The comedian Whitney Cummings is used to being on the road, starting back when she regularly visited 80 cities a year to perform stand-up comedy. Her book “I’m Fine … and Other Lies” was published in October. The film “The Female Brain,” which she wrote and directed, will be released on Feb. 9.
Ms. Cummings has mastered the art of travel, from maintaining her skin care regimen on the plane to the ideal hotel sleep routine. She is a self-defined “psycho” about miles programs (she has “more miles than I’ll ever be able to use” and likes the JetBlue credit card because “their customer service is unbelievable”). And she’s learned to be unusually productive when she flies.
“Being on the plane is my catch-up time,” she said. “I write thank-you notes. I read. I write stand-up jokes. For writing stand-up, I have to have a little bit of anger and frustration to be motivated to do it. Stand-up for me comes from kind of a hostile engine. And by the time I’ve done the airport and gone through PreCheck and fought with nine people and had luggage stub my toe, I’m ready to write.”
She’s not shy when it comes to what she calls “owning her space” on the plane. “I’m in the television and movie business and I want to know what people are interested in, so I’ll slowly, creepily, walk down and look at everyone’s computer screen to see what they’re watching. If I hear someone laughing I’ll go back and see what they’re watching.”
She’s also a self-appointed enforcer of good plane behavior. “If someone’s being too loud, I’m the person who’s like, ‘Can you keep it down a little bit?’ I’m that guy. I’m walking around, I’m the sheriff making sure everyone is in line. There’s nothing worse than someone watching a movie without their headphones on.” But she takes pity on new parents. “I used to complain about crying babies. But a friend with kids told me that your life is so much worse if you’re the one with the crying baby. So now if someone has a baby who won’t stop crying, I send them a drink.”
Here’s what she takes on every trip.
“I work out on planes. I put resistance bands around my knees and open and close my knees to kind of exercise my legs.”
NuFACE toning device
“It’s a micro-frequency thing. You have to put a little gel on it and it electrocutes your face and I do it on the plane. It’s a little machine that’s like a facial on the go. It kind of looks like a cellphone and if I’m too embarrassed I’ll talk into it so it looks like I’m on a conference call.”
“I get little packets of Woolite and I do laundry at the end of the trip so I’m not coming back with dirty clothes, because that’s my nightmare. The night before I leave I’ll just put detergent in the bath and clean all my clothes, hang them in the shower, and come home to all clean clothes.”
“It’s like a big headband full of beads and it blocks out noise and sound. If I’m sleeping on the plane it’s the only thing that works for me. It looks ridiculous — it’s not going to make you a bunch of friends or get you a husband — but it’s amazing.”
“I have a problem with lights in the room. I can’t sleep if the TV has a red light or the AC has a green light. I bring a little bit of duct tape or Band-Aids and I stick them over all the lights in the room so it’s dark enough to sleep.”
“I have this Tata Harper roll-on oil called Love Potion and I put it on before I go to bed in my home and on the road. I just put a little bit under my nose and go right to sleep.”
“I take the travel-size rose-scented one. I really set up a romantic vibe for myself.”
“I think it’s illegal that I travel with them but I don’t care. I take those before bed. I used to take Lunesta and Ambien and it was making me crazy — I’d wake up the next day and I’d have ravaged the minibar; I’d have an $80 bill. I’d send emails to ex-boyfriends. So I take the weed candies if I’m having trouble sleeping.”
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