Holy COW! I had heard a fair amount about the Midwest Clinic but I didn't realize how awesome it would truly be. I met so many wonderful people and got to know some people even better. Joseph Sowa and Lori Sutherland were my booth-mates and it was a wonderful time (go check out their music).
One of the things I have struggled with for a long time is getting out and meeting new people or just having conversations with people. I either shut down and don't engage the person or I talk about myself A LOT. This was the perfect opportunity to work on my skills and network. I was able to meet so many great people. Sean Murphy from Murphy Music Press, Cody Myre from Tux People's Music, Benjamin Dean Taylor from the Blue Dot Collective and composer of Party Potatoes and so many more.
I also got to meet with Garrett Hope from the Portfolio Composer Podcast. I have been listening to his podcast for quite some time and finally this summer reached out to him and we had a wonderful conversation on the phone. During the call he was asking me about my goals and ambitions as a composer and I always feel so insecure in that area even though it's what I've trained to do for a long time. I told him what I wanted and where I felt I was lacking, what I need to do to improve. He said to me, "Well, it sounds like you know exactly what you need to do, you just need to go out and do it." I was shocked. It seemed to simple. The only person holding me back is me and my silly worries. Believe me those worries reared their ugly little heads daily at the conference but I was able to work through it. I think that was in some part thanks to Garrett and also Joseph who I heard about during an interview on the podcast. I was able thank him in person and give him an update as to where I am now about 6 months later. He was so kind and seems like a wonderful person.
The main reason I went was to network and see if I could do it. It was one of my goals and I did it. I'm not sure what to expect or what, if any, return there will be from this year's Midwest Clinic but I know I have lots of ideas and things I want to work on . I have composition goals and a renewed vigor to accomplish them. I have new director goals and the drive to actually implement them. I know it won't be easy as conference high begins to wane and those ugly little demons come back. I do know that I can work through those emotions and empower myself to keep fighting and working. I have to work hard and be grateful for what I have learned and the people I've met.
New goals for this year are many but the big one is find a way to get back to Midwest Clinic next year and stay connected with those people I met this year.
Also, Chicago is a pretty cool city. If you ever get the chance to go there is a lot to do and see. I didn't have a ton of sightseeing time but I did get to see their Library which is adorned with awesome owls!
Just down the street from that and around the corner is this lovely little yarn shop called Yarnify! It had so much yarn! I just hope that those who were stuck there due to weather are able to get home for the holidays and that their travels are safe.