(Give that introduction pause for a moment- how creepy did it sound? Please tell me you just shed a tear in panic.)
A lot has been going on- so much so that I actually typed this blog while at work. I can hear you all [everybody] screaming, “Way to stick it to the man, Em!” Thank you, thank you- I try. But I haven’t fallen from the musical radar just quite yet. Before I get into all of that: I’ve been working in a shitty corporate job for shitty corporate America for almost a month. It has been both miserable and mind numbing. (WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO BROWSING OF THE TUBULAR BELLS.)
I’ve been searching frantically for jobs elsewhere and praying that my soul will be freed if I eat my broccoli (which isn’t much of a stipulation since broccoli is delicious). I tried to be proactive; I hadn’t even graduated from Stetson, yet I had already begun applying for jobs IRL. One of the job listings was for Full Sail University. I don’t have to take the time to explain here why this was an exciting prospect, though I will say this: multi-hundred channel mixing boards. Yes, BOARDS. Plural. Get me? Good.
Most people in Florida know that Full Sail has it going on… albeit for a hefty price. Nonetheless, I went out on a limb and decided I would try my hand at this whole “technologist thing”. [see: “No Friends”
] I applied the very day I graduated and then waited. And called. And waited some more. And started to give up.
There are a ton of really poignant, really relevant lyrics I could insert here that would make you somewhat feel where my mind was going at this point. All I can really offer is that I am a Debbie Downer and a Negative Nancy a lot of the time, so I assumed no one liked/was impressed by/cared about my CV or resume, and that I would be stuck working this crap chute of a job (and I was happy to get hired by somewhere, even though I’ve had people hang up, threaten to call the FBI on me, and even tell me they were going to pull out their leg hair (which is what I just received in the midst of writing this sentence. I shit you not. God save the Queen.) for many more tortured months. But then there was a game changer.
"Good afternoon Ms. Dwyer,
I read through your resumé this morning and was impressed by your information.
If you have not done so, would you be able to fill out the pre-screen questionnaire and upload your unofficial transcripts?
I would also like for you to consider a time that we could set up for a meeting.
Please let me know your schedule, when you can, and we can proceed from there.
Thank you very much for your time."
Spoken like a hero.
… Excuse me? Did I read that correctly? EXCUSE ME, SIR. SIR. SIR.
Suffice it to say, I called about 10 minutes after receiving that email
and then called back Monday morning to make sure of the interview date.
Can’t touch this!
I switched my schedule around on the same day and planned to meet a Full Sail head honcho at 10 am on Tuesday, aka today. I had been sent directions which I proceeded to mutilate after making 3 U-turns at the same intersection before calling the Full Sail main office. I truly have no sense of direction. #good
Besides the usual paranoia and tension before going into interview, I felt rather deflated. I kept thinking, “Why would they want me? Nobody wants to hire me for music. My majors were hard, and finding a job is going to be even harder." And then as an after thought: "...Where can I throw in a TWSS here?” So I parked and walked into the office and met with my interviewer. We talked about why I had applied for the position, my collegiate and pre-collegiate background, my experience with recording software- basic questions that anyone would get asked when applying for that type of position. He told me about the other faculty members’ instruments, but I didn’t hear “violin” listed. So, being the “TRIP AND A HALF” that I am, I cut my eyes and him and asked slyly, “So no violinist? Sounds like you need one.” Nice try, Emily. That’s real professional. Act like a clown in front of the department head. GOOD WORK. LESS MARKETABLE. But then a meteor fell out of the sky and landed on the interview and maybe my face (because that mental image is making me the LOLing).
“Your background speaks volumes about your dedication to music. I am very
impressed and would love to have you on our team. When’s the earliest you
I checked the calendar and the earliest start date listed was April 29th. I pointed to the date the way a Walker points to human flesh. We stood and
went to talk to the Assistant Course Director before I left. He told me to finish some paper work and that he would get me in the system.
Butt trumpets and angels and shit.
And just like that, I was hired by Full Sail University*. (*This is the point of the story where I make an analogy about my life to Frodo destroying the One Ring, or Voldemort dissolving into ash, or even Darth Vader getting his butt hole handed to him by his own son.)
And though I still have an hour to waste at my desk, I can see the sunlight dying between the shades of the blinds. And I feel comforted.
