It all starts with an idea. Then the plan of action. Lastly the execution. (not death, the other kind) Last January I launched a kickstarter. I needed money for my first comedy special. My plan was to walk across America, perform standup comedy, and film the entire thing creating a comedy documentary. Running a kickstarter campaign is no easy task. From the moment I launched it my life shifted. Every moment from that point was spent running the campaign, planning for the walk, training for the walk and eventually walking. I raised over $14,000 and set a leave date. April 13th.
A dozen friends, me, and a couple dogs drove down to Delaware in Harvey the RV. That night I did a set of comedy. The next day my friends helped me set up my first campsite. It was actually my first campsite I had ever set up. I mean, I have been camping, but the kind where you drive your car up and unload your huge tent and lounge chairs. This was the real deal. I was about to say goodbye to my partner, my dog, my friends, my life as I knew it. I was going to live out of a cart. And I would travel on foot, making my way 3,000 miles to the West Coast.
There I was. My months of planning had come to an end and now it was the moment of goodbye. My loved ones drove off in that RV, headed back to New York City where life would continue without me. My life, would continue too. Through the days I wanted to quit, to the nights I felt cold and lonely. Time would move on. My feet would take me where I needed to go. My mind would wander, and keep me sane in my most vulnerable moments. I was a woman walking now.
I didn’t set many rules for myself. Not walking at night and trusting my gut were the only two things I vowed to follow. I broke both of them once.
I spent weeks walking between major cities and when I got there I would stop and spend a few days doing standup. Along my travels I did standup in Lewes, DE // Washington, DC // Pittsburgh, PA // Akron - Cleveland - Kent - Canton - Columbus, Ohio // Nashville - Memphis, TN // Little Rock - Fayettevillle - Bentonville, Arkanas // Tulsa - Oklahoma City, OK // Mescalero, NM // Phoenix, AZ // Los Angeles, CA
The perspective I gained from being a lonely road warrior has been immeasurable. My entire trip was able to happen because of the kindness from friends, family, fans, and complete strangers. Strangers would stop on the road and give me money, food, water, handmade gifts. Families I stayed with gave me hundreds of dollars. People I had never met opened their homes to me, sometimes leaving them unlocked for me or allowing me to stay in their places while they were traveling. I babysat children, I made dinner, I made drinks. Mostly I made memories that will forever color my life and the hue of which I see the world around me.
Tomorrow I go back to New York. When I arrive back to Astoria Queens it will be 9 months since the last time I saw my home. The excitement for good Greek food is uncontainable.
When I left for the walk I was unsure of what the future looked like and at no point was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but then all of a sudden there we were. All of a sudden here I am. We are floating through space and for a little slice of my life I was bathing in the existence of a trembling stranger wanderer. I was living a life of fantasy based on all the realities most of us take for granted. Where would I sleep, what would I eat, do I have enough water? When the stresses of life become the things most of us have provided with no question, you don’t really feel the “stresses” of life anymore. You are enlightened, you let go, and in turn you know, it shall all be provided. And it was, every fucking time with no fail. I would start the day lost, unsure of where I would be at sundown. Then just before sunset, it would all come together. I let go, and the universe was there to catch me.
The future is still uncertain, but now I am armed with new information. The secret, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. Don’t ever let the fear of the unknown skew how you live you life. It’s not that scary out there!
I made it 9 months on the road.
I took some rides.
I took some trips.
I took some drugs.
I Jumped out of a plane.
I road a motorcycle
I road a scooter.
I changed a random person's flat tire.
I swam in the rivers, lakes, pools and 3 different oceans
I slept on the ground and the side of the road.
I slept in hotels, motels, strangers beds, floors and couches, oh and one treehouse.
I walked on the tracks, I walked over the tracks, I walked under the tracks.
They paved over some tracks, I walked on those for a long time.
Camping, thinking. Thinking. Thinking. I was just thinking.
I let my imagination run wild. Today it is free. As free as me.
I just began to imagine my life. I didn’t talk to people most days.
Some days I ignored my calls, and texts. It was hard to talk to people on the phone. It was hard to hear and see other people living what now to me seems like the simple life. But it’s not simple is it? It’s not simple to work the same job for ten years. It’s not simple to feel stagnant and clung to the man. It’s complicated, it is all very complicated. At least it has been made to feel very complicated. For a sliver of life, it was very simple for me, my feet would take me where I needed to go.
>> Below are photos and writings from my 9 month on the road. The writings in italics are taken from direct transcripts made from the footage I shot while on the walk. <<