“Ready to Rock….Ready to Roll”
Backstage to Onstage
This summer’s coolest camp took place at WorkPlay in Birmingham, Alabama where budding musicians, songwriters, and future rock and roll hall of famers gathered for a week of rocked out enrichment. From my observation Girls Rock Camp in one note is where campers have permission to “get loud” with a purpose building self-esteem and musical efficacy through empowerment and role-modeling.
This unique camp took the stage and the magic city by soulful storm with youth campers rocking and rolling into workshops and formulating rock bands. Ultimately the camper’s lives were transformed for a week where they became real rock stars; mastering the elements of music, learning stage presence, and of course entertaining gnarly fans to boot.
Girded up with my Girls Rock exclusive backstage fan pass; I had the awe-inspiring opportunity to not only do a mini workshop with each band on the healing power of song lyrics, but the night of their grand finale showcase I got a chance to go backstage and interview and video the private preparations of what it takes to go from backstage to an onstage showcase.
*uncut backstage testimony –Abigail (12) lead singer of the Black Cats*
Backstage signaled more than just rad make-up, cool clothes, and smooth sound checks….there was a vibe of reciprocity among the girl rockers, volunteers, and Girls Rock staff. This sweet vibration set the velocity for the camper’s enthusiasm, from goose bumps to the downright fusion of lyrical expression these campers proved they had more than what it takes to become future chart toppers. The music magic of Girls Rock camp was noticeable on the camper’s faces and their voices of sheer rock stardom resounded in the backstage interviews-as any respectful rock star deserves.
(Girls Rock Camper stage ready-Come on in; Ready to Roll)
As I walked into the dark showcase room; where campers were practicing their guitar swings and bands were putting the finishing touches on their booming beats; I met the following rockers who were more than eager to oblige a fan with the F-Bomb press for a sit down before the showcase began.
Meet Merci: 12: The Black Cats-Lead Singer
Music Inspiration: My family has been in music for a long time and my dad is a singer
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Me: What kind of music do you like?
Merci: Punk Rock, Rock and Roll, and Jazz
Me: Favorite thing you learned at Girls Rock Camp this week?
Merci: Self-defense, song-writing, and to breathe while singing
Merci: Girls Rock has been really cool….I’ve learned a lot of things
(Merci of the Black Cats)
Brag on Brianna: 12: The Gnarly Pandas-Lead Singer
Favorite Music: Rock
Me: What do you want to be with you grow up?
Brianna: Vet and a cool singer
Me: What do you like most about Girls Rock Camp?
Brianne: Meeting new people and learning about music
Me: How did your band come up with the name Gnarly Pandas?
Brianna: We all got together and thought it would be cool…Pandas are my favorite
Me: Love your cool outfit
Me: Will you come back next year?
Brianna: Yes, most definitely I can’t wait this has been the best camp ever
(Brianna of the Gnarly Pandas)
As I was leaving sitting in the corner with their Girls Rock gold shirts on were there 2 campers looming in the wings waiting for their chance to get in a make-up chair and hear their wardrobe call. I hurriedly went over and not only did I get a chance to meet these funkadelic dynamos; I was blissfully serenaded with a sneak peak of what was to come for the awaiting crowd already lined up outside the doors of this venue.
- Zoe Chang 12 (ukulele great ): Gnarly Pandas
- Spacer Dalzell, 15 (rock star singer): Believers Best
“Guns for Hands” By: Twenty-one Pilots: Girls Rock Style-Bands Team Up in Tune!
WorkPlay’s backstage gives honorable homage to a wall of famous past performers. I couldn’t help but smile at the empty spaces; for one day that would be a former camper from Girls Rock head shot giving courage to their very own fan base. Girls Rock is more than a camp; it’s an experience a well-crafted chorus of lifelong music enthusiasts encouraging others to go beyond the song and hit the stage drop the microphone and declare I was born to be a Rock Star.
And oh yes, I always wanted to write this somewhere, it seems fitting to do so now…..if you weren’t a believer this camp would make you into one….. Just saying, -Girls Rock-!
(Not quite done can’t leave before we hear from Musical Genius Mo Po 18 of Believers Best; sums it up best)!
Rock On Girls Rock Camp 2016
Salaam Green; M.S.-Literary Healer and Social Justice Activist: Poet, Writer, Founder and Executive Director of the Literary Healing Arts Foundation; GirlsRhyme &Voices of Hope Poetry Troupe for Women and Girls. Certified National Poetry Therapy Facilitator. Published on Al.com; Birmingham Times, and many other literary publications.