All posts filed under: Blog

What is an hour of your time actually worth from a Work Life Balance Perspective?

It’s a funny thing, time. We never seem to have enough of it, especially when pursuing an art form that is defined by a fleeting moment in our lives. One minute we’re on stage pouring our heart out for an audience, the next, we’re on the way home, thinking about the next performance. Our work leading to that intensive moment of artistic output causes us to value the time we have even more deeply. Hours and hours of work for a performance, and then it’s over as quickly as it began. Earlier this week, I wrote about strategies to determine the value of an hour of your time, but thinking about your work from a financial prospective is only one part of defining that value. Part of the reason so many artists face burn out in their playing is that, often, they wind up in situations that are not artistically satisfying. Compound that with the fact that it takes them away from family, friends and time for themselves, and the work becomes infinitely more frustrating. …

Financial Stability: What is an hour of your time actually worth?

One of the biggest challenges you will face as an artist is attaining financial stability. It is very possible to find financial stability, but nobody seems to share strategies for thinking about how you go about developing a sustainable career. The Challenge I get it. I know that quite often, you find ourself taking work that is both artistically and financially beneath you, which is frustrating because it takes you away from the work in which you are most passionate. The result is that often, your art becomes uninspiring and unfulfilling. Instead of blindly taking every opportunity that comes your way, the challenge is to crunch the numbers and set some basic limits to what you will and won’t take. Let’s dig in a little on some strategies you can use as you work to establish the value of an hour of your time. Process In this world, knowledge is power. I’ve created this spreadsheet to help you out. Click on the link to create a side by side comparison of your jobs, including all artistic and non-artistic …

Launching a new ensemble, organization, or business? Read this, Part II. The Inception of a Good Idea.

Now that you’ve taken a little time for self-exploration, the challenge becomes this: What makes an idea a good one? As humans, it’s in our DNA to muse about ways to make the world a better place. Some of us are even driven to take the step towards developing that idea into a new ensemble, organization or business. The trick is to develop your creative ideas with a marketplace in mind. First, a few rules as you develop your ideas: Do this work with the knowledge that someone else has probably already thought of your idea. I have had countless meetings with individuals who are convinced that they have an idea nobody has thought of before. This is probably not true. Your job is to consider what makes your unoriginal idea unique to others.  Tip: You’re reading this post right now but I’m one of hundreds, maybe thousands of people who set out to help others bring their ideas to life.  Why did you choose to read this post instead of others? I hope it’s because something in my …

The Long Tail Sessions, Vol. V—Jonathan Kuuskoski interview and some great tools of the trade, and an amazing playlist.

Hi everyone! This week, I decided to include a short interview with Jonathan Kuuskoski, who currently serves as the Interim Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership (EXCEL) and Director of the EXCEL Lab at the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance. Here is the interview: I’m also happy to share my weekly Long Tail Session, which includes recommendations from Jonathan. Here are the show notes Jonathan and I spoke about in the video. Here are the show notes. Link to Volume V of the Long Tail Sessions: Link to the Khemia Ensemble. Link to Asana, a free task management tool for your team. Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses by Amy Whitacre. About The Long Tail Sessions: Last winter, I traveled from LA to NYC on a Virgin America flight and loved that the in-flight entertainment featured musicians in alphabetical order. At first, I found it jarring to see Beethoven next to the Beatles, but then I thought “Of course they’re featured side-by-side, …

Hack Music LA, The LA Phil, and Finding Relevance

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of mentoring students and serving as a fist round judge for Hack Music LA, a Los Angeles Philharmonic sponsored event that brought students from a multitude of backgrounds together for 48 hours of work to compete for prizes through a new venture competition. The weekend was filled with talks, workshops, mentorship and ultimately, a chance to pitch an idea to a panel of judges. Students self-selected into inter-disciplinary teams, based on their particular interest. From there, they were given time to quickly develop their ideas. It was incredible to see the diversity of thought that came when musicians, entrepreneurs, gamers and coders mixed together to work on a common goal. Lead by Kathleen Stetson, a graduate of the New England Conservatory and MIT, and Shana Mathur, Chief Marketing Officer at Los Angeles Philharmonic, the event was another effort in a long line of amazing initiatives pushed forward by the Phil in order to allow them to continue to be at the forefront of influence, innovation and relevance. In a field …