When I tell people that I'm a cellist, invariably the first follow-up question that they ask is if I play with an orchestra. I always say 'no, I do freelance work... weddings, lessons, pits, stuff like that'. About 90% of the time I then watch their interest waft away and I change the subject. The truth is, I do some subbing here and there, but I neither have, nor want, a full-time seat in an orchestra. Don't get me wrong, the steady, reliable work would be nice, and I'd love to be able to answer that question with a big 'Yes, I do!' then ride the ego high I'd get from their impressed expressions, but that's about it. Those are the only two reasons I'd take an orchestral job. In the end, it's just not my thing, and I'm fine with that. I get to do something better.
The other 10% of the time, the asker of that question keys in on 'weddings' and says something about how spring must be my busy season. I laugh, and say it's actually fall. People tend to be surprised by this, but September and October are by far my busiest months for weddings. Why? Because fall is when the always beautiful Adirondack region is at its' absolute peak. Spring is great, because everything is that fresh bright green. But things are green in the fall, too. And orange. And red. And yellow, brown, blue and gray, crisp and crunchy, with a hint of wood smoke and (if you're really lucky) a light dusting of snow. Who wouldn't want to get married then?
When I leave my house to play a wedding, but particularly a fall wedding, it's really hard not to appreciate how lucky I am to be doing what I get to do. As I drive over mountains, through valleys and along lakes, I get to watch the scenery the whole way, and it's stunning. If I were an orchestra player, I'd go from my house to the hall and back, and not have time for much else. Instead, I get to do a wide variety of work in every corner of the Park at all times of the year. I get to see it all through the windows of my little car. I have the best seat in the house to the greatest show around.
Stories, pictures and maybe even sound clips from weddings and events I play.