Quarter life crisis, anyone?

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Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby willyz » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:20 pm

Hey gang,

I was laid off from my (admittedly) cushy day job (at a non-theatrical film distribution company) last week- the company was acquired buy a much bigger organization at the start of the new year and it was determined that my Marketing/Admin Support (was mainly doing social media stuff) was to be eliminated in order for them to save money.


I know, life is rough, suck it up, be patient, yadda yadda yadda, etc- but I've again found myself in almost the exact same position (sans stolen gear) as I was in this time last year- unemployed and seemingly at 25 (26 in March), life is going nowhere fast. For the first time in life (thanks to making the most dough I'd ever made) I was able to save up a bit of cash, and I've got until about the end of March (ironically) until I run out. I can more than likely get back into GC with ease, and they have raised pay a little bit thanks to the east coast unionizing, so there's that...

...but it's still pretty tough to not beat myself up over the whole thing, circumstantial or not. I'm applying for stuff like crazy in town, but also out of state in other reputable cities to keep my options open. I haven't gotten many gigs this past year (turned down a couple due to lack of pay), and in general haven't gotten chance to play much- which I admit, does make things seem worse than me (maybe I'm just not that great of a player- maybe moving back to LA was the wrong choice, and yeah, I'm probably impatient as fuck). I've been pretty open about my experiences and hate to feel like the poster boy for the overly-privileged-feeling generation that is my age group, and I guess any advice to be thrown my way would be great. I've made a lot of calls, am sending out 20+ applications daily, reached out to so many people, and I know it's only been a week and perhaps this whole dialogue is showing how young and naive I am, but I'm at a loss at the moment. I feel (and probably sound) a bit pathetic and a bit of a failure- one of those 'what am I doing with my life?' things, I guess.

Any words of wisdom or referrals to send my resume ( ;) ) to would be greatly appreciated.

I'm once again facing my biggest challenge (well it's all a challenge, isn't it?) but it's always good to have HOD as a support system.
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Julián Fernández
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Julián Fernández » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:19 pm

I like to try this little exercise about thinking where I wanna be in 5 years... Are you still trying to be a full time player? Wanna be a weekend warrior with a day gig? Have an steady income as a teacher? Somewhere in between?

If you set a goal for yourseld, is easier to know if the things you´re doing are helping you or not to reach that goal... If you wanna play for a living you should be gigging as much as possible. If you´re not a pro, then (imho) there´s no reason to turn down gigs (with some exceptions).

Take some time to think about what you wanna do and everything else will fall in place... You already know that you should practicing and networking quite hard if you want to make it as a musician... are you committed enough to make it happen?

Best of luck!
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Paul Marangoni » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:09 pm

Keep sending out the résumés Willy. The job will come along, especially if you're willing to relocate (whether that is to another part of Southern California, or another state). Most companies don't actively start hiring until this time of year, and they're all going through PILES of applications. Just keep it up; be relentless.

My friend Aaron (remember the guy where I had my birthday party last year?) usually needs help at his track events, so you can try reaching out to him (email me for his email address). It's not regular work, but everything helps, and you never know where or when you'll meet someone who can introduce you to someone who is looking for someone... etc...

As for the playing and practicing, don't worry about it or you'll just beat yourself up. First things first dude.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby langmick » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:58 pm

Every experience is a chance to learn, think positively about it.

It's hard, because we are conditioned to think as negatively as possible, because in part, we don't have context.

Think of the long-run and how you would look back at how you behaved during this period. Would you be proud? Would you be chuffed to bits, or pissed off?

Life can be very weird but if you keep moving forward, our minds give us the perspective we need. But that can only come with time, which is also why it sucks.

Youth is wasted on the young is an aphorism that is totally accurate.

Be the ball WIlly.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby willyz » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:56 pm

Thanks dudes- appreciate it!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm probably not going to make it professionally as a musician- times are very different in terms of when I first started out and graduated from LAMA in 2007- in fact, you can almost pin-point some major changes in the industry (iTunes, specifically) right around that time. I don't dig a lot of modern music, don't agree with playing for free, hate the idea of art for the sake of art, and have too much concern over my future and cost of living to just 'drop it all' and go on tour with some random band. That being said, if the right thing came along, now would be the time!

