Legion-Z. Wtf?

So, some of you may be coming here wondering, what the heck is sericane.com and why is it “presenting” Legion-Z? Well, I am Sericane. If you’re wondering who I am, check out the “Who Is Sericane?” page up top. What is sericane.com? Well, it’s…this. What you’re looking at. This purple and black craziness.

You see, I’m a writer. A writer with no audience, really. So, I made my own website to host my poetry, articles, ramblings and rantings, thoughts and musings, etc. I made it in the hope of getting into the freelance writing business, and the hope that I wouldn’t lose anymore of my writing by hosting them on other random sites where I used to share my stuff with other writers, like zenhex.com. Which was an old forum that died and took about 100 of my old poems with it. But, that’s neither here nor there. Why did I say that sericane.com is presenting Legion-Z? Good question. I’m not entirely sure I have a good answer, except that I am one person, doing both. I write, and I’m trying to create something AWESOME, locally.

“Where did this idea come from?” Another good question, imaginary person in my head. A funny story, really. You see, I recently became the legal guardian to my 16 year old nephew. And you know what he does? All day? Every day? (When he’s not in school.) He stares at his phone. Constantly. On TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, FaceTime…whatever. He stays staring at his phone. The only thing he does for fun, sometimes, is go up to the church near our house, which has a basketball hoop, to play ball. Because, despite finding a cheap basketball hoop for our driveway, gravel isn’t very conducive to proper dribbling. So, that’s all he does. Stay on social media and occasionally shoot a basketball for a couple hours. And that…that really fricken sucks, man. Especially on the weekend, there is literally NOTHING for him to do with his friends besides maybe hang out at each other’s houses and do exactly what they do when they’re not hanging out together. That is…TikTok, Snapchat, Insta…etc etc. You get it.

It got me thinking about my teenage years (I’m 29 now). I remember going to the mall to walk around with friends for a few hours before going Cosmic Bowling at Alpine. For a short while, there was an 18 and under dance club called The Loft behind the Interstate Foodland, but it didn’t last long. There were fights, and other negative crap because the owner was literally the only adult on site aside from the DJ.

Nowadays, kids don’t even hang out at the Mall anymore. They don’t really go bowling. There’s no movie theater anymore. The old skating rink is now an expensive restaurant. During the week, they can go to The Common Ground Teen Center for a few hours. But on the weekend? There’s literally nothing. That’s kinda crappy, ya know? A city the size of Washington…has next to nothing for teenagers to do that doesn’t involve at least a 15 minute drive into Canonsburg and/or costs a few pretty pennies. Meanwhile, we’re getting all these new fancy restaurants that most of the population of Washington can’t even afford to eat at. And yet, nothing new for the older kids. That’s crappy, too.

Now, as some may know, I am a HUGE fan of live music. Rock concerts, especially. I love the camaraderie that’s present in a crowd of people who are all there for the same thing…music, and good vibes. So I thought, why can’t we have something similar here, but on a smaller scale? Originally, I started looking into permanent venues and places to lease or buy to put on something like this. But then reality hit. I’m a working mom and a full-time student. I can’t afford a lease on a piece of commercial property. But, at the same time, I really wanted to try out this pop-up concert idea. I want to give these kids something new and fun to do. So I started to look into places to rent for just one night. I thought of banquet halls and everything, and remembered the hall at the American Legion from the one football banquet I attended there back when I was the only girl on the Trinity East Wildcat’s football team. My mind screamed “PERFECT! LET’S DO IT!”

Then I started thinking, if I do this, we should sell food. But, cheap. So that parents can send their kids with $20 and know that they’ll be taken care of for the night. So I thought about the various pizza shops I worked at. One said no, straight off. *ahem*. Another one, ehhh, didn’t really leave on good terms. The third one, well, Domino’s. Blech. (Sorry, not sorry). And the fourth…well, I had just had a nice conversation with the owner about a week prior. So, I figured what the heck. Let’s see how much he’ll charge me for this many pizzas.

So, now I had the price for the location, food, and I went on Sam’s Club and looked up the price of a few cases of pop and water.

