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Andrew Nguyen: The Only Male on Color Guard

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Meet Andrew Nguyen: a bubbly senior at James Clemens who boldly joined a sport otherwise dominated by females. Even though he encountered opposition in joining color guard, he stuck with it and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We interviewed him about the reasons he joined and the impact it has had on him.

Why did you decide to join color guard? What specifically did you like about it?

I joined because I just loved it! It was so cool! I really did like it. It looked… beautiful. You spin flags, and you toss rifles.

Was it an obstacle because you were the only boy- was it weird?

Well to be honest, at first, it was- I don’t know- kind of weird because I had to get used to people looking at me doing it.

Did you ever get stage fright?

*Laughs* I didn’t have stage fright, but it did get me used to performing in front of people, you know, the whole football stand and everything! It was a lot of pressure, but once I got used to it, I could just have fun doing it and not care about it. Well, not care about the people looking at you. I didn’t not care about my performance! Of course I care about my performance!

I just marched my drill and smiled.”

— Andrew

I heard you had a duet with someone in the show. How did you feel about it? That must have gotten a lot of attention!

Yes, with Megan Alkire. Well, I was just a newbie to color guard and I got a duet? Wow! That’s like- they trust me? Yeah, I’m the center of attention for the first half of the third song!

 

So have you guys been to any competitions lately? How have you done in them?

Yes, we have been to the Dixie Pride Band Festival in September, and then on October 4 we went to the Southern Pride Festival, and on the 24th of October we went to Rome, Georgia for another festival. We won a couple of awards; we won a lot in the first festival. We got for the first time ever best in class color guard! Yes! It was really exciting for us because in the last two years we never won anything.

Do you think you were the person who changed that?

*Laughs* No, not really. During that competition there was a technical difficulty because people set their flags wrong in the fourth song, so I didn’t have a flag to spin. I just marched my drill and smiled.

On the other teams, were there any other guys there, or was it mainly girls?

For the most part, I didn’t really see any because we were the last band to perform. We couldn’t really see the other’s performances, so I didn’t really know, but there are guys in this color guard community like in Athens and Sparkman: Sparkman has two and Athens has one.  So that makes me feel relieved to know that its not completely girls.

At first, my parents didn’t like it…”

— Andrew

You’re the first guy on the Color Guard for your school. Do you get any opposition?

At first, my parents didn’t like it, but then they got comfortable with it. I still went on with it though. My thought process was that there are college guys doing color guard, so what’s wrong with me doing it? If I do something that I like, then I go for it! Do something that you love!

We know that color guard takes up a lot of your time. Have you gotten more social and made new friends? Would you say that you are a performer now?

Yes, well, I would have to say that color guard helped me find out who I really am as a person. Like how you get comfortable with yourself. Yeah, I would say that I am a performer. Yeah, being in color guard, I feel comfortable being myself, and that helps me talk to other people. I became a lot more social, and now I’m just out there in life.

So it was your outlet for your social life, almost?

Yeah, it helped me so much. I love them all!

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Andrew Nguyen: The Only Male on Color Guard