Rock Camp 2015 – Showcase at The Troubadour & Wrap-up

 

 

Saturday was this year’s Rock Camp showcase and it all went down at The World Famous Troubadour!

 

Though the day’s moments followed the same order as those of years past, it was fresh and exciting. Each of the camper bands was unique. And all the campers were bold and brave.

 

 

I witnessed young girls taking the stage and owning microphones, shredding on lead guitars and bass guitars, wailing on keys, ripping on drums – and every girl on that stage was a Rock Star. It was astounding to hear their songs and watch their performances. I was not only impressed, I was also moved. It was a beautiful way to end a week at Rock Camp. And it touched my heart.

 

After the last camper band left the stage, our interns for the week performed an original composition. Then all the campers took the stage for the last time and collectively sang the camp theme song. And just like that – it was all over. Rock Camp 2015 came to a close.

 

 

I want to be honest with you. I do. With that in mind, I admit that the very end of Day 5 was challenging for me. I am not at liberty to disclose specific details, but I can tell you I felt so many things that broke my heart. I was disappointed in myself. I doubted my contributions. I wondered if I truly belonged. That last one really stung, because all week long I kept thinking how amazing it felt to be an integral part of the team that makes Rock Camp happen each year. I love those volunteers. More than once I’ve said they are my tribe. And I’ve meant it. Doubting my place among them hurt. Still does. I’m guessing the pain won’t subside for some time.

 

Usually at Rock Camp, campers and volunteers learn of new abilities. Their eyes are opened to their being able to claim a new talent or skill. I love that about Rock Camp and I’ve counted myself lucky to have experienced my own growth during camp. This year, I learned of my limitations. And while I absolutely do not like it, I did still learn something. And I’m trying to see that as growth. I’m trying.

 

Finally – many parents approached me at The Troubadour to tell me how much they appreciated my greeting them and their girls in the parking lot each morning. Some parents shared lovely things their girls had said about me. Some parents simply told me I had helped them start their own days with a smile. All those nice words made me feel a bit better. So did the sweet note I received from a fellow volunteer, thanking me for my work during the week. But the thing that really pushed me over the top and into cry-eye mode happened on the stage.

 

 

The band I and 2 other volunteers coached this week was called “Apparently Famous.” Those 4 campers were so utterly amazing, I almost couldn’t process it. They were – each of them – kind, intelligent, respectful, open-minded, polite and ready to rock. Anyhoo – after they had finished performing their song, “Devils in Heaven,” they leaned into their microphones and in unison said, “Thank you, Mikki!” Just typing the words makes me cry. I don’t know why they did it. I don’t know why I was singled out. I mean, they had 2 other amazing volunteer coaches all week, too. Why my name was spoken is a mystery. Tremendously appreciated, but a mystery all the same.

 

Sometimes when I’m doubting my place in this world, when my value as a human soul is questioned within, when I just don’t know if I matter – the universe reaches out to me to get my attention, to remind me to hang in there. Sometimes I get it. Sometimes I don’t. At Saturday’s showcase, the universe reached out to me through the voices of parents, volunteers and 4 amazing young girls, who absolutely-positively made my day. No matter what my future holds, I will always be grateful for those Apparently Famous campers and their loving hearts.

Recovering, Thank-You-Very-Much

 

 

So yesterday was the big Rock Camp Showcase. And I am so looking forward to sharing the deets with you, as well as wrapping up my thoughts about this year’s camp. But let’s be honest – I’m beat. I left all my emotions and energy at the club. So forgive me. I’m dragging.

 

Tomorrow, friends. That’s when I’ll share the showcase fun. Promise…

RCGLA 2014 – Showcase at the House of Blues!

 

 

First, let me say that yesterday was a major catch-up day for me. Load after load of laundry, shopping for food to fill empty cupboards and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I didn’t finish everything, but I made a dent. Not only that, but I must’ve been in the afterglow of Rock Camp, as people out in the world kept coming up to me to share some positive thought or another. At first I didn’t notice it. Then a little girl walked up to me and said she liked my shirt. That’s when I figured it out. And I smiled even more brightly. I may have even high-fived 10,000 angels. But that’s neither here nor there. The point of this missive is to fill you in on last Saturday’s Rock Camp Showcase…

 

Let me just say that the sound at the House of Blues was the best yet. I’ve always enjoyed seeing shows at HOB, and now I know why. The sound! The girls played their hearts out and it was awesome.

