The biggest hurdle I had to overcome when I was starting my quest for the a cappella major was anonymity. I was a nobody, lost in the sea of ever increasing a cappella and I had absolutely no idea how to get my foot in the door. I knew that the quest would take support- I would need to interview the prominent a cappella superstars of the day, as well as get to know the ins and outs of a cappella from in front and behind the curtain. I simply did not have the “street cred” to achieve this yet.
So what could I do? I didn’t have a group I could coach, so entering competitions wasn’t possible. I knew the names but not the faces, and I’ve never met anyone in person. It seemed like I was caught in a hamster-wheel of confusion.
The answer to my dilemma was CASA.
I knew the first step to a cappella acceptance was to be a present face at events, so I bought a VIP pass to LAAF (Los Angeles A cappella Festival) and met a lot of people who were very warm and friendly to me. I felt accepted right away, and when I told them my idea of a collegiate major, they were eager to help.
After LAAF, I started my blog. I didn’t think it would ever amount to anything. In fact, I was pretty sure I would give it up in a few months or so, and no one would ever know. (Fun fact! I was wrong…)
Showing my face at CASA events, meeting and introducing myself to people, making connections, sharing laughs…that was my way in. You see, a cappella is a very big community. Just like the social aspect of being in an a cappella group, the festival is the same, just on a larger scale.
It wasn’t long before I was accepted as an instructor at the festival in Chicago. There, my foot was solidly in the door and I grew more confident, more present in the community, until I applied and was accepted as the CASA Director of Education.
Here’s the point of the story…CASA needs people. Lots and lots of people. CASA wants you to volunteer. CASA wants you to teach workshops. CASA wants you to be a program manager or a board member. CASA wants you to volunteer and become best friends with the talent who perform at our shows.
Getting your foot in the door is much easier than you think. But you have to be proactive.
We are looking for a few good a cappella people. And by few, I mean a lot. And by a lot, I mean “holy hell we need you.”
What are the benefits of helping? You could help shape the future of a cappella, because CASA has their finger on the pulse of the a cappella community. Volunteers get free, all access passes to festivals. Volunteers get to meet, eat with, and hang out with the biggest names in a cappella.
CASA wants you. If you feel like you need to get your foot in the door, now’s the time.