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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

2003 Anjou Villages Brissac

I opened a 10 year old bottle of wine this weekend that I've been saving for almost 7 years.  What was I saving it for?  I have no idea.  When I bought it I was newly single and in France, in the town where I studied in 2002, hanging with my parents and my aunt. I smuggled it back to the States and put it in my wine rack.  When I think back, any number of occasions have passed on which I could have imbibed this bottle, an Anjou Villages Brissac from 2003...Brissac being a chateau that I visited during my study abroad trip all those years ago.  The bottle itself was one of which I had bought a 1996 vintage back in 2002 on that trip and drank relatively soon after returning to the States.  So, sure, it's got a little bit of sentimental value and that, but ultimately, I kept pushing back when I was supposedly going to open it. In fact, I actually never really assigned it any special occasion on which I would potentially open it.

I felt a little like Paul Giamatti's character in "Sideways" with his 1961 Cheval Blanc that he saves and saves, saying it was supposed to be for his 10th wedding anniversary but ultimately ends up drinking it out of a paper cup in a White Castle at the end of the movie.  He supposedly does this in response to a line by Virginia Madsen's character: "The day you open a '61 Cheval Blanc, that's the occasion."  So I kept thinking about that.  My weirdly oenophile boss at NY1 would always point out that a 10 year old wine that's been moved as many times as this one has is as likely as not to be peaking and/or past its prime, perhaps even spoiled.  So, the pressure has been on for a while to hurry up and just open the damned thing, occasion or not.

I could have picked any milestone along the way in my career(s).  First paid music gig (happened years ago), moving to NY (also happened years ago, with not nearly as much fanfare as you'd think), first paid voice over gig (been there, done that), first time getting two VO gigs in one month (also, knocked that one out last year), getting a voice over agent (who knows?), getting a music agent (also who knows?), the time I got a contract with a licensing agency (also barely any fanfare).   Hell, I could have even waited just slightly longer to see what happens with "The Life" and if it gets picked up and if they use my music and/or hire me as the composer.

But I opted to open it with a friend, during the day on a work day to celebrate our shared birth month. I think the point was to share it with someone versus just celebrating by myself.  That's the sad part about the end of Sideways.  Even though he finally just drinks his Cheval Blanc, he's alone whilst doing it and in the saddest of places: a fast food joint.

But let me tell you, I do have something to celebrate.  It's been a damned good month so far.  That voice over gig I had on April 1st?  I knocked it out of the park.  There were three different directions I was given to go in and on the third and final one ("tight with tension," a direction they weren't sure how else to describe), I nailed it, eliciting wide eyed excitement from the director and a woman from the publishing company who sat in on the session.

That afternoon, I was rushing over to NY1 after the job to try and knock out another audition for this same client, borrowing a mic from the head editor and using the tracking booth to do it.  This promo for a sequel to "The Bone Collector," I managed to really hit the mark, coming off the "Bourne Ascendancy" gig early that day with a lot of energy and a good sense of what works for these kinds of jobs.  So the next morning, I had an email from the director saying they liked my read and wanted to book me for the job and get me in the studio the very next day.  So, that's two VO gigs in one week, better than I've done to date.  And the money? Let's just say I made enough for my rent and then some in the space of two hours of hard work.  I'd say that's reason enough to open any bottle of wine at any time of the day.

And sure there'll be other occasions, other milestones.  But I'll go out and buy more bottles of good wine to celebrate them when I get there.  For now, you guessed it, I gotta go to sleep.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Focus on the Narrative...

It's cold in Cape Cod and how the wind howls!  I stepped outside earlier today to go and see if the CVS two doors down from this house was open and had to hold the hat I borrowed from my dad on my head to keep it from getting picked up by the wind.  I was only going to seek out tissues because this head cold has forced me to consume almost every facial tissue that was in this house when we arrived yesterday.

So far, despite having the sicks still, I've had a great time.  Today was a long day of just hanging out in the house and meeting relatives from my mom's side either whom I've never met or wouldn't remember meeting.  Been awful nice to not leave the house all day except for a fruitless trip to an already closed drug store mere steps from the house.  Oh and one slightly longer walk earlier in the day before everyone arrived when it was weirdly warmer.  I think it's helped me get over this cold a little.  Even after taking last Wednesday off, I think I must've relapsed as I have been coughing and coughing and blowing my nose incessantly.

