About Me

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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, July 28, 2010

The new business but first, a well deserved break...

Though there are tantalizing events transpiring out in the world of Brooklyn this evening, it's refreshing to spend an evening inside getting organized. I've been going through my online backups and seeing what files didn't download when I had to restore everything back in March. For some reason, I'm assuming because I selected every file on my online storage (some 80 GB worth of files), Mozy.com's system couldn't handle it. Plus, I'm realizing that there were a handful of files that were saved on my hard drive between my last backup before the crash(February 26th)and the crash itself. But my pictures are almost restored and I had done this with my mp3 files a few months back. So, feeling slightly more organized, I'm going to save all of these files to my local external hard drive tonight once all the downloading is complete.

This kind of organization is good for my soul because lately, I've found myself getting a little bit stressed about putting together a voice over business. I stopped myself when I realized that I should be in no rush, in fact, I should take my time to do everything right. Half of me was so excited to start working in the industry that I wanted to make all these lofty goals of working paid gigs by the end of the year. I think it was a reminder from the folks at Edge that did it. They pointed out that I didn't have to do my sessions so close together and that I should be taking advantage of all of their workshops and online content. I am now and I'm getting a heck of a lot out of it. Reading all of their online content, plus listening to previously recorded teleclasses with various industry pros (especially tax professionals as that's been on my mind lately), reading voice over blogs and watching the schedule for workshops and classes I can take and retake as many times as I want.

I'm also currently working with an old friend on some graphic design, specifically a logo and some business cards but also the basis of the web design for the new site which I will be having another friend do when the time comes.

I may have previously mentioned that I wanted to style myself on the new website as a composer/voice recording artist or something to that effect, a one-stop shop for narration and music but also someone who can do either of those things individually. So, the biggest challenge is going to be saying all that as concisely as possible. And also, I'm thinking of a name for this company that's catchy and memorable...like Tim Daoust Audio and I'd have two components of the business: Tim Daoust Voice and Tim Daoust Music. That could be lame, I'm not entirely sure. But I'm going to run it by a few people whose opinions I trust.

The revelation that this stuff doesn't have to be done right away gives me a lot more leeway with how I put it all together and how well I do at important things like my demo and the business plan itself. I also don't necessarily have to have all of my stuff together to get a gig or two here or there. Probably could start to look for jobs and clients around the time I finish my demo in a few months (thinking September).

A lot of this stuff has to be going on simultaneously and so it can be a bit mind boggling (though I'm trying to keep my mind from getting boggled so). I'm working on the logo and my marketing plan, for example, while simultaneously keeping my chops up and planning to do some volunteer reading to get some experience and also trying to get my computer to, hmmm, I dunno, maybe WORK RIGHT FOR ONCE!!!! since I'll be doing a lot of auditions and potentially some work from home.

And also still writing music. I'm between jobs there for a while so I get to sit here and think about what I should do next. Which can also get overwhelming. I'm trying to think like this less and less but there's always a tendency to wish I were further along in my career and when I look at what I've not done, it's hard to give myself credit for what I have done. (To review, for my sake and yours: Pulled myself from a toxic relationship, dusted self off, composed prolifically for the following two years, got first paid composing gig and scored 6 student films in a short period of time, finished grad school despite discouragement and poor health, saved the money to move to NYC, did so, got several freelance jobs, one that panned out, networked with fellow filmmakers, scored a student film, and an indie film that got accepted at a film festival and got my first paid NYC gig all within my first year and a half of living here. *takes deep breath, sighs, pats self on back*).

Anyhow, I just worked a massive amount of overtime this month and so today is, essentially, my first full day off since the first of the month. And here I am, sitting here, not crazy, quite relaxed in fact, and typing this blog. And in two days, I'm going camping in the Adirondacks with a buddy of mine and some of his friends for said buddy's bachelor party. Expect pictures. I know very little about the details of this trip except that around 3 in the afternoon Friday we're leaving from the Upper West Side and driving upstate. I had to buy a tent today because my old tent from college lacks tent poles for some strange reason. How many times have I moved with that tent, I wonder, not realizing that the tent poles were not making the trip with us?

Which means it's been years since I've gone camping. So, I'm fairly excited to do so this weekend especially since it was relatively impromptu and I've never camped in NY State. I didn't even know the bachelor party was a camping trip until a few days ago but I managed to get the extra day off work (I originally had only taken Saturday off) with relative ease. After the weekend I work two days, am off two, work one and then it's my big vacation, heading to the same friend's wedding in MA and then to Boston to see friends, back to NYC for a few days and then down to Raleigh to meet my new nephew and spend time with friends and family. Long time coming and well deserved. Quite excited. Again, expect pictures.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Red Hook swimming pool, the Park Slope Food Co-Op; Hilarious bureaucracies...

