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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, 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. 

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