We had the good fortune of connecting with Ciara Proznik and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ciara, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I believe my most valuable habits could be summarized as: detailed organization and planning, excellent communication skills, and having confidence in my work while remaining kind and unpretentious. As a composer for film and television I am often met with very tight deadlines, so it is crucial to have great time management and planning; I am meticulous about my color-coded calendar, several categorized lists, and visual timelines!

The ability to be organized also allows for more transparent communication between the composer and the rest of the team. I am told all the time by filmmakers that they are highly impressed and grateful for my valuable communication skills – responding quickly to emails, having a plan and keeping them in the loop, answering every question, being clear and descriptive, and always remaining open to criticism and changes.

In all my networking, I have learned that a major skill in building great professional relationships is the ability to be confident while staying humble and personable. With practice, I came up with one basic rule: let my face develop the human connection and let my website brag about my work. I believe that if I can connect with someone on a personal level, I have a much better chance of receiving a website visit from that person. Resumés are important, but a creative industry takes heart, so I think it is vital to appeal to both!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think many composers are comfortable with the main part of our job which is sitting in a dark little room by ourselves, but I love developing close personal relationships with my directors and other teammates. I find that these relationships also promote the mentality of creating what is best for the project as a whole rather than just what I want to do as an artist, which has been appreciated by people I have worked with.

I have always wanted to compose music. I started piano and voice lessons at age 4, taught myself guitar and started writing my own songs at age 11, and never stopped (but we’ve all heard that story before). Nothing worth achieving is easy, but one thing I am very proud of is how I overcame the negative assumptions that people often make from my physical appearance. I fully understand that I do not fit the “traditional composer” image (if there’s even such a thing anymore), but I am confident that that does not make me any less of a composer. I noticed it first during my Music Composition Degree, on the first day of Composition 101. I walked into the room and immediately felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking “is she lost?” I knew that people did not have high expectations of me, I could feel it, but I used that negativity as motivation to work harder than any of them. I would not be the composer or the person I am today if I hadn’t felt so compelled to not only succeed, but to also prove all of their judgements wrong. I want my brand to be defined by the quality of my work and professional relationships, not for any other reason. So, there are two things I would like to teach the world from my experience: never judge a person by their image alone, and to those who feel that you are being judged too soon, you CAN prove them wrong and find your success!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My top favorite activity (if available) is riding a convertible or motorcycle down the PCH as far as possible on a gorgeous sunny day. The sunshine, the music, the air… just magical! I also enjoy spending the day on Santa Monica beach, and then the entire evening on the pier. The people-watching alone is an event in itself! And the bars in West Hollywood have the most fun crowds in LA, hands down. Anything you can see at the Hollywood Bowl is a dream, and the Getty Villa is a beautiful place to take photos and have a nice walk. And finally, if you’re willing to do a weekend trip, there’s a little European town called Solvang only a couple hours northwest of LA that has adorable hotels and coffee shops, great wineries all in walking distance, and incredible views if you’re able to drive up into the neighborhoods! 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?
There is no one in the world that I can dedicate my career to more than my parents. Though neither one of them ever played an instrument, they supported my musical career endlessly and without question, blessing me with their incredible trust and faith. But I don’t believe that they ever realized all the things they were able to teach me were so much more important and integral to my growth and success.

My mother is an expert in kindness, empathy, grace, conversation, and allowing emotions to play a role in your decisions. I was able to learn her beautiful ability to present her welcoming soul and build meaningful relationships with strangers, which allowed me to develop networking connections that were not only professional and effective but also emotionally fulfilling. When it comes to his career, I would call my Dad brilliant and indestructible, but he has the deepest and most generous heart of any person I have ever met. He taught me by example that you can achieve any dream if you are willing to put in the work, to take pride in your well-deserved accomplishments, to always be fair and compassionate even in business, and that your family and your health comes first above all else. Their impact on who I’ve become as a composer and as a person is immeasurable, and I am infinitely grateful.

Website: www.ciaraproznik.com

Instagram: @ciaraproznikmusic

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciara-proznik/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ciaraproznikmusic

IMDB: www.imdb.me/ciaraproznik

Image Credits
Artistic Creations Photography Jen CYK Photography Cinema NineSeven

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