An inside glance at The Cadets administrative team

Angel and Demon Diary: Cadets daily update from the road

102_7707.JPGYesterday was The Cadets’ final beautiful day in Oregon, and the members savored the 77-degree air. “It’s perfect today!” said Nick O’Hara, a second-year mellophone player. “This is the best weather ever,” added Chris Demas, a rookie mellophone.

The corps rehearsed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:10 p.m., then headed to the show in Hillsboro, Ore. Tweaks in the design of the show concept continue to make Between Angels and Demons more engaging for the audience. The official flag silks for the show also arrived yesterday, so the color guard will be looking even more angelic and demonic in the nights to come.

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Per a recent request on The Cadets’ facebook page, I’d like to shift the focus for the remainder of this update to the administrative side.

I am often asked what it’s like to shift from being a member of the corps to being on The Cadets’ admin staff. I’d say the strangest adjustment was being here and not having someone tell me exactly what to do every second of the day. But, whether you’re working on admin or you’re a mellophone player in the hornline, The Cadets demands your utmost devotion all the time. Everyone is pushing the limit of their abilities. Members push themselves to the physical limit, while the administrative staff is constantly juggling a million things at once. We’re all exhausted, we all get stressed, and everyone has to push through sleep deprivation. As a result, working with the team behind the scenes has a similar camaraderie to working hard with fellow members of the corps when I marched. The fun times are even more fun because everyone has been through so much together.

102_7792.JPGI am just one of three new additions to the administrative staff this year, and all of us wore the uniform together in recent history. Abby Malloy began marching in the color guard and aged out in 2010 as color guard captain, and Nic Broussard marched mellophone in 2008 and aged out in 2009. Assistant Director Justin (Rudy) Heimbecker marched in the corps as well; he aged out on baritone in 2005.

While admin certainly has its perks – sleeping in a bunk instead of a bus seat, a little more freedom, making a little money instead of paying tour fees – anyone here who’s marched in the corps would agree that there’s just nothing like being a Cadet.

“Knowing that you’re never going to wear that uniform again – that’s really sad,” Nic said, reminiscing about finals night in 2009.

Members get to perform in amazing venues for adoring fans and have fun together on bus rides and laundry days. Everything we do on this side is to give them an even better experience than we had ourselves.

 “Now I really have much more of an appreciation for how hard the other side works,” Abby said. “I did not realize how much went on behind the scenes.”

Rudy agrees. “On admin you’re much more aware of all the pieces and people necessary to make The Cadets happen, whereas as a member you are blind to that – as you should be,” he said. “On this side, you really see the underbelly of the organization.”

angel_demon_uniforms.jpgIn my opinion, the joy of being on the administration staff is that I know exactly what the members are going through, and I get to make their days go as smoothly as possible. Nic, Abby and I go out of our way to make sure that the behind-the-scenes process affects the members as little as possible. There just isn’t much time built into The Cadets’ schedule for them to take on extra tasks. They’re booked from dawn to dusk with rehearsal and performance, with just a little time to eat and pack in between.

“I think the fact that the three of us are members who are now on admin is really, really helpful,” Abby said. “It means so much to me to have vets in the corps come up to me and say, ‘Wow, this has never been done this way before. Thank you so much.’ It really makes a difference when you know what they’re going through and how you can help them.”

So, while there are many differences (namely, I can pretty much go to Wal-Mart whenever I need to, and I end up going a lot more than I’d like to), the prevailing feeling of being on tour with this organization is the same. It’s still home.

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The Cadets arrived in Bonney Lake, Washington at 2:30 a.m. and will be up at 8:00 a.m. to begin rehearsing for the show tonight.

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