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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, November 26, 2012

Me and My Lists...

It's turned bitter cold outside recently and winter seems in full swing.  My radiators never start hissing until the mid morning hours when I'm just waking up, so it's often chilly in my bedroom.  I guess this is how I know it's winter.  And I'm just thankful that I have radiators to begin with.  I can't even begint to fathom what the city's less fortunate and the hurricane victims are going through. And it's only going to get worse...might even snow again this week.  

Now, Thanksgiving weekend is already a memory and I'm gearing up for a marathon December between all this remixing and mastering I'll be doing.  Then more voice coaching and hopefully, more voice gigs.  Also, Lacy and I are gearing up for the CD release parties which are only a few months away...dates and locations TBA, of course. For more information see Lacy James' website. :)  I plan to have the mastering done before the end of December at which point I will be sending the tracks off to the licensing agency.  My first batch. I won't say much more about Lacy's CD release because that's for her to announce.  This Friday I'm doing some voice over coaching with Sylvia which should be great.  I'm hoping to have a copy of the last gig I did for the young adult novel web ad to show her.  But we'll see. 

On top of all of that, I've already started my end of year reckoning and planning for next year's goals.  Lists of goals like these are great motivators.  I find them to be quite useful.  Part of the process of fabricating next years list of goals had me looking back at what I set out to do this past year and it's always interesting to see how many more I'm checking off as done than I did last year.  It was quite a few things.  Plus, the ones that I didn't check off weren't left undone necessarily, they just didn't turn out to be necessary or they were started but I realized that they were too ambitious for one year.  Things like finding a voice over agent.  In that regard, the lists can be fluid.  Voice over strategies have morphed a bit.  For instance, I found myself planning originally to email bomb a ton of production houses with my demos once I felt proud of them...but I think subconsciously I wasn't ever truly proud of them until I started racking up actual jobs to put on them.  Now that they're filled out with jobs I've actually done vs. random scripts I read in the studio specifically for the demo, I'm a lot prouder of what I'm putting out there.  Plus, without even using the demo to solicit more work in other places besides Voice123, I ended up averaging a gig a month for the last 9 months.  So, at some point along the line, I deemed it unnecessary to focus my efforts on soliciting production houses and instead hatched the plot to take my track record to an agent.  And now, I feel I'm still not ready.

So, using all of that, I fashioned a much more realistic checklist for next year, for both VO and music, to keep me on track and motivate me to bring them all to completion...or just about as close as I can get.  What's important is the trajectory, not necessarily whether or not I hit my target.  I'm always going to be getting closer and closer.

That having been said, and speaking of lists, I'm at a rather satisfying stage with the remix project now.  My list has been refined to the point where all the tasks on there are final tasks.   When these are done, the project is done.  At the start, the list is always, "what to do to get started."  And in my notes each day, I write down what I did, what still needs to be done and anything else that came up.  Each day the list is changing until one day, I can see the handful of tasks that it will take me to finally finishing the thing...whatever the thing is.  And that's where I am for the remix project.  Each track has a few tasks left, such as rerecording a bassline, tweaking the drum mix or just bouncing out individual audio tracks from MIDI instruments.  (Sorry just threw some music technical-ese in there, my bad).

This is how my mind works best and there are probably better ways to do it but it works for me so I stick with it.  Some might choose to not even start until every task is laid out on a very precise to do list, some might not make lists at all.  Honestly, so much goes in to my endeavors that I can't not make to do lists but on the other hand, I also can't box myself in and have to remain fluid and be able to accomplish things in stages. If I sat down and wrote out every single task that needed to be done I'd probably quail at the thought of starting.  And ultimately, when taking on a project like this (or any other of comparable scale), it's impossible to see what all needs to be done until you start doing things.  It's important to be systematic, of course, and figure out the best place to start, because that could make me quail as well, not knowing where to start.

Hehe...quail.  What a funny word.  Anyway, as you can see I'm getting a little loopy. It's time to shut this down and go to bed...as always.  Wish me luck with the lists and completing all of my tasks.  This coming Sunday night, the great Tania Stavreva is having her birthday celebration concert at Vivaldi Cafe in the W. Village and Lacy and I have been invited to play.  Though I get off work at 11pm that night, we will probably be doing so.  Stay tuned for updates on that.  Good night! 


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