Many Threads

Part One

August 17, 2019

I am writing to you while on set. I am music directing a musical a short film in Seattle, WA called Sing Along. This is my first time doing this. So far it has involved creating and producing the song featured in the film (which was written by the Executive Producer), tracking rough vocals, listening to samples of the actor’s voices and figuring out who should sing what. Saturday while on set we rehearsed the actors and discussed the shooting of the song with the director and choreographer.  On Sunday we choreographed and shot the performance of the song. Now we move into post where we will finalize all the music including original score which I will also be composing. 

This new experience has been so rewarding. Also brilliant to have the complete change of pace which is leaving my comfy little studio and coming on set here in Issaquah, Washington.  It is fascinating and educational to watch everyone do their job: grip, First AD, HMU (hair and makeup), wardrobe, sound recordist, DP, production designer, still photographer; so much happening. Everyone is working together like a well-oiled machine. I love hearing how Justin the first AD runs the show. He always “invites” everyone to set; such a lovely and welcoming way to be called to work. Discipline and respect is required to get good coverage, and quickly.

This isn’t my first time on set, but it has been a while and I’m thankful to be back in this world again. It educates you more about filmmaking and you can always learn more about the world you work within. 

I am here after a week of doing something else entirely:  the main focus of my days was scoring the documentary pilot Who Is Your Teacher and video game Beyond Blue. I was also gearing up to score supervise and music edit a feature which will be the focus of next week. On Tuesday I also met with my fellow JMH Leads to discuss upcoming projects and overall business management. A busy week which required thoughtful time management. 

Part Two

August 31, 2019

It is two weeks after I wrote the first section and since then I haven’t had a chance to publish a blog post.

Right now this is what my life looks like: 

While this is a juggle, it is also really exciting to be working on such a variety of projects. I feel like I am constantly being stretched as a composer, musician and entrepreneur and so my growth has to continue. No choice! As you know, the longer you do this, the more you realize how much you do not know. It is humbling. But that’s a very good thing. 

One reason I am sharing all this is not to say “look at everything I am doing”. I am sharing because this is how I survive: by diversifying. I am doing a variety of things, all related to music and utilizing the unique skill set that I have. It keeps things interesting and exciting and it challenges me.

When I first came to LA I thought the goal was to be a composer. Period. Now my goal is to use every skill at my disposal to create a better life for myself. One that I enjoy. That provides financial stability. That fulfills me. I wish the same for all of you. 

The other reason that I am sharing this is to show you why I am going to stop blogging for a while. When I started writing at the beginning of this year it brought me so much joy. It was something I had really wanted to do, and it was great to finally do it. But now I am finding that I want, and need, to hone my focus as tightly as my diverse workflow will allow. Pretty sure that sentence didn’t make sense but hopefully you understand. I am trying to become clear on what I need to be doing right now, and what I can take a break from. Life suddenly feels filled to overflowing, something I am incredibly grateful for, but in order to not burnout I need to simplify.

Also, while at the beginning of the year I really felt I had something to share with you all, now I feel like I just want to be quiet. Spend some time listening, and thinking. If there’s one thing I have learned from the ebb and flow of my journey thus far, it is to pay attention to these shifts in desire. It is so easy in life to keep doing something simply because you have been doing it. It is a lot more challenging and risky to say: “I don’t want this anymore. It was working, but now it doesn’t.” I have found the risk and challenge is worth the reward.

I would not be surprised if I blog from time to time, but it will now only be when I have a burning thing to share with you. I have appreciated all of you reading my thoughts thus far, and have enjoyed hearing your thoughts and feedback. It has been a great way to connect with my community and I look forward to connecting further in all sorts of different ways, online and and IRL.

Most of all, I hope that if you have taken anything away from my posts it is this:

Do Your Thing.

Figure out what fulfills you and pursue it. Break the mold, find a new path, try it your way. Wow, Holy Cliché Batman! All of that has the potential to sound incredibly trite, but I do mean it in the most genuine of ways. I strongly believe you will have the greatest chance of success if you combine hard work, expertise and excellence in your field with being as YOU as you can possibly be. Then your product will be unique. No one will be able to match it.

Being a composer, or a writer, or a musician, or anything entrepreneurial, is terrifying and comes with absolutely no guarantee of success. You may fail, but you’ll learn and grow a lot in the process. I believe that’s the keystone of a life well lived: growth. Leaving letter A and arriving at a different letter a better, wiser human.

So I’m off to explore the alphabet. I’ll see you around. Happy creating.

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