Whew! I mean… WOO! I’m tired but so happy to have spent two days in a row with a trumpet on my face for 6-8 hours, and I can’t wait for so many more. Some of the vets here have asked me if I’m having a good time and, of all the things I’m enjoying about this so far, that’s probably my favorite. I’ve missed playing SO MUCH. I’m working hard right now to do a long warm up at the beginning of each day to make sure my band director chops can handle the long days and I don’t hurt myself trying to do too much too fast. I may have overdone it today… let me show off my new toys!
That, my friend, is everything that is evil in this world.
Okay, not really, but that’s an instrument I haven’t played in a LONG time – a piccolo trumpet. Under it is a flugel horn. So far I’m tracked to play all of them at some point in the show. It’s a lot to work on at the moment, but I’m glad to have so much to work on and get better at. After a day of me freaking out about playing [spoiler alert] Rhapsody in Blue on piccolo, we played through it today a few times and, good news! I didn’t die. One of the drummers came up to me tonight and said some nice things about my playing on it, so that definitely helps me feel a little better about my ‘fake it til you make it’ strategy I’ve been using as I get re-acquainted with the picc.
As for friends and roommates, there are some really cool people here. Everyone is very outgoing and super friendly. The vets, for the most part, are very inviting and have really created a warm and welcoming environment for the new cast members. Most of the trumpet section is new, so it’s nice to be experiencing this with other rookies and figuring it out with them. Oh, yea, and everyone here is an INCREDIBLE player. We did a short movement block this morning after stretching with the guard (henceforth known as the Visual Ensemble/VE), but haven’t started any of the visual components of our show yet in the horn section. Not really sure what the timeline is for that since we’ve JUST gotten our music and have been focused on learning/memorizing that for now.
Roommates! I have the weirdest luck with roommates. In 2008 AND 2010 at Crown I somehow managed to be the one odd-woman-out that didn’t have a roommate at spring training (didn’t go to spring training in 2009). Turns out, my assigned roommate here is a veteran that is dating one of the other cast members, so they made arrangements to room together, causing some switching around. My new roommate is a friend that I marched with at Crown back in 2009 – Mark Whitfield! I tend to get really excited in anticipation of making a new friend through roommate situations, so I’m a little sad about that missed opportunity, but this definitely takes some of the pressure off when it comes to getting to know someone brand new by LIVING with them, AND it will be great to reconnect with Mark as we spend time together over the next few weeks.
PS – My room smells like armpits and old shoes. That’s my only complaint about this adventure so far. MUST get to the store for air freshener.
Speaking of stores and things, I went to Aldi today on my lunch break to do some grocery shopping! There is one within walking distance of our rehearsal site. As much as I miss having a car and being able to go and do as I want, I am already experiencing the same sense of liberation within limitations that I used to experience at drum corps. I know that may sound strange… to feel freedom and liberation when you’re restricted from doing normal things… but it’s true. I don’t have a microwave. I don’t have a stove, oven, or anything else to cook with. I don’t have a car. You know what else I don’t have? Options to choose from, therefore, no decisions to make – and that is the liberating part. What do I want to get at the grocery store? WELL. I guess I’ll get the couple of things that make sense to go in my mini-fridge AND that I can feasibly CARRY in my arms back to the school. Rehearsals over? What do I want to do with my free time? Doesn’t matter, we’re going back to the hotel and that’s that. I can meditate. I can READ A BOOK (BECAUSE WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I COULD DO THAT??) I can FINALLY (maybe) SOLVE THAT Rubik’s cube! (yes, I brought it with me). Speaking of meditating, we did something today in rehearsal called Head Space. I assume that link is to the correct app… it’s a guy talking to you in a soothing voice guiding you through some relaxing thoughts, breathing, and physical/mental connection within yourself and with the physical space around you. Sounds weird, I know, but if you know me at all you know how much I appreciate stuff like this. My first thought after the session was, “man, this would have been really beneficial when I was teaching middle school kids.” So, teacher friends, consider checking it out. It’s very relaxing and therapeutic, and I look forward to Jason (our conductor) doing more sessions with us on these long days.
Shout out to the trumpet section for being in my first selfies of this adventure:
All for now – I need sleep!