Friday, March 21, 2014

Preparing for Summer Camp

It may only be March, but we are in the fourth quarter of the school year, AND spring break is about to begin! Ladies and gents, summer is just around the corner!

With summertime comes summer camp. Whether you're a cheerleader, dancer, or just going for the heck of it, summer camp is a pretty big deal. Like, I measure my life in camps. As an aspiring actress, I attend a performance camp every year, and it's really strict. So, this year, I'm going to give it my all!

So, what exactly will you need to ensure you have an amazing time at summer camp this year? Here is a list of things you won't want to forget to do, and things you won't want to forget to pack.

1. Fill out those forms!

This is so, so important. Make sure you have everything done as soon as possible, from signing up for camp to the day it begins. If you're applying for a scholarship and you know financial aid is limited, send in your application as close to the date announced as possible. Remember to turn in medical forms, too. This may all seem like common sense, but really. People forget.

2. Get a backpack.

Even if you're not attending an overnight camp, you're going to need something to hold everything-- your water bottle, hair ties, makeup, dance shoes, gym shoes, spare clothes, deodorant, pads/tampons, baby powder, lotion, sheet music, etc. Believe me. Every performer has a bag. Models have model's bags. Swimmers have bags with extra gear and whatever else they like. So, get a backpack. You'll need it.

3. Be informed on the camp.

This applies specifically to performance camps. If you're going to Les Miserables camp, you should probably know the melody of "On My Own." If you sing it all the time in the shower, that's cool. I do, too. I mean, it's just so... I can't help it... "I love him, but every day I'm learning all my life, I'VE ONLY BEEN PRETENDING!!! Without me, his world will go on turning. A world that's full of happiness that I have never KNOOOOOOOOOOWWWWNNNNNN! I love him. I love him. I love him, but only on... my own..."

4. Brush up on your techniques.

So, you're a gymnast and your coach is having a super intense boot camp, huh? Well, you better work on that tumbling pass you never seem to stick. At my camp, I know we'll have auditions on the first day, and I know my sight-reading is rusty and my double pirouette is stuck in single rotation. I'm not a dancer, so I'm trying to get to an acceptable level. Get to an acceptable level. You don't need to be perfect. Else, why would you be at camp?

5. Bring any braces or bandages you use.

Musical theatre is pretty much a sport. So, if you use a knee brace during gym class, you sure as heck will need it for choreography. Never leave home without it!

6. Bring your iPod (and maybe download a piano app).

Every performer should have an iPod with music from the show downloaded, and it is also important to have a piano app. This is why being able to read music is SO important as a performing artist-- if you can't seem to sing a part right, you can play it out on the piano to find out how it should sound. So, bring your iPod with you. During lunch or downtime, you can figure it out.

7. One word: SPF.

Even if camp is held indoors, you're probably gonna be sitting outside waiting for your parents. Even if you drive yourself, you're still gonna be exposed to the sun eventually. So, if you burn easily, just bring it anyway. Now, I'm black, but I don't want cancer, either, so...

8. Spare clothes.

It's nice that you'll be wearing biker shorts and a sports bra, but... it's gonna get cold. I mean, it's summer, and summer means air conditioning. So bring sweatpants and a jacket.

9. Tampons. Need I say more?

Well, I'll say more anyway. A lot of girls (another awkward post, here I come) with... smaller figures... really don't like using tampons, but... I mean, if you're a dancer, you're in a leotard. If you're in musical theatre, you gotta dance, too. In most sports, you're going to be in situations that are not that great for a woman who is menstruating, if you are, in fact, a woman reading this. If not, you don't need to read this. Now, I know it's easier to just use a pad, but... in this case, bring out the tampons.

10. Your resume.

For all you know, there could be resume activities any day. There may be a resume critique, or for audition day they may want to see it. So, bring it.

11. If it's optional, bring it anyway.

Last year before theatre camp, they said, "Jazz or ballet shoes are optional." I begged my mom to get me jazz shoes, but she was so hung up on the word "optional" that it really killed my audition. So, the word "optional" does not exist in a performer's vocabulary. Optional means DO OR DIE.

12. What to include in your bag overall.

-Small snack (or lunch)
-Body spray (optional... for real)
-Rosin (for violin and dance)
-Dance shoes, depending on what type of dance you do
-Muscle braces
-ACE bandages
-Hair ties/headbands
-Baby powder (especially if you decide to wear basketball-style shorts)
-Dry shampoo (baby powder can be used for this... after sweating, don't sacrifice fabulousness)
-Oil-blotting sheets (I use a Japanese rice powder)
-Sheet music/binder
-Extra forms
-Notebook (to take notes in classes)

If I missed anything, I'll update soon. So, what is on your must-pack list?

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