Drum Corps International
The Revolving door

The Revolving door

by Drum Corps International

I work in a revolving door. Every time the door turns someone is leaving and eventually will be replaced. It happens and is a part of the advertising industry. I've never had to deal with the fictitious revolving door until recently. My team, including supervisors, consists of seven people. Three announced their resignation last week and one is on maternity leave. Seven minus four leaves three of us to pick up the pieces and try to carry out the account until more people are hired.

Becky Novac
Some upper management went into a small crisis mode. My associate director came to speak with me and asked that I remain calm and assured me that they are hiring with urgency. I think he was surprised when I told him that I wasn't worried at all. I thought it was a great opportunity for those that are leaving to experience new things and better their careers. I'm excited to learn about the other parts of my account that I normally wouldn't have any interaction with. I simply am not concerned. Maybe my lack of concern is because I'm an assistant and therefore do not have as many responsibilities as those who are leaving, however, I would like to think it's because I've seen the same thing happen during my age out summer. Last summer was the revolving door of contras. We went through 10 (maybe 12) alternates. Every time we secured another member who was willing to jump in and learn everything faster than everyone else, we lost another one or maybe two. We marched hole after hole. Some nights the contra line looked like Swiss cheese -- a hole there and another two dots over. Kurt the section leader was frustrated at first, but eventually turned it into a positive experience for all the new additions to his section. They worked harder than any other section to get everyone on the same page. They practiced after all-day rehearsals, after ensemble, before shows, before lights out. The contras were determined to become a cohesive group that everyone in the drum corps could be proud of. Just when Kurt had everyone together and on the field marching every single page of drill, someone would leave and he would have to start the whole process over again. I'm not sure how the brass staff felt about it, but I know our director was becoming discouraged. He would find the replacements and then they would leave. I'm not sure why we lost so many contras. I know the horns are heavy, our drill wasn't easy, and the sun doesn't help any, but I thought for sure some people would stay. Eventually one by one the new additions did stay and became apart of the family. One player learned all the drill in just a few days. They may not know it, but the whole corps organization was proud of the new guys for sticking it out and making our show complete. Finals night came and all our holes were filled. We were complete. My account may remind me of my contra line last summer but I'm not worried everyone will come in and learn their new responsibilities. I may be overworked for a little while, but at least I'm learning how to handle the revolving door outside of drum corps. 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: 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

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