A year and a half ago, I was working as a contractor for a major game company doing music for a VR title. Things weren’t going well. The company was deeply in love with the temp score, a handful of cues which had been done by their audio intern. I worked for weeks on trying to find the right musical approach that they’d be happy with, but nothing was working and every cue I wrote was rejected. In the end, they told me that they just didn’t think it was going to work out and cut me loose. Their audio intern then scored the whole game.
I was bummed. Getting fired never feels good. I blamed myself. I questioned how good of an actual composer I am. I felt like I was failure. But I eventually dusted myself off and carried on.
About a year later, I started working on some other VR projects, this time for Lucasfilm. The experience was completely different. I had a great time. The audio team and the producers were thrilled with my work. One of the projects, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, is installed at Downtown Disney and I’ve been seeing nothing but rave reviews for it since it opened. We finished up the project with a great relationship and they told me they’d reach out to me for anything they have coming up in the future.
Fast forward 4 months. Yesterday, the producer for Secrets of the Empire sent me an email. He’s left Lucasfilm and moved onto working for that same game company that fired me a year and a half ago. He has a new project and he’d love to bring me on to work on it.
So, here’s the thing: the entertainment industry is nomadic. You’ll probably get fired from a gig sooner or later. But handle it professionally, handle it with grace. Pick yourself up and put your best foot forward on your next gigs. You never know where someone you work with in this industry is going to be from year to year. If you’re professional in your interactions with people, even if it doesn’t go as well as you’d hope, you’ll find that doors aren’t ever completely closed to you.
It remains to be seen if I’ll get fired from this project with the same company. Only time will tell.