I think I have a better shot career wise working in Hollywood. I've got some production experience and a lot of the industry is the same game in terms of networking, right place & right time, etc- it's just that people still like to get paid for their efforts in film/tv.

I'll never give up on playing and it's always something that I'm going to do. Would I love to be doing it full time? Absolutely- but the conditions would have to be right. Unfortunately, while the money can be nice, I have a hard time teaching- I don't really have the patience for little kids, which I suppose is something I need to get over.

But yeah, until things get clearer, the only place to move to is onwards, so that's what I'm doing! One of the best things my parents ever told me is that 'there's nothing un-artistic about making money'. And that's the priority for me.

Cheers, chaps!

EDIT: the other thing is that my prior job was doing some stuff with marketing and social media- in terms of making money, there's still going to be a lot of work around the country for that stuff- music and film/tv industries too. I think at the end of the day, I'll be able to sleep at night providing I'm working in the entertainment business in some capacity.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Rhythmatist » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:29 pm

I was out of work for a year...and over 50. I took a contract job that eventually led to the job I have now through someone I met at the contract gig. Don't be too picky about industries...I ended up as a tech writer with an ad/marketing company...i never dreamed in a million years I'd be doing that. Best part is, it's a fantastic job!!

While I was out of work I learned a few things about the job search process. For one thing, it's much like investing...diversify, diversify...meaning, you have to keep all avenues open...online ads, networking, attending job search workshops, meeting with recruiters etc..

AFA resumes are concerned. Don't have A resume...you need to tailor your resume and cover letters to each and every job you apply to or you're just wasting your time. It has to be able to pass 3 acid tests. 1) It must have all the key words that an electronic scanning system might be looking for. 2) It has to pass the cursory reading of an HR rep. And finally, 3) have all the answers to the hiring managers needs. This is no simple task. Job search when you're not working becomes your full-time job and you need to devote at least 40 hours a week to it.

The most important thing is to stay positive...yeah, easier said than done but it is possible. In that year I had one really bad emotional day and three others where I was a bit depressed. But overall, I did whatever I needed to do to keep going emotionally. You don't want a defeatist attitude to be revealed to those who could help you. Stay in good humor and...HIT THINGS!!! We as drummers have a great cathartic release. Without it I know I would have had a harder time. I did have quite a bit of work musically that year so that helped a lot. But even through some lean times just taking a half hour to work out on a pad kit worked wonders.

What kind of stuff did you do in marketing and social media? I can keep an eye on what's going on at my company's L.A. office and let you know if anything comes available. The manager at that office happens to be a drummer too! :) Keep us posted as to progress and best of luck in your search.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby moose » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:07 am

Rhythmatist wrote:AFA resumes are concerned. Don't have A resume...you need to tailor your resume and cover letters to each and every job you apply to or you're just wasting your time. It has to be able to pass 3 acid tests. 1) It must have all the key words that an electronic scanning system might be looking for. 2) It has to pass the cursory reading of an HR rep. And finally, 3) have all the answers to the hiring managers needs. This is no simple task. Job search when you're not working becomes your full-time job and you need to devote at least 40 hours a week to it.

Solid gold advice. Differentiate yourself from the others.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Gaddabout » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:32 am

See, I think you're looking at this all wrong. This is not as awful as it feels. This is an opportunity to figure out what you REALLY want to do and invent who you will become. I'm not pandering because I was in a somewhat similar situation at your age, and I know now how and why I got there. I also know there's the awe and wonder of coming out the other side, and you will, because you want to and you're in a first-world country that affords an individual many, many life reboots.

If I were you, I'd probably start setting priorities. Having money only through March would be unsettling to me, because that's probably not accounting for any unforeseen emergencies. My list would look something like this:

- Get a job, any job, probably multiple jobs to get income coming in.
- Food, shelter, lights, transportation. Anything else is frivolous. I'd probably consider selling some stuff just to make myself lighter and unburdened. No trips to the club, no dinner out, not iTunes, no DVDs, no cable. There's the drums and there's the library.
- Socking away money for a war chest for whatever I decide my next move will be.

