Day 45: A Transcendent Production of “The Secret Garden”

This is a two-parter pertaining to musicals 🙂 Part #1: A Transcendent Production of “The Secret Garden” For many years now, my wife has shot pictures for “Music Circus,” an annual Summer tradition here in Sacramento where six complete musicals are professionally staged over several months. Due to the Pandemic, Music Circus hadn’t happened since 2019. My wife has loved returning to take pictures after the three year break. For me it’s been great fun to be able to see the productions again. Last weekend I took my mom to…

Day 41: Reaching for Satisfaction (Music-Sharing Edition)

Today I sat at the cafe and blissed out for three hours writing, something I absolutely love doing. At one point I realized it wasn’t the topic I was writing about (which happened to be investing) that was important so much as how the topic was feeling. In other words, I was having fun, so I kept it up. And because it felt good, I know it was good for me 🙂 That’s how I am learning to think of things these days. It’s not the subject, it how it…

Day 36: My Short-But-Sweet “In the Heights” Adventure

A few nights ago I was about to close up for the night and relax, when my friend Lisa called. A few years ago we worked together on several musicals at a high school in Elk Grove, including “Frankenstein,” which I wrote the music for. Lisa is now doing “In the Heights” in Woodland, about a half hour outside of where I live in Sacramento. She explained that their keyboardist had taken sick, opening night is two days away, and is there ANY possibility I could maybe… drive over right…

Day 28: Improving My Marathon/Life Balance

I can personally say that training for and running a marathon has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying things I have ever done. However–this may sound obvious–it is not easy. And when I say it is not easy, I’m not just talking the physical challenge of four months of training and then that big run at the end. I’m talking about the challenge of balancing marathon training with the rest of life. I’m still figuring this one out, but I’m hoping that with Marathon #3 I can get…

Day 6: What Does it Mean to Get a Million Views?

What does it mean to get to a million views on your Youtube video? Ask me this a few months ago and I would have had no idea. Yet a couple weeks ago, a Youtube video of mine actually accomplished this feat. In fact, today it is rapidly approaching 1.5 million views. You can watch the video here. It is a Charlie Chaplin film clip I recorded my own piano score to … four years ago ( I wrote about it during my first 365 Day Blogging Project: see “Day…

Oh, To Enjoy My Songs!

This week has been pretty remarkable, because for the first time in recent memory I have been playing my songs. And enjoying myself. And I’m not just talking about playing the song I happen to be working on. I’ve written about fourteen songs in the past year (eleven of them for a musical I collaborated on earlier this year). I certainly spent a lot of time with these songs. No, I’m talking about playing (and in many cases listening to records I’ve made of) songs I wrote as far back…

The Importance of Being Ready

Most of my life I put incredible pressure on myself. I forced myself to step into challenging situations and grow and strive. And I learned a lot from it all, yet ultimately, after all of the striving and struggling and stressing and hoping and shouldering the burden of a thousand expectations, I learned that concentrating on what I am actually ready for is a far more effective approach. I grew up admiring (and envying) artists, musicians, and writers who got well-known/famous/rich early in their careers. That was the picture of…

A Fresh Start

In the past few years I have been doing everything I can to get a fresh perspective, to do things that are fun, that are different from the old routines of work and stress, that get me out of the old ruts, the old mental thoughts, the old habits. This blog was a great way for me to go in a completely different direction. Instead of stressing about work or business, I simply had the job of writing each day. And because the topic usually had nothing to do with…

The Closet Renaissance Man Calls Out that Old Nasty

Earlier this month I mentioned the Benjamin Franklin biography I read a few years ago. Since reading this book, Franklin has seemed to me the perfect example of someone who permitted himself to follow any and every interest without self-censoring, over-thinking, or stopping himself. He pursued every passion with complete commitment and abandon befitting the ultimate Renaissance man. No wonder he is still remembered and celebrated. I have deeply admired that, and I aspire to that freedom. Yet I admit I have often been too judgmental, to contained, to circumspect,…

My Music Career Takes the Non-Attachment Test

I repeatedly hear about the futility of being attached to outcomes in life. In fact, attachment seems the surest way to suck all the fun out of something. I have learned this hard way again and again, especially in my music career. In fact, one of the primary benefits of this blog has been that I get to be creative in a way that is fun for me… ie, free of attachment! Fortunately, when it comes to music, there are quite a few areas where I have excelled; that is,…