Being here in New York has turned out to be so good for me. Somehow, testing the world in this way of throwing everything away and starting again in a big scary place that is legendary for being cold and man-eating and all of that has proven to me that I am me here or anywhere. So I have the coffee shop, it looks like I will be teaching at the school in the village starting this summer or sooner, I have residencies–four of them– at public schools, I have a weekly accompanying gig which has spawned transcription and transposing projects, I have the Musical Directing job at Theater Ten Ten, and yesterday I got a gig doing some backing tracks for a show my friend Tye is working on.
I guess in Houston, things felt so easy and it seemed like a fluke that I was relatively successful with teaching and music and all. I think the fact that I never had to try to find work made it seem like a fluke, or maybe even an accident, and I always had this feeling that I was just doing these things because they couldn’t find anyone better. But now I have put myself out there– this new hayseed from Texas looking for work doing something I always felt like I was adequate at best, but that is appearing not to be true. What an interesting turn of events, and a beautiful turn at that. Could it be that I really am a worthwhile person? I mean, maybe even more than that? An exceptional person?
Yesterday Tye and I had a conversation quite similar to one I had with Chef Mark Sunday night. Just about choosing to have success, and also doing things regardless of fear level. Seems to work really. not to mention the fact that everyone I have encountered her in New York seems genuinely interested in cultivating success for those around them. You know, in terms of extending goodwill, suggestions, connections and such. Where are these cold and mean people that I have heard so much about? Every single person I have asked for directions on the street have stopped and made a point of directing me clearly to where I needed to go, many asking where I moved from, what I am doing here. I love those conversations that go on for a block or so with random strangers walking in the same direction, until one has to make a turn or enter a building.
So yeah. I am happy to be here.