A Working Musician

The Truth Behind My Front Porch Concerts 

This post comes with a lot of frustration at myself for not recognizing how I feel in the present, and always having to see the truth in hindsight. 

As many of you know, I've come outside and played for my neighbors on my front porch a handful of times, going live on Facebook or Instagram when I do so. That way, my family can see me play from miles and miles away. Also of course whoever else is interested but can't be physically present. 

At first I was excited by the positive response I was getting. 


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Boys Club 

I’m starting to see Pittsburgh music as a boys club. Not that this is uncommon anywhere else, but it’s hit me recently. 

I am (unfortunately) a member of the same male demographic, but the distinct lack of female instrumentalists lends to age-old boys club antics on the bandstand. There’s not very much racial diversity either; it stifles the repertoire and perspective.  

Pittsburgh, for all of its history, drowns in disillusionment. The idea that a rich cultural background in America’s art form cements our…

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Stop Saying that Artists are "Brave" or "Lucky" 

Next person to call me “lucky/brave because you’re following your dreams” can go bug off. This may seem insensitive, but hear me out. 

My only piece of “good fortune”, realistically, is in knowing what I’ve wanted to do with my life since I was very young. I’ve had a tumultuous life path up until this point, which included (and is not limited to): 

- Studying medicine in high school, going back and forth between public school and charter school so that I could still play music 
- Studying engineering in…

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Follow Up: Starship Mantis |Feralcat Record Release Show  

Hi everyone - I’m overwhelmed, what about you? 

I had worked tirelessly for over a year to write music, learn music, practice music, get musicians together, prepare recording sessions, book rehearsals, develop marketing strategies, prepare my story, develop a live show, develop branding, work out my look, finalize the live show, develop merchandise, work on stage presence, and of course record songs. All of this...for a 1 hour moment on Saturday, June 1st. You’d think that seems like a lot of work for very…

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How my Introvert Tendencies Affect My Music Career? 

I feel as though I’ve become increasingly introverted as of late. 

I want to blame it on my practice, and that I’ve been dedicating a non-trivial amount of time toward getting better. I know deep down that that cannot be the only thing. 

I want to blame it on growing older. In growing more in tune with myself, I recognize the things I need to feel ready to enter the world. I’ve never needed to validate my lifestyle by going out, but It’s not just the time I spend at home that has me thinking; it’s more so…

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I was dismissed as a nerd who wouldn't know the first thing about creating art/music 

I remember once hanging with a friend of mine (who I considered a friend, although I never quite knew if we perceived the relationship the same way). She was an actor, and was having a conversation with another friend about her craft and a role she was preparing for. 

The friend whom she spoke with was a creative writer, and the rest of us were varying degrees of engineers and computer scientists. I thought their conversation was interesting and I wanted to join in. Before I could really say much, she…

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I was an engineer, then I was a musician. But was I really ever an engineer? 

I thought I hated CMU (my alma matter) when I went there. 

I thought that the STEM students were more robotic than the robots they’d build. I resented this. 

I thought the programs within the institution were part of an assembly line to mass produce [high quality] people who’d end up paid super well working as a cog in a bigger machine. I resented this. 

I thought that all of the students were so dead set on having the right answers that they never thought about what it meant to take the test in the…

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How does being hyper critical in music affect my ability to connect with people? 

As I’ve continued the path I lead as a musician/artist, I’ve noticed a shift in how I interact with the world around me. I’ve started to feel more and more alienated from folks who aren’t my peers.  

And it hurts.  

I’ve always been observant and hyper critical; it often impedes my will to speak earnestly. I tend to hold back and listen. Then, I try to curate their perception of me based off of the response I give. It’s my defense mechanism (probably not so uncommon) so that people don’t see anything of…

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