From: Augusta, GA
Instrument: French Horn
Job Title: Freelance Musician
Beverage Drinking: Straight up coffee with half and half
"I think for me it’s helped to try as hard as I can to be that graceful all the time. In short, I just get inspired by people who are not only great talents, but who are also great people. I just feel like that's a different set of skills than just being able to play your instrument well. Lots of people can play their instrument well, but there are very few people who are able to engage with people on a personal level. So I just try to make it my goal to try and be kind to everyone that I encounter. Sometimes it’s more difficult than other times, especially if someone’s not being kind to you. But I always try and empathize with someone as much as I can. I don’t want to ever think of myself of anything that’s any more special than anyone else, because I think that’s where the danger of a lot of those weird mind games come from. That’s where you can set up ridiculous expectations of yourself."
Advice for other musicians: "Well, usually when you run into this question it’s with someone who’s taken a lot of auditions or has been investing so much of themselves into something with little to no outcome. It can be really easy to tie in your own self worth to the outcome of those auditions or competitions or whatever, and it’s really easy to reflect on that thinking that ‘i’m a failure’ because a particular outcome did not happen. But people need to understand that it’s all kind of a crap shoot anyway, to a certain point. Because if you take five people and place them in the finals for a job, all people who are all good enough, they’re only going to give the job to one person. There is nothing that those other four people could have done to be better, it just is what it is.
But, there are so many opportunities nowadays other than taking auditions. By taking auditions, you’re trying to gain access into something that someone else has already set up. And I’m not saying to give up trying to do that, but people have so many opportunities to do different things within music, and just even on their instrument. You can compose and perform your own music, you can start your own group, or be a part of the groundwork for something someone else is starting. Of course it’s going to be messier, especially since every project is unique and you don’t have a clear path to follow because no one has ever done this particular thing before. But for me, being a part of wild Up from the beginning and I’ve helped build it up, I feel so much better about anytime I get to work with them and play a concert with them than I do about anything else. I just love the wild Up thing because I helped make it happen. It’s just so much more satisfying. I just don’t want to live my life thinking that because I haven’t won an audition yet that I’m not a successful, professional musician. Other people shouldn't live their life thinking that way either."
Life Mantra: "Take it one day at a time, and in order to achieve a long-term goal, no matter what it is, you need to set up and accomplish a lot of small term goals first with positive reinforcement. So that something that seems impossible now, you can, while feeling good about yourself during the entire process, eventually look back and ask yourself why it was so difficult for you in the first place."
Charity/Cause: Extra Life
Do you think Inspiration is important?: "Yes, it is important. I imagine to live without inspiration is to live in a vacuum. I do not think for me I could be successful without being inspired by other people. At the very least, if you were able to live and play without inspiration it sounds like it would be a very boring existence. So yes, I think it is really important."