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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. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prolific...

Okay. I admit it. I haven't been blogging as much. But I honestly prefer this to when I wasn't as busy and I would struggle to come up with something to blog about. These days, each time I do write a blog it's more than likely because I genuinely have something to report, or even better, some kind of meaningful observation about things in my life. I think it's healthy to take a step back and acknowledge things every once in a while. It's also important to come up with a more definitive and descriptive word to use besides things. And that I intend to do by means of clarifying exactly what I mean by things.

Things. Ya know? Stuff. Okay, that's enough.

Really though, I'm working a lot lately. Yesterday I did a lot of editing on the new piece. It's all recorded samples of my piano being tuned that have been processed in various ways, as I may have mentioned. So far it's been pretty rewarding and I've come up with some fantastic sounds but I'm far from done. I'm thinking I may have moved too fast from the intial editing samples phase to the actual composition phase. It's good though because I was just trying out some ideas. Ideas which begot more ideas and so on and so forth. Now, I feel like I need to go back to the raw material and come up with even more ideas.

It felt good to just dive in. I haven't had a project in what seems like a while, and to do it with a fresh start (i.e. after having reinstalled everything on my computer) was kind of nice. I even checked online on Mozy.com today to make sure that they've been backing up my project files and everything...and they are, thank god. Still heartbreaking to think of all the things I lost.

Anyway, on top of that I managed to record myself reading some practice scripts for the voice over endeavour and I'm going to be honest. It was a little disheartening but I don't think I'm hopeless. You know how you sometimes cringe when you hear your own voice? Well, add to that the fact that I may not have the right mic for my voice type. I figured a condensor mic would be good for my deep bassy voice because of the frequency response but I'm actually talking about the quality of the mic and the software, and even my preamp. I already have to do some noise reduction because my room is not the quietest.

Really though, I don't expect anything I produce at home to sound professional right away, or even at all. I'm fully prepared to do a demo elsewhere. But I really do think I need to get more comfortable in front of a mic, lose some of the dipthongs and even work on my smoothing out my accent a little. And it probably wouldn't hurt to take a little better care of my voice. Sad, that I sing in a choir and I don't.

I even got a little down hearted yesterday as a result of all of this stuff. (Not the music work from yesterday but the voice over practice). See, the industry guidebook I'm using which Edge Studios provides for free is very thorough and also very honest. There's a whole section on talking you out of doing voice over if you don't have the stuff. And it's sad really that my first reaction to hearing my voice back and not thinking it was professional enough, was to recall the brutal honesty in that particular section of the guidebook and to start getting discouraged. A lot of us do this though, I'm sure. You get your first impression about something and then you run with it instead of coming up with an alternative way of seeing the situation. But I'm talking about myself here, so I'll speak for myself when I say that I'm too hard on myself in these cases and I know it.

One thing I will say for myself though is that even though I can be so hard on myself, thanks to the experiences I've had, my therapy years back and a little bit of Buddhist wisdom thrown in on the side, it's easy for me to bounce back and have no trouble pointing out to myself that whatever thoughts I'm thinking are not necessarily reality and I don't have to accept it as such. I heard a good quote from Anais Nin tonight on a movie I was watching: "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Could be applicable here.

Hearing my voice back after recording may have initially made me think I wasn't cut out for voice over after all, but instead, a day later, I'm thinking that all it really means is that I need practice...before I can say with any authority that I truly am not cut out for it. So let's proceed I say.

A bit exciting to be trying something new. Now it's going to be part of my routine when I can fit it in to record myself reading at least up until the seminar on the 28th of April.

Another thing I've been trying out too, in the name of organization and productivity, is to keep a word processing document of all my notes on pieces I'm writing. Starting with Jahna, the dancer's piece. It helps me between sessions to write down what I did during each session and what I think I should try to accomplish for the next one. Keeps me on point and keeps me from having one of those experiences where I sit down and wonder what the hell I was thinking the last time I worked on it, or wonder where to start. This way I'll stay focused and no ideas get lost...or rather, fewer ideas get lost.

All that having been said, I think I need to make a pact with myself not to let my shyness and the way I'm unsure of myself sometimes dictate the way I react to situations like the aforementioned. Sure, my voice on those recordings should make me realize I'm not quite ready yet but I shouldn't automatically assume that it means I'm no good at something. The same applies to music as well. I think too often over the past few years I've given up opportunities or let them pass right by because I thought I wasn't ready yet or capable. I feel like Marty McFly at the beginning of Back to the Future. "I just don't think I can handle that type of rejection," was my mantra when I'd read down the list of music festivals and competitions, commissions and whatnot. I didn't think I'd measure up or fit in with the composers submitting their compositions there.

Granted, that never kept me from composing. It just kept me (and keeps me) from ever having my work showcased or even heard by anyone except you guys, over the internet. But that's why I'm making a pact to not let thinking like that paralyze me. I've already shown that I can come up with alternative ways of thinking of my own volition and without needing anyone to talk me out of any ruts, so why not just switch it on when I start to think like that?

Watch me in the coming months, I think I might just go crazy and someone might have to use the word prolific in a sentence. On that note...

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