Three Commentaries in Search of an Audience
Eric Nuzum’s Cheerleader Camp
First, a bit of info on the recordings. I knew when I started writing this
that I’d need audio of the cheering. I tried recording it at the building so
it would sound the way I hear it everyday–but the recording turned out
awful. Almost any environmental noise (traffic, lawn mowers, etc…)
overwhelmed the thin sound of the cheerleaders. So, as the morning wore on,
I’d work my way closer and closer to them in hopes of picking up some better
sound. I felt like some kind of pervert, lurking behind trees and off in the
distance with some sort of strange equipment – like I was recording video to
post to cheerleadervoyeur.com or something.
Finally, I realized that I
wasn’t going to capture anything worth having unless I asked them if I could
record close up. I would have much rather “found” the sound, but the quality
of what I got justifies the intrusion. During a break I approached the
teachers and explained–as best I could–what I wanted to do. They were
really enthusiastic and called the girls in. There were 125 girls in the
camp, all lined up in a semi-circle around me and my stereo microphone. They
held nothing back–smiles, gestures, loud voices, everything.
sound in some awesome situations before, but I was, frankly, overwhelmed by
these girls. They were 100% into sharing what they did without a single
shread of irony, sarcasm, or reservation. They were there to cheer, damnit.
And cheer they did. I just pressed the buttons and let it happen. It was
pretty awesome to watch.
Go Eric! – This is my favorite piece of audio ever. This is
the beginning of the teacher explaining to the students that someone was
going to tape them–and it shows how the cheerleaders are programmed to
react to introductions.
Let’s Start! – Before the cheerleaders offered their cheers for me,
the leader calls them to attention–which is what this sound sample
represents. Since January I’ve had this as the start-up sound on my computer