The good thing is my voice has come back up a few notes in pitch and is not squeaky despite the veritable assault of four days of non stop coughing.  The voice over gig is slated for Tuesday at 1pm and I was told in the audition notes "younger, edgier, not voice of god."  You should've heard me Thursday and Friday at work.  People would ask, when I answered the phone, "Tim?" as if I'm the only one whose voice could possibly be that low but acknowledging that something definitely wasn't right.

Yes.  It was me.  Barry White had nothing on me.  But it wouldn't have been appropriate for this read.   Well it might've worked but the point is that's not what they said they want...and after all I have the range...on a good day.  The job is an ad for a new Bourne novel called Bourne Ascendancy.  Kind of an exciting gig, really.  And I really hope I can keep getting gigs like this.  I need stuff to pad my promo demo because I really only have one job and a few solid recordings from coaching sessions that I can include on there now.   The promo demo is something that I've wanted to get rolling for quite a while...really since that first promo gig, "Scarlet," that I did in November 2012.  They've got to be the most fulfilling jobs I do.  Ask anyone who's ever watched network television sitting on the couch next to me.  Whenever a network promo or movie trailer comes on, I mimic the voice style and ham it up.  I love it.

Of course, sounding like those guys is not the only thing that gets jobs.  As my coach and I have discussed in our sessions, it's about sounding believable.  Thinking about the words and not just how my voice sounds.  You can start to obsess over it and then you forget things like properly breathing and a phrase or two could drop out at the end and you have to do a retake and things get slowed down and the director gets impatient and the whole experience can be unpleasant and then they never hire you again.  Okay, that's like, worst case scenario, but you get the idea.  Focus on the script.  Tell the story.

Focus on the script.  Tell the story.  Replace script with narrative and it's good advice for both of my endeavors.  "The Life" score is the same.  If the music is not helping to tell the story and is just there because of some convoluted obsession with canvasing the visuals with aural support, then its effectiveness could be minimal to nil.

Thankfully there's a tiny bit less pressure on the scoring because I can watch the scenes over and over, retreat for a day or so and come back to it and ask myself, "is this still working?"  It's remarkable how I've actually become dissatisfied with my first takes and wanted desperately to go back and fine tune it.  At first, they sounded great (even the director liked them) but now they sound like music playing in the background.  I know that that literally is what it is but you don't want it to sound like music playing in the background.  I'd rather people not notice my music at all until the parts where it's supposed to shine.

At any rate, my first takes now sound childish and elementary, so my second takes sound like gold now that I have a clearer idea of what I want for each scene.  The opening cue is a great example.  I had music playing from the start of the scene and it was basically a structured song with a chord progression and a melody, albeit stripped back.  Just an electric guitar with delay strumming whole note chords and my token backwards guitar melody.   The mood of the music really struck a chord (boy, I really didn't want to use that phrase just then) with the director so we moved forward with it. That cue ended up being on the cut that went to the Boston screening.  But there was something wrong with the audio channels from the dialogue track and when it got burned to DVD some of the character's lines in that scene were completely missing.  So we just had background noise and my music.  So, now all of a sudden, my music is laid bare, flaws in my performances and all.

But what was most compelling was that, on my second listen, I started to realize that a continuous musical idea was not fitting this scene.  The first thing you hear in the opening scene is music.  And once you're hearing it you can't unhear it.  So, all of the other things you're supposed to be noticing about the scene are diminished (especially when the lines of dialogue are missing).

The solution, I figured, was to strip it way back.  I tried an idea with all the audio I had already recorded.  I got rid of the strums on the delayed guitar and didn't even bring in the backwards melody until a few seconds into the scene.  The I let it fade before the main character's dialogue starts.  Then the music, as it was originally orchestrated swells up once the dialogue is done and carries us into the next scene.  This is an oversimplification of what's going on but, let's face it, I've never liked writing about what music sounds like.  Whenever I had to do it in graduate school, all attempts came across as asinine and contrived.  Program notes.  Pssht! Hated that shit.

But, I digress. Essentially, on the first pass, I got the mood right.  But it took a second pass and a mishap at the screening for me to return to it and reevaluate, attempting to also hit the mark with the music's timing and cadence.  It's all about feeling the rhythm of the scene itself and figuring out how to make the music match that rhythm.  Focus on the narrative.  Tell the story.

That's all for tonight guys.  Tomorrow I'm hanging out with my 94 year old Uncle Norman again and my dad's sister, Aunt Suzy before they drop me off in Boston for the bus ride home.  4 hours in a bus and I only have one episode of "True Detective" left.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Big things...

