What I did this summer: A personal essay of the real life Hannah Montana


This blog should have been written about 2 weeks ago, but I just turned 21 this past Friday and spent most of my weekend in an alternate universe where friends (and strangers) bought me drinks, Flo Rida was the soundtrack and wearing glittery 5 inch heels and a battery-operated “FINALLY LEGAL” sash was acceptable.

Now, it’s back to reality and the sad realization that I don’t have any more birthdays to look forward to until 25 when I can rent a car. Cool. I can hardly wait.

I digress.

This past summer I lived the glamorous lifestyle of a rock star and an intern. I worked as an intern at a local newspaper during the week and most weekends I performed with my band 1 Hot Mess until the early hours of the morning.

I woke up on Monday and did it all over again.

At times, it was completely crazy, but I loved every single second of it.

While at my internship, I got a chance to do a few things involving music – two, in particular, that really stood out to me.

At the beginning of my internship, I was told that the intern is always sent to Warped Tour with one of the staff writers.

I had previously never been to Warped Tour since my father had outlawed it. If the words “alternative” and “music festival” didn’t turn him off to the idea of his 14-year-old daughter attending this concert, the fact that he heard through the grapevine that Trojan set up a booth at the event and gave out handfuls of free condoms to passerby definitely sealed my Warped-less fate.

At 20 years old, I would be attending Warped Tour for the first time, not as a music fan, but as a journalist covering the event. I would writing about the event as a whole: the weather, the attendees, the fights taking place in the mosh pits, etc.
I knew it was going to be a hot day and that I would be out in the blistering sun, so I took all preventive measures to stay cool. Little did I know it would be the first time in 3 years that it would rain during Warped Tour – and the first year that it would torrentially downpour, while Lackawanna and Luzerne County were put under tornado watch.
There I was at Montage Mountain, in my tank top and shorts and Converse All-Stars, drenched, and sitting underneath the pavilion, where I, along with over a thousand of soaking wet, angsty teenagers, were corralled when the storm started.
This was my nightmare.
While I emptied the puddles out of my shoes, I heard the crowd start cheering behind me. I stood up on my seat to see what was happening and saw over a hundred kids using the Montage Mountain lawn as a giant Slip n’ Slide. These kids were covered in mud and grass and were taking running starts down the hill, embracing these awful conditions.
This was the greatest story I had ever seen. The punk-rock, don’t-give-a-shit attitude of Warped Tour was alive and well in these people. They taught me that sometimes things may seem hopeless and miserable, but it’s all about looking for the good, in spite of the bad.
Not even 15 minutes later, I received email confirmation to meet a girl named Jenny backstage.
Jenny was the Tour Manager for the band New Found Glory, one of Warped’s headliners. Jenny was going to take me backstage to interview lead singer Jordan Pundik, because our’s was the only interview he would be giving in Scranton.
New Found Glory’s “Sticks and Stones” was a part of the group of CD’s I stumbled upon in my older brother’s room when I was in sixth grade. This was my first taste of music other than the Britney Spears and Aaron Carter CD’s I had previously been listening to and it changed my taste in music forever. I loved the energy behind it and the attitude it had. I especially liked the lyrics that were actually about something. (Not just doing “it again.” WHAT?)
Everything worked out – it’s just about taking the good with the bad.
Getting a chance to interview the lead singer of a band that changed my perspective on music was a huge deal for me. And the fact that he’s a pretty hot man didn’t hurt either.

Toward the end of my internship, I was assigned to write about a local band named Kids in a Sandbox. I was told by my editor that they were young but it was when I met up with them for an interview that I realized how young they actually were. The oldest members of the band were 20. The lead guitar player was 15 years old. I’m sorry – he had just turned 15 at the time of the interview and would be entering his freshman year of high school this fall.

After interviewing them further, I found out they had all grown up with music in some way or another and they were inspired by everyone from Led Zepplin to Alanis Morrisette. What I loved most about them was that they were all best friends. Best friends that loved to play music together and just hang out. They had sleepovers, went on adventures of local hidden nature spots and made contests out of writing songs.

They were so refreshing… and fun.

They made me laugh andmade me appreciate being in a band with MY best friends. It’s easy to become jaded when it comes to the “dying local scene.” Being with Kids in a Sandbox reminded me that it’s all about having fun and playing music with friends. I thank them for that.

I learned a lot this summer from people I would have never gotten a chance to meet had I not  lived two different lives. I really got the best of both worlds. Call me Hannah.


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