I've reached a point in my life where the percussionists I meet on a regular basis tend to fall into one of three categories:
- THE PROFESSIONAL - These are the people who have persevered in the face of intense competition, unpredictability and have found a meaningful place for themselves in the world of music by winning jobs in orchestras, founding their own ensembles/bands, piecing together their livings as freelancers, teaching, starting their own businesses or any combination of these things.
- THE RECENT GRADUATE - These are the people who have chosen to pursue a career in music, are graduating with Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees from the various conservatories and universities around the country, and who find themselves with a lot of questions to answer and stressful decisions to make as they enter the marketplace.
- THE STUDENT - These are the extremely talented, highly motivated high school and college/conservatory students who have unearthed a passion for music and have chosen to invest their discretionary time to pursuing a certain level of excellence in it. Some will choose to pursue music as a career, some will not, but in almost all cases, they possess an insatiable curiosity and eagerness to learn, discover, grow and succeed.
Somehow I have managed to carve out a place for myself in the first category as a freelance performer, teacher and business owner. When I talk to students and recent graduates, I end up answering a lot of the same types of questions: What is it like to sub on a Broadway show? When did you finally start to feel settled in New York and not worry about getting enough work? (Big reveal: NEVER!) How did you start working with [insert name of player/ensemble/contractor here]? The list goes on ...
So, this blog is a venue for me to share with those of you who are interested some of my experiences, insights and ideas about percussion, career, education and music in general from my perspective as a professional freelance percussionist in New York City. Along the way, I'm hoping that it will build community, inspire, provoke thought and discussion, and maybe even demystify some things about this crazy world we find ourselves in.