A few days ago I told someone I know that I'm looking for work. The last company I worked with did shut down quite abruptly and, on top of that happening at the least convenient time i.e. in the summer, it highlighted that my real-life social network is in a bit of a state right now (hardly surprising in the UK as it is).
And so I mentioned that things were too quiet for my liking, and the person asked (and I quote):
— What you looking for?
I've been thinking about that line ever since.
Not about the question itself, but about the fact that the person asked it.
For one it's really not hidden that I earn my living either as a composer, or as an audio-post specialist, or as a programmer doing stuff with web technologies. It's been on my LinkedIn page for ever, it's made it as far as Wikipedia. And while it's right not to expect that people know what I do, it also struck me as kinda not right that they would ask like this. Since it's fairly obvious I'd do anything sound or music in the world of media, to begin with.
But that still isn't what got to me. This little line just made me feel vastly distant very very quickly, made me feel us vastly distant from each other.
We don't know each other. Fine.
We don't give it an extra thought. Not so fine.
So the question seems built on the expectation that even as a musician who's been out there for a while now, I could still be in any random line of work. Me, as a person who's put in what is now 10 years of training into industry standard Pro Tools, not to mention 19 years into Logic Pro, or 23 into radio standard Cool Edit / Audition, I still got done by the impression that I somehow might work something else.
I program and I arrange. Sound, music, and code. Hard to unpick this little exchange, but it weirded me out.
When did this get normalised?
p.s. and so I thought on this a little more, exchanging a few lines with a friend, and doing my best to distil my sentiment further, and it boils down to the question I ask above - "when did this get normalised?" - moreover, when did the expectation arise that if one does music then they're most likely in another line of work? Even more specifically, since when is if a composer has been around for a while, expected to have no bearing on the matter.