Since my authorship began with The Chronicles in 2006, I've evolved through the many professional opportunities accompanying my quill (so to speak!). They've challenged me, informed my writing, strengthened my character, and come to define what I want most, which is ironically what has also caused some hesitation: to cultivate a career from my passion.
I've been a freelancer for a few years and it's an adventurous, unpredictable and difficult life. You can have everything one minute and absolutely nothing the next. When hardship arises, concerns are often met with blank stares, a lack of empathy and chants of "Get a real job." In this adversity, sacrifices are amplified, but there are even greater rewards at the end of the day. It's about finding your rhythmic niche. In the words of Composer and Music Critic Gavin Borchert, "The life of a contemporary freelance worker is all about finding the right balance. You have to get paid for your work, but you also want to do work that matters. That's something that even Mozart had to figure out back in the late 18th Century."
I've always been fully invested in the promise of my dream, but for the fear of becoming too attached and then having to abandon it, I've avoided putting myself out there entirely. This includes not creating a business name that reflects the work I've accomplished to date and my hopeful aspirations for the future. My blog has been like a safe haven from which to test the waters of pursuit, but tip-toeing is a disservice. It may appear to some as though I'm only a blog author when blogging is actually a very small part of what I do. Would Mozart tip-toe? Hardly. And what better thing to do than take cues from one of the first freelancers in history!
Mozarthaus Vienna (Mozart's former residence which is now a museum) is hosting an exhibition now through January 2013 entitled Between Fear and Hope - Mozart's Rise and Fall in the Viennese Society (Zwischen Angst und Hoffnung - Mozarts Aufstieg und Fall in der Wiener Gesellschaft). The exhibition recounts Mozart's life as a freelance artist in Vienna and his dealings with the capital's fickle audiences. The following is an excerpt from their site in which I find inspiration in Mozart's perseverance:
"Mozart was the first composer to finance his life as an independent artist, with varying degrees of success. At one time, he had the high society fawning over him and admiring his music; then came periods in which he struggled to find recognition. He organized concerts where his works were performed for the first time, sometimes by himself, and the list of subscriptions - advance ticket sales we might call them today - provide information about his status. In 1784 his concerts were sold out, while in 1788 Mozart complained of a lack of interest. 'It is unfortunately my fate, but only in Vienna, that I cannot earn anything, even if I want to; I have been sending around a list for the last two weeks and the only name on it is Swieten,' he wrote to his friend Puchberg."
In his honor, I've decided to unveil the name I've chosen to represent my professional calling card. Amadé Creative. One of Mozart's baptismal names is the Greek Theophilus which most people only know in the Latin form of Amadeus. The French translation, Amadé, is what Mozart himself preferred and frequently used in his signature (displayed in my logo above). It means "Beloved of God." I couldn't have chosen a more appropriate name. Given the path on which this work has taken me over the years, it's difficult to think of it as being simply coincidental. I like to think that I'm doing God's work through this medium of music, a music that's intellectual, creative, spiritual, cathartic, loving and fraternal.
Today, I've put my stamp on an accomplishment (a notable landmark!) and made good on a promise to myself. Vulnerability has gone out the proverbial window. I feel vindicated by properly acknowledging my professionalism and its associated work ethic and ambition. It's inevitable that I'll continue to experience fluctuations between an occasional and prosperous schedule, as is the nature of it all, but I'm confident in my ability to make it work. I must. It's my passion, afterall. It's everything. Jetzt oder nie (Now or never). The doors of Amadé Creative are officially open!