15 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

I love vegetables, but I cannot stand lima beans and peas.

I will never run out of books to read, because I continue to buy more before I get close. I will eventually read every book in print about music theory, TV and film production, and computer software. Eventually I will find my way back to fiction, because it is my first love.

When I was 12, I would ride my bike to the library and borrow books. LOTS of books. I remember reading a book on the Encyclopedia Brown series, and going back to check out 12 more books in the series all at once, and I had to balance them all in my arms while I rode home. Geek, thy name is Rob.

In the 90’s, I wanted to be a guitar player. Not for Motley Crue or Poison, mind you, but like Joe Satriani (who happens to be playing in iTunes right now) or Steve Vai, or Al Dimeola. I was into guitar players for a long time, and spent hours practicing scales. Then I realized I didn’t much care for playing in front of people, and then the composer in me was born.

Music has always been my escape. I need to have it playing constantly while I’m doing…well, anything. There are 12,000 songs on my computer, and I can tell you where I was when I purchased each album, and what emotional state I was in.

I will never be 100% happy with something I wrote, no matter how many changes I make or how many others praise it. I believe that quality is something every good artist needs.

I love to make lists. There is a special kind of joy I get when I can cross things off a list. I constantly make to do lists longer than I can possibly finish, whether its a weekly list or a daily one. I’ve read about how that’s an unhealthy way to be, that never being able to reach the finish line is detrimental to you psychologically. I disagree, I will never run out of things to do, or goals to reach, because, for the rest of my life, I want to be reaching for something. I sometimes think the only reason I bought my Palm T/X is so I can carry around a list.

I am addicted to email. I check my email every hour at least. It is by far, in my opinion, the best advancement in technology and communication in the last 50 years. It’s the other reason I bought the Palm years ago. I will check email while fast forwarding commercials at midnight while lying in bed. Unless we’re doing something else.

I have always been a PC guy. I just finished building one from scratch, a feat of which I’m proud of, because when I was done I prayed that the thing would turn on. I use Pro Tools on a PC, I write music on a PC, and I can’t stand it when I hear a composer talk about how a Mac is the only way to go for music composition. If you know how to read, tweak, and caress a PC, you can get it to do whatever you want. My girlfriend has a Mac, I use it all the time when I’m not in the studio (to check email), I’m familiar with it and will eventually buy a Mac Pro for the studio so that I have the option to utilize either operating system. People who rip apart one system for the other, and fail to recognize that both are important, aren’t exploring all the opportunities.

I love orchestration. The hardest part about composing, for me, is coming up with the melody. That’s the uphill battle. When I have the melody, it’s the top of the hill, and I’m smiling all the way down. I will spend hours adding color and depth to the melody with other instrument groups.

I will always create music. I made a decision a few years ago that composing for film and television was what I was born to do, and no matter how many obstacles, rejections or hardships I have to endure I will persevere. I am not in this for the money, I am not interested in becoming the next Williams or Zimmer. I want to make enough to live comfortably, and have enough work that I am always busy.

I spend way too much time on MySpace. I have been on here just over a year (although it’s the second time around), and I am cultivating relationships, and more importantly friendships, that make every second I spend on here worth it. I have gotten more paid jobs off the ‘Space than Craigslist and Mandy.com combined, and for that I am grateful to Tom. Except when logon is disabled, then I curse him.

I pride myself on being a “cool dad,” not because I think it myself, but because my son’s friends come ever and say, your dad’s cool, my parents would never listen to that music, or know about that show.” That being said, I generally don’t get along with other parents, because I am not living in the burbs with a wife and 2.5 kids, a minivan, and I do not golf. I surround myself with creative people, and I have been known to blast Tupac from the car stereo as I roll through the hood. I can fit into almost any conversation, and I am very good at being PC when I have to, but I will never really get along with those kinds of parents.

I love marketing. I love analyzing a campaign that a network or studio is pushing, and watching it come back to them by the millions. I love the ratings game, and figuring out why some shows that are brilliant still fail, how crappy shows stay on the air because of their demographic, and how really good shows like Studio 60 stay on despite lukewarm ratings because it’s target audience is affluent households, and it’s keeping them watching (ultimately, not enough). I know that, despite the creativity, that Hollywood is all about money, and if you want to be a part of that circle, you need to play the game, composers included. I believe that using this knowledge in my own marketing and career choices is an advantage.

That said, I love indie films. I love a film that says “fuck you” to corporate guidelines, to the groups that monitor “indecency” in films (monitor your own damn kids, leave the rest of America alone). I love a film that’s gritty, real, raw, and doesn’t have a happy ending, because life doesn’t always end with “happily ever after.” Those are films and directors that I will go after with a passion, because I want to be a part of that.