Tuesday afternoon, I spent the most amount of time on my bike since I had it brought up here. I biked all the way down (or rather, all the way up and down) to Red Hook from South Park Slope to meet a friend at the Red Hook swimming pool. The route was a little circuitous, taking me all the way north along 5th Avenue to 3rd Street (one of four streets that crosses the Gowanus Canal, not counting the expressway) before cutting west and then down again on Court Street to Bay Street. I saw very little of the Red Hook neighborhood while down that way but I did get a nice little breezy tour through Carroll Gardens' main section along the way on Court Street. Breezy because it was downhill the whole way.

The pool in Red Hook was great fun, but we probably spent barely twice the amount of time in the pool that it took us to get into the place. First, there are rules and very strict rules. Rules that need four to five people in blue New York City parks shirts to enforce. One needs a bathing suit first off. I'm assuming people have gone in in their clothes before or, I dunno, maybe naked, which might necessitate such a rule. Second, one needs a lock to lock your things up in one of their lockers. Okay, possibility of theft, I get it. But it can't be just any lock, for it must past muster with the aforementioned blue shirted gauntlet. My friend's Swiss Gear lock was deemed inadequate to the task of protecting our valuables...or as one of them put it our "values." I didn't know we had to lock up intangibles as well.

Anyway, this was the bulk of the reason for our delayed entry. There was much protest on our part that this lock was surely adequate enough: "No, they'll cut that right off", "Yeah, it's lock cutting season" (This was seriously uttered by one of them, as though it were a fact that none of them could change by perhaps exchanging their positions guarding the front door and parroting rules for actually policing the locker rooms!) One rather kind German lady in front of us offered to let us share a locker with her and her son but apparently there were rules against this as well. There wouldn't be enough room. They were intent on sending us around the corner to buy new locks. One of them though, offered to show the lock to her manager (these people were being managed?) to see if she would approve. Same response.

But we were in. We had penetrated the first layer. But rule three came upon us: No shoes allowed in the pool area (Funny. I thought this one seemed anti safety...probably, again, trying to protect us from the supposed inevitability of theft). So, feeling a mix of confusion and dismay coupled with the hesitance to make my poor friend carry every bit of my personal effects, except my towel, with her into the women's locker room (I had not brought a lock) and my own lack of desire to walk barefoot in the locker rooms, we stood sorting out details of our escape out into the pool area for some minutes before I reluctantly removed my shoes and told my friend I'd meet her "on the other side."

Before finally getting through the maze of the men's locker room I noticed a sign with, yes, even more rules. The only one I seemed to breaking was one about clothing. I'm assuming it meant clothing as in a change of clothes, but I didn't want to take my chances so, after rinsing off, I rolled my t-shirt in my towel, the one possession that I had been allowed to enter the pool with. My friend had been stopped with her tiny wallet bag ("Does she got a bag?", "Wait, stop her.","You can't go in there with that," was somewhat how the conversation went down from what I'm told).

Finally gazing upon the pool, I was quite pleased with the vast separation between the screaming splashing children and the serious lap swimmers. But we had to ask about the section in the middle some 50 meters wide and completely devoid of swimmers. Sure enough: closed. With no apparent reason, probably so the lifeguards would have fewer people to watch, for all I could guess.

Either way, it was really really nice to dip in the pool, which was a comfortable 15 or 20 degrees cooler than air temperature from my estimate. We swam a few leisuerly laps and then rode our bikes over to the Park Slope Food Co-Op on Union Street to pick up some groceries. My friend is a member and I'm thinking of becoming one soon-ish. I just have to sort out when I could work the required 2 3/4 hour monthly shift...that and sit through their orientation. I'm really psyched about it actually. Cheaper local organic groceries to boot but it's also a really great concept. The Co-op has been around for about 27 years and has always been member owned. All the food comes from within 500 miles, they recycle everything (including most of the plastics that NYC will not recycle) and there's even cooking classes available. It's real hippie stuff but if you're into it, it's great.

Anyway, the two times I've been in with my friend I liked what I saw. Despite the myriad rules they have in place to keep people from taking advantage of their system, it was far easier to get into than the Red Hook public pool. My friend showed her ID and signed a sheet on a clipboard, I showed ID and was handed a visitor's pass that was promptly ripped in half and discarded upon my entry (probably recycled actually). Much more streamlined. And that is all for now. As usual, I should be in bed. I only seem to write these entries late at night.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Governor's Island and live music...

On Sunday, I finally got a chance to go to Governor's Island, a place I'd seen from the window of the train on the Manhattan Bridge just about every day for the past year and a half I've lived here, but never went to. It's so incredibly easy to get to, I almost could have swum there...just wanted to use the word swum in a sentence.

