Yes, Concerts Are My One True Addiction

Yes, Concerts Are My One True Addiction

Nothing beats hearing your favorite song of all time live.
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Everyone has some sort of addiction in their lives. Some are addicted to shopping, drinking, eating, exercise, reading and many other things. Some addictions are recognized by the individual and others fly under the radar. I can tell you right now that mine is anything but lowkey. If you know me at all, you know exactly what my addiction is.

What is my addiction you ask? It's a simple answer: concerts.

This past week, I went to three different live performances at three different venues. When I would tell my friends my big plans for that week, most were astounded. Some even told me that they thought it was amazing how I was seeing more concerts in a single week than they had in their entire lives. People also questioned my choice to spend so much money on concert tickets to see so many different shows. I couldn't give them a straight answer because I wasn't sure what the answer was myself. As I pondered on this question of self-reflection, I came to a few conclusions, and here they are.

"Music to me is the air that I breathe, it's the blood that pumps through my veins that keeps me alive." ~Billie Joe Armstrong

In my life, music has been the only constant aspect. I've always been making mixtapes and playlists, looking for new bands or artists to fall in love with, and seeking new lyrics to relate to. Amongst all the life-defining moments, music has always been there to help me cope, celebrate, or even help me understand my circumstances more than I did before. I guess in the end of it all, my music library is like my security blanket. I always have to have it with me when I'm traveling, walking to class, driving, and even when I'm winding down from a stressful day. It's the thing that's always there and I can always rely on to keep me grounded.

"A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on the stage." ~Elvis Presley

When a bunch of people all get together to bop along to an artists' set list, you know it'll be a party in some way, shape, or form. I can always feel the excitement around me start to build up as the opener takes the stage. That anticipation builds even more when the opener finishes because everyone knows that the main act is about to rock their world. The screams from the crowd, while some may find them annoying, I find them exhilarating. It's always a good indicator if the people around you will enhance your experience. Luckily, I haven't had to sit or stand by any duds at any of my shows so hopefully the streak lives on.

"Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others." ~Daniel A. Carp

I also love concerts because there really isn't a negative connection you can make with another audience member. Everyone is there to have a good time and just be happy. You can talk to anyone and they'll strike up a conversation which will follow with an epic duet in the middle of the concert. Everyone is also more than willing to be your dance partner. With all the negativity and tragedy dividing our country today, I feel like concerts are one of the few places where people can come together and have a positive experience regardless of who you are. No one cares where you come from, what candidate you voted for, how much money you have to your name, or what gender you identify as. The only thing anyone cares about in the venue is the music and positive vibes that are soon to come with it.

"There is nothing wrong with being a fan, and being inspired." ~Unknown

Another reason why I value the concert experience so much is because of the people I've had the pleasure of meeting. I've met older adults who take my friends and I under their protective wing when things get a little sketchy, the classic drunk girls that want to be my best friend for the rest of their lives, and individuals who have become some of my closest friends. For example, the picture above was taken in the summer of 2017 at a New Politics concert. I went only knowing one person amongst the four girls pictured and came out with two new friends that I'm still very close with. We were all front row in the general admission area and bonded over our love for the band and all the similarities we found that we shared. What made this experience one to remember is that we ended up meeting the band that brought us all together at the end of the night. Although we all live in 4 different places and live 4 separate lives, we all still keep in touch and are so supportive of the lives we are living. Not many things can bring people together like a good concert can. For that reason alone, I'll be forever thankful.

"When I go to a concert, I can't help but feel happy and everything else just goes away." ~Victoria Justice

The feeling of hearing your favorite song by a certain band live is something I can't describe. For me, it's always a very emotional experience. I always get a little teary eyed and sing my heart out no matter how annoying I might be to the people around me. There's just something different about hearing a tune live than it is when you're listening to it in your earbuds. For me, it's because I can hear and feel the emotion the artist means to put forward when they originally recorded the track. Although it may not make sense to you, it makes total sense to me and other religious concert goers. This moment in the show is the moment that I wait to feel because all my stresses, grievances, and worries are lifted off my shoulders and I can physically feel it. A concert venue is the only place where I truly feel happy and know nothing is going to dampen my mood. The place or thing that gives you this feeling may be a concert venue or somewhere or something completely different. But whatever it is, I hope you have one because everyone deserves to feel the blissfulness of life that I feel when listening to my favorite songs live.

Cover Image Credit: Ryan Marincic

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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