I thought I was going to let an entire month go by with just one blog entry.  Truth is I haven't felt like writing.  Not that there haven't been things to write about nor that I haven't been busy.  I guess I just got to a spot where I was re-evaluating this whole blog, its purpose and what it brings to me.  I envisioned it, at first, as a chronicle, and, at some point, I thought maybe I could pepper it with advice on moving to NYC, on being a composer, or on just following your dreams despite the odds.  I've done all those things and various people have taken notice, gotten something from my blog themselves or just cheered me on.

At the end of five years and two months doing this and writing a blog about it, though, it feels like its main purpose is still a journal for me.  And I think I'm okay with that.  For a few months, I'd been perusing so many amazing blogs and seeing what kind of traffic they have and then questioning whether or not I had something so valuable to offer.  Maybe I could find something, if I thought about it.  Maybe I could reinvent my blog altogether.

But then again, don't I have two simultaneous careers going here? I'm getting close to a lot of big things (I've been over how I don't believe in jinxes or superstitious things before), and maybe if I ever do get there, I'll cap off this blog and save it somewhere and start a new one. I'll find the time to write something more valuable and substantial when I figure my shit out.  For now, let me talk about what those big things are.

I just got another voice over gig, slated for next Tuesday, this one an advertisement for a novel.  This is the same guy who hired me to do "Scarlet" a few years back. A repeat customer worth his salt, unlike the one a few summers ago who wanted me to work for peanuts and wouldn't give me copies of my work.  This is also the highest paying single gig yet.  So, I'm feeling pretty good. 

Minus a little bug I'm fighting with a sick day and copious amounts of ginger tea and the like (got some essential oils from a friend, too).  Oh, and one newly delivered memory foam mattress which I unraveled this morning.  You should've seen the thing inflate.  I wasn't even done stripping all the plastic off it before it start to extrude out of the bag and take over my suddenly tiny bedroom. 


It's the most comfortable thing I've ever laid down on.  I already feel millions of times better in it than I have on the old spring mattress.  I was having all kinds of problems of late, with my back, especially my neck and even my ankles (?). 

But moving along, I mentioned that "The Life" had a screening in Boston a few weeks ago.  A few new players are coming on the scene and it's still got a lot of interest behind it.  Survivors at the screening were very moved by it.  And, while we're still working on the edit and all that, I'm back to tweaking the score again.  Unfortunately, because of the timeline of this screening we hadn't had a chance to do any kind of sound design so my score wasn't best represented and one of the producers didn't like it.  The writer/creator/producer that I'm friends with stood up for me and pointed out that the lack of proper sound design basically rendered it nearly impossible to achieve a decent mix with the music.  Plus, these cues were a tad bit thrown together and, in my mind at least, still preliminary, due to the short notice decision to put music on it in the first place, for this screening. 

At any rate, I'm not letting any of that shake me. I've got a great chance to do some meaningful revisions and have already re done most of the score, aiming for much more subtle renderings of my ideas.  I'm in the throes of digesting the first season of "True Detective," as well, and listening closely to the music cues on that one.  Spectacularly done.  All of it. 

It gives me great refreshers on what kind of stuff works and what doesn't.  My aim for this score, as with any score of its nature, is to hide between lines of dialogue and to never draw attention to the score, and overall, just go with a "less is more" approach given the subject matter and the strength of these performances.  I've found that simple things like slowly fading in the musical idea, or just going with something extremely brief at just the right spot instead of covering the whole scene, or even just having the overall volume of it lower, are all very effective methods.  That last one is also why an overall mix that was not given any attention drew attention to all the flaws in the score.  When something doesn't work, you can really tell when it's louder than anything else.   

It's really hard to score like this, incidentally, with things unfinished. So ultimately, I'm going to wait to do my final mix until I've heard something a little more ironed out.  But that doesn't mean I can't keep working now on the overall ideas. 

So, that's where I am.  There's really only one cue for me to retouch.  And then countless (I hope not) revisions on the others.  I have a brand new 12-string guitar coming in the mail soon and will be using that to rerecord one of the cues.  The guitar that I have had since I was 16, I'm finally through with.  It developed a nasty fret buzz on the open E-string, so I took it in to my guitar guy to see what it would take to fix it and he spotted that my bridge was coming away from the body of the guitar.  A few twists of the truss rod got rid of the buzz somewhat but he told me it could be up to $300 to fix everything.  Some of my frets are coming up as well too.  I paid somewhere around $200 for it in 1996.  So, I figured, time for a new guitar...especially since I need it to work on this score.  I'm so psyched about having a new guitar, too.  Not about selling the old one though.  That's always a pain. 