Then I started looking for the entertainment. And looking. And looking. And…what the heck happened to the era of high school bands and the local music scene in WashPA? Are they all hiding? Am I just not looking in the right places? These are questions I still currently do not have the answers to. So, I figured the next best thing would be a local DJ. Maybe somebody not very well known, but who has all the bells and whistles. So I messaged an old buddy I used to work at a pizza shop with, who’s since become a well-rounded DJ with all the bells and whistles. Lights, lasers, speakers, etc. And, he’s only a few years younger than me so he’ll know what teens are listening to these days (because I sure don’t). So, I got his booking fee…and suddenly I had all the numbers to figure out exactly what it would cost to host something like this.

Then I looked at this big ol’ number…and at my bank account. Yeahhh….they did not match up at all. So, crowdfunding! With the way I priced everything, and the turn-out I’m hoping for, if this first event can get funded, then the money made from the entry fees and food would pay for the next one. Which would pay for the next one. Which would pay for the next one. So on and so forth, you get it.

But, what about kids who can’t afford the $10? Well…I learned from a young age to work for what I have. I learned work ethic. Maybe others would be willing to do the same. So, I’m going to create a sign-up sheet for each event. The first 8 to sign-up to work the concession for a half hour each get a free entry. The first 5 to sign up to stay late to help clean up get a free entry, too. Boom. Additionally, I’m a student. I feel like good grades and effort should be rewarded. So, show the concession stand an A on your most recent report card, get a free slice of pizza. Straight As? Two free slices and a drink.

My plans and dreams for this are extensive. I do want to eventually find a permanent location. I want to find local bands and musicians that these teens will enjoy. I want to have genre nights. One night, a rock band, the next, an up-and-coming local hip-hop artist, the next, a pop artist. Heck, I’d even love to do a battle of the bands with prize money and everything. I want to do…a lot of things. But, everything has to start somewhere, right? So, why not just start with a night of dancing and pizza, and see how it goes?

A few people have asked, what about the “bad eggs”. The ones who start fights and all the other general bad-eggyness? That’s why we’ll have volunteer adults on site. To keep an eye on things, keep everything kosher, without being overbearing buzz-kills. Chaperones. Additionally, every adult will have their Child Abuse Clearance before becoming an approved chaperone.

My hope is to create something that these teens love enough that they won’t WANT to screw it up. They’ll want to protect the one thing that was created FOR them. Hopefully, the good-eggs will outnumber the bad-eggs 20 to 1, and it won’t even be an issue. Either way, we won’t know until we give them a chance, right?

Now, lastly: Why “Legion-Z”? Simple. The age group this is geared toward are all Gen-Z. Yea, I’m Gen-Y. The “Entitled Millenial” *rolling eyes emoji*. But why can’t Gen-Y support Gen-Z, and create a Legion of Z’s? Plus, I asked my Twitch-Music discord family for ideas for what to call this crazy idea and I just fell in love with the suggestion of Legion-Z. Because the Zoomers are a Legion. They’ve already created mountains of change that we’ve only dreamed of over the years. They’ve been navigating these “unprecedented times” and forced to deal with a world in chaos while having no say in how any of the chaos plays out. Plus, they’re living in the new era of NO SNOW DAYS!!! That’s a crime against students everywhere. So, I figure it’s time we do something for them. After all, the great aspect of crowdfunding is that if it fails, many people are only out a negligible amount of money, instead of one person investing in a concept and losing a large amount of money that they can’t afford to lose.

Consider Legion-Z an experiment. A dream. A hope. An insane idea. Whatever floats your boat. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to try to create something positive, in this world that’s so consistently filled with so many negatives.

Thank you for reading!

-Sericane/Julia/Julz

If you think this is something you can get behind, any and all donations and shares are super appreciated! http://gofundme.com/f/legion-z-startup

Lastly, follow the Legion-Z Facebook page for current updates, especially about the tentative date of this event as that is entirely dependent upon if we hit our funding goal in time: https://www.facebook.com/Legion-Z-111521064672430

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