We had the good fortune of connecting with Christy Carew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christy, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
One of the most important things I’ve done as a parent, in terms of the impact on my children, is fail. Over and over again. I want my children to be tough and resilient, and I want them to believe in themselves. I truly believe that they learn more from seeing me recover from my failures, than they do by seeing me celebrate my successes. After all, over the course of anyone’s life, you will fail FAR more than you will succeed. How do you keep going in pursuit of your dreams, of what’s right, when you keep getting dealt one disappointment after another? When you keep making mistakes, when it takes you a painfully long time to learn certain lessons? It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude that I am still trying to strengthen and develop. I’ve chosen a very competitive creative field, filled with insanely talented people, and it becomes more and more clear to me over the years that talent simply isn’t enough. My favorite movie, The Last Jedi, written by my favorite director, Rian Johnson, has the following quote from Yoda to Luke: “Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” I relate this last quote to parenting as well. We are what they grow beyond – if we teach them right, if we model for them the type of behavior and growth that truly learns from failures, mistakes and missed opportunities.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a composer, after 14 years in Los Angeles and working on countless productions, I have developed a musical voice and style that is true to who I am as an artist and the understanding I have of story, narrative, character development, all the working parts that make a film or television show gel together into a functioning whole. Music is one of the most important parts of that whole, and I consider it a true honor that this is the element and ingredient I get to add! My experiences as a parent have also added a layer of patience and compassion to my outgoing, curious and enthusiastic personality – I really love getting to know the directors I work with and becoming friends with them as well as creative partners on each and every project. I am known for scores that enhance the visual storytelling with emotion, nuance and depth; exploring different musical palettes tailored just for the world of the story. Through my work at 5 Alarm especially I’ve become quite versatile working on projects from many different areas of media from movies to television to holiday light displays to advertising and beyond. I am most proud of being someone who has repeated credits with directors; getting called back to work again and being thought of instantly as their go-to; I’m proud of contributing to their success and making their dreams become reality just as they’ve made mine reality. If you wanted to check out my work, I would start with my scores for “Virtually” (the score was nominated at Fimucite and a winner at Filmquest), “The Long Goodbye” and “G.O.D. (Givers of Death)” which was just accepted into the American Black Film Festival. I also have an orchestral album I wrote in 2017, inspired by a series of fantasy books I really love, Kushiel’s Legacy – you can hear it on Spotify and I’m in the process of writing another similarly inspired album. Besides tenacity and a thick sin, one of the biggest things I can recommend young composers to cultivate is the ability to dream big and understand that you’re on your own path that may not look like anyone else’s; and to believe in divine timing!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Burbank and adore so much about the San Fernando Valley! I would for sure start by taking them to the Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens where we are members. I would also want to eat at La Grande Orange in Pasadena – the ahi tuna tacos and salt-sprinkled chocolate cookies are my favorite. Then, assuming this trip is happening when everything is open again, we would head to the Arclight Cinemas for a movie.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is to the mentors and heroes in my field who show me again and again how to persevere. Steve London, Sharon Farber, Steve Edwards, John Debney, Heather McIntosh and Peter Golub.