Zilker Hillside Theater – 2012

I don’t normally talk about my work as a part-time musician, and it normally can be treated just as a hobby.

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If you live in Austin, you should go to these. Of course, it is hot, and there are bugs, and parking sucks. But the show is fantastic every year.

In March, I got contacted to play clarinet and bassoon in Zilker Hillside Theater‘s production of Sound of Music. The productions run six weeks, the last half of summer before the school year starts again. There are shows Thursday-Sunday evenings starting at sunset. The seats are the hillside looking at the stage, which is across the parking lot from Barton Springs Pool. It’s usually hot, but being staged mostly in the dark helps a lot.

Best thing is, it pays. Oh, not a huge amount, but fairly well for music.

After I accepted the show, I got laid off from Coverity, and had done a consulting gig, but that wrapped up just as the show was starting. That meant I actually had time to practice, which, considering I am not world’s best bassoon player, was great!

The show wrapped up as I was finishing interviews with Texas Windstorm Insurance and Spawn Labs. Since unemployment was almost useless, and my new job at Spawn wasn’t going to pay for a while, I found myself with the beginning of the month approaching, and not enough funds to pay the mortgage.

And then I got my $1600 check from Zilker. Hallelujah! It was the only time as an adult that my music habit supported me and my family. Without that gig, our mortgage payment would have been late for the only time in my life.

I played the 2013 show, also, and spot subbed a couple of other times, but there are different directors now so I don’t get called anymore. But Zilker sure saved us in 2012!

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