Editor's note: Frequent DCI.org contributor Marc Paulo Guzman, a 14-year-old from Hackensack, N.J., submitted this entry from his drum corps journal. His first journal entry, "Drum corps is an obsession no more, for it is now my life". Drum corps isn't all about the glory and the winning -- it isn't always about the scores and the overall experience. It's about the trials and tribulations into getting to that special corps you've been dreaming about all you're life. As a 14-year-old, and a rookie during this time of my drum corps career, it's all about the obstacles and the struggles that I go through into actually making it to rehearsals and camps. The main words here are commitment and determination. All my life, I've been dreaming of marching corps. I made a promise to myself that I would join a junior corps when I turned 14 and march until I couldn't march any longer. Before I joined a corps, I made it clear to my parents that I would be joining a corps regardless of what anyone thought about it. It was sort of a message to them saying "MAKE WAY FOR ME. MAKE TIME FOR ME. And MAKE SURE I HAVE TRANSPORTATION AND MONEY." By the time November of 2002 hit, and after constant talks with my parents and all my friends about my obsessions about corps, I was certain that nothing was going to stop me from my dream. But that's in a perfect world though. And I learned to realize that I am not living in such a world. It turned out that transportation was an issue, and overall parental support wasn't that strong. I would be going to a corps in South Jersey, the Jersey Surf. I had been long obsessed with them and I knew that as a rookie I would try to make it in there first before going to any of the Division I greats. But no one was willing to bring me to the camps. Both parents were busy with work, friends and relatives busy with their own kids. I was stuck in this great big hole that no one could bring me out of. I knew that this wasn't going to stop me from not doing corps this year. I heard of a corps out in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Quest, and I learned that some of my friends from a high school marching band in a town near mine were going to that same corps as well. I made a deal with my father that since he worked in New York City, he would drive me to Brooklyn first and then go straight to work every time I had a rehearsal weekend. This worked out for a few months. Quest was a great GROWING organization with potential and great possibilities in the near future. I had been going to rehearsals every Saturday and to overnight camps that came along the way. My father had told me that there were money problems and that he had to find another job supplementary to his current job now. That would mean that on Saturdays, he would be working and I would not have transportation. "HOUSTON WE HAVE ANOTHER PROBLEM!" I thought. Now, I was still stuck in a hole that just got even wider and deeper. Quitting is not an option anymore. I have run into these problems before. People have tried to talk me into joining next year or "You have seven years to do corps, don't sweat it." But no! I already have gone through a lot just getting to where I am now. This dream isn't like I am finally getting that special video game that has just come out and that I've been waiting for eternity. It's much more than just a "DO IT NEXT YEAR" kind of activity. It's the kind of dream where being selfish and "wanting it now" are not an issue. Yes I am officially still in Quest, but I am in the middle of many issues right now which make me question my membership in the corps. I am now struggling for support and transportation but I am still listed as a member in the corps. I know I am not the only one stuck in this hole. There are other kids out there who want to fulfill my same dream but are stuck in the holes like the one I'm stuck in. Quitting is no longer an option -- remember that! Commitment and determination are what will get you through. And I have faith that those two qualities will get me through all the problems I may encounter in life. Marc Paulo Guzman
Hackensack, New Jersey
Guard captain - Hackensack High School Marching Comets
Proud member of Quest Drum and Bugle Corps of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Proud fan of Jersey Surf and The Cadets
Write to Marc Paulo Guzman at MarkyMarc53@aol.com.