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Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Mas for 2011? Serious As a Heart Attack!

Last night I had my first dream about costumes for Carnival 2011, usually leading up to Carnival I am plagued with anxiety filled dreams of losing the band or not getting my costume. However last nights dream was unusual since I am not even sure I will be playing mas for Carnival 2011 and it is way too early for Carnival dreams! I think the subconscious is battling with my decision on if to sit out Carnival 2011 or not, and for all who were wondering that decision did not come about because I am pregnant ; people have been asking me over and over if I am since I made that announcement in my post Carnival review.  Apparently no one believes me when I say I do not know if I am playing mas in 2011.The fact is there comes a time when as a masquerader you have to step back and holistically reevaluate the value one places on Carnival experience that is steadily increasing it what it costs financially to the diminishing returns of satisfaction it gives you. In simple terms, you have to ask yourself is it all worth it?

I don't think anyone fully grasps how dissatisfied I felt on Carnival Tuesday, I was ready to go home after crossing the Savannah judging point, but only pushed on because I felt I owed it to myself to try and salvage some enjoyment for the rest of the day. Did I really want my Carnival to end at 3:30PM on Carnival Tuesday afternoon? The answer was no, so I forced myself, yes FORCED, to enjoy what I could , eventually giving up after fighting for breathing room on Ariapita Avenue.

As much as we TRIBE  masqueraders have been calling for a smaller band for the past two years, reality is that a smaller band means less profits for the band leader; why not take advantage of the overwhelming demand to be part of TRIBE, right? And, for every dissatisfied masquerader there are 50 waiting to take your spot, so I have resigned myself to the fact that TRIBE is never going to reduce the size of the band by a significant amount, one that makes an impact in how much freedom as a  masquerader you have on the road. 

So, that leaves me with the option of looking for an alternative band, but which one? As much as I try to think about an alternative I come up empty! The first issue I have is that everyone in my social circle plays in TRIBE. I look at photos of other bands and there is not one familiar face I can identify; no one from school or work or even someone I see when socializing. Demographically TRIBE is where I fit in. The other issue I have is with service, all around customer and costume service. I know what I am getting with TRIBE even if I have a problem. Which other band is going to cater to a request such as giving them my own bra when some of them refuse to even cater to certain bra sizes? And if I am dissatisfied with my costume when it does not look like the prototype, will my only recourse  be having to cuss someone out for a refund if I were to go to another band? I also have some other requirements of a band such as must be all inclusive (rules out Harts), must have a lunch stop and must have good security. See, these are the questions I have to ask myself when deciding if not TRIBE then who else?

Admittedly I may just be spoiled by being a TRIBER all these years and unwilling to contemplate a new band, but asking me to choose a new band is akin to asking me to vote for a new political  party; as the old people say "better the devil you know (than the devil you don't)!".. or something like that. Just as I would need to see a manifesto for a party asking me to sway my vote , promises of all that they plan to do, so too would I need a new band to convince me that they can meet or surpass my expectations. 

Which leaves me in the dilemma I am in now, to play mas for Carnival 2011 or not and with whom? My alternative would also be a nice vacation to an all inclusive resort or maybe even a cruise.After the whopping amount of money dropped on two costumes this year (mines and the hubby's) I have been thinking about how many different ways that money could have been spent; Carnival is NOT cheap and I am still asking myself if the experience for 2010 was worth it.

As much as I am excited for band launch season to see costumes, my excitement over the prospect of actually playing mas for 2011 is tempered as it is all up in the air. I do not expect a smaller band with TRIBE and therein lies the source of my quandary. Will there be a costume to excite me enough to warrant facing another TRIBE jam session or will another band beckon? Who knows, I myself surely do not but I will keep you all informed of my decision once it is made.

One thing I DO know and that is if I estimate that my Carnival "experience" is no longer worth what I am paying for it (and the jury is still out on Carnival 2010) I will NOT be playing mas for 2011. Serious as a heart attack! 

Machel Montano HD For DC Carnival 2010

Sources say this is the Friday night event to compete with VALE and Taboo:

click for large view

More information about the event can be found at www.machelmontanolive.com  
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