A: HAVE YOU EVER MET HIM?
Over the years I have had this exchange a million times.
With a few exceptions (other than health), most of the times an established, talented composer isn’t working very often has little to do with their music and A LOT to do with their personalities.
With some VERY rare exceptions the industry isn’t exactly beating down the doors of obnoxious, difficult, condescending, argumentative, pesky, know-it-all curmudgeons.
Maybe they could get away with it temporarily when they were hot and in demand, but once things started to cool down in their careers (as almost inevitably happens) the world gets mighty inhospitable to those who aren’t particularly endearing.
This downward career death spiral is compounded when the composer starts believing:
I shouldn’t have to…
Don’t they know who I am…
After all I’ve done…
Back in my day…
Self-awareness and self-correction is essential in assessing and maintaining a truly long-term career in this industry. No one can rest on their laurels.
Just as things start cooling in one’s career is EXACTLY the right time to become MORE likable/helpful/open-minded, not LESS.
As a film music fan, I have personally had my heart broken several times when I have adored someone’s music and wished a favorite composer were still in demand. The disconnect between the greatness of their music and the decline of their career is often such a puzzlement… until I meet the person in question.
Right, I forgot to factor in their personality. YIKES!