1) Doing eyeliner on the bus.

Didn’t we all learn in preschool not to put pencils in our eye?  How is eyeliner any different?  Guards across the nation (I assume) have, at least once, applied their eyeliner on a bus on the way to a competition or exhibition.  As colorguard members, we are expected to look our very best especially when it comes to our makeup and hair.  Both of which are often done on a very bumpy bus en route to some kind of destination.


2) Being awake at weird hours of the day.

Have you ever gotten back home at like 2am from a competition?  I know I have.  Yes, this applies to the whole band, but sometimes we have practice before and even after the competition!  From personal experience, I had parade practice at 2am (for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) and when we got back many of the band members returned to their hotel rooms and slept until report time at 7am.  Not the guard.  Due to the predicted winds we rewrote the routine (sound familiar?) to remove the tosses and replace them with some other kind of twirl.  What other section can you usually find rehearsing during water breaks, hours before the actual performance, and probably even when they get home?


3) Rewriting the routine.

Speaking of rewriting routines, why is it that the routine always gets changed right before a performance?  The band director doesn’t suddenly decide to change the score or throw in a new chord – that would mess up the music!  Unfortunately for us, it is very easy to change choreography.  Why not change the final toss.  Sure let’s throw in a dance feature here.  Who liked those 16 counts anyway?


4) Band camp.

Band camp stinks for everyone.  That’s a fact.  But sometimes the band gets the nice air conditioned band room and there’s nowhere indoors the guard can practice.  So where do you go?  Back outside of course!  That just means you can show off your awesome sock tan on the first day of school and you get some extra vitamin C.  It’s a win-win!


5) Glitter EVERYWHERE.

It’s no exaggeration that glitter is a guard girl’s best friend.  But no one likes a clingy friend!  Despite shower after shower, and months after the guard season being over, you can count on finding at least one speck of glitter still hanging out on your scalp.


6) That one turf field. (or every time you practice, I don’t know your field-life)

Turf is great!  No unexpected holes, no dirty uniforms after that ground work you’re still expected to do, the list can go on.  But those little turf nuggets just never seem to leave your jazz shoes!  If you’re like my high school (and college) and you wear those split-sole jazz sneakers (highly recommend btw) then you know all those little holes to keep your foot less sweaty – those little holes are JUST the right size for the turf beads to sneak it!  And socks?  They’re turf magnets!  Don’t expect those to come off in the wash.


7) Buying bobby pins every week and never having any.

Where do they all go? How did the pack of 100 disappear so quickly? And then you find some on your floor when you step on them.


8) You want to nap all the time but you can’t.

Oh, you thought maybe you’d go home after school and have a nice nap?


9) Sometimes you hurt yourself.

And it sucks but it happens all the time. (check out our “Catch It Quick” articles for the signs of more severe injuries!)


10) “Is that a real gun?”

Yeah.  Yep.  I’m a card-carrying gun owner.  Also a pirate on the side.  Arrrr.  If your school carries rifles and/or sabres then I’m sure you’ve gotten this question before.  While as convincing I’m sure your rifle looks, it is genuine wood covered in white paint right there.  And the sword?  You know, it is real metal, just dulled and the tip rounded off.  So still technically a sword, just a really bad one.  Don’t even mention airblades:  “What are those white (/whatever-color-you-spray-painted-them) bananas?”

Written By Katherine Brochu