Name, hometown, corps: Jennifer Anderson (J.A. for short), Chesapeake, Va., the Crossmen. What is your role in the corps this summer? I am a corps veteran (I've marched since 2000) and I am one of the guard captains. Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I go to Old Dominion University. I'm a nursing major and I'm a member of Alpha Xi Delta.
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background, and how each position prepared you for the leadership role you're in this summer. I started color guard in my freshman year of high school and I feel in love with it. ^I started drum corps with a Crossmen audition in the fall of 1997. I was only 15 and I was cut, but I was given the option to march at the Magic of Orlando. I jumped at the chance to march. In the fall of 1998 I yet again went back to the Crossmen to audition, and again I was cut. I went back to Magic to march again and had another summer to get some experience. In the fall of 1999 I made the Crossmen color guard for the 2000 season and I never looked back. With my experiences from Magic and my four years at the Crossmen, I am ready to be a leader this year as an age out. I think the biggest lesson I learned, and I would want to instill in everyone in the activity, is never give up! I found that out early and it is the greatest lesson drum corps could have ever given me. The last good book I read: I don't get to read much for fun. I read my books for nursing school and professional journals, but that's not very interesting. I study really hard so I don't have much time to read anything for fun. The last great film I saw: "Radio!" "Radio" was awesome! Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: 3 Doors Down's "Away from the Sun," The new A Perfect Circle CD ("Thirteenth Step"), hits from the 1980s! My favorite TV show: I'm a huge dork for this one. I love "Trauma in the ER"! I guess since I'm a nursing major it interests me a lot. I also love Lifetime network movies. Favorite performers: Janet Jackson, with the exception of the recent events. She is phenomenal. Her singing is great, but I can't stop watching her dance! How do you "blow off steam?" I like to sleep and travel. When things get overwhelming I like to visit my boyfriend in South Carolina. Why I march with the corps I am in: I march with the Crossmen because of all of our rich traditions. We have made it through many hard times and the perseverance over the years has impressed me. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? Originally I just wanted a spot, I was never very concerned with a leadership role. As the years went by, I wanted to be more of a part of decisionmaking. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I will remember I'm a member and that's it. I'm not junior staff. I think it's very important to treat everyone equally and treat them as I would like to be treated. I'm going to remember all of the times leaders have made he feel inadequate and make sure I don't repeat their mistakes. I'm going to model myself after the leaders who have made me feel like a person and not just a dot. What has been your formative drum corps moment? I think my favorite moment was getting fitted for my first Crossmen uniform. The fact that I was actually member really became ultimate. Even though I had been at the audition and April camps, and I was well into spring training, I really felt like I was home when I was measured and fitted for the first time. Best drum corps show ever: My favorite show to march in was 2001. The music was fun, especially "Fire Dance," and the instruction we received was awesome. My personal favorite show to watch would be the Crossmen's 1997 show, "Colors of Jazz." The color guard just electrified the field and I instantly fell in love. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I used to think I looked forward to aging out, because seven years is a long time! But now that I actually think about it, I think I'm looking forward to marching with my little sister on the guard. She was an alternate last year and has a full spot this year. I'm really excited for her because she's 17, the same age I was when I started with the Crossmen. It's a really special thing to have good friends marching along side of you, but when you have family it's awesome. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: I think the best thing is being able to help someone with something and watching them get it for the first time. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: The worst thing is going to be having to be on the ball all of the time. Sometimes I am just having a bad day and I'm in a bad mood, but I can't let anyone know or take it out on anyone. Being a leader, I will have to have my game face on all of the time. During tour, the best part of the day is: Usually I would say the part of the day that we work on the ballad is the best, because I have time to breathe. The actual best part of the day is wakeup. It's great to wake up in the morning and know all you have to do is concentrate on drum corps and that's it. It's nice to put everything else aside and just worry about my job for the day. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Evening! I hate the evenings in spring training when it's hot and muggy and the bugs come out! That's always a bummer. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Christine Higgins is my favorite because she fulfills so many roles. She's the backbone of the YEA! office and she's a great leader. She's friendly but firm when needed, and she's soooooo hard working. I never see Christine milling around. She's always chasing someone down to get something done and she really stands behind us. Over the past couple summers she has even found time to come on tour with our guard and clean our drill and flag work. She's a great help, great leader and awesome teacher. What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I want to be a nurse. After I age out this summer I will have two semesters left and then I'll have to get a real job. Besides nursing I want to be a drum corps supporter. I want to go see shows and talk to the members and contribute what little monetary offering I may have. I think more people should remember where drum corps got them. When they were in the activity it gave and gave to them, when they age out they should give any little bit they can offer up to the kids.