Living the Dream as a freelance bassist in NYC
Sean Murphy is a 2007 graduate of Pius X High School, and has been on a musical journey ever since.
What is your title and workplace?
Freelance Bassist in NYC
How did you get from Pius X to where you are now?
After Pius, I went to UNL to get a degree in music: Double Bass Performance. Played in multiple ensembles including the Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and countless small groups, all while gigging on the side as a professional musician.
A big part of my musical theatre career was playing at the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Okoboji, IA every summer, which I consider my training ground for getting into the theatre scene.
A few months after graduating a few friends and I decided to pack up and drive to NYC in a Penske truck. Landing here without a job or apartment was tough, but we managed to get day jobs, and found a decent apartment to get a start. Two years after living here, I was asked to join the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast, which then went international and took me to 22 different countries.
Since then I toured with the show Finding Neverland, and recently back in NYC freelancing playing for cabarets, and other shows. I can definitely say I’m living the dream.
Did you foresee this as a possibility when you were a student at Pius X?
I certainly didn’t think I would work in theatre professionally, but I did have dreams of playing music as a career, not knowing it would take me to NYC.
How did Pius X impact your career?
I was heavily involved in the arts at Pius. All four years I was in Marching Band, Concert Band, Choir, and the Musicals. These are my best friends and memories from Pius.
What do you look for in deciding what musical events you want to be a part of?
At first you have to say yes to anything, and it was exciting to realize I could make a living out of what I thought was a passion or a hobby. As you get further into the business there are gigs you will have to say no to based on the pay/schedule and knowing what you’re worth.
How does your faith play into your role as a musician?
Growing up Catholic, music was always a huge part of my faith. I was always involved in the choir with my parents, or singing during school masses or playing piano, etc. The idea of a silent Mass always seemed so odd.
When not working, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing?
I love technology and have ever since I was a kid. Fixing computers, gadgets, staying up to date on the latest and greatest.