On Tuesday, September 8th, I began my last, first week of school. I am finally a senior in college. "But what about grad-school?!" I was continuously asked, "No way!" I replied. Not for me thank you, I've racked up all the possible student debt I think I will ever be comfortable with. Not to mention I know that to get into the music business, you actually have to try working in the music business.
After the long months of summer and the never-ending air conditioned afternoons living in the mall selling products I could never personally afford, I have to say, I truly missed being at school. I missed the short, hurried walks down Broadway in Capitol Hill, the crepes and coffee at JoeBar, the laid back attitude of teachers and students walking into class 10 minutes late, the complaints of staying out late and not having time to do the "homework" assigned, the talk of projects and collaborations and software and concerts and most importantly, the music. I missed the conversations, the assignments, the lectures, the excitement, the stress, and the ever-practiced music.
This week had its share of surprises, for example I found myself sitting in a math class for my last science credit instead of a psychology course, teachers and offices were changed last minute, I had friends over for dinners and lunches at the drop of a hat, and I even managed to rack up a list of homework I've barely begun. Even now, I hadn't dutifully started writing this blog at the bequest of my to-do list, I just happened to be in a pensive enough mood after a full day of work to share my feelings at 11pm. I've even started reading philosophy late at night.
Looking back on this last full week, I realize that I have committed to a lot of things for the next few months and the next year. I've started a whole new method of music composition and I sincerely hope it will assist the production of the largest concert I have ever put together (my senior recital in the Spring). I have a show premiering in just under two months with the largest cast and crew I have ever worked with. I have a course on writing for the voice which will have plenty of exercises and assignments, coupled with a course in writing for film with just as many projects. I've endeavored to study the philosophy and practice of performance art, as well as broaden my understanding of the music of the world. Plus now I have this math class I have to pass and I can't even remember how to find the surface area of a circle!
This year will present more challenges than I have ever been faced with, and I can only hope that after months of head-down, teeth grinding hard work I will come out alive still retaining some sanity. The best part is? It doesn't end here. After I graduate, I will be lucky to have this much work to do in my field. I'll have to hunt it down like a hungry predator, starved of work. Missing a deadline won't just be hurting my grade, it could mean hurting my family. Not to mention that at least while I'm in school I'm not face-to-face with my crippling debt, no, that will hit me like a train shortly after planning my wedding.
Does being done with school scare me? No....
Ok honestly? A little.
If there is one thing I have managed to learn in these 6 years of undergrad is that nothing will ever be handed to you. It takes years of very hard work and perseverance. Being open to the changes in your industry and the surprises along your path to success. The track record of most composers is to die early and fall into the minuscule chances that you might become famous after death, or live so long that you only see success as you're about to die. That's if you're really lucky.
But of course, the industry is changing. People can make it big while they're young. YouTube can launch a musician's career. Movie scores are streamed and downloaded. Symphonies come out of laptops. Anybody can be a "composer". The world of music is changing rapidly. It's time to join in the chaos and make something out of it.
Moral of the story? I'm ready. I'm ready to get out there and fight for every scrap of work I can find and pour all my energy into making it perfect. I'm ready to ride the waves of change and adapt and be ahead of the curve. If you need a writer? I'm your woman or man or guy or whatever you want me to be. Here's to a year of nonsensical commitment to making awesome.
See you on the other side.