Monday, November 24, 2008

YouTube and YourFuture

Your guard becomes your family. And sometimes families do pretty crazy things that get captured forever on someone's cell phone and posted to YouTube. Things that were funny in the moment, but in a few weeks, cause you to blush with shame. Maybe.

Recently the issue of employers firing employees due to offensive and questionable YouTube posts is bubbling to the surface of the news.

President-elect Obama is screening cabinet members and potential employees to the level where he wants every blog post, email, Face Book, YouTube etc investigated. More and more people are being blackmailed and exploited from a few mindless moments of "fun". On the presidential level, we all know video of someone naked in a tree can cause a scandal.

Private employers (meaning anyone but the government) CAN fire or refuse to hire anyone who has an internet presence deemed embarassing or a bad reflection of the company's image. Even if the video is several years old! Google it. You'll find stories.


When you're on the road with your guard, think twice before hauling out the cell phone camera. Think extra twice before posting to YouTube. When it comes time for you to start your career and find a good job, that moment of "fun" may come back to bite you and cost you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who are we?

We all know we're pretty unique. Come on, how many people like to throw pieces of metal into the air and try to catch them? For fun.

What qualities do you think make up the dedicated guard person? Why do you love the sport so much?

Do you know?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't put your hopes on one audition

It's time for winter guard auditions!

If your school doesn't have a winter guard program, or you've graduated from high school, there are independent units looking for your talent.

Auditioning for an independent winter guard is like applying to college. Dream of one, apply to many. Don't put all your hopes on one unit! You may not make it, or if there's not enough participation, the guard may fold leaving you in the bleachers.

Be realistic. If your fall program's skills are limited to flourishes and slams, you'd be wasting your time trying for a world guard. World guards are for the "pros". Those folks are, on average, in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties and have been in guard for a long time. They have years of dance instruction and drum corps under their belt. World guard members may also come from high schools with Scholastic World or Open skills.

Open guards are the intermediate level. All basic skills are mastered to perfection and it's time to experiment with layering dance, equipment and drill on top of each other at the same time. If your high school program challenged you, and made sure you could do the 27 point in space in your sleep, consider open. Dance skill need to be above average, and strong weapon skills are a must.

Independent A is for folks who are still learning their way around all three pieces of equipment. Also, if you don't have a dance background, Independent A is where you will receive a good foundation in movement.

Don't let the participation costs freak you out. Almost all successful units have built-in fund-raisers to cover instruction, travel, equipment, uniform and association fees.

Dream about making the best guard in your association, but make sure you give others a try as well. If you don't make your dream guard this year, the guard you do march with will give you skills to succeed in the future.

Go to Winter Guard International for a list of audition schedules for independent units in your state. Some units are training ground for drum corp. For example, if you want to march for The Blue Knights (Denver), consider Opus 10 which is an independent Open.

Not into silk, wood and steel? Check out Winter Percussion in your area. It's an amazing sport, too!

Questions about anything guard? Leave a comment and I'll answer. If I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does.