Always must go is a meditation on leaving, told through the experiences of Charles Andrew Bothwell (Astronautalis), a touring musician who has been on the road playing 200+ shows a year for the last decade.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
The activity is suitable for (strong) intermediate 2 students.
Always Must Go from Charles Schwab on Vimeo.
1 Charles dislikes his apartment.
2 Charles plays shows away from home the twelve months of the year.
3 Charles initially moved to Florida to go to school.
4 He decided to start touring after an unhappy love affair.
5 He sometimes feels lonely when surrounded by a lot of people.
6 Charles describes the states in US as the neighbourhoods in his home town.
7 Riding his bike is his form of escape because it makes him focus on just one thing.
8 Charles started touring 20 years ago.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a normal person. When I’m home in my apartment I literally just bounce off the walls. And I like my apartment. It’s really comfortable. But I sort of just… I don’t even know what to do with myself. I do enjoy being home but I’m in my most comfortable when I’m gone.
For the last ten years I’ve been on the road about eight to ten months out of the year, playing anywhere between a hundred and fifty shows to two hundred to two hundred shows. It’s always been pretty easy for me to leave things. It may take me a couple of months to realise that it’s time to leave, when it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave.
Moved to Florida because my family brought me there and I left Florida to go to Texas because of school and I left Texas to go back to Florida because I couldn’t afford to live anywhere else. Now I left Florida to go to Seattle for a girl and I felt like it was time that I leave to go somewhere that I just wanted to go for me.
I had just been dumped by my girlfriend. My best friend got dumped by his girlfriend and shortly after that my manager got dumped by his girlfriend and so all of us decided to hit the road together and we just stayed out on the road playing as many shows as possible, never taking any days off and that was really when my career started to form and the show started to become more real, and people started to learn words of the songs and it felt more like a life choice and less like a just a permanent vacation.
It’s an odd thing when you get, you do get really lonely being surrounded by a ton of people, and generally being surrounded by a ton of people who really love you and adore you. Often times I only get to see a person for thirty minutes after a show, but the loneliness that comes when I’m out on the road compares nothing to the nervousness that comes when I’m stationary.
America’s sort of my home town and all of the different states are just sort of different neighbourhoods that I may see, you know, once a month or every four months. I’m just sort of bouncing around between different neighbourhood bars and seeing my friends that live on the north side and my friends that live on the south side of America.
It got to a point where everything I did was for my work and so I’d never get comfortable taking time off, I take two days off and then I would start to panic.
The motorcycle literally saved my life. When you get on a motorcycle you leave everything. You can’t talk on the phone, you can’t text, you can’t look at the Internet. That kept me from going crazy, it kept me from losing my mind, and just follow down a rabbit hole on music. So now it’s a weird thing when I get from touring all I want to do is get on my motorcycle and leave home. The refuge that I’ve found from music and touring, is more leaving.
It’s been over ten years since I left, about 2,000 shows since I left, four continents I’ve explored since I left, couldn’t even tell how many countries I’ve seen because I left. Every night I would leave it again. Leave to make it to the next town. Leave it all on the stage. To leave them wanting more. It’s in my blood to leave. I was born to leave and I will never stop leaving, to make sure that no matter what I’ll leave behind I will never be left with regrets.
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