Ebbs and Flows

During these creative slow downs, it feels like nothing is getting done, but when you stop and take a breath, yes…some things have been accomplished.

We get casting calls all the time, and a couple weeks ago, we got a casting call that fit my business partner, Don, to a T. They needed an outdoors man, who could hunt and knew firearms. I forwarded the casting call email to him, but since we’ve had the movie company on the back burner for a few months, I didn’t expect anything to come of it. He emailed me right back, and said, “Do we need to shoot new headshots if we submit for this?” So, we did! We created headshots specifically for the gig, and submitted and he made the shortlist.

We had our fingers crossed, and kept checking email and phones. But, alas, he didn’t get the gig. Still, it was fun to think about. I soooo wanted him to get this gig, and perhaps be the model on billboards as people drove across the country (and on commercials and print advertising, etc).

So, that was photography and a submission for a gig, and communication about the gig. That accomplished something. And we got new updated headshots for him.

I’d been wanting to have some wiring work done in my recording studio. I finally had that done. A friend had loaned me an interface, so I was chomping at the bit to try it (usually–since the recording studio is so frustrating, it’s not fun to go in there and find things I can’t do and can’t understand.) But, for the first time in my life, I recorded silence. Whether it was the new electrical wiring or the interface, or the new connection schemes I devised, I recorded silence. I called Don, and said, “I recorded silence!” He knew what that meant. This was a huge, huge goal, because after fighting this recording technology for sooo many years, I finally got a 0 signal/noise ratio?!?!?!?!

So, then, of course, you want to see if you can make a decent recording. I DID! I recorded a song that isn’t mine–so I can’t post it here. And it had some frequency issues, but that is something you can fix in the mix. At least I’m making progress at learning audio engineering.

I opened up the “help” file to the audio software, and for the first time, I could understand some of it. How do you learn all this stuff? There is no owner’s manual to tell you what to buy and how this piece of equipment works with that piece of equipment, and how to program the computer, and how to interact the various components with the least amount of interference, and oh yeah….the a/c kicked on and made a droning sound at measure 32 and there’s no way to edit that out! Argh!

So, I’m further along in this process than I ever have been before. I’m rather anxious to try some more.

I understand normal ‘musician’ things like transpose, and meter, and key, and downbeat–bounce, mix, output, burn.

But, being able to read the help file and actually understand? That’s huge! Cross-fades, envelopes, drum map, snap to, bus, interleave, fade, toggle, auto-shuttle, nudge, soft-synth, bank/patch change. It goes on and on and on and on. It’s a whole other language. Who knew that to record audio you had to be an electrical engineer? I was already a musician. I was already a computer geek. Audio engineering is a whole other language. So, the fact that I can speak it–even to the smallest degree–I’m accomplishing something. It’s one more step I’ve made on this mystical journey.

I’m accomplishing something. (I keep saying that–not to prove to someone else that I’m working–but to remind myself that things are happening here. But…no matter how much I accomplish–it’s never enough…  There is still soooo much to be done. How do you define success? When do you know that you have ‘made it’? Is ambition a sin? Am I doing what I need to be doing, in order to accomplish the purpose for which I was sent to Earth? Am I wrong for working a 6 day week at the day job, and wanting to take that 7th day to lay around and recharge my batteries -before going back to the day job the next day and doing it all again.  If I spend that 7th day just watching a TV show for fun, am I slacking off? Am I sloughing? Am I a horrible person for not doing all this creative work faster? You can only do what you can do. No human can be productive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If stopping work (both day job and creative job) for a day is what enables me to function, then that’s what you have to do. But it feels like I’m not ‘getting there’ fast enough.)

You can only do what you can do.

But, back to audio engineering, the thing that has helped the most is looking over a friend’s shoulder as he does audio engineering. I can see what he’s doing and learn. Even tho it’s a completely different software, and the names of the tasks are different, I can see what he had done and come home and try to translate that to my software.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, I am getting there. (And not just dreaming that I understand some of this.)

I’m thinking about writing again. Book writing. The work is there, whenever I get the creative energy to be able to do  it. You can only do what you can do. And real life, in 2012 keeps throwing me curve ball after curve ball after curve ball. I know that other people have so much more difficult things to deal with. But no one can know what another’s person’s life is like until they walk in that person’s shoes. We each have to make our own path and make our own journey. This is my journey.

So, for those of you who are fathers, Happy Father’s Day! Your children love you more than you will ever know!



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