Anyway, up ahead this weekend, for my mother's birthday, I'm heading up to Cape Cod for the weekend.  It should be nice to get away for a hot second...even if it's the Cape and it's going to probably be colder than here.  Some day it will get warmer...I keep telling myself that.  I'll update next week after that VO gig.  Meanwhile, I sleep in my new bed. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The process...

It's good to have goals.  It's great to achieve them sometimes.  But sometimes, it's just amazing to still be trying.  I say this as I sit discouraged in one of the areas I've applied myself while simultaneously more confident than I've ever been in another.  Voice Over felt like it had a strong start this year but none of the audition invites I've had in the past few weeks have turned into anything.  In fact, the only one that got close was cancelled.  Music, on the other hand, has shown some early promise and despite the odds of any of the opportunities I'm presented with really going well, it just feels really invigorating to be writing again.  Creating for a change instead of waiting for things I've put out there to garner me attention. 

This is when I feel most in my element, making something and, in the moment, not caring what happens with it beyond what the director or producer is going to think. That time when my mind hasn't gotten to the point where I'm wondering if the end product will be seen by the right people.  I'm just in my head creating.  I just want to see it get done the same way I can't stand to look at a pile of dishes unwashed in the sink.  I see a project that needs doing and I just go at it until it's done.  The challenge of figuring out the best way to accomplish it, strategically navigating the obstacles of each music cue, the intricacies of the plot and the structure of each scene, that eureka moment when I try something and it works.  All of it is what I live for. 

There was a moment when George and I were going over some of my cues and we decided to try taking two elements from two separate cues from earlier in the episode and melding them together to really highlight a certain change in this one scene.  Unanimous positive reaction and high fives all around.  My mind just buzzing with delight at the accomplishment in the moment.  See?  Why in the hell would I want to do something else besides exactly this? 

I wrapped up the seven cues for the pilot episode (down from a potential ten), just this evening and I'm not even technically done.  This screening on Friday in Boston at the Harvard School of Public Health is a preliminary test screening of sorts and the episode itself still has some phases to go through before we actually premiere it.  A few changes to the edit and pretty much all of the sound design still remain to be tackled.  The idea was for me to get some music on this thing so that it wasn't so rough around the edges when we screen it for the first time.  We lucked out, in fact, that George and I had a good week of nightly meetings since our shifts at NY1 overlap by a half hour.  So we were able to hash things out real time.  Which is a great experience and certainly tops batting emails back and forth and waiting for the other party to reply.

So, anyway, the work there is done for a while but, depending on the degree to which this thing changes and how much the sound design effects my own mix, I will be doing a fair bit more work but the bulk of it is done.  The cues are written, timed, recorded for the most part (though I may re record because, let's face it, I'm a perfectionist), and time codes have been meticulously laid out for start times and all that. But it's an understatement to say that I can't wait for this thing to come to fruition.  We're all hoping it'll open up some doors for us.  But again, regardless, I live for this process so I'm trying not to get up in my head about all that. 

I have another potential job that just came up tonight writing a bumper for a friend, this, in addition to the feature length that I might be doing.  Knowing that I potentially have more work in the future is a huge boost right now.   

Now, I can't even let it get me down that voice over success has not been the same.  The two have progressed at their own rate all along and I've obviously been composing longer than doing voice over.   I choose to take away this from this past two months: I'm still getting attention for my voice and the reasons I didn't get those jobs (besides that one being cancelled) is more likely to do with the clients just wanting a different sound than it is anything to do with my read itself.  Even if it was, that's why I have a voice coach, to whom I'm taking my audio files and those scripts in a week.  In other words, not sitting on my ass and whining about another failure.  I see failure as an opportunity to find out what I did wrong and improve.   No other way. 

With that said, it's late, as it always is when I'm writing, and I should finish this amazing gluten free beer and get ready for another day.  Good night!




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Productive...

Nothing like a productive Monday to put me in the mood for a late night glass of wine.  This Rioja I picked up a few weeks ago...pretty damned good.  And why not?  I got so much done in a day.  Started off with a quick breakfast of fried over easy and toast and out the door early to drop some clothes off at Goodwill in Downtown Brooklyn, then off to the best yoga class I've had in a while with the inimitable Holly Ramey.  Something about deep twists and creative sequences and just the right amount of balance poses and add to that my frame of mind and a nice sit before class, I was on cloud nine.  Perfect way to start up the day.  Got to catch up with a yoga friend on my way out the door and then I was off.  Cooked lunch at home and then sat down and proceeded to write three more cues for "The Life" to add to the one I started yesterday.  Got to work on time, emailed the director and producer the spotting notes and the cues thus far and finished out my shift at NY1.

