I grew up on the outskirts of Hollywood, both literally and figuratively. Save my one year living in San Francisco to study at the music conservatory, I’ve lived my entire life in Los Angeles or one of its many suburbs.
My father worked for while in the U.S. shipping and distribution offices of Azteca Films, a Mexican film studio, then later as the manager of the great movie palace, The Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. My mother was a travel agent with a pretty impressive list of 60s and 70s movie & TV stars and night club entertainers as her clients: Sonny & Cher, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Goulet & Carol Lawrence, dancer Juliet Prowse, comedian Marty Allen, and impressionist Frank Gorshin (he was also The Riddler in the Batman TV series) to name a few.
Sidebar: Frank Gorshin arranged for me to visit the set of Batman one day on the 20th Century Fox Studios lot. Try as I might, I cannot remember exactly what part of the studio I visited. Of course, I was only eight or nine years old, so it’s not much of a surprise that I can’t remember. It’s just kind of fun to think of now that I spend so much time at Fox.
When I got to junior high school, one of my friends was Chris Wooley. His dad is Peter Wooley who was an art director and I saw his name every week on the credits of “That Girl” starring Marlo Thomas. (Yes, I’ve been a credits reader since a very young age. I taught my daughters to appreciate all the hard work that goes into films and TV shows, so they read the credits, too. Their friends could never understand why they didn’t just get up and leave at the end of a movie.) When I got to high school, my friend’s sister, Georja Skinner, was the audio engineer on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” and I saw her name every week on the credits. I was pretty excited to know the family members of these “famous” people.
Later I became a fan of the nighttime soap “Dallas” which started in 1978 while I was in college. It was 1980 was when I decided to become a music editor and, being the credit-reader I always was, noticed that the music editor on Dallas was Patricia (Pat) Peck. By 1986, when I finally became a professional music editor, Pat Peck was still music editing “Dallas” and I remember thinking, “Wow! I sure hope I can be so lucky as to be on such a long-running show someday.” By the time “Dallas” went off the air in 1991, Pat Peck had been the show’s music editor for 13 years. I had been on “The Simpsons” for 2 years and never dreamed that I could match her record. Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog or hardcore fan of “The Simpsons” you know that I’m on the verge of doubling Pat’s tenure (!)
Now I get to see my own name on TV every week and, because of the many other projects I’ve been able to work on in my time in the biz (and, of course endless “Simpsons” reruns), my name pops up somewhere on the tube, somewhere in the world nearly every day. I had a surreal thrill when I traveled to Prague to score a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” back in 1999. I was in my hotel room and the TV was on a satellite system that got channels from all over Europe. While channel-surfing I saw THE SIMPSONS from Spain in Spanish, from France in French, from Germany in German and from Czech Republic in English with Czech subtitles. Seeing my name on the show from all those countries was a little mind-boggling.
I’m so fortunate to be able to “sign my name” on my work and have it saved for posterity. It’s humbling, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s my job, and I’m so happy I’m able to do it.
If you’d like to see what else I’ve been up to in the past 26 years, you can check out my IMDB profile here.