The Triumphant Return of Tadpole Audio5September 4th, 2012Letters From The Editor
Some of you might have noticed I haven’t written anything for a while. Well, it’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve been starting articles left and right…I just haven’t actually finished or posted anything.
I imagine many of you are now scrolling down to see just how long this piece is. For those with no patience, and/or who have no interest in the inner workings of my brain (if you didn’t care for this post), you can skip to the end.
It boils down to a combination of two things that’s kept me away. First of all, general busy-ness and lots to do. The second reason is mental health.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned it here, but in February I started a new job working for a music supervisor who I greatly admire. As I have told her to her face, she has everything I am working towards in my life: a successful career as an independent music supervisor, a family, a nice house and (okay, I know this is kind of weird) enough time to devote to fitness and health. Seriously, my boss is a superwoman. She has all of the above on lockdown, even winning multiple awards for her craft. That said, I’ve tried to work at least half as hard as she does and it’s resulted in many late nights in the office. When I get home it’s all I can do to pack my lunch for the next day and pass out.
In my free time, I helped produce several events. First Love Letters to LA: Pianos Live in April, then in July an artist showcase for a music industry brunch group for which I am one of the organizers, followed most recently by a summer BBQ for another industry organization. All of these enabled me (in my own small way) to support a handful of local artists I believe in: RACES, LA Font, Mariah McManus, Leslie Stevens and Chasing Kings.
In between all of the above, believe it or not, SXSW panel proposals were due. Last year I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel called, Music in TV Pilots: Sales Tool or Strategy. For 2013, I’m proposing two panels, one for the Film Conference titled, The Future of The Soundtrack and then Songwriting for the Screen for Music. I’m really excited about both – I was lucky to again snag some amazing speakers. Fingers crossed they will both be selected! The voting period was actually just extended, so if you’re feeling generous (or just would like more details) go here and here to show your support.
Throw in visits from both my and my boyfriend’s parents, Coachella, other local live music events, birthdays, dinners, brunches, the Olympics, and the rest…it has been a non-stop four months.
This is not to prove, of course, than I am busier than anyone else. We all have a lot going on, and I’m grateful to have had so many awesome opportunities to work on such cool projects (with incredible artists and people). I often think about nerdy, high school, showtunes-loving me, and she would not believe anything I just wrote.
Here is where the second part comes in, my mental health. That probably makes it sound more dramatic than what I actually mean. I did not lose my mind. I did not lose my mind because I chose not too. I chose to devote energy to my job, to working out four times a week, to the above activities, to projects improving the apartment I share with my boyfriend, to at least five or six hours of sleep a night (still not enough, I know). And most importantly, I chose not to beat myself up for not squeezing out minutes or hours each day, each week, to write this blog. To be patient and confident in the fact that the time would come to pick it up again. To not beat myself up for enjoying a lazy night watching a movie with my boyfriend after a ten hour work day instead of slaving over my computer. Believe me, that was (and still is) a really difficult choice for me to make.
In the interim, I also started finding inspiration from a variety of fashion and lifestyle blogs, that while they each have a focus (home decor, affordable ensembles, DIY projects) have a broader appeal. I keep returning to these sites not necessarily because I want ideas on what to pair with my favorite striped skirt (though I have been more adventurous with my outfits lately) it’s because the authors are relatable. I feel like I know them. They use “I” and “me”. Each post might start with a photo of the blogger in a cute outfit, but the content is universal.
It made me think about the feedback that I’ve gotten on this blog. From the start, I never wanted to compete with the other sites out there that do what they do so well, sites like Sunset in the Rearview, The Music Ninja, Buzz Bands LA, Indie Shuffle, and so many more disciplined and talented music lovers and writers. Being the naturally ambitious person that I am, however, the more I wrote, the more I wished I could be them. The more I beat myself up for not making the time. Not writing fast enough. Not working hard enough.
Still though, even without three posts a day, people seemed to respond to my writing. Comments about my voice; that my approach to music writing is so accessible.
Really, I laugh when I think about it. It makes perfect sense. I was a writer before I was ever a music lover, decades before anyone (especially myself) considered me as someone knowledgeable about music.
And I always wrote in the first person.
I still want to write about music of course, but honestly…I just like talking. And I like people. I like sharing stories and ideas and things that inspire me, because I’m often inspired. I’m inspired by what I see on Pinterest, on Tumblr, by other music writers, by my friends and peers, by cheesy quotes and sunsets and kittens and all sorts of other things. Just ask my boyfriend; I’m insufferable.
Back to music though. My current position has put me into direct contact with music in a way that I have (both surprisingly and unsurprisingly) not yet experienced. I’m constantly receiving submissions from artists and companies I know, many I don’t, some for specific projects, most just to keep in our library of almost 100,000 songs, to be ready for when the exact right search comes up. It’s my responsibility to listen, evaluate, categorize and file everything according to as many keywords as I can, so I can refer to them in the future.
After four and a half years in the field, people are also starting to come to me asking questions about music supervision. How do you get into it? What exactly does a music supervisor do? Well, I’m not promising industry secrets here, but there is a woeful lack of education out there about the craft of music supervision. It is not just picking songs. It is not a career reserved only for people with excellent taste in underground music (though it helps). I am certainly not an expert, but I do know a lot of people who are. Hopefully I can provide some insights based on my experiences along the way.
I still plan on chatting with music supervisors, featuring guest posts from respected friends and peers, promoting emerging artists through mixtapes and interviews, and sharing music I love in as many different ways as I can think of. Continue to count on that. I also founded this blog with the intention of conversation, and I want to take this post to reiterate that no matter what I am writing about I encourage feedback, questions, comments, responses…in any form. I think anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love connecting with people (and am terrible at saying goodbyes).
After all that rambling, I don’t think I’ve been clear at all about the direction I intend to take this blog in. I’m not sure I even know.
I think I’ll just to stick to what I’ve always been good at, with a healthy dose of what I now know. Keep reminding myself just to do what I love, and not answer to anyone but myself. As my uncle always advised about relationships, “When it stops being fun – that’s when you get out of there.”
I choose to always have fun. And I hope you’ll join me.