“Hey everyone, I’m Jordyn and I’m from Victoria BC. I’ve just been over at our back table setting up all of the awesome videos for the show, and the video that you guys just saw was about LiveDifferent’s Hero Holiday Program.” This is the beginning to my segment of Team One’s awesome Live Different Presentation that I’ve been a part of for 4 months! It’s crazy to think that I’ll only be getting on stage and saying these words for another 5 shows. Our team has been through a lot together this tour. We’ve travelled all the way across eastern Canada, far over the misty mountains cold, bouncing along poorly constructed rural roads, conquering the giant island of strange accents and folk music, braving the abysmal temperatures of our nations capital, and making an uncountable amount of new friends along the way. It’s been a long journey (there and back again) but it seems like just yesterday that we were gearing up to leave our volunteer-packed house in Hamilton.
Our last weekend of tour was a very eventful one! We were staying with a few families in Ottawa and Montreal. Friday was a day off for us so we spent the day in downtown Ottawa, where it was bone-chillingly cold. As soon as we stepped off of the bus, we realized that we wouldn’t be doing much sightseeing due to the ridiculously freezing temperatures. Saturday, we left our billets in Ottawa, brushed up on our Français, and headed for the heart of Montreal, where we spent the day. Sunday, a few of us hopped on the bus with our amazing billet, Genviève and her two kids for a wintery outing. Arriving at the snowy park, we frolicked in the fluffy snow towards a big ole hill and ran to the top. For the first time in years, I got the chance to experience the simple pleasure of sliding down a snowy hill on not but a thin sheet of plastic. You see in Victoria, it snows maybe once a year if we’re lucky, so this was a nice treat. That is, until our insufficient footwear caused us to lose feeling in our extremities, and we headed back to the bus, seeking warmth. When we got home one of my fellow students, Michelle, made us dinner! The catch to her meal was that we had to eat it blindfolded. We struggled to get food on our forks as we got to experience just a little taste of what Michelle goes through every day. It was a very eye opening experience.
During our 4 months on the road, each of us students are required to spend one day burdened with the responsibilities of our fearless leaders. We have to arrange the details for our show by speaking with a representative from the school and making sure that the day goes smoothly. My leader day was at the start of December, and I knew going into it that it would be a long day. We had 2 shows booked at different schools and on top of that, we had multiple schools coming to watch each show; I knew it was going to be a stressful day. The first show went really well. I was so proud of our team for our record setups and teardowns, and for their constant encouragements. After the first show, most of the stress of the day disappeared. We ate lunch on the go, and drove over to the second school of the day, where we rocked another presentation. When it was all over, I was proud of what we had accomplished and happy that the shows were such successes!
Leader for a day plays an important part in the Academy program. It allows us as students to see what our amazing road team leaders do every day, and it forces us to take on a leadership role within our team. Being leader for a day was one of the many ways that tour has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and gain confidence in myself. On top of this experience, there have been many aspects of tour that have challenged me and helped me to grow as a person. Although I’m sad that tour is almost over, I’m so grateful to have been able to have such an incredible experience, and to be able to share it with such amazing people.