 

I spent most of the show in the audience, dancing and cheering on the performers. There were a couple of times when I caught sight of audience members expressing their shock at how good some of our campers were. To those (mostly dudes) let me say this: we’re not messing around. Chicks be rocking, okay? I mean, a few of those gals totally shredded and faces were melted. Seeing a shocked audience simply made me smile.

 

 

Just like every year, it’s incredibly rewarding to witness the joy of campers after they perform. Their accomplishments are monumental, y’all. Those girls show up on Monday and form a band, most likely with complete strangers. Over the next few days, they not only work hard to learn how to play an instrument, they also write their own original freakin’ song. Come Friday, they do a stage run-through and are then sent home. Saturday afternoon arrives super-fast and the next thing they know, they’re being introduced onstage to a crowd of 600 people. It’s phenomenal!

 

And it’s often life-changing. I’ve seen it time and time again. I suppose lives have also been changed and I’ve not been privy to that growth. That’s perfectly okay, too.

 

But I have been privy to my own growth, each and every year. I know that means nothing to the campers, nor should it. But it means everything to me, and I hold on to it more tightly than you can imagine.

 

After the showcase had ended, after our gear had been loaded out and our vibe had been removed from the walls of the club, we volunteers headed over to a Mexican restaurant for our decompression session. We were all pretty amped up, so there was a lot of clapping and cheering going on. There was also a lot of hugging and loving. Personally, I didn’t cry. I think it’s because I know that I’ve turned a corner with this group. In the past, I’ve doubted whether or not I truly belonged in their esteemed company. I’ve been self-critical of my skills and talents, and I’ve not believed I was worthy of their friendship. But not anymore. For the first time, I actually feel that I am with my tribe. That I truly belong. And I know that going forward I will make every effort to see these phenomenal women on a regular basis.

 

No need for tears. Just smiles. And occasionally high-fiving 10,000 angels.

The Day After

 

 

I’m in recovery mode. Tomorrow I’ll share details of the Rock Camp Showcase. And I won’t hold back.

 

For now, know that I’m in self-care mode and that I’m blissed out.

 

Word.

RCGLA 2014 – Last Day of Camp

 

 

 

Day 5. Camp is over.

 

I’ve never seen so many campers arrive early! The day began with the last Instrument Instruction classes. This was important for the girls, as it was their last opportunity to work out any kinks with their instructors. As a Vocal Instructor, I and the 4 other Instructors did what we could to help the singers relax and trust their voices. Class seemed fun – for us, at least – and there was some super strong singing going on in the hallways!

 

 

After the final Instrument Instruction of the week, it was time for lunch! Sista Eyerie was one of our performers and that chick was boss. Her flow was mad sick and she was so positive and groovin’! Seriously – I danced the whole show and hope to catch her again.

 

After lunch, we had Showcase run-throughs and the bands I was able to hear simply crushed it. After the run-through, the band I’ve been working with had their final Band Practice. They worked hard to figure out their song’s ending and I was super-proud of their progress. We then broke down the equipment, headed out for final assembly and the campers went home. It was fast. It was final. It was the end.

 

After the campers went home, we Volunteers stayed at the school and broke down the entire camp. When I left the school at 9 pm last night, the gear was being loaded onto a truck for storage and the school – which had been our own private Rock Utopia – had reverted back to being, well, a school.

 

There were definitely a lot of emotions being felt and expressed throughout the day. Even typing this is stirring tears. But they’re happy tears, so I won’t fight them.

 

Today is our Showcase at the House of Blues! I can tell you now this day will probably lead to a cry-fest for some Volunteers. Why? Because we care. More than anything, we want to see these young girls tap into their true selves. Without fear. Without self-judgment. No holds barred.

 

Can’t wait for the Showcase.

Rock Camp 2014 Showcase!

 

 

So I can officially tell you about it, as it’s officially official: 2014′s Rock Camp for Girls L.A. showcase will be at the House of Blues! And KCRW’s Anne Litt will be DJing before the show!

 

Those of you who’ve attended an RCGLA showcase know exactly how amazing these live concerts are. Those of you who’ve resisted, well, too bad for you. Because not only would you be supporting the current campers when they take the stage, you’d also be getting a heck of a smile-inducing outing!

 

I am already excited about this year’s camp and showcase. I super hope you’ll make it to the showcase. Trust me – you will not be disappointed.

 

What: Rock ‘n Roll Camp For Girls Los Angeles

When: Saturday, 12 July 2014 / Doors at 12 pm / Showcase at 1 pm

Where: House of Blues / 8430 Sunset Boulevard / West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tickets: $10 at camp and at The Door / Also available Online for $16.50