After 15 years of hustling, teaching, freelancing, creating, and loving New York City (and Brooklyn), I took an audition a few weeks back, and decided to get myself a full-time trumpet job. As of June 18th (if everything goes according to plan), I’ll be a member of the United States Air Force Concert Band, in Washington DC.
On one hand, I’m thrilled. I’ll be getting a steady paycheck with great benefits, and will get to play with a really great band. Although the causes and effects will continue to be debated for some years yet, right now is not the best time (financially) to be making a living in the music business. Unless you’re at the top of the pop music world (bless you fine people up there), it can be a bit hard to make an adult living doing what I do. So, having a gig is unequivocally good.
But, the only professional life I’ve known has been a really bizzarre and satisfying patchwork of opportunities. Some teaching here, some orchestra there, some administration and presenting in that direction. Now while this doesn’t supply me with the steadiest of paychecks, it’s given me a really flexible, enjoyable, and exciting life. I’ve been able to travel for work and play, accept or deny work as I see fit, working with people that I love. Now I get to see what it is exactly that makes me happy in my early 30’s.
My hope is to still maintain (and pursue) a few creative and interesting artistic outlets in New York, while being true to my military position. I’ve got to see what my new life and my new job will require of my time, my music, and my spirit.
Back in January, while driving through South Florida after a relaxing vacation with my awesome wife Caia, I decided to stop at a nearby airfield and go skydiving for the first time. I’ve never been much of a thrill seeker (bungeeing is out of the question), but it felt like something I should do once, at least to know what it is…to know that it’s alright to be afraid. Having a full time gig has that same allure to me right now…I should know what that’s about.