© 2019 by EMM | Rochester, New York 14607

  • Elissa May Murphy

How I Managed To Have Over 20 Jobs in 2018

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

A little bit of this

A little bit of that

And not too much of anything...

My grandmother used to say this phrase all the time. Though it may be a simple phrase, it seems as though I am just beginning to understand and appreciate it entirely.

Alex & I have reached the end of our holiday break (from teaching, that is). We have taken some well-deserved time to look back on this year and reflect on how much we have grown as a couple, as freelancers, and as full-time creators; paving our way through our respective industries. For nearly all of 2018, we have managed to fully immerse ourselves in working the full-time freelance lifestyle.

Aside from Alex's successes (drummer of a pretty cool band, teacher, published composer, sound designer, etc.), I - too - have gotten the opportunity to experience just about all of it this year: I have worked up to five different jobs in one given day. There had been one month where I nearly had no work (pet snuggles and decluttering the house sufficed). I have joyously experienced any and all of the in-between, and now we have reached a New Year!

Time sure flies when you're having fun and running around like a maniac.

Below is a list with some details on the many hats I've managed to wear this year. All have allowed for me to learn & grow as a professional and full-time creator. I am so grateful for the bountiful opportunities that 2018 had to offer; how could I not share these milestones?

Co-Artistic Director; Rochester Flute Association

I conducted a flute choir and it was pretty rad. With all that the autumn and early winter season had to offer, I have taken a little hiatus from conducting, but putting our spring concert on in a new venue was a terrific experience!

McQuaid Jesuit presents A Chorus Line (Reed I)

This private, catholic school in Rochester puts on incredible productions! So grateful for Kevin Karnisky and his team for allowing me to build up my performance resume as a woodwinds doubler. This is Alex's alma mater. The school I substitute for is their rival school.

Substitute Teacher (all subjects); AQ

I began substitute teaching for Aquinas (the alma mater of nearly Alex's entire family... minus Alex) and have never felt so welcomed before by an employer in my life! Each faculty and staff member has been incredibly supportive and understanding of my crazy schedule. The amount of opportunities they have provided me since beginning in November 2017 has been absolutely inimitable.

Substitute Teacher (all subjects); Norman Howard

It's funny how things come around full circle... After reaching out to so many school districts when first determining that I wanted to get my foot back in the educational doorway, this private school had been the only school to reply. Several months after sporadically substitute teaching under this school, Alex tagged along. It was fun taking one car and going to work together before ultimately segueing to AQ for my LTS tasks.

Substitute Teacher (all subjects); Misc. Charter Schools (3)

In attempts to fill my weeks more with subbing gigs, I reached out to the Charter schools of Rochester. Growing up in the public school system, I never heard much about charter schools. Today I look back and am grateful for all that I've learned throughout my time filling in for these school districts. There were three in the Greater Rochester area: two co-ed schools and an all-girls school.

Private Lesson Instructor; Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone

I swear, ever since I purchased my first vehicle at the end of August, business has been booming! I went from having a few students that wouldn't really see me on a consistent basis to eleven; the majority of which see me on a weekly basis. How incredible! Most still commute to me, but it has been rewarding to take some weekend time to drive out to teach my students who are hungry for success. This one has got to be one of my personal favorite self-realizations of 2018... I love teaching privately! This would be my ultimate dream job: being able to teach a slew of students (all ages and proficiencies) from the comfort of my own home. Though I am living it (and - dare I say - living the dream), it would be even dreamier to expand this studio.

Private Lesson Instructor; Musika Music Lessons

Founder & Director; Les Décideurs Blog

Although this collective was founded in September 2017, I have been trying so hard (if you can't clearly tell) to keep it afloat. We had several incredible contributions by guest writers and I have been fortunate to listen and learn from interviewing others from around the world. Although this platform is intended to promote other freelancers or artists, their works, and hear about what the future holds for them, the pendulum has shifted slightly by way of curated content; particularly that of publishing personal updates as freelancers between Alex & I. We also publish content for you that we have learned & grown from as professionals and human beings alike.

* Thanks to our incredible volunteers, too, for all of your assistance!

Web Design; Les Décideurs Blog // The Stedwells // Elissa May Murphy

I have learned so much on the tech-side of town! Never did I know what SEO stood for until getting into the thick of the year. To dive into the inner workings of ratings and analytics has truly blown my mind. Although it would have been nice to get some more assistance with this so I could have focussed my energy on other things, I am happy with how my sense of independency took over when it needed to and that my brain was actually able to absorb some of this stuff.

Social Media Coordinator; Les Décideurs Blog // The Stedwells

As if designing websites weren't enough while managing to tackle a million other things on my plate, social media has taken over our world by storm. We love keeping up to date on our favorite platforms (Instagram and Pinterest) and hearing about your interests as well as publishing our content to show you guys in hopes that you like what we've been working hard on, too!

Newsletter Editor; Rochester Flute Association

This had been a tough position: I barely made it out of this one alive, and I'm serious! As you can tell from everything else I've worked on (most at the same time) up above, I would always forget and then internally freak out that I had a newsletter to put together for the RFA. Gathering all contents for the newsletter was easy-peasy. It was taking the time and having the patience to use Microsoft Publisher on a PC as an avid Mac user that brought things to a whole different dimension. Not knowing when to ask for help, I would put a lot of pressure on myself to make these newsletters as perfectly as I could. But alas, we did it and I am so grateful for all my executive board members whose sets of eyes led to publishing a great, tangible product each season.

