music biz

Breakfast in Burbank

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We’d met Michael at a film scoring class at UCLA Extension and when we met his wife Patty, it was love at first sight; they were talented songwriters, about our age, utterly charming, bright, funny and fun-to-be-with! After a 3-hour lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, we were sure we’d finally made new friends, an accomplishment which had proven more difficult than we’d anticpated in Los Angeles. While Hollywood is loaded with creative artsy types, there can be a cut-throat quality to many relationships, since there’s always many more talented people than employment opportunities.

It was a blast to talk shop and play songs for each other but after the honeymoon period (a week or two?), it became evident that they didn’t feel the same enthusiasm for our friendship, as they became more and more difficult to reach, didn’t return phone calls and weren’t available to get together to socialize. We suspected that they had figured out that we didn’t have connections that could help their careers and so their interest flagged.

Well, it happens. In Hollywood, it happens a lot. In this dog-eat-dog world, it probably happens in many other industries besides Entertainment. So while we were saddened, we dealt with our disappointment.

As the months went by we began to make some inroads in the biz; scoring cartoons for Hanna-Barbera and creating music cues for General Hospital, as well as a commissioned piece for trumpet & percussion and an underscore for a stage drama, Sea Marks.

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Michael and Patty were also doing well, and when they invited us to a party to celebrate the premiere of their new Disney cartoon show one Saturday at 7:30 AM, we looked forward to seeing them again.

The place was PACKED – there must have been close to 100 people stuffed in their Burbank bungalow, so it was difficult to reach the coffee/OJ/bacon&eggs bar and impossible to locate our hosts! The guests cooed about Michael and Patty’s new theme song, and then in very short order went on to boast about their own career activites. Each attempt we made to engage with the other guests got shut down as they drew instant conclusions whether we were worth talking to based on if we could help their careers. After an hour of this, we decided to head home and spied our hosts bidding adieu to another guest. We thanked Michael for the hospitality and congratulated them on the show and were almost out the door when Patty asked, “well, what have you two been up to lately?”

So we quickly reeled off our then-current credits; the cartoons, the soap opera, the theatrical play score, the premiere of our piece at the International Percussive Arts Society national convention…  and watched, astonished, as dozens of folks who hadn’t deigned to give us the time of day a moment before were now suddenly crowding around, asking who was our contact on this project and who should they call to get in on that project… it was wild! Instant popularity!

As we drove home, Mark got a great idea for a new business: the Resumé T-shirt! Imagine all of your credits, skills, accomplishments and contact info printed right up front, so that everyone could immediately see whether you were even worth talking to!  What time you (and everyone else!) would save!!  Of course, that’s an 80s idea – today we all have websites!

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2 thoughts on “Breakfast in Burbank

  1. You nailed it! I had forgotten about the ’20 second rule’ – or how quickly ‘biz’ types assess your viability as a conversation partner while at industry parties! Hilarious, and laughably true! Back then, I sure wish I had had the ‘Oprah spin ability’ – I would have been invited to a lot more parties! Cheers, Beth Lawrence

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Leaving Los Angeles | Celebrations Of Failure

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