Best of Governor's Island

Anyway, the ferry leaves from right next to the station where the Staten Island Ferry docks and the boat arrives in under five minutes. (I actually remembered, upon arriving on the island, that there is also a ferry from Governor's Island to Brooklyn as well, which leaves from another dock on Governor's Island and lands at Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of Atlantic Avenue). We went to Governor's Island half to see the island and walk around and half to check out the Meatopia barbecue festival that was happening that weekend. However, being late risers that day, my friend and I ended up missing out, as they were only selling beer tickets when we arrived at the tents. The food was starting to run out.

So, beer it was. And we headed back to the one restaurant on the island, Water Taxi beach, a kitschy little joint that featured fake palm trees and a sandy court yard but also a quintessential view of Manhattan. At that point it was starting to drizzle a bit despite also being sunny. But we weathered it, finished our food and walked back to the festival to get the other two beers that our tickets allowed. From there, we walked clear across the island, finding a bench to sit on, only to get rained on again, this time pretty heavily, with the sun still out on the other side of the island. Strange weather that day. It was worth the rainbow we saw afterward, though.

The island itself has a bit of a spooky air to it. No one, that I know of, lives there, though there are houses, apartment buildings (some of them burnt out with weeds growing in the parking lots), historical buildings and even bus stops, though I never saw a vehicle on the island short of golf carts, bikes and these little pedal cars being manned by Orthodox Jews that were also visiting the island. I got some great pictures of the desolation but also the views of the surrounding harbor and some of the "wildlife" on the island (look for the picture of the bird who just walked up to us looking for a handout...still don't know what kind it was). The views from the southern tip of the island were the best but my pictures came out pretty bad because of the sun being right on us. The Statue of Liberty was nothing but a silhouette.

After being rounded up by security guards on golf carts, telling us the last ferry would be leaving soon (by soon, they meant in an hour!), we cut across the middle of the island and came upon all manner of playground equipment and art installations in a court yard, a massive field with more outdoor art, a compound of old Victorian houses with wrap-around porches and even an old stone chapel. I'm thirsting to know more about the history of this island.

We landed in Brooklyn at the end of Atlantic Avenue in a newly built park and walked the length of Atlantic Avenue to the LIRR terminal where we would split up, stopping for Blue Marble ice cream on the way, a Brooklyn based ice cream shop. Great stuff. Then, I went home to get ready for the stupid overnight shift sans nap.

Work's going okay though. I'm working a lot of overtime in preparation for taking my vacation. It's helping a lot because of the extra expenses I've had lately too and will have in the coming months getting ready for my voice over business. But, I might just go insane. Nah, I'm good. I've done stretches like this before. It's all about taking it one day at a time and making sure you do enough things that are not work, along with finding time to relax, which I did tonight for the first time in a while. I've been gone so many nights seeing music this week, or otherwise staying out late, that the cat was mad enough to pee on my bed. So that was a pain to take care of.

Monday night, a friend invited me to a show in Williamsburg at Zebulon. It was a guitarist named Sir Richard Bishop. He played solo, with a loop station and rattled off some of the queerest stuff but it was amazing. According to his site he's playing a few more shows at Zebulon throughout July.

Wednesday night, another friend and I went to see The Heartless Bastards at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Another night spent in Williamsburg and I'm really starting to feel like I like the place, though I don't think I could live there...maybe I could have like five years ago but it's not for me now. The Heartless Bastards were great though. Very bluesy and soulful but also pretty hard rockin'. My friend introduced me to them a few weeks ago and I was eager to see this show. We got their a little late due to my work schedule but we caught the last half of one of the openers, Peter Wolf Crier. These guys were pretty awesome too.

This is the kind of stuff I wished I was doing when I first moved here and was spending so many nights sitting at home in Sunset Park wondering why I had to pick the rowdiest block to move to and why I had to pick the most boring neighborhood to live in. I'm sure there are things about Sunset Park that some people appreciate but I had my sights on live music and a different bar scene and those things were just too few and too far between to satisfy me. Now I'm much more comfortable in my digs and with my social life. It does take time to get comfortable after moving to a new city (and a new state), and that was the advice I was given last year from multiple sources, but it still is nice to see it come true with patience.

So, anyway, I'm enjoying myself and now that I'm sans music project (see below for the mp3 of what I just finished...copyright Tim Daoust 2010) for the time being, I'll think I'll take some time to relax and refocus. Tomorrow night, I'm going to see some films in Fort Greene Park and having a picnic with a friend. Should be fun. Next time I have some time off though, I'm doing a fresh reinstall on my computer and seeing if I can't isolate my problem by only installing certain
programs. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July, 2010...

