One year ago, I was working a part-time administrative contract at a college in Toronto.
One year ago, on the morning of January 25, 2013, I had my interview for the Master in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games program at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain (via Skype).
I had practiced a number of pertinent talking points. I had rehearsed my patter. I had a set of notes for ready reference on my screen, as well as a slate of questions prepared for my interviewers to answer about the program. I was ready to take the next step in my professional and musical development.
It was one of the longest half-hours of my life.
I was interviewed by Laura Karpman, an Emmy award-winning composer for film, television, and video games, and then-director of the SFTV program at Berklee in Valencia. She wasted no time in cutting to a set of hard-hitting questions — that is, after we clarified my identity; the person who was scheduled to interview before me was apparently also named David, and he seemingly missed his interview. Oops.
I took the opportunity to articulate my passion for composition for media and more-than-lifelong love of music, particularly of the dramatic, narrative variety, all while enumerating the various resources that I could contribute to the Berklee environment, if they would have me among their number. I shared an array of anecdotes and addressed my experience with writing for film and game projects. On top of that, as I had completed more work in the intervening eight weeks since submitting my application, I sought permission to send additional samples.
This is where I claim victory and say that I nailed the interview, right?
I did my best, but I finished the interview with a “just missed” feeling — and they apparently felt the same way. Three weeks later, I received an e-mail informing me that my application would be held until the next round and reviewed again in light of the next batch of candidates. I was, understandably, rather disappointed, but I chose to regard it not as a “No,” but a “Not yet,” in hopes that they would not fill their cohort from solely their first round of applicants. I resolved to do my best over the following weeks to produce the best material I could for my portfolio, with an aim to submit more samples before they rendered their final decisions.
The rest, as they say, is history.
One moment of the interview still remains with me, even after a year. Laura asked me, “How do you feel about going to Spain?”
I answered, “It sounds like a grand adventure.”
It certainly has been, and I look forward to what has yet to come.