I made a promise to not slander anyone or any program in particular, but it’s really unbelievable what some teachers say to their students- especially in an ultra-sensitive field like music. It makes you grateful to the professors, family and friends who have stuck by you, even when you had the audacity to tell them all you wanted to study two musical fields in college. All I can say is: I am NOT less marketable. But thanks for playing. #getrealshewhomustnotbenamed
Aside from a fresh job waiting for me, I’ve also begun some part time work for an Orlando-based company called Booked Promotions
. One of my friends from middle school as well as Stetson began working there and told me that
there was a vacancy for a “BookedPro Show” hostess. I immediately shouted in his face, “DOES THAT MEAN I GET TO BE A CUPCAKE?!” at which point I got slapped in the mouth. Not really, but that was way cooler of a story, bro. So I looked up the company and then found both the job description and the ad. I decided, once again, “YTFN?”, and proceeded to send my resume and website info. I was contacted by two gents named Andrew and Danny. They told me to meet them for an interview at a Starbucks
off of Colonial. Seeing as I love me some Sbux as well as music, I was down to interview. It went well, and both seemed very warm and chill (don’t misread that as
an oxymoron, you FOOL!). They told me they still had a few interviews and that I would be hearing from them by Sunday if I got the job. Because Andrew is a little prankster, I got this email:
"Hello Emily,We have bad news, unfortunately you were selected to be “The BookedPro Show” host which means you’ll have to see us a lot more.
Haha, congratulations! We’re going to get some of the sites up and running and then we will contact you with more information. If you have any questions be sure to let us know."
Initially, my heart sank like a rusty anchor… until I proceeded to reread the email. I c wut u did thar. I was very happy to be a part of the Booked Pro team, and had my first assignment at the Polyenso show on March 28. The second show I had to cover was the Evergreen Terrace show on April 4th. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, because a lot of deets will be up on the Booked Pro Show Facebook page
. Also, you’ll be able to see me stumble through interviews, talk about what makes bands cool, and watch me act ridiculous in public via the podcasts. Best hostess ever? Dur. #straightcupcakestatus
I do, however, still want to write about both of those shows, since there were some endearing stories and happenstances. But more that’s for tomorrow’s workday. The Booked Pro Show is going live as soon as I can get my vain ass in gear and pick the promo shots. Did I mention I’m super stoked about it all? I love getting to talk to musicians I both admire and have recently met. It’s all about networking. And being hot. That helps, too.
And speaking of hot, I’ve decided that I’m going to let y’all in on a not-so-little secret about someone I’ve affectionately nicknamed Hotbox. I will use the hashtag #straightbeefcakestatus whenever I discuss him (just so we’re clear). Many of you may remember me bloggy wogging about a certain Julian
a post past. After much wooing and swooning and general lovesickness, he decided to accept my stalking as completely-smitten affection… and return it.
Be prepared for me to start blasting my unadulterated joy on Facebook.
THAT’S RIGHT, KIDS
And on top of that, he has generously extended the invitation for me to be a part of his SoFla ensemble LAVOLA.
Hell, we’ve already been doing acoustic gigs together! And if that isn’t cute enough for you, go look at a pile of kittens. Even though you should do that anyway. I shall say nothing more of the matter because I’ll find myself gushing. And Lord knows what happens when I gush (see: poetry.)
I could cry about all of this. This whole post makes me very emotional, because things are not taking a dump on my soul as of late. I seem to have hit a pocket of good luck and unbridled joy, both of which are most welcome. I’d like to thank the Academy, and Jesus and my cat Lily, and everyone else who hasn't turned me in to the karma police. Or maybe just all of y’all for making me feel like my choices finally mean something worthwhile. I can feel the tears- HERE THEY COME! (twss)
But really, thank you. I love all of you. But mostly my cat Lily.
Until I overdose on filtered sewage water aka work coffee,
I’m a big fan of lists, so I’m going to make them. A lot of them (twss).
Breakfast: kisses from a particularly tiny kitten, assorted fruit parfait, orange-mango juice, whole wheat toast, Karma Cream Coffee (thanks, Kyle)
First day of tour style: Frankie B jeans, TWLOHA shirt (fears vs. dreams campaign), Let Love Rule Tom’s shoes, orange Zenni optical specs
First destination: Pensacola, FL. Final venue destination: The World Famous Celtic Irish Pub (Pascagoula, MS)
We started by loading a mini-trailer at the warehouse. Though KD has only been on one other tour, he took the initiative to be the trailer-loader and consequently play a mean game of Tetris with all of our gear. Kellen did tedious but necessary drum maintenance- changed the heads and then loaded up his 5000000 piece set. Dan announced early on in the process that he needed to “drop a deuce” and disappeared with the community roll of TP. Kyle flitted about, asking about general band maintenance, funds and map organization. Boys will be boys. It didn’t take us long to get situated like one compact, dysfunctional family in a 5 seater SUV. At this point, the open trunk area seemed to be calling my name. I could easily lounge with a pillow and sleeping bag if I remained in the fetal position, or maybe even make a tour de fort. GET IT?!
