We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Weinglass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I think about how my work life balance has changed over time, I categorize 3 major periods that spawned a new shift.
My wife, Kim, and I were married in 2008 in the midst of the great recession. We both lost all our work we had at the time and were forced to start over. So we joined forces, forming our business partnership Weinglass Music and started building my career again as a pianist and composer from the ground up. We did a lot of networking and hustling all over town for gigs and would even haul my keyboard down to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica to play for tips and sell CDs! In 2010 we landed a residency that had me playing piano every weekend in the luxury court at Westfield Topanga Mall. It was a great gig that provided us stability for 3 ½ years. During this same time, we also built a solid reputation among event industry professionals, venues and high profile clients providing live music for special events. Once we had built a solid base, we were able to pursue other creative projects such as producing concerts, albums of my original music and videos. We always kept busy and it seemed like we worked a lot. However, we were relatively young and carefree then and we balanced work with a fun social life and could even manage to schedule time to take a week or so off now and then to travel. Additionally, throughout my adult life I’ve always prioritized my well being and work out routines. During that time we definitely embodied the work hard, play hard mentality.
Then near the end of 2013, our daughter was born and that changed priorities and how we balanced it all. We had our biggest revenue year at that point and I released a new album of original music just before she was born. But then right after she arrived, we were faced with another challenging period because my residency at the Westfield Mall came to an end. So, we had less stability, and were relying on the one off events for income. And of course, now we could not so easily go hustle around town for gigs because we had a baby to care for and would need to hire a sitter to go scout venues and network. After a couple years of hard work and some good luck, I eventually landed a couple of solid residences at Hotel Bel-Air and Parkway Grill in Pasadena which I maintained up until the pandemic hit in 2020. But overall during those years, we no longer had time, money and resources to put into our more creative “heart” projects. With the money and time constraints of raising a child, it was all about maximizing our time spent on things that would earn us income. So, I didn’t release any new albums between 2013-2020. And we stopped producing concerts that required lots of work to plan, produce and promote. I stayed very busy performing at my weekly residencies and nearly a hundred special events every year. And, of course, our social life also took a big hit. It’s just not easy to get out and see friends (that don’t also have kids) when you’ve got a little one. I am proud to say that I did maintain my commitment to my wellness and workout routine. This is an essential thing for me as a performer to stay in shape and keep my stamina up because I was often playing multiple gigs per day, and driving all across town. Looking back, this period was focused around prioritizing income generating work and family life.
Then when the pandemic hit last year, things changed once again. Now all of a sudden I went from having a booked gig calendar to nothing. And our daughter was out of school with nowhere to go. Of course things have been stressful and it’s intense with the three of us being together in our apartment all the time with limited breaks. However, we shifted our focus to what we could do and that has been a return to more creative projects. We have been educating ourselves, learning lots of new technology and turning towards things that we haven’t had the time to focus on in years. We are working to build an audience online through the many platforms available these days. I recorded a Christmas album: Home for Christmas that we released on all the streaming platforms for the 2020 holiday season. And, just last week I released a new album Perfect Piano Wedding. I’m releasing music videos regularly on YouTube and multiple times per week, I do live stream performances on Twitch. As live events have started to return, we are working hard to keep up the momentum of our online efforts. As for my workout routine, I’ve had to adjust. I’ve been able to maintain my commitment to my well being by getting creative at home and incorporating more outdoor activities like running at the park across the street. We also had our daughter’s first grade Zoom school schedule and assignments to manage for the entire past school year. It has definitely been a challenge to juggle it all but the silver lining has been spending lots of time with my daughter. We talk often about the upside of the past year is that now she gets to go to work with me because she participates in my live stream concerts! Reflecting on this past year, we have been focused on growth, expansion and creativity. It sounds kind of weird considering we’ve been largely stuck at home, but I’ve discovered that balance in work and life is largely based on our mindset and how we perceive our ever changing reality.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I see music as a tool I have available for lifting people up and bringing positivity to the world. Music truly is a universal language and it has the ability to reach people on a deep, emotional level. I have a natural ability to infuse my playing with a lot of emotion and I love being a conduit for people to get in touch with their feelings that may be lingering below the surface. Having the opportunity to provide the music for those pivotal moments in life like walking down the aisle to get married or grieve the loss of a loved one is an honor. Sometimes it may be as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face because I played their favorite song. I try not to take even those small things for granted because I know I am blessed to have a profession that impacts people in a personal way and in essence gives them permission to feel.
In addition to bringing joy to people through music, I strive to find ways to add to the greater good in the world. The accomplishment that I’m most proud of both creatively and from a philanthropic perspective was our production called Odyssey. Based on my original music from the album of the same name, Odyssey was an hour long live music and dance production featuring 7 dancers, a violinist and myself playing piano. We performed to a sold out audience of 360 people at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood in 2011. Kim and I produced the show ourselves and donated 100% of the net ticket sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that has been near and dear to me since I was a child when I met my Big Brother, Scott. Growing up without a father, Scott was an instrumental positive influence in my development and remains so to this day. I later became a “Big” myself and have continued to look for ways to contribute to an organization that gave me so much.
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?
Thinking about a few of the highlights we’ve experienced this past year, I’d look for a drive in concert opportunity. They are quite fun and, of course, I always appreciate going out to see and support live music. I’d also get outside – maybe a night or two camping, hiking and the beach. We recently camped for a night at Malibu Creek State Park and that was nice because it is so close. Then we did a beach day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach and had fun playing in the waves and watching all the surfers. I’d top a beach day off with dinner at Marmalade Cafe – they have a variety of food to appeal to most palates.
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?
Oh there are so many people along the way! My wife and business partner, Kim Weinglass, is my biggest support as she is the backbone of our business. Recently, I want to recognize my good friend Joseph Newhouse who has been instrumental in helping us dial in our audio for live streaming and a whole host of tech advice and support.
Other: Photo credits: @briankramerphotography, @luminaireimages, @brocoffphotography @studio.nadji, @rezphoto, @PhotographybyShannaGillette
Photo credits: Brian Kramer Photography, Luminaire Images Photography, Brocoff Photography Studio Nadji, Shanna Gillette, Reza Moslehi