From: Northport, NY
School: University of Southern California, MM Tuba Performance
Favorite Drink: Grande Iced Coffee
"I’ve really had a love/hate relationship with the tuba, but the moment that had me keep going, you were actually there. It was in Tianjin. Remember when we had such a long day, but we couldn’t go anywhere because we were just being bombarded by people who wanted to take pictures and get our autographs? There was this little kid who was around 9 or 10, which was the age I was when I started Tuba, but he was so afraid to speak to me. So his mom, in her best English was trying to say, ‘he loves the tuba and he loved watching you!’ It felt like I was passing down a tradition, and passing all those feelings I got when I was little, to this little boy. I was unintentionally paying it forward. That’s kind of been keeping me moving forward because it’s hard to get inspired from an instrument like the tuba. But man, other people are the best way to get inspired, for sure."
How do you define motivation and inspiration? Do you think they’re similar?: "I don’t think they’re similar. I read one of these self help books, called “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David D. Burns, because I was having such a hard time getting things done, and it says that, ‘action is what leads to motivation, which leads to more action’. No one thing is going to get you started except for actually getting started. But, I think that inspiration...if you wrote a piece for me, especially if you had me in mind when you were writing it, I think your piece would inspire me, but I don’t think it would motivate me. I don’t think the last movement of Mahler 2 is motivational, but it is inspirational. I think they are defined based on their function. I don’t necessarily think you always have to be doing something to get inspiration, it can just come to you wherever, however. But motivation doesn’t happen until you’re doing something productive to get you going."
Advice to others: "I would just ask, “is there any part of it that makes you happy?”If you don’t like what you’re doing, get out of it as fast you can so you still have time to find what you do enjoy doing. I’m starting to realize that I just love chamber music, and I don’t get to do much of it. Though I hate practicing, I’m not going to let the fact that I despise practicing stop me from making music because it makes me happy."
Cause/Charity: Gay Rights
Inspirational Quote: “When you realize just how perfect everything is, you’ll tilt your head and laugh at the sky.”-The Buddah
Do you think that inspiration and success rely on each other?: "I think the definition of success is a question of its own. If you are inspiring others, I would say that was success. But, people certainly have uninspired success. I know plenty of people who make 6 figures and they’re miserable. My definition of success is the person in question being happy with what they do. Obviously something in their life inspired them to want the individual success, but you’re asking are they the same. I don’t think they’re the same. Perhaps inspiration is point A and perhaps success is point B, and I think motivation is the journey between the two."