So last week, while I was away learning about how vulnerability is the birthplace of courage, and that one of the most important things we must do to live wholeheartedly is to cultivate creativity, Alex was living it: she spent her week at Girls Rock Camp.
Girls Rock Camps are held around the world, and are designed to help girls build self-esteem and find their voices through unique programming that combines music education and performance, empowerment and social justice workshops, positive role models, and collaboration and leadership skill building. And as if that wasn't enough, here are their core values:
• We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change;
• We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls and women;
• We value positive approaches to fighting sexism;
• We value integrity, honesty, and respect;
• We value appropriate sharing of resources, cooperation, and collaboration;
• We value using our collective voice to further our mission;
• We value diversity.
So last week, Alex spent every day there with a brand new group of friends. She needed an electric guitar, so she bought herself a second-hand one with her saved allowance -- pink, of course. And during the week her band (the Trouble Clefs!) wrote a song they performed together, at a showcase held yesterday afternoon at a bona fide dive-y club in downtown Houston.
The bands from the camp were epic. The songs ranged from punk rock (like the Trouble Clefs) to pop, and given that they only had one week to write and perform their music, they sounded pretty much as you'd expect. But that was really beside the point. The point is that these girls put themselves out there -- as lead guitarist and lead singer of the Trouble Clefs, like all the lead singers, Alex had to introduce the members of her band to the standing-room-only audience. In every case, the drummers started their sets by clicking their sticks together and shouting "ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!" and then their band mates joined in -- enthusiastically. The lyrics of the songs were about heartbreak, and social issues, and happy issues, and hopeful issues. The girls dressed the part, so there was blue hair and purple hair and electrifying makeup and edgy clothes. Without exception, every performer showed up fully, despite any nervousness. And they were all absolutely glorious.