U-Haul ... ass?
The total driving time was about 5.5 hours, though no pit stops had been factored in. The plan was to go to Kellen’s old friend’s house, drop off the luggage there, shower & change, then hit the road for MS. Since Pensacola and Pascagoula aren’t very far from one another, we planned on driving back after the show that night. I took cat naps throughout the nearly 6 hour trip until we stopped at Ponce de Leon Springs Park for a bathroom break. Friends, let me share this little secret with you about this location: cleanest rest stop bathroom I have ever used, probably because it’s in the middle of nowhere and nowhere is not a place to have a party. Unless you’re in Fick, in which case anywhere is potential shot-taking territory. Nothing else was extremely outstanding besides seeing a school bus filled with convicts. (From this point forward, I’ll make a list of oddities observed while driving all over America’s south.)
By the time we got into Pensacola, we were collectively worn out. But thankfully, we weren’t even at the first venue! And it was the first day of our mini-tour! Joy! Rapture!
I called the shower first (girl power) and was feeling pretty heavenly for the show that night. When we got on the road, I decided to listen to Fick’s discography. And solfege it all. Finally, four years of music school has practical application! By the time we got close to where the venue was supposed to be, a putrid smell of fishy swampiness greeted us with predictable Mississippian hospitality. After driving past a hospital that reeked of potentially-liquefied, Matrix-reminiscent bodies, turning onto an all-too dark railroad crossing, then backtracking to behind a Lowe’s, we found the venue.
“What the hell is this?”
It was small (twss). It looked relatively interesting from the outside, particularly so because no one was there. The bartender was pretty cool right off the bat, as was the sound guy, who was all-too attentive. There were some people inside who seemed to enjoy drinking alone on a southern Wednesday night. One eventual Fick enthusiast wearing a dangerously short “canary yellow” dress kept asking about “hearin’ that fiddle” when she saw me lug in my 2000 lbs of gear (playing violin in a band has its advantages).
Outfit break: royal blue top from Charlotte Russe, American Eagle shorts, lace leggings from Pac Sun, shit kickers from Journey’s
The guys ended up doing two sets: one of cover songs where I sat out and recorded video, and a full Fick set where I would actually play on every song. Note: The usual drill was walking off stage when I didn’t specifically have a part I was told to play. More recently, things have changed and once again, I have weaseled myself into the entire set after arguing that it was awkward to walk off and on like a musical call-girl. Though it has been a rough practice the night before, I was pumped to finally have the chance to play on every song. We did a full set, something Fick has never done before; this even included the semi-SOAD-reminiscent song, “A Ballad for the Folly of Man
"I will film your horrible stage banter."
For the most part, it was smooth sailing. Of course, there were only 6 people there to begin with and 4 remaining after our set, but it was a start. Ended up having a conversation with a bearded ginger about music school expectations, which is always a topic of much debate. Also had to be convo-rescued when a “meth mouth” came up to me upon the completion of our last song. Here’s how the exchange went down.
toothless man: “Mmmehreshuh mmat FIDDLE?”
me: “Yes, I play fiddle!”
toothless man: “Wheremahassen fiddlesolommmyeah?”
me: “I just played a solo in ‘Daybreak’!”
toothless man: “Mmmmzzzufuhzuzzle…”
Dan: “Thanks for coming out, man! She needs to pack up now.”
Various jokes about “packing” were made while loading the trailer. We got paid (a good start!) and hit the road for the drive back to Pensacola. It was short and sweet, but would be the only non-exhausting drive during the entirety of the tour. Sad face.
Back at band headquarters, I attempted (mind your head!) to shower. Apparently there are these ultra-fancy pants faucets where you pull the actual filter spout thing down and it goes from bath to shower configuration. But after fifteen minutes of frustrated efforts to change the water flow, I settled on a bath*. I did get to snuggle up in the spare bedroom which was a little more distanced from the IAMDRUNKITALKLOUD voices coming from the living room. Suffice it to say, I felt bad for K.D. and Kyle.
What glories await Thursday afternoon?! Gasp, gasp, GASP!
* THAT’S how metal is done, boys.