Photographer; Freelance

Adjudicator; RFA Pre-Solo Fest

This had to have been one of my favorite RFA moments: I got to listen to a bunch of flutes for a day play me their prepared scales, a solo piece, and hand them a little bit of sight reading. It was amazing and I heard great feedback afterwards from my RFA cohorts. I'll be adjudicating this event once again in about a week and I am so excited!

Merching; The Stedwells

I have grown to understand that I am an introvert. With as busy of schedules as we have, if the opportunity arises that I can be home all cozy, I will take advantage.

I mean, what do you suppose I am doing in this very moment?

Answer: laying on my bed with a heated blanket writing this awaiting to get the energy to get out of bed and drive to Glen Edith Coffee Roasters (less than half of a mile from my apartment) to pick up a latte (heaven-forbid I make it myself) and a pastry (because we don't have enough Christmas cookies in our house and there isn't an entire peanut butter brownie pie in the fridge... I must pick up a croissant. It's different.) only to bring it home to enjoy in the comfort of my bed as I continue sporting said *new* heated blanket (thanks, mom).

Elissa, where are you going with this?

Analytics give me life.

I know, it's nerdy.

I love keeping tally of how many shirts and EPs we sell. These numbers get forwarded to their manager, and we're in good shape for the next round, prepared with goals on how much to attempt to sell. It's a lot of fun to hear where audience members are coming from to hear The Stedwells. It's rewarding to see someone walk up to the counter and order multiple EPs because of how inexpensive they are... that way, they can share the hype with all of their friends.

Music Teacher; Anonymous

You guys...

I was a music teacher for a whole day!

And then I quit.

By the time I got home, I was so stressed out that my blood sugar level was at 467. That's a higher number than when I got to the emergency room before getting diagnosed with type one diabetes; and by a 150-point margin, at that!

Thank you, next...

Music Arranger; RFA Flute Ensemble

I wish there were more hours in the day or days of the week to carve out just a small timeframe to compose and arrange like I used to. Luckily for me, there was some sort of time somewhere and I wound up arranging a piece for the RFA Flute Choir to play at our spring concert. It's always rewarding to hear the finished product come together and be done in a matter of five minutes or less.

Interim Enrollment Coordinator; Aquinas

During this six-week interlude (again, thank you AQ), I had gotten a chance to learn the in's and out's on the enrollment process at AQ (as if they hadn't blessed my life enough). I thoroughly enjoyed assisting the families that were inquiring about sending their kids to this school and interacting with them during shadow days, exam days, and more. This unique opportunity in the middle of the school year allowed for me to take a step back from teaching, breathe, and try to figure my life out a bit more... This led to submitting grad school inquiries very early on, allowing for me to wrap my head around the fact that I may or may not be going to grad school for the fall semester of 2019. One way to find out!

I'm not panicking, you're panicking...

Long-Term Substitute Teacher; Aquinas (2 – 6-12 Art, 7thgrade English)

In case you missed it, I wrote an entire blog post on my experiences as an Art teacher and what I was able to take from it upon transitioning to becoming a seventh grade English teacher... I'll be sure to post about this experience once I have completed this placement. Never stop learning!

Camp Counselor; Hochstein Arts-in-Action Camp

This was my 3rd July partaking in counseling campers for multiple classes in music, art, and movement for children ages four through ten. One of the most rewarding experiences I have had, to date!

Blackfriars Theatre presents Avenue Q; Reed book

Another show I never, ever thought I would grow to love! I wrote a little blurb about this show here. Take a look!

Blackfriars Theatre presents A Chorus Line; Reed book

Never did I ever believe that I would be performing the same show twice in one year! But it happened. And I'm so glad! Both experiences were a blast, in case you couldn't tell from the previous description, I love playing for Blackfriars!

Blackfriars Theatre presents Rocky Horror Picture Show; tenor saxophone

Never had I ever thought that I would partake in this show before. Before snagging some subbing gigs for this performance, I had never heard any of the tracks, nor had I seen the movie. This show made me realize how much I loved playing {tenor} saxophone. The more and more I played, the better sense of comfortability I got when having to improvise (coming up with licks on the spot - even with lead sheet symbols - has never been my strongest point). Onward and upward!

Ticketing & Sales Manager (Night of Event); Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

That's right, I'm back to working (a little) for the RPO! This brings me back to having first moved to Rochester; it is, in fact, the reason I moved here immediately after college in the first place; to intern for the RPO. They have an incredible lineup for 2019. Look through the rest of the 2018-2019 season here!

JCC presents Indecent; Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tin Whistle (segue into 2019*)

For the first time ever, I will be costumed and staged performing from memory (eek) for this incredible playwright! Read all about the show and get your tickets here!

Thanks to this year's experiences, we are living our best lives; our dream lifestyle that we are forever indebted to all of you for contributing to! Yes, you! Just by reading this post, you have contributed to our successes in some way. It means so much to us!

I cannot wait to show you what's up our sleeves for 2019. Stay tuned and Happy New Year!


#Music #Education #Lifestyle #Freelance #Employment #Arts