It’ll be a 3 bedroom house in Portland that is $1200 month, and that’s with utilities included. Split 3 ways, so my share is $400 a month ($13 a day, not bad). Up until this time I paid $300 a month while living with my parents because:
1.) I couldn’t stand NYC and had to get out ASAP
2.) I needed time to stop, take a breather, and rethink which city I belonged in
3.) My dad had emergency triple heart bypass surgery, so I wanted to make sure he was OK (he is!) and just spend quality time with my parents. It was long overdue, and I’m so glad I did.
When I lived in NYC the rent was $4,500 and I lived with 2 other people. I paid $1,200 a month (my room was the smallest of the 3), plus another $200 for utilities.
It’s a sliding scale though, when I moved to NYC I lived in Midtown because all of my sponsors and more were right there. I worked at The Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), Revision 3, UstreamTV, and was making great money, so it made sense to be a few blocks from all my business clients or music studios. Sure, my rent was more than a home mortgage, but I didn’t want to buy a car or a house yet.
However… when I got laid off from the IMAs and my Music Show then the sponsors dried up due to the economy (all within a 2 month span), so that’s when things got U-G-L-Y because I had signed a longterm lease and had other commitments. So with no income (and nonexistent music sales) I was sinking - fast. I even wrote a 4 page feature about living on unemployment over here, and how it was one of the scariest moments of my life. My Kickstarter failed, I was spending 6 hours a day sending out my resume, thinking my music dreams were crushed, bills and debt quickly piled up, and my entire life was falling apart.
TIP: you can survive on $3 a day, I did it. In fact, a big reason for the success of ‘ForOrchestra’ is due to me being poor and having my back against the wall. My lowest point was this one night when I had to eat straight chicken gravy for dinner because it’s all I had - so I knew there was nowhere to go but up.
Over the years and struggles, I’ve learned that we can do anything if we put our minds to it. The dark times make the bright times brighter - and there’s nothing brighter than waking up and writing music for a living for you. If you really want, just save the money for a ForOrchestra T-shirt or something down the line. Some people can afford the music, and others can’t - so it makes sense to make it free, no big deal.
Just enjoy the music, be inspired by it, and never lose the drive to change the world in whatever you do.