Once I got there I'd probably slow down to ask myself, "What, specifically, do I want to achieve?" Because life really is passing you by at light speed, and it's not because you're pushing 26. It's because life will always pass us by when we don't have a point to get up in the morning. There has to be a legitimate objective for getting up in the morning, a plan for every dollar, a point for every minute you spend away from the thing that pays the bills.

I think you have to figure out what that thing is before you can REALLY go forward. And life will not stop while you pursue that. You still have the essentials to take care of.

But there's NO SHAME in doing that. In this country, there is no ONLY way of being successful. Put away your pride and stop comparing your life narrative to everyone else's -- that will never lead to happiness, and I assure you that your brain will never be able to wrap itself around the kind of mundane thinking that people sink into when they have a timetable of life events they set out to achieve.

You've already lived an unusual life. I say sell out to WEIRD, unashamed, unafraid. Weird is saying, "I'm 26 and I don't know what I want to do with my life." People will tell you that's loser talk. I say that's honest talk, that's freedom talk, because the moment you can say that without fear is the moment you stop listening to everyone else's story and figuring out what you want yours' to be.

There are no rules to this, no singular path. You're the author of your story. Instead of freaking out at the blank page, write a few sentences and see how they suit you -- you can ALWAYS rewrite!
“Let's try some of my songs.” Dave Grohl, top sign drummer will be fired.
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Da Chooch » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:04 pm

Matt, that was GREAT. thank you - now I wish I would've met you when I was 26.
....ALWAYS let the Wookie win....
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Re: Quarter life crisis, anyone?

Postby Pocketplayer » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:24 pm

Positive story...
My keyboard player from years ago was in the same boat. Very positive guy...always a good vibe
with him. He started working with DIC who did a lot of cartoons and then got in at Disney.
Right time, right place. He wanted to stay involved in music, but got into directing voices.
Now he is a VP with Disney and basically every kid's movie you see from Disney, he is involved
in directing voice actors, especially the overseas dubs for the movies.

All the effort from the past is part of who you are. That is energy in a word. It needs to have
a context to explode. So keep on keeping. The next corner is unknown but you are young bro.
It IS a matter of networking, but all the trials and tribulations you have experienced IS your resume.
That is real life experience...and that stuff makes impact.

Ask yourself what turns you on...passion...what gets you excited. If it is drums and there is no second
choice, that is your call right now. If it is sound mixing, then look at that. If it is producing, then look
at that. Make sense? It is basically the law of attraction. What we meditate on is the energy we
give out. That usually manifests itself in a great conversation with someone where there is strong
connection. Make note of those connections and unpack the story for a clearer mission statement.

Just my thots for today...you got the goods bro! Keep refining your inner self.

Practically speaking...in a word, communication. Communication skills are really significant.
Begin with the end in mind...when you work a temp position, ask yourself, "What impression do I want to
leave and what does that specifically look like?"

Seems so simple, but in my experience, rarely done well.
* remember names, call people by their name
* eye-contact when they speak
* summarize what someone tells you (feedback) that you really heard them
* make an impression w/t secretary (mission control center)...not flirt, but find something on their desk
you can pull out (one secretary I worked with loved the band The Monkeys)...she had a poster of them.
That is an imprint you can jump on. That sorta thing so when you leave, she remembers Willy!
* if you have to leave by doing any paperwork, during the day, think about your summary...details..
don't wait until the end of the day to ask, "OK...what did I do?" Draw out specific details in the moment of
the day..."at 1pm, the sound mix was excellent when we went into the chorus"
* let your strengths shine
* avoid ego conflicts...let it roll off you..."yeah, the guy was a control freak..." so give him an ego boost,
"Bro...you really are great at..."
* act like you belong there (quiet confidence)...
* listen to others 5:1 over talking (general idea here)...

In essence, it is a lot like playing a great gig...less is best, don't over play, be tasty in your fill selection,
you are there to serve the song--not demonstrate your new licks, make others feel good about themselves,
keep it simple and light, have fun. Who wouldn't want to play with someone like this?
Jeff Porcaro Groove Master

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