In High School, I fell in love with Jazz and found my voice in a big awkward instrument that I affectionately refer to as the six foot violin. Fortunate to have good teachers and an obsessive temperament, I picked it up pretty quickly and was playing around Atlanta professionally by my last year of High School.
I hadn’t thought about becoming a professional musician until High School, but in 2007 I put my identity as a computer geek on hold and went to Florida State University to study music. In Tallahassee, I found a community of peers with the same unsatiable drive that I had for Jazz music. In 2011 I moved back to Atlanta with a music degree and two equally impractical minors (philosophy and religion) that I thoroughly enjoyed getting.
In Atlanta, I played music and worked part time for a sex cushion manufacturer where I dealt with giant spreadsheets and with Amazon. I was lucky to develop close musical relationships with a group of creative like-minded musicians in Atlanta, but it got stale.
I began to wonder what being a Jazz musician means in the twenty first century. If it means playing the same $100 background music gigs for the of my life, then maybe it’s not for me. I knew there was more to it, but I didn’t think I could get to it in Atlanta.
In December of 2013, sufficiently fed up with my routine in Atlanta, I took a risk. I bought a one way ticket to New York City. I brought a suitcase and $7000 in savings, and set out to find a job and a place to live.
Knowing that I’d need a good job to survive in New York, I spent the year leading up to the move reconnecting with my computer geek side and deliberately building up my skills. I fell in love with the web. It had changed a lot since I bought my first HTML book at age ten, and I wanted to be a part of it. I learned about responsive design, fell in love with typography on the web, had some fun with Rails, and became pretty good at CSS in the process.
In February 2014, I took a job as a Front End Developer for Something Digital, an agency in midtown Manhattan. I get to work all kinds of projects with some great people, and I learn a lot.