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🐼 How I Got to Compose for Kung Fu Panda on Netflix

🤝 networking Jan 16, 2024

When I moved to LA in 2019, I’d been composing for indie projects for several years prior. I had a decent portfolio, but no high-ticket clients or notable large-scale work.

While trying to network, I met Bob Lydecker, a film/TV composer who’s worked with Brian Tyler (and who coincidentally graduated from my high school 7 years before I did.)

I’d reached out to Bob on the premise of us being from the same hometown, and he agreed to meet up for a coffee. Over the next year, I stayed connected with Bob through periodic emails and the occasional hangout.

One day in January 2022, I opened my computer, and saw an email I’ll never forget.

It from Bob, with just one word in the subject:

“Pandas.”

With a baby on the way, Bob was looking for some help scoring the upcoming Netflix series Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. He knew that I’d had an interest in scoring for animation (because I told him constantly), and even though I’d never scored for TV, he decided to take a chance on me.

Over the next year, I had the privilege of working with Bob to score numerous episodes, gain invaluable work experience and credits, and get paid to do what I love.

(Here’s a scene I got to score:)

So what’s the takeaway here?

At this point in your career, you need someone who’s willing to take a chance on you. That is NOT going to be someone looking to farm work through a job application.

It’ll likely be someone in your close circle who likes you/what you do, and trusts your ability to learn on the job.

For me, that was Bob. But for you, it could be anyone.

It’s not that I simply “got lucky”. ❌

Instead of applying to jobs and honing my portfolio/cover letter, I reached out and expanded my network.

I spent a LONG time building relationships with good people like Bob, positioning myself as someone who was ready and available to be of help.

And one day, the “luck” I constantly positioned myself for occurred. 🍀

(P.S. If this story resonated with you and you’re ready to start focusing on building your network, definitely consider enrolling in the **Composing Career Bootcamp.* I’ll teach you step-by-step how you can leverage the relationships you’ve built and build new ones from anywhere in the world.)*

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