Drum Corps

What I Do and Don’t Miss about Drum Corps, from an Ageout

Do I miss drum corps?
I’m aged-out, this was my first summer of ineligibility, age-imposed. It’s not that I don’t have the money, or that I have to take a summer class, or that I didn’t audition or get contracted anywhere.

I am literally too old for this.
Before my age-out, I expected I would miss it. I mean, I love drum corps! Why else would I dish out thousands of dollars, to get beat up physically and mentally? As dark and negative as it seems, something about the excessive sweating and inadequate sleep is romantic.

I did a year at Teal Sound (2011, the whole season), 2014 at Colts and returned to Colts in 2015 for my ageout. My 2014 season was perfect and I missed drum corps so much in the off-season, I feared how much more I would miss it knowing I wouldn’t be able to return!

But I’ll be honest and say my age-out summer was a “bad” one. I cried because I would miss it, but mostly I cried because I wanted it to be over. Still, I’m a little grateful for its roughness, otherwise right now I might be having “withdrawals”.

So no, I don’t miss marching drum corps.

I’m taking summer classes and my stresses consist of scholastic material and job performance and financial responsibility and my health and wellbeing. It’s entirely my own responsibility to get enough sleep, and I love the authority I have over my nutrition. I do a good job of planning out my day and the week ahead, but I keep on finding free time and do whatsoever pleases me at that moment. I can pursue any interest I want, so there is a lot of variety in the types of activities I do. My showers are hot, my bed is comfy, I know where I am, and my mind and body are happy because I’m caring for them in the way they need.

I’m glad I don’t miss drum corps, because I could feel guilty for all these things instead of enjoying them.

With all that said, there are definitely things I do miss about it! I’m not doing marching band and am not planning on marching winter guard, so it’s possible that my performing career is over!! I’m investing a lot into my friends here in Orlando, but I still miss the friendships I had on Tour. I don’t miss my tour body necessarily, except for my solid tan.
And I miss some good ol’ flag work, you know?

Investing myself into perfecting a craft or art, pushing myself past my comfort zone, and feeling myself get better at something. But it just sounds like I need to get into a dance studio or even a backyard.

One of the things I loved about drum corps was my fabricated license to yell all the time, and constantly use bad grammar. (“What he say? How do? Where your dot is?”) But since I keep my friends, I keep my license and I still make them laugh. No I don’t get to yell whenever I want to, but overall these Cons are insignificant compared to the Pros.

What I Miss: performing, friends, tan, flag work, yelling, bad grammar. (Big stuff)

What I don’t miss: not sleeping on a bed, ingredient uncertainty, being yelled at, paying thousands of dollars, giving up 24 hours of my day for like 90 days straight, constantly counting the minutes until the next meal, wet feet, constantly being in some kind of rush, the wind, waiting to get off the GDMF bus, ***EPL***, meal crew, running to touch distant objects, props, I could go on but notice it’s just the little stuff.

When I aged-out of drum corps, I left a lot on the field. But it has given me so much, and I stand to gain more by staying in the “real world” this summer. I don’t have regrets, and it’s useless for me to keep thinking about what I’m NOT able to do this summer. I’m so happy for everyone I know that is still marching while they can! For the rest of us, real life isn’t as bad as I thought so I hope we’re all enjoying ourselves.

What do you miss most about drum corps?

Brittany

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