By Allison Owen It's that time of the year again. That's right -- audition camps are here!

I remember last year at about this time, I was so nervous and excited. Don't let anyone tell you it's not normal to be nervous. It's perfectly natural for you to be a little apprehensive about auditioning. However, don't let your nerves affect how you audition. Pour your heart into your audition -- just go out there and give it your all. That's the best you can do. You may end up like me: You go to a corps audition and find that it's just not your home for the summer like you originally expected. It's OK, though. You'll know when you've found the corps you want to march with -- it becomes obvious that that corps "feels right" for you and will become your family. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Don't give up if you go to an audition and aren't given a contract to march. Sometimes things just don't work out like you thought they would, but something else is waiting for you. It will be OK, I promise. I ended up having the time of my life -- moreso than I had anticipated -- after being cut from where I originally auditioned. Marching Memphis Sound was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. I love it.

No matter what happens, don't give up. Sometimes when you least expect it you find something even more amazing that you imagined. I received advice last year from Dan, our percussion tech at school, which was very inspiring to me: "It's not WHERE you march, it's THAT you march." It's not the end of the world if you get cut, I swear. I know it seems like it at the time, I've been there. No matter where you march you will have a great time and make life-long friends and memories. Are you going to want to regret not marching for the rest of your life? As many corps say for recruiting, "You could get a job. Or perform for thousands of screaming fans." I know there are special situations in which you have to go to school or something, but you can get a job anytime. You can only march junior corps until you're 21. Don't let the opportunity pass you by. Drum corps is such an awesome activity that you will never fully understand until you march. Marching corps is not for everyone, but you'll never know unless you try. Go to a camp -- even if for nothing more than experience -- and see what it's all about. If you're unsure, just give it a try. You never know what might happen. Who knows, maybe you'll be like me and have an even more amazing time than you ever thought possible.