Wednesday, February 06, 2008


As I try to turn the page and begin the next chapter of my life, boldly stepping forward into my new world here in New York, I am forced, yet again, to take a trip down memory lane. The American people are in the heat of the presidential Primary, Super Tuesday has just passed, and we all look anxiously (and excitedly, in many cases) towards the future of our government, whereas our government would like me to take a look backward. I am being audited by the IRS.

Annoyance aside, as I go through all of the receipts that I held on to for dear life from that year, I am remembering various purchases and trips made. The most shocking part comes from remembering how much I paid for the large number of audition trips I made that year, and how few tangible results I ended up seeing from them. Out of 21 auditions in the US and Europe that I spent over $11,000 on planes, trains, hotels, and other travel expenses for, I received 6 offers (4 of which turned into actual work) and 1 grant. That is actually a very good rate of return, and I should even be grateful that I eventually made that money I invested back. Nonetheless, putting financial numbers to it is sobering. Aside from the one or two auditions that didn’t go well, I had a lot of “we like you” responses, but no actual bites for employment. Yet. The years have taught me that patience is a virtue (one of those 6 offers didn’t come until almost 2 years later), so I still hope. Also, it’s not like I have had any room to complain about not working yet (gratitude abounding here) – so obviously some of that investment paid off. Especially when I remember that the audition tours I took to Europe that year were my first. So, I choose to remain positive.

There are nice memories, too, like the incredible Falstaff that was my last show at HGO as a studio artist, or how I spent my first “free” summer in years, my two weeks at the Steans Institute at Ravinia making chamber music for the first time, my first gig out of the HGO Studio covering at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and starting to feel like a “grown-up” artist there, exchanging rings with Jeremy as the year drew to a close. While it was a scary year of transition, I find that I must concede that it was a really incredible year.

Now that I feel all warm and fuzzy again, I should stop procrastinating and get back to those faded receipts.


Kim said...

Hey Nick - Do you use an accountant or do you handle all of the tax stuff yourself?

nick said...

Good question - for the year in question and for all of the years up until 2006, I used Turbo Tax and did my tax stuff myself. It just appealed to the part of me that liked going to Calculus class in High School. In 2006, I broke down and found an accountant, because it got too complicated for me to handle since I was starting to have to deal with international tax stuff.

Lou said... it a random audit or does the IRS think u are shady?

Ann said...

Ugh... I hope that I'll never be audited. That's why I have an accountant who helps me not have the headache that taxes usually inspires.

I LOVE the picture with the wizard from Where's Waldo - a perfect accompaniment to this entry.

I can't believe you're gone from Houston! Here's to working with you again soon!