The Order of X, 2015

Photo: StopAction Photography

Interplay World, 2018

Winter Guard International World Finals

Writing is a performance.

Besides writing, performance is another enormous and important part of my life. I started performing with my high school's color guard in 2012, and fell headfirst into the a beautiful subculture I had no idea even existed.

I had a column in my school's newspaper that I loved with every piece of me, and I was surrounded by a group of friends who loved the same thing. The more I got involved in writing for the newspaper, the more I got involved in performing with the color guard — and suddenly the parallels between the two were almost impossible to miss. 

Both are practiced, perfected, and performed. My writing often goes through multiple rounds of edits, where my performances are changed and edited at every rehearsal. They both seek to be polished to the highest possible level, and it's only then that they are released to the world — whether that be published online or print, or performed on an arena floor somewhere in the Midwest.

Both have taught me the importance of passion, determination, and vulnerability. My writing wouldn't be effective if it lacked emotion and heart, and neither would my performances. 

Both remind me that when I put everything I have into something I love, it is more fulfilling than anything else in my life. There's nothing like chasing an idea, and then finally being able to tell the story. There's also nothing like being told I'm performing in WGI World Class Finals for the first time in my organization's history. 

Both of these things have consumed every piece of my heart, and they spill over into each other in more ways than I can count. I think about designing a show whenever I'm making an infographic, and I think about editing a story every time I'm on the floor with my team.

From high school newspapers to campus magazines, from junior color guards to Independent World class finalists, I haven't been able to separate being a performer from being a writer, an editor, or a designer. In my eyes, they are one in the same.

Whatever medium, I want to tell the story.

Michigan Interscholastic Press Awards, 2016

Spartan Marching Band Color Guard, 2017

The Current Magazine launch, 2019

Interplay World, 2018

© 2019 by Leah Wright