Years in Tampa Bay
I was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area so over 30 years!
What do you do?
I usually perform all around the Tampa Bay area between theater companies, musical improv, and with my band the Florida Bjorkestra. Because of Covid-19 restricting performances to virtual projects, I launched a side business writing custom songs about people's pets. Since April of 2020 I've written over 100 pet songs!
Why do you do it?
Singing and playing my ukulele brings me a lot of joy, and this project brings other people joy. Everyone loves their pets and every pet deserves a song.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
It started out as a fundraiser for SPCA Tampa Bay's Virtual Pet Walk. I launched a Facebook fundraiser the week leading up to it and offered to write a custom pet song for a $5 donation. I ended up writing over 60 songs and raising $1,400 in a week. A few media outlets picked up the story and I became flooded with requests, so I decided to launch a side business writing custom pet songs and continuing to donate part of the proceeds back to SPCA Tampa Bay.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
I have to be in the right zone mentally but when I am the songs usually occur on the first take of singing through them. I'm trained in musical improv so I can make songs up on the spot. Most of what's in the finished product happens in the very first take. Then I'll write it down and make whatever adjustments I need.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
Setting aside the time to write. I can get caught up in my full time job, other projects, or just needing some time to zone out in front of the tv or a good book. But I always get the songs to folks within a week of their initial request!
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Get a good website. My friend at Kara Gold, LLC designed my gorgeous website in a very quick turnaround time.