Member’s Journal – Louisiana
14 July 2007
Sunday last, we had a laundry day in Allentown- we all got to go to the same huge laundromat, and were done quickly. Our Warrenton, VA housing site was horrible. On Monday night, we pulled into a school where the girls had to sleep in the cafeteria. There were live cockroaches crawling on the ground, feeding on random food left around. Most of the girls, including myself, slept on the tables instead of the floors. I woke up sometime in the early morning, to see one of the guard girls destroying a cockroach. On top of that, we were woken up by construction workers talking very loudly in Spanish an hour before wakeup.
I was not in a good mood upon finally getting up. When we walked out to visual, we found out the back sideline included a sidewalk through the middle of it. Four steps inside the front sideline was a steep hill. I so luckily had dots that had me marching up and down that hill. We didn’t do a full run, for obvious reasons. The show that night was very important to us. I was a little dirty, visually, but energy made up for it.
The next four days, we’ve been rehearsing. Tuesday, we pulled into Calhoun, GA at 11am. We had no floor time, as we’d been on the bus 12 hours. Everyone was wide awake and we rehearsed for the rest of the day. Wednesday it rained constantly. The school’s football coach wouldn’t let us on any field, so we did a three hour basics block in the parking lot.
At night, the staff found another spot for us to rehearse, and we drove 10 miles to get there. We stayed there past dark, with no lights, though we did accomplish a lot in the closer. On Thursday, we had a very long day- we were actually allowed on most of the fields at our housing site. We had an exhibition show that night, and I was worn out by ensemble; the show had a much larger crowd than expected. There were almost as many people in the stands as the Warrenton show. I pulled out a great performance with the little energy I had left. Afterwards, we had another two hours of rehearsal before leaving for the Atlanta regional housing site.
Sometime in the early morning, we rolled into a very nice, new high school. Friday, we had our fourth full rehearsal day in a row, but the day was not as long as Thursday. I feel very good going into today- it’s a home show!
18 July 2007
Wednesday, 5:03 pm
Yuck- swamp tour.
Both of Saturday’s performances were awesome. I was nervous waiting for the scores from the afternoon show; the competition is so close this year, compared to previous years. I literally hugged the person next to me when I found out we made the night show. After our finals performance, I had some food outside the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, it was raining. I watched all the corps from Phantom on perform.
On Sunday, we had our ‘real’ home show in Jacksonville, AL. My parents drove all the way from Fort Myers, FL to watch the show. They showed up to our visual rehearsal in the morning. The afternoon ensemble block flew by quickly. During the three hour break before warm-up, my parents took my boyfriend and I to eat at Sonic and visit Wal-Mart. I stocked up on bus food and Gatorade.
We met for show warm-up at eight. I did not have a very good warmup, so one of the other mellos suggested a yelling session to release energy. My frustration was that I was getting sick, so I let out an “I hate being sick in drum corps!!” I felt much, much better after that, and when I got to the gate, I was game on for the show. I had my best run to date.
After the show, we performed “America The Beautiful” with the Blue Devils; I stood next to different people from the last time we played with them. We joked around during score announcements; the guy next to me said that the Devils should lose to the Cavaliers for some mid-season drama. After the show, I went to get ice cream with my parents, and bought a Troopers shirt for a friend.
Monday and Tuesday, we rehearsed at a school in Somerville, AL. We made a lot of headway, musically and visually- especially in the third and fourth movements. We were challenged to have an even better show than Jacksonville in our full run. Last night, we drove nine hours to our Lafayette, LA housing site. Usually Lousiana is the bane of our existence on tour. This year, however, there is a surprising breeze, making the humidity much more bearable. It was not as hot and humid as I remember 2005 and 2006. Another great thing is that our housing site has the AC on in the gym. Two more days until my favorite regional!
Publisher's Note: Michelle is a member of DCI Division I corps Spirit of JSU, a music education major at Florida State University, and a member of the DCP Forum Support Team. Member's Journal is a regular feature column of DrumCorpsPlanet.com – following the journey of a drum corps member thru rehearsals and the competition season … providing our readers with a sense of the committment, challenges, and rewards associated with membership in a corps. Our thanks to her, Biff for his transcription of Michelle's journal while she's on tour, and the Spirit of JSU staff for helping make this column possible – and best wishes to all the members of Spirit of JSU for a great season.