Get to know your community. Cortney.
Cortney has been in my life for as long as I can remember. She is my older sister, so that kind of goes without saying. She often gets mistaken for being younger, so much so that people sometimes think she is my little sister. Her age is something that surprises people when they learn that she is 37. She says, “I have a baby face.” Cortney was born and raised in South Florida, near Fort Lauderdale, and now lives in Sunrise, Florida. She has two jobs; she runs a tutoring center at a private, four-year research university as a full-time gig, and teaches as an adjunct at a local state school. Though this wasn’t her first choice in career when she was a kid but it was in her mind to be a teacher. When asked, as a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? She replied, “I wanted to be an anchor on MTV News. I was obsessed with it and it was my ultimate goal. I was convinced I’d be working with Kurt Loder and Tabatha Soren. As we all know, MTV News isn’t a thing anymore. Journalism was something that never really panned out for me. However, I also wanted to be a teacher and that is ultimately, what I have become. It’s a good fit.”
I have many things in my life to be grateful for that I can trace back to Cortney. We have shared so many great memories over the last 31 years of my life. I attended my first show, concert, and festival with her and it was all made possible because she had a love for music that she shared with me from such a young age. When asked, what music means to hear she replied, “It is my connection to the universe. Music is that feeling we all seek, that connection we crave. It is also a tie that closely bonds my brother and I in a way that is really special and unique. Not everyone can say his or her sibling is one of their ride or die, in it forever best friends.”
Cortney attended her first concert at 12 years old which was Bon Jovi at the Miami Arena. When I asked her about it she said, “I remember being so excited with the whole experience—waiting in line to buy tickets at the record store, driving to Miami, the crowd and the noise. It was one of the defining experiences of not only my childhood but also my whole life.” Just a few years later, when she was 16 years old she went to Lollapalooza 1996. She said, “I hadn’t been to anything on that scale before. It was a really eye opening opportunity to go to a show and see artists that I might not seek out on my own. I saw Shaolin Monks perform that year, which is something I definitely wouldn’t have paid for, but it was amazing.”
My sister Cortney has a very wide range of interests in life that are much wider then music and I probably couldn’t fit it all in to this article. Here are some insights to her,
What is your favorite concert memory?
“The way we connect with music is both personal and universal at the same time. So every good memory from a show is linked to recognizing that connection in someone else and sharing that experience. However, I will also always remember being picked to dance on stage at a Girl Talk show at the Fillmore on South Beach and spending the entire show totally raging, standing right next to Gregg.”
What is the best live show you’ve seen?
“I am going to go off script and say Weird Al. Even if comedy songs aren’t your thing, Weird Al is a great musician and performer. He has an unbelievable dedication to bringing his songs to life during the concert. The man recreates every music video, changing his outfits more times than most pop stars. Plus, it was the first live show for my stepsons and they were so happy, getting to experience that with them made it an unbeatable show.”
What is one thing, besides shows, that you must do at a festival?
“Take a shower. LOL Seriously though, watch people. People watching at a festival is THE. BEST. Not only is it amusing, it also reaffirms your faith in humanity. You see a little bit of everything, all ages, and races, and genders—everyone at a festival having a good time.”
What is a common misconception you feel people have about festivals?
“I know many people usually say that everyone thinks people are on drugs for their answer to this question, and I think that is not a genuine answer. Be honest people, many people are on drugs. For me, the biggest misconception is that everyone at a festival is a white, upper middle class millennial. Yes, that is a faction of festival attendance. But there is so much more to the festival population. Every festival isn’t Coachella (no offense). We aren’t all wearing Native American headdresses and crop tops while we Instagram the weekend away. A huge population of festival goers don’t fit the image that the media has created.”
Lately she has been saying after every festival that “This is the last one” but that has been going on for years. So, I’m confident we will be experiencing many more festivals and shows together. Cortney is my best friend and I love her on so many levels. I will leave you with her mantra or life philosophy.
“No day but today, and I’ll sleep when I’m dead. (That last one is close to going into retirement the older I get though)”