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Competition Day: A Day in the Life of a Band by Izzy McChesney

I turn towards Hazel as she starts the four count to start off the show. I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins as the lights flash.There are many people clapping in the crowd but it’s muffled by my concentration. I make eye contact with the judges in the middle of the ginormous auditorium which makes my palms sweat. I turn my attention to Katie as she starts to strum her guitar. I can already feel that this is going to be one of the best competitions we’ve ever played.

“Izzy get up, we’re gonna be late,” my mom says, swinging my door open almost smacking the wall beside it. It was a long night the other night getting ready for the upcoming competition. All I want is to get at least a few more minutes in my cozy bed before I had to sleep in some dusty ol’ hotel bed. I start to pull the blankets over my head.

“Can I have at least a few more min…” My mom interrupts me.

“You can sleep in the car, hurry and get ready. We can't be late to this.” She has her arms crossed leaning against the door frame. I decide to give in.

“Fine, fine.” I slowly pull off my covers and get out of my nice warm bed. She wins this time.

It is four o’clock in the morning, I just want to catch a few more zs before this day starts. I rummage around my night stand looking for my glasses, but have no luck. Aftera few minutes of looking for them, I found them on my makeup table. I must have put them there when I put my contacts in the other day. While I am in the makeup room I should make sure I have everything. I make a list in my head. Eyeliner? Check. Mascara? Check. Lip gloss? Ahhh where did I put my lip gloss? I check the floor. Ha Ha Gotcha. I snatch the lip gloss off the floor and stuff it into my makeup bag. I put my makeup bag into my suitcase which has all my clothes and hair supplies and I zip it up.

“I’m ready!” I yell down the stairs to my mom, who is still getting ready herself. A snail could get ready faster than her. Man, I really could’ve got those extra minutes to sleep at the pace she’s going. My dad starts to slowly pack everything into the car. Hoping that I didn’t forget anything, I hand my suitcase to my dad to stuff the big red SUV. I head back inside to do a quick walk through to see if we forgot anything important. I walk by the piano and grab a few of my favorite triangular guitar picks. I help my mom with her bags, and then off we were. As soon as we got into the car I put on my headphones to drown out the annoying sound of Siri's voice telling my mom where to drive. Not too long into the drive, I passed out from the lack of sleep I had got the night before.

When I wake up we’re already there. Okoboji, IA. Man that was a good nap. I get out of the car and stretch out my legs. My legs feel like noodles sitting in the car for that long.

“You need to hurry up and get ready. You guys don’t have too long until you guys have to be in the building,” my mom says to us girls sitting in the parking lot chit chatting. We are all super anxious to be here. We’ve never done a competition outside of our city. We have new competition this time. Our keyboardist, Morgan, rushes towards us.

“How’s my hair? I need to make sure that it looks good so if I meet the love of my life here I don’t look like a fool.” We all laugh.

“You look fine Morgan, just hurry up, we can’t be late.”

We finish getting our makeup on and change into our stage clothes. We walk into the building. There are different groups of people everywhere. There is a group in the corner of the huge building wearing all black, and then in the other corner there are people wearing tons of colors. There are people with short hair, long hair, colored hair, natural hair, piercings everywhere, no piercings at all. It is quite a diverse group of people. We stay as a group because we know nobody else who is competing at this competition. A man walks out onto the stage and introduces himself.

“Hello everyone, my name is Ralph. I am the one who is running this competition. I’m going to do roll call and then we’re going to draw names out of a hat to figure out the order for today’s competition.” Everyones silent as he goes through the names of each band. Some of these bands have some really weird names. It is finally time for Ralph to pick names out of a hat. There are eleven bands competing and four solo artists.

“Going sixth is,” he pulls a little white slip of paper from the hat and unfolds it, “Been There Done That.” We all look at each other and nod. Sixth isn’t bad.

As we sit and wait for the first band to set their equipment on the stage, we talk a little bit about what we’re going to do for our stage presence. We totally forgot to make some up during practices because we were too busy trying to perfect our songs. We only get three songs to try to impress the judges, so we chose three of our best songs, "Everlong" by The Foo Fighters, This is Why by Hey Violet, and an original song called Final Bow. We overheard before the competition that if we play an original song we could get extra points, so we last minute decided to switch one of our songs. The fifth band is on their last song so we all get together and head towards the stage to get ready. Ava, Katie, and I grab our guitars and meet Morgan and Hazel by the stairs on the side of the stage. It’s almost time to go up. The fifth band gets done performing and starts to head off the stage. We complement the band as they get off the stage and give them high fives. Now it’s our turn. We get up on the stage and get our equipment set up. As soon as we get everything set up, the sound guy gives us a thumbs up.

We all look over at Hazel as she counts us in. The crowd lights dim, and the spotlights are on us. The adrenaline is pumping. Everything that is happening around me is muffled. I can see the crowd cheering for us, but I can’t hear them over the blasting volume of the monitor, and my concentration. Looking out seemed like a good idea at the time, but I then made eye contact with the judges which made me nervous. I turn towards Katie as she starts to strum her guitar. I can tell this is going to be a great competition. What feels like only a few seconds, we finish our set. The crowd is cheering for us, and I turn my attention to my band and see everyone content with what we just did.

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