There's nothing quite like the sleep you get after an overnight shift. No daylight creeping in the windows (or even blasting through the windows) could keep me awake when, for the last two to three hours of my work day, I've been trying to keep open eyes that want nothing but to close. And I get the most fantastic pillow markings on my face when I wake up at 3 in the afternoon! Pillow markings that tell of a face that was planted flat in the same spot for 7 straight hours, not tossing, not turning, not waking at all for any disturbance imaginable.

I'm satisfied with the dancer's piece now and I wait for her to sign off so I can get paid. We'll meet on Thursday. I'll post a snippet or the whole piece, haven't decided yet, pretty soon.

Last night was the 4th of July, a holiday I admittedly don't often get to celebrate with my ridiculous schedule. Last year was an exception as I was freelancing and didn't have much of a schedule to speak of. This year, though I had to work overnight, I did manage to get ready for work early enough to breeze in to work, drop off my stuff and make it down to Rockefeller Park on the Hudson to meet with Karishma and some people to view the fireworks. Much closer than I saw them last year, they were pretty amazing to behold. The crowd was pretty large in Rockefeller Park but to think of the acreage covered, on the West Side of Manhattan, the Jersey side and just about every rooftop from Lower Manhattan to Riverside Park, by hoards of people viewing the same display. It's pretty wild to think of. Before arriving in the park, as I was leaving work and walking to 14th Street to catch the 2,3 to Chambers Street, I could hear them starting. In fact, as I looked down 8th Avenue, I caught a glimpse of the fireworks reflected in the windows of an apartment building near Jackson Square. I'd tried to get a pic of it but it didn't come out too terribly well. Here are the best of the pics I took that night:

Best of 4th of July 2010

In addition, here's an album of photos I shot up at Greenwood Cemetery of my view. Not the same as Sunset Park's view but nonetheless, a nice one. Incidentally, a much nicer spot from which to view anyhow. Much quieter. Not a very mainstream thing to do, hanging out in a cemetery. And no one comes in there and litters or lets their kids pee out in the open. All things I witnessed in Sunset.

Greenwood Cemetery

In other random news, I've secured a graphic designer for my new logo and web design for the VO/Music business that I'm starting soon. Pretty exciting to finally have a really professional look to everything. Things'll be changing around here soon. For now, it's time to go out and bear the heat to grab my laundry, fold it and then I'm meeting someone before heading to work later this evening. So, take care and stay tuned for a clip of the latest sound from yours truly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Many visits...

I'd just like to note that I've been getting a few comments on my blog lately that are in a character set that my browser does not have installed, i.e. some other language. If you're reading and you have something to say, I'd love to know what it is, so please, if you can, type in English...unless, of course, you're trying to sell me something or shamelessly promoting your own blog, however closely related in subject matter. Otherwise, if you're out there and you're enjoying what you read please say hi. It's always great to hear from you.

Now that that's out of the way, been having a good time these past couple of weeks, socializing with Unitarian friends and enjoying the weather and even, god forbid, getting work done. The dancer's piece is almost wrapped up. Though my computer, and all its fickle components are cooperating occasionally and enough that I sometimes get an entire take recorded before the thing goes kaput, I decided to throw down some money on a new audio interface to help me troubleshoot whether or not the interface is the issue. It should, in fact, be arriving to my place of employment sometime tomorrow. I hope. I've been experimenting with having things delivered to work instead of having to chase them down at the post office or else having them get bounced back to sender, which happened recently.

In other news, besides the bugs that have been creeping in with the humidity rising (it finally slacked off a few nights ago and is now quite cool), we have had other visitors this week. My cousin Brian and his wife Ashley touched down here for a night and half a day so we met them at the airport, fed them some Brooklyn pizza, let them attempt sleep on our couches (and floor), and subsequently woke them up early (they're on Denver time) and shuttled them around Manhattan for a whirlwind tour, it being Ashley's first time in NYC, before dropping them at Penn Station to get the Amtrak to Albany. Here are the best pics:

Brian and Ashely's Visit best

I also neglected to post pics from my parents' visit back on Memorial Day. Here they are, a bit belated:

Mom and Dad Memorial Day

At any rate, back on the topic of music, as soon as I'm done with the dancer's project I'll post an mp3 of it here and on the Facebook page, so you guys can hear what I've been working on. Meanwhile, it's time for me to start thinking about what's next. I was introduced to the idea of a site called Indaba via an article about online collaboration sites. This one is starting to, only now, seem appealing to me, mainly because they feature an online digital audio workstation where you can record your tracks and then access them anywhere to edit and mix them. You can also collaborate with other artists and submit remixes to contests that they have often. I'm more interested initially in the DAW but it might be interesting to collaborate with some of the people on there. Might be a cool way to meet local musicians as well. So, here I am berating myself for not having started on it earlier when I heard about it because now, it actually seems really cool. Not sure if I was skeptical before or just too darn busy. Either way, I'll finally have sometime Saturday night to delve into it and I'll let you all know what I find.