are specific to your town, and your part of the country. The hour performance is only a very small part of an artist’s experience on the road. The rest of it can be cold, boring, or downright lonely. Giving them a road map to the best meals is the fastest way to make sure they head to the next town with a happier belly and a happier heart.