We had the good fortune of connecting with Hunter George and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hunter, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
This is a very relevant question that is posed to many if not all creatives in the industry. It is often a thrust upon us whether by way of skill level, financial hardship, difficulty of entry, critiques from our peers and family, or just plain fatigue. I think all of the above have applied to my 15 year long pursuit. This question is guaranteed to reappear at different checkpoints throughout as well. I think this is the hardest question you will face when in pursuit of a creative career path. I am by nature a stubborn bastard, so when I am posed with this question I find myself doubling down on “Keep Going” but more specifically its ok to shift gears and pivot into a new path with the notion that you will steer back to where you ultimately end up. You may also find that your priorities change or you find new interests to pursue. I took odd jobs, Worked in Catering, Worked in Sheet Metal Fabrication, Sold Cars, Worked in Marketing, Built Websites and Graphic Design for companies and artists. Started a Freelance marketing collective. ALL of these skills would become relevant in breaking into the business BUT most importantly LEARNING NEW SKILLS that your peer group will most likely not know how to do. This will set you apart and get you opportunities that they will be looked over for. If you aren’t wealthy or have financial support from loved ones you are usually one or two months away from “giving it all up”. For me this was the case in my 10 years in LA. However I have always had jobs and side gigs that were not relevant to my pursuit, other than providing me ways to keep my flashlight on in the dark forest of this entertainment. The bottom line is: This business is extremely tough and testing. I think the Give up mentality is toxic and those around you that feed that to you are also toxic. Do you need to cover your basic expenses? Yes. Do you need to do whatever it takes to cover those basic expenses? Yes. (within reason) The question you should be asking yourself through this process is: Is this career path for me? Am I enjoying this? Do I still want to do this for a living? if the answer is NO, that is ok too. If the answer is yes. YOU have to do what you have to do to make this happen. No one is going to feel bad for you and no one is going to give you this career. The most important thing to know about the entertainment business is that time is your friend. When you are young you tend to have this, Let’s make something happen now mentality. and the anxiety of needing to materialize results quickly and not seeing the seedlings grow right away can be extremely frustrating. Especially when you are as mentioned 1 or 2 months away from having to pack it up and move home. The ones who succeed are the ones who stick around. The ones who make a genuine effort to take part in the community. Join Guilds, Join Organizations, Show up and volunteer. Take an active role in your careers community and it will give back to you. We are making Cheese, or wine. What I mean by that is it takes time to ferment and build the connections that can’t be rushed. In a city full of flaky people, Toxic People, or ones with hidden agendas, ones that will move back home. The rewards come to those who weather the storm and are genuine. Those who look out for others, those who will be mentored, those who in turn will mentor others. Give without expecting returns. One day you will be receiving calls from places you never expected, offering you opportunities because you were kind or generous with your time/resources.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To give you a little background on myself, I am a Music Producer and was recently inducted to the Recording Academy’s ‘Grammy Next’ Alumni Class, as well as am the Executive Director of the Guild Of Music Supervisors. I am a founder of the entertainment brand Can1live (www.can1live.com) In September 2019 I released my sophomore project, Routines.exe. The album is a 21 track instrumental adventure with heavy influences of Retro Wave, 80’s Synth, Hip-Hop, Pop, & Video Game Chiptune sounds. This project means a lot to me. I think it tells a story from start to finish without any words or lyrics. I think there is a big steer in the industry to move towards the retrowave vibe, its nice to have been a bit ahead of that curve. This project was made over the course of 3 years, and I am very proud of it. It was recorded at East West Studio A & The Studio formerly known as “The Pass”. I had some great collaborators including Josh Gahris, Christian Anderson. and Thanks to Dave Napox for the album art photography! My recent performances include the Historic Ivar Theatre and Hunnypot Live at the Mint in Los Angeles. To answer how I got where I am today professionally it was a result of taking the time to get better at things. Learn new skills, always be evolving. It was never easy, nothing has just come naturally. I do have a curious mind that likes to dissect and break things down, learn how things work. I have played piano for 28 years and still find myself in the room with folks that are far better than me. I could literally be in a studio with someone and think “O wow, I am an actual fraud”. I think the only thing that sets me apart is the stubborn drive and the willingness to diversify my skillset. Pretty soon you are all learning from each other and ultimately evolving, both creatively and personally. Toward the future, I am looking to expand in the media space in a big way with Can1live very soon. I have been able to navigate and thrive pretty solely on my own without major representation. I am always consulting on projects and putting on events.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I like spots where you can get out of the craze of Los Angeles. I really like the Griffith Observatory, Huntington Library. I am always up for a chill pub or bar that you can take a meeting and its fairly quiet. There are some great local breweries in LA. For Special occasions the Magic Castle is always a good time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout a few individuals that looked out for me along the way. These folks had traversed the rocky terrain before me and gladly extended a hand when it was most slippery. My mentors and colleagues: Dave Jordan (Music Supervisor), John Houlihan (Music Supervisor), Jonathan McHugh (Music Supervisor), Christopher Lennertz (Composer), Anton Monsted (Music Supervisor), Angelia Bibbs-Sanders (Executive, Producer) My Peers and partners: Kyle Jordan (Artist & Designer), Kevin Estwick (Composer Agent), Alex Ritchie (Artist, Grammy LA Chapter Committee) All the people that show up to my events, My shows, engage with my content, I always notice! I appreciate you!
Other: Routines.exe Album Streaming links: https://open.spotify.com/album/5GTTsvZInjbLBqY1cPbQ1H?si=gxeCTWF7QoGaVWZ7hzkgLA https://music.apple.com/us/album/routines-exe/1478532103 https://music.amazon.com/albums/B07X7QC1SL?ref=dm_sh_c2XALulJ7dXAHNm1hUIqWw0yn
Dave Napox (Routines.exe Album art) Ryan Taalbi (Ivar Performance) Ryan Vithal (Songbird Performance) Jeff Gray (Hunnypot Performance)