Thursday, July 14, 2005

Character, Hype, and the Brigadier Machine...

It’s Thursday! Which for me means it’s time to get some competitive juices flowing for the upcoming weekend. This weekend we are in Erie, PA. It sounds like the show organizers and promoters did a really good job of marketing, so here is to hoping there is a fairly large crowd to perform for on Saturday night. There was also supposed to be a show on Sunday in Buffalo, NY as well, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, the show had to be cancelled. This is OK in my book. Sure it is one less opportunity to perform the show, but the show was a daytime show and the drive from Buffalo back here is over 8 hours. This gives me a chance to actually get some rest and possibly even get a round of golf in Sunday afternoon, time pending of course.

I have been thinking recently about the competitive drive of the corps this year. Everyone seems to want to work hard and put out a good quality product, but I don’t know if we are ready yet, as a group, to be competitive with the show. We are in the process of defining the character for the 2005 Brigadiers. We have a solid work ethic, we have a strong focus on achievement, what we don’t have yet is a competitive hunger or a swagger. We have glimpses of these from time to time, which is a very good thing, however we only maintain this for a short period of time. I guess you could call this upcoming weekend another character building weekend. We have another long day planned in front of us on Saturday. If we can all start together on time and set a good pace to rehearsal right from the start then the show Saturday should be a really good one. I just hope the results are a little more in line and a judge or two opens their eyes and ears and realize that there is something missing from our competitors show.

So with that, it’s rant time again. Yesterday I had something to say about show design. Today we’ll talk about hype. You’ll notice a trend to some extent about some references if you have been reading my blog frequently.

Not to disrespect past champions, or even corps that have come close, but here we go. the most hyped corps always wins, or comes close. Unless you are the Renegades then you have the right to walk around with a chip on your shoulder, especially last year after prelims (yes I watched the DVD) and you got screwed, but I know the feeling of being the better corps in prelims and losing by over 2 points. Yes it’s a tough pill to swallow, but vindication comes a year later when said champion has a better show that is better performed the following year and gets 4th place. Now if that doesn’t discredit the judging system nothing will.

See the above example for the most hyped corps on top. Also see last year for the most hyped corps on top. Overall visually and musically they were no higher then 3rd, but effect won. Effect that was partially based on hype, and the fact that is was their turn. The judging community tried to make it their turn if we slipped in 2002, and tried to make it this years most hyped corps turn back in 2001 if we slipped. Fortunately for us we did not slip. But those were the days when performance was given a better number then design. Now you are scored based on your intent rather then you actual achievement.

Now it’s time for a cocky newsflash: (Warning this will not make you comfortable!)

I believe that we will once again outperform everyone at the end of the season this year. Our track record indicates that, our work ethic indicates that, our talent indicates that, and the video will once again show that. Unfortunately we are not judged based on the video, only the perception of one judging panel on the one night we make that video. In the end I would like to see performance and design at least weighed equally, though I don’t see it happening, not given the track record of late and the results already happening this year.

Final thought…

The Brigadiers performance machine is in the final tune up stages before we start taking this thing for a few test runs. When it comes down to game time, you all know what to expect, and we will deliver. And when we do deliver, for god’s sake…get off of your asses, out of your seats, and give it up for us!

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