We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Schmid and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As I’ve gotten older and taken on more more commitments (marriage, raising a kid), I’ve had less time and energy to just write and record into the wee hours of the morning like I used to. So I’ve had to become much more intentional about carving out time to be creative. Almost like office hours. At first it felt too workmanlike and hard to just get the ideas to come when I was at my desk. But over time I’ve sort of trained my right brain to be on my schedule. Balancing work and family life is still hard but for me it’s all about structure. And I really have to think about creating not only as work, but as play that is crucial for my mental health.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started as a classical pianist, and initially wanted to do that professionally, but then my interests shifted to songwriting so I majored in that in college. Then gravity seemed to pull me towards playing in bands as a sideman, and later towards mixing and mastering. Ultimately, I’ve learned that the most important tool for me in art is adaptability: to follow my passions wherever they lead. It’s never really starting over; I get to keep what I’ve learned. I’ve discovered that my “brand” is still consistent, and that is my sensitivity, which I can bring to any of these aspects of music.
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?
Well this is supposing a pre- or post-COVID world. But I’d have to take them to the Alamo Drafthouse theater Downtown, cause I’m a huge movie buff and that place is paradise. We’d catch whatever amazing artist is playing at Largo at the Coronet that week (can’t go wrong). We’d grab meals at the Griddle Cafe, Thai Patio, Father’s Office and we’d have to hit up Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. 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?
Well as always, my greatest inspiration and support is my wife Megan. She’s a dance teacher and an interior designer and every kind of creative a person can be. In addition to her, Austin Kleon’s books have really been inspiring me lately to just make stuff without overthinking it.