Rock Camp is a cause I’m deeply passionate about, because I discovered as a girl, music was a way to develop my voice, my sense of self, and carve a path through life that I can fully believe in. I want to share with you a brief but meaningful story about why this is so important to me. When I was young, nothing like Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls existed. It was luck that led me to discover music as a healthy outlet. The process of learning about music and how to play an instrument dramatically transformed my life. At the time I started playing the bass, I was a high school drop-out who had left home to stay with friends. I had little direction, discipline, or self-respect. I was desperate to connect with other people but had no idea how. I lived this way for two years before I was drawn back to music, having only a bit of experience with the piano as a child, and later with what little music was left in the public schools I attended.
One summer, on my 15th birthday my mother purchased a used electric bass for me from a local music store. It was inexpensive and beat up and was covered in Jägermeister stickers and even a decal from a gas station restroom reminding employees to wash their hands before returning to work. It didn’t come with a case and so I quickly became known as this weird little street punk who walked around with a bass guitar slung across her back. I got all kinds of attention, which both I liked and didn’t like. To be truthful, I probably liked some of the negative attention I received for being a cute young girl with a bass, and recoiled at a lot of the attention I received that placed demands on me musically. Hindsight being 20/20, I can say now that I wish I had had a little more guidance then and a few better influences.
Despite this, my appetite for learning was not satisfied in my urchin lifestyle and lead me back to school where I knew I would have access to more instruments, ensembles and peers who shared my interests. I went from street punk to band geek in the span of just a few months. In the span of just a few years I went from high school drop-out to Master of Fine Arts (I have a piece of paper that proves it)! While this is a truncated version of my story – I’ve left out many more hair-raising details about my many sordid adventures — the point remains clear; I found my passion despite what was stacked against me and I was lucky enough to be in an environment where I could run with it. This was all by the skin of my teeth. I would learn just after entering college that all of the music programs I was fortunate enough to have had access to as a teenager were being cut from public schools, along with other important life lines for at-risk kids like myself. So this is why Rock Camp is so meaningful to me. I just knew I had to do something to keep more options open to kids like I me. Especially for girls, who even today are still steered away from doing things that make them loud, that make them occupy more space than they should occupy, and who are steered towards accepting whatever meager-to-tragic fate might await them through their own acquiescence. So many girls I see today don’t even realize that voicing their opinions and pursuing what they want in their lives is even an option.
If you are unable to attend the recital on July 8th at New Roads School, or would like to donate to the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls additionally, please follow the link below. Remember to fill in the phrase “Chamber Music” in the Comments field. Your support is appreciated tremendously!
Chamber Music for Rock Camp
Tuesday July 8th at 8:30 pm
New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Los Angeles Summer Session
July 7th to July 12th
Saturday, July 12th