Life, Thoughts

Some Disorganized Reasons To Volunteer At Concerts

(I’m the kinda person who considers herself too good to be sponsored. Or maybe it’s that I’m not good enough to be sponsored. Either way, this isn’t a sponsored post, and it shouldn’t be a deadly blogging sin to promote good things for good reasons with no compensation. Ahem.)

My new obsession relationship with volunteering at concerts goes back to smack-dab in the middle of the past October. It was then that I learned two things:

  1. tobyMac, my go-to musician, chef of Soul Sauce, king of CCM and crown prince of great graphic design, was coming to a venue not ten miles from my house.
  2. I was not the only one excited for the concert.

By the time I got around to getting tickets, the entire house was sold out. Dang. I thought I had missed the Golden Opportunity Of A Lifetime™, but then God Himself opened my eyes to a very small banner at the bottom of my screen:

volunteer opportunities! click me please!

(Okay, I don’t remember exactly what it said but it was something like that.)

Before I could say Diverse City, I had signed my brother and I up and was ready to jump into things. Even though I had exactly 0.05246% of a clue as to what I would be doing.

Well, let me rephrase that. I had several misconstrued ideas as to what I would be doing. As it turned out, none of them were correct.

I was a little surprised to find out that volunteers don’t do door check, security, or any other services covered by the venue itself. And even though I kind of knew it would never happen, we were not allowed on or near the stage. Bummer.

However, what we ended up doing was very, very cool (and I at least got to watch them taking down the stage afterward, but we’ll get to that!)

I ended up helping the Food For The Hungry folks. FH is an organization that helps third-world communities get back on their feet through sponsorship and prayer. The whole concept wasn’t anything new – I’d been in the audience of another concert and heard their mission from the receiving end.

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My job was to get packets from our tables to the audience. At a certain time in the show, we handed out packets to the people sitting in all three levels of this theatre. Lots of walking, lots of smiles, and lots of packets were filled out. We ended up sponsoring 150 kids that night!

Being an active part in the recovery process for 150 families was an incredible experience, but it wasn’t the only awesome thing that happened that night.

Besides the part in the show where we handed out packets, we were just working beforehand, during intermission, and afterward. This meant we got to watch the show for absolutely free – a “thank you gift” from the people we were working for.

But not only did we get to watch it for free, we also were allowed to stand in a box seat – the only place that hadn’t sold out. We were just 20ish feet away from the stage!

What. A night.

Oh, and I got to watch them taking stuff down. But I think I already mentioned that. I never knew there were cranes above the stage, but apparently they are, and subwoofers are heavy.

After that night of praise and worship and ridiculously awesome music, I knew I wanted to do this as much as possible.

Luckily for me, I joined Loop Volunteers’ mailing list.

Loop Events is an organization that crowdsources volunteers for CCM concerts. They look for people in the area, and whenever a Christian artist comes to town, they alert them and ask for help.

This led me to volunteering for Steven Curtis Chapman when he came in. This time, I worked at the merchandise table. We sold over $2000 of t-shirts and CDs, which pours itself into keeping the tour going and SCC’s charity, Show Hope.

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I got a free t-shirt and got to see him in person. Now, I’m anxiously looking forward to For King And Country in April. Can’t wait!

Volunteer work is always awesome. Volunteer work with perks like free live music and supporting Important Causes™ is even more awesome. Even if you don’t get a t-shirt.

If it’s something you think you might like doing, you should seek out some opportunities. Who knows? You might end up having as much fun as I have.

Ever volunteered at a concert? Favorite bands? Let’s talk music. I’m listening.

Review

Movie Review: Dunkirk (no spoilers!)

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Dunkirk is unlike any other film I’ve seen. Once you’re past the advertisements and the lights dim in the theater, you’re no longer sitting on your tush in the air conditioning. The room around you becomes frigid, you begin to breathe through your mouth, the adrenaline builds up within you, and you’re there, on that beach, for one of the most thought-provoking two hours of your life.

Disclaimer: All thoughts are my own and are not endorsed by anyone other than myself.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk is the story of, frankly, the British evacuation from the French beach of that name. With German bombers flying over to try and annihalate the 400,000 British and French soldiers on the beach and hundreds dying daily, the outlook for them is pretty bleak.

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The most interesting thing about this film is the lack of dialogue. I don’t think there are a hundred lines in the whole movie. Most of the experience is in what you see and what you hear.

My favourite film genre is war, so naturally I’ve seen a lot of the classic war films. This one definitely stands out in a couple of ways:

  1. The colors. Most war movies have a theme of brown, green and black (very warm colors). This one was a lot of grey and blue, which made it feel very cold. That and all the water on screen had me walking out of the theater freezing to death.
  2. The music. If you go and look up the soundtrack, you’ll find that there is a ticking noise in the background of every piece. This ticking noise did not cease for the entire film, giving a sense of urgency (time is running out).
  3. The characters. I only caught the names of two of the characters (Peter and George). In addition to these, there was the infantry soldier (I later found out that his name is Tommy – nice allusion to Tommy Atkins!), his friend, and two pilots. It was incredibly realistic in the way that you recognised them by face, not name.
  4. The kind of intensity. There was little to no blood or gore in this film (I only remember seeing blood once). Yet, it was as riveting as Band Of Brothers (a slightly more intense HBO series. Rated TV-M for a reason) without being as violent as that series is. I think the most deaths happen by drowning, which was true. More soldiers drowned trying to get away than those who were bombed on the beach.

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There are genuine Spitfire planes in it, not just CGI. Also, the music is by Hans Zimmer – also a reason to go and see it. And if you’re a One Direction fan, I believe Harry Styles plays a character in it. I’m not a 1D fan, so I didn’t catch that until I went and read the Wiki page did extensive research.

All in all, Dunkirk is one of the best films I think I’ve ever seen, and if you can watch it in IMAX, you should. That wall-to-wall screen just throws you into it.

For those who are a little more sensitive or under 13: You can find the full content advisory as to exactly what’s in it here – I highly suggest doing this. There aren’t any unwarned spoilers. Another thing I would advise is to not watch this movie alone or at night – I am over 13 and went with my brothers, my mum, and my granddad to a matinee.

Verdict: GO SEE NOW!