On the advantages of being Type A.

Categories:  Effectiveness, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, Music

I keep hearing that something called “project management” is a hot new field, one of the few growing occupations in our turbulent late-stage-capitalist economy. According to Wikipedia, “project management” is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. Well, jeez …I guess I am giving myself a crash course in project management via Mobtown Moon, the sheer ambition of which is requiring me to apply all my organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills day after day…before I even get around to writing down all the crazy cool song-arranging ideas that are in my head (and which were the fundamental motivation of this project).

At any given moment you will find me developing an Excel spreadsheet to track our tasks, deadlines, and budget; discussing with my accountant the tax implications of our LLC formation and our fiscal sponsorship by an arts nonprofit; cold-calling the executive director of a local mission-oriented charitable organization to see if we can create cross-promotional ideas and collaborations; recruiting lead and backing musicians for various tracks; researching licenses and copyright issues pertaining to our idea; or listening again to the original Pink Floyd record to see if I can hear yet another layer of interest and complexity in that beautiful piece of work.

ellen cherry, meanwhile, is busy vetting our visual identity and designing Mobtown Moon postcards for our upcoming concerts; daydreaming about the inclusion of lights and sound effects and puppets and film strips in our live show; fielding semi-anxious texts and emails from yours truly (thanks for your patience, dear friend); discussing production challenges and opportunities with our recording engineer (the amazing Scott Smith); or communicating about the project to her extended network of musician collaborators and friends (while also being involved in six other major creative endeavors this year!).

I find it both a blessing and curse that I enjoy the business back-end tasks of an endeavor like this almost as much as the music brainstorming, rehearsal, and performance. Some days I feel it would be nice to live the life of a ditzy yet inspiring Creative Genius with a whole staff devoted to making your vision come into being. Sometimes I fear that being in charge of the details might take me far away from the quiet, private, original inspiration that sparked this behemoth. On the other hand, it feels good and powerful to be in charge of both the forest and the trees. Maybe when I’m done with this, and it’s the grand success we expect, I’ll move on to producing a film or founding an educational nonprofit or building a skyscraper…

  • my two (non)sense:  we ARE producing a film, founding an ed non profit AND building a skyscraper (of sound!!)  nice writing.  reminding me I need to get back to that writing thing…

    • You are so right to put it in perspective like that. Yeah, Phll Spector’s “wall of sound” aint gonna have nuttin on our monument to musical arts!

  • Flanders

    “Mobtown Nights” a film by ellen cherry and Sandy Asirvatham.”Shine on You” the nonprofit supporting the children of aged or out-of-work musicians. Oh, and replace the building at the corner of East Baltimore and St. Paul with ‘Mobtown Heights’.

    • Somehow I never saw this response until today–five months late! In any case….hahaha….yes, ‘Flanders,’ that’s a great list of future projects, thanks. I’ll be sure to put a check in the mail. 😉