Now I'm back and still wide awake.  My co worker at NY1 says to me this evening, "I don't know how you find the time."  I don't either.  But the fact that I do find the time, gives me a great deal of faith that we'll be able to get some music put together before this thing gets screened in Boston in two weeks.  I'm going to have to clear my schedule just a little bit but we should be fine.  I think, since we're all in agreement that the edit still needs some work, that we're not even going to try to get this thing perfect before this first screening but they did ask me, since we have time, to put together at least a few music cues.  I went ahead and spotted the whole thing, like I said the other day, and now I wait to see what we'll focus on actually covering.  It's exciting.  The main title sequence is in the works now too, so I'm getting to see what that's going to look like with my music.  The director was nice enough to have my credit for "Original music by" come on screen right when the song goes into the guitar solo.  Epic.

So, fit to burst with excitement in just getting to work again but also not getting too far ahead of myself.  It is nice to envision the finish line every once in a while but you gotta keep running to get there.

On another note, had a great time this weekend and saw two great shows on top of going to a yoga workshop with two of my friends from the Nicaragua trip on Saturday (good to see them again but the workshop was crowded).  After the workshop though, I was off to Four Tet at Terminal 5 on Saturday night (epic set), at which I made a new friend, a musician from Cleveland who had won tickets and came to the city on a whim (with no second person to take his second ticket), and then Stephane Wrembel at Barbés on Sunday night (yet again, never gets old) for which I tried to get said new friend to join me but, being new to the city and not knowing the trains, he wound up in Queens by accident and resigned himself to heading back to the AirBnB where he was staying. But then I made more friends at Barbés just hanging out by myself, almost all of them musicians themselves.  One of whom plays in an awesome French fusion reggae band here in the city called DecaDence. They're pretty frickin' awesome. 

All around, times are good these days.  And I'm heading into the long week with a good feeling...which is a lot better than most Mondays.  So, onward and upward. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

Spotting...

I'm gonna do it.  I'm gonna start another blog entry with "It's late and I should be sleeping..." So here goes:

It's late and I should be sleeping.  But honestly, when you've got Nicaraguan rum and Jamaican style ginger beer and a head full of hope and thoughts of the future, it's hard to settle down.  Plus I had some work to do.  It's probably a little too soon, as the final cut has not been polished, but I've been spotting for "The Life." Mostly independently of the director and the production team so far, but George and I have chatted a tiny bit about it.

My process is usually this: (and I've gotten some of this from a lot of industry people who say this is their method, and it works for me)

I start by just watching the film/movie/episode/whatever one time through without any thoughts about music.  Then I add a second viewing where I'm also not writing anything down but I let thoughts about music start to creep in...incidentally this is why I hate it when editors put in temp music...most of the time.  It messes with my conception.  I couldn't get a Latin vibe out of my head for an early feature film I scored about 10 years ago because the director himself had put some canned Latin loops in the opening scene.  Anyway, on the third viewing I actually make notes about what scenes can use music, coming up with names like "So and so takes a walk in the park" which sometimes end up as the actual title of said music cue.  Still no time codes at this point, though.  This is the point at which I like to sit down with the director and ask their thoughts and usually get shot down on a few things.  Then and only then do I actually sit down and start riffing while watching the film...quite possibly the funnest part of all.  This is when it really starts to take shape.  Incidentally, I really like it when a director has strong opinions about where and when and how music should go...okay, not always how.  Sometimes I just want them to let me do my thing.  But you can't have it your way all the time. 

Further refining of ideas comes and then I start to nail down starting and ending time codes so it's not all "music stops when so and so walks out of frame."  Then it comes down to actual production which is where the real magic happens, the fun part.  Who am I kidding?  It's all fun. That's why I do this.  And why I've been dying to get started on this project. 

In my spare moments over the past few weeks, while I've waited, I've started to dream up my next vacation.  And yes, it's to Nicaragua. Again.  But I've been approaching it with the same zeal with which I approached the trip to France I planned in 2007 for my parents and my aunt.  After all, planning is so much fun!  Maybe that's why I also like the planning stages of composing a film score.  I like organization.  But at the same time, I love that feeling of uncertainty right before implementation.  That "how is this going to go?"  That fear of failure and desire for success.  It's positively exhilarating.

