Today I’m excited to share an interview featuring Elisa May Murphy from Les Décideurs Blog. We met on Instagram not too long ago sharing the connection of living in Rochester area. I hope you find inspiration through the insight she provides as she shares her journey as a hardworking freelancer! Enjoy! – XO, Cath
My name is Elissa May Murphy and I run Les Décideurs Blog!
Les Décideurs (French for “makers” / “decision-makers”)
This new, multifaceted arts collective revolves around professional/freelance stories, artistic discoveries, tips and tricks of the trade to living the freelance lifestyle.
I was fortunate enough to attend university for music business and flute performance at the Crane School of Music! Not only had I double-majored, but I grew to understand that if I wanted to do exactly what I wished to pursue, I would have to create those opportunities myself.
So I dove right into independent projects pertaining to music composition, woodwind performance, conducting, video production, scoring for motion picture, and content writing for a female collective called TYCI, founded by Lauren Mayberry of the band CHVRCHES!
Finding balance. It’s tough when you’re a full-fledged freelancer in a smaller-sized city to begin with. On top of that, I had a previous autoimmune disease that flared up full force four months before launching this collective. But I have come to terms that 1) life is short, and 2) while you’re here, do what makes you happy. Freelancing in multiple arts facets makes me happy. Creating art and sharing the works of others makes me happier.
Our mission is to create an outlet for artists of all sorts to promote the incredible work they’re doing! If someone is having a bit of a creator’s block, we hope that they can turn to our collective for inspiration to get back into creating, be it a screenwriting project, building their portfolio, music performance, dance, etc.
Though I am still very new to the world of blogging, it’s very nice to be able to collaborate with others: to hear their stories and share them with both the Rochester community and with artists near and far. Though our following is small, it is mighty! Continuously learning from analytics that people have viewed the blog and its content from places I have only dreamed of visiting – that feeling is indescribable.
The freelance lifestyle is a chaotic lifestyle. A project here and a project there is great in the sense that you are able to continue getting your name out there in different fields and build your network. There are months where there is literally nothing you can do but blog and hope your audience is compelled to read your material that day. There are months where your days begin at 6am and end around 2am the next day. In January alone, I have had a combination of eighteen continuous freelance projects between teaching, composing, arranging, and blogging!
Lots of coffee. Lots of organizing. I swear, if it weren’t for my Erin Condren desk planner, I would be an absolute wreck.
Keep going, keep going, keep going.
There are too many to list: I have sent my first ever private flute student to continue performing at college out of state. I have performed in a decent amount of weddings and musical theater productions. I direct a flute choir. One of my compositions will be performed in Minnesota this year. I have had a short film premiere at an international film festival. I have scored an indie film. I have conducted a movement of the Brahms requiem for the former choral director of the New York Philharmonic. Several articles of mine have been published for print and digital media around the world. And that’s just scratching the surface…
Creating something as big as this – and nearly by yourself – is hard work. And it’s not going to happen overnight, that’s for sure! I originally began plotting this passion project back at the end of 2016, but it fell through due to the decline of my health. Now that I have been able to get back into the swing of things, it has been at a much slower pace than I originally anticipated, but it’s naturally because I’m constantly on the run! As a freelancer, that’s just the name of the game.
Appreciating the freedom to do what you love on a regular basis as you continue to discover how incredible life is when there’s some form of creativity instilled. I strive to succeed each and every day by either creating, appreciating someone else’s creativity, or promoting artists’ creative initiatives.
Spending time with family, drinking tea, reading books, traveling, and (of course) freelancing!
Although I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, remember that you have the power to turn your path around if you are unsettled or unhappy. If you are dreaming of a different path to take, chances are that is what you want and should be striving for.
Between the Dreaming & The Coming True by Robert Benson was an eye-opener. I’m still sporting The Freelancer’s Bible by Sara Horowitz, and The Ultimate Blogging Plan by Career Girl Daily.
Volunteer-run by freelance artists and entrepreneurs, we aim to create a space for any and every kind of artist to create and talk about things that matter. If you would like to get involved in any way, EMAIL US and be sure to SUBSCRIBE TO OUR COLLECTIVE AT www.LesDecideursBlog.com ☺
Elissa May Murphy is a freelance musician, educator, and writer. She performs regularly as a flutist, clarinetist and saxophonist, and teaches privately to students of all ages and experiences. Alongside her teaching and performance career, Elissa has created a multifaceted arts & lifestyle collective, Les Décideurs. She resides in Rochester, NY with her beau Alex Durr (drummer of The Stedwells), and their identical cats Calvin & Jet.
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