“What Do You Do?” Week: Lauren, Music Maker

This week, we’re spending a little time learning all about you and the awesome and unexpectedly cool jobs you do. Each one of these profiles was culled from you, dear Frisky readers, and we’re amazed by the incredible jobs you have. This is our attempt to learn more about what you do for a living.

After the jump, learn all about Frisky reader Lauren’s job making sweet military music. Lauren, 26, Euphonium Player with the United States Army Field Band

Location: Washington, D.C.

An Average Day: When I’m not on tour, I warm up on my instrument at home, go in to work around 8:30 a.m., then have a band rehearsal from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. We usually travel around 100 days each year, in 30-40 day tour blocks. An average day on the road begins with waking up, seeing if the hotel breakfast is both free and edible, exercise, packing my suitcase, jumping on the tour bus, and riding to the next town. We usually drive 2-4 hours, check in to the next hotel, then have a few hours to get settled and find some dinner. Around 6:00 p.m., it’s time to head to the concert site, where we warm up and wait for the show to begin. Concerts start around 7:00 p.m., and end around 9:30 p.m. After that, we go back to the hotel, maybe grab a beer, then go to bed. The next day I wake up and do it all over again!

The Best Part Of Your Job: I get to travel to so many fascinating places, meet awesome Americans in their hometowns, and entertain them with music. Also, I love trying local foods. Mexican in New Mexico, pastries in Michigan, pancakes with maple syrup in Vermont … Yum, I could go on!

The Worst Part Of Your Job: Having to leave my dog when I’m on the road. A good friend takes care of her for me, but I still miss her. Other than that, living so far away from my family. I’m from Houston, and I’m still getting used to life on the East Coast.

The Most Surprising Thing About Your Job: Probably that I’m a professional musician, but I’m also a soldier. I’ve been to basic training, I can shoot an M-16, I have to do physical training, just like the rest of the Army. I’m very proud to serve. Even though I might not be out on the front lines, I’m still doing my small part to support the mission.

Wildest On-the-Job Moment? Maybe one of the coolest moments was marching in Barack Obama’s inaugural parade. It was FREEZING outside, and we had to stand in formation for hours, waiting for the parade to start. It was one of the most miserable (I hate the cold) yet most exciting experiences I’ve ever had. It was inspiring to be in D.C. for such an historic event and see the massive, enthusiastic crowds. People were everywhere. It was insane.

Other than that, traveling with 100 of your co-workers is interesting. You get to know WAY too much about everybody. On my very first trip with the band, I was instructed to NEVER, under any circumstances, go “number two” in the tour bus bathroom. Well, we got a few hours down the road, and I had to go! All I did was ask the bus commander how long before our next stop, and she immediately pulled over our giant three-bus convoy. She then instructed everybody to stay on board, as this was just a quick stop for one person to use the bathroom. I had to do the walk of shame in front of everybody, all the way out to the rest stop. So embarrassing!

If You Weren’t Doing This Job, What Path Might You Pursue? I’d probably teach music somewhere, maybe at a college.

Does What You Went To School for Have Any Relationship To What You Now Do? Yep, I went to the University of North Texas for my Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees.

What Advice Would You Give To Someone Interested In Getting Into Your Field? For anybody that wants to play music for a living, definitely find a great teacher and, of course, practice! The military is a great place to have a music career; there are many opportunities.