The Nicaragua trip won't take place until next January more than likely (because it's contingent upon my accrual and usage of vacation hours) but I have my sights on an island comprised of two volcanoes, one active, one extinct, in Lake Nicaragua called Ometepe that a co worker informed me about.  I found this site which I have fully digested now, and through which I've almost chosen a hotel.   I also plan on starting the whole trip back at the Apoyo Lodge on the Apoyo crater lake because they host three day yoga retreats there all year round.  Then, I go to Ometepe and hike to a crater lake where I can swim, explore the island and take in the petroglyphs and then, when I'm fully exhausted, I get Gonzalo to meet me in San Pedro and drive me back to Casa Ola where I will stay for the remainder of my time...and finally learn to surf. 

It's gonna be one incredible year leading up to all that though.  It has to be. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Do you need to do this thing that you do?

The snow has piled up yet again, another layer on top of layer after layer of crusty snow, melted and refrozen god knows how many times.  On the rooftops and the sidewalks, the fire escapes and subway stairs, icicles and slush puddles, slicked over spots on the pavement, almost invisible until you lose your footing and realize you're still just one bad step away from finally wiping out, because you know it's going to happen eventually.  This is winter in New York City.  This is what I knew I was in store for but, admittedly, had idealized in my mind. 

Whatever, I'm over it.  I totally forgot to mention that as of a week ago I've been here 5 solid years.  Positively unflappable amongst the series of hard knocks it took to get here because let's face it, at the end of the day, I'm still having the time of my life. Anything is better than the suburban hell I almost found myself in (no offense to suburbia), but this is still my dream, and more than I could have hoped for or imagined myself doing, as recently as 7 years ago.  Even not having made it yet, just having the opportunity to give it everything I've got is something.

I read an article today in this week's New York magazine about Lupita Nyong'o, who's probably going to win an Oscar this year for "12 Years as a Slave," (which I've yet to see) and what stood out to me was a quote from Ralph Fiennes, with whom she spoke when she worked as a production assistant on the set of "The Constant Gardner" when they filmed in Kenya (where she's from).  "If there's something else you want to do, do that. Only act if you feel you can't live without it."  I've heard some version of this multiple times, in reference to difficult careers in show business; once from the great Henry Winkler the summer I worked as a TA at a Chapman University summer course on filmmaking, through Duke University's TIP program, when he spoke to our students and said, "Do you need to do this thing that you do? Or does it just sound exciting?"  Another time was during my interview for graduate school, only it was phrased more as a statement.  My soon-to-be composition instructor said that film scoring wasn't an easy path.  Without flinching or even thinking about my response, I shot back, "I'm not doing it because it's easy.  I'm doing it because I have to." Or some such haughty response. 

And I meant it.  I'd die without this.  I almost did.  And I don't mean keel over.  I mean, die inside.  I'd be living, but for what?  Do you know that what this career path, this lofty goal of mine does is sustain me?  Up until my battle with depression got to its worst, I hadn't really considered that.  But once I hit rock bottom and I realized that I wasn't taking it seriously and it was slipping away from me, something switched on inside me and I knew I had to change my path.  Otherwise the depression would have swallowed me whole and spit out an empty shell.  I had to do something different.  Sadly, it wasn't until my divorce that I was met face to face with how flippant I'd been, how casual about the whole thing I'd been.  I saw that I was the only thing standing in my way at that point was me.  Indeed the only thing that had ever been in my way was me. 

I won't say that I still don't battle with myself and with all the negative thoughts that creep up.  This is a hard career path, and such a small percentage of people who pursue it make something of themselves.  But to be honest, I've gotten realistic about it.  I don't want fame and an Oscar so much as I just want to be able to sustain myself with it.  And I know I can.  I have confidence.  Something that was lacking before.

And I have a good feeling about this year and all the opportunities cropping up.  If I believed in a jinx, I'd shut up and not say so much about what's in store but I'll start with this morning when I got a call about a promising sounding voice over audition out of the blue. Add to that, "The Life" is picking up momentum and I'll be scoring the pilot episode very soon.  There are others I won't speak of, not so much in the interest of not jinxing myself but to not get too far ahead of myself.  Because that's important too.  For the psyche.  The idea is minimizing the negative effects of disappointment by not getting my hopes up in the first place.  At least not too far up.