I'm back from a much-needed vacation. I came back to the office with only 96 new e-mails. I only missed three days of actual work, since the agency gave us two days off for the 4th of July holiday. Of course, while I was gone, a big project came through and has kept me extremely busy since minute one of Monday morning.
It was nice to get away from the city for a week and relax in the South. While hurricanes Cindy and Dennis did not allow me to enjoy the pool or any of the outdoors for that matter, I caught up on sleep and brushed off my cooking skills for my boyfriend, Rob. I'll admit that I didn't read much of anything on the Internet while away, including DCI.org. I took sometime this morning to catch up on DCI news and read about the new picture series about converts to the activity, in other words, those who might raise an eyebrow to the notion of "professional marching band." I've never brought a non-band friend to a drum corps shows. I usually ride along with a former member of some other corps. Many of my friends know what I did last summer but have never seen me perform live in-person. The only person that has come to a show is Rob. He was interning in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and decided to drive to the Indianapolis show because, according to him, he had nothing better to do. Little did I know he wanted to get on my good side. I spoke to him briefly on the phone while we were getting ready for the show at the housing site and told him that he didn't need to buy a ticket. I thought that there's no way he would want to sit at watch drum corps when he could save his money and wait for me in the parking lot. I was wrong. He bought a ticket watched a few performances, including mine of course, and then wandered outside to try and find me. Luckily, he ran into us as we were coming out of the tunnel. Perfect timing. Much like me, Rob is a blunt person when it comes to his opinion, so I wasn't sure what he would say about the shows. "While it wasn't the greatest athletic performance I have ever seen like the announcer had promised me, I would say it's pretty cool. You guys were better than the other people I saw earlier." Not the greatest review, but coming from a sportswriter who has seen everything, I took it as a compliment. He said he would see a show again and now that were dating, he knows there's no way around it. It seems like I may have discovered my own convert or at least opened up another set of eyes to somewhat clandestine activity that we call drum corps. While I know most of my friends wouldn't think drum corps is all that great, I think some of them would. I'm sure there are people who would go if someone just asked them to. There's no way for the activity to survive without constant exposure to everyone, including those who have no desire to march one day. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising because it comes across as a recommendation. With the four weeks left in the season, there must be more people out there that are waiting to become converts. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture to share of me and my convert. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard. Past columns by Becky Novac: The First free summer A National audience Watching warm-up The Revolving door Dear mom and dad Technology on tour It's been a year How to save time Thanks for calling Passing it on Unforgettable The Biggest group project My Aria interview Life outside the bubble A day filled with intangible rewards Traditions make drum corps complete The Art in what we do Hockey, alumni and Valentine's Day Dates Everyone needs goals Adapting Turning pro Wondering about the "kids" Resolutions It's the little things A Rock star Remembering the passion Banquet weekend Missing out Unknown suitcase adventures The Even years