Rejected As College Professor

I just got the news today that I was not selected as a final candidate at The University Of The Arts’ School Of Music. As you know, I was overly excited to be a college professor, if only because I think the current college model is broken and I could have really done some groundbreaking lessons for the students. Schools teach students how play faster, but they don’t teach their students how to apply these abilities in the real world, write a contract, negotiate a deal, or how to make a financial living in this new world.

As I’ve mentioned, my songs have been on hold as I was preparing for this position. Playing piano 7 hours a day, researching more about the program, speaking on panels at the university, traveling, etc.

I even had Amanda Palmer and David Weiss of SonicScoop/Mix Magazine as some of my letters of recommendations. And I worked hard on the presentation of my resume, and was confident in the quality of my work, character, and knowledge. The reason I worked so hard for this is because this school, my Alma Mater, is a place I continue to be so passionate about.

Perhaps this is for the better, my biggest flaw was that I have no college teaching experience. In some sense, that was a bit of a Catch 22 because it seems, to me at least, that my lack of college teaching is why I couldn’t teach at a college. But some of the best professors I’ve ever had weren’t Doctors or Masters. Some of my best music lessons didn’t even come from other musicians or teachers. Heck, some didn’t even graduate college at all - but they thought differently and shared that knowledge in an infectious and mind-shattering way.

Rejection builds me up. When The Philadelphia Orchestra rejected me as their Director Of Marketing last April, the following month I saw a jump of over 100,000 visitors to my site. I complain about how broken the orchestra world is, and to have been so close to change it from the inside and then have that taken away made me work harder than ever.

My rejections are at the core of my drive as a person. I’m sure it’s the same for all of us. I’ll now concentrate solely on ForOrchestra and put full force behind it in every way for you.

The only thing that has never rejected me is you - my community. The ForOrchestra Army is going to change the world.

Achieving Happiness By Tackling A Vision

Last month I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t even know where to start. I told nearly no one my idea because the 2 people I explained it to shot it down.

So I’ve been quiet because I spent the past week of 15 hour days following this vision I had about “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out For Orchestra”. Maybe this idea works out, maybe it fails, but I’ve never been this happy nor this confident. One more rehearsal and then we shoot:

That lo-res screenshot above doesn’t look like much, but it’s nearly the entirety of everything I’ve worked for this month. I couldn’t afford a $2,000 studio space rental or even hire a special effects artist. Any money I had I wanted it to go towards the dancers while I concentrated on the offscreen stuff.

This past month I learned about:

1.) How to set up dance auditions, booking studio space, working with choreographers, and different dance styles. The dancers I have are the best - seriously, they’re incredible.

2.) The importance of lighting setups, kinds of fixtures, keying, and creating depth layers.

3.) I learned about software and of course the VFX side of motion tracking, rotoscoping, and histograms. I learned about camcorders, shutter-speed, and luminance.

4.) I also learned how to build a freaking boxing ring. I studied how to use chainsaws, kinds of paints, and even how to future proof my constructions for easier transportation of future photo shoots (if I ever get that far).

So it will have costumes, green screens, lights, effects, graphics, choreography, and of course some of my best orchestra music I’ve ever composed.

My orchestra arrangement sounds fantastic, and the video is beginning to shape up too. My lifelong journey to keep entertaining you and personally grow as an artist has just begun. I feel good about this - I feel good about this! But I’m scared, and that means I’m on the right track.

So why is this the happiest I’ve ever been? Because I’m so fortunate for your support on this journey while getting closer and closer to growing the orchestra with each passing day. I’m happy when I take risks - after all, that’s how ForOrchestra got started in the first place.

This is a vision worth pursuing, and it’s a diehard community worth fighting for. To the ForOrchestra Army: I know I’ve been quiet - but that just means I’m about to get really, really, really loud.