My Balance: Robert Maril

By: Daniel Villarreal

Name: Robert Maril
Profession: Musician

It may seem astounding that New York musician Robert Maril has a nine-to-five day job seeing as any given week for him could also include rehearsals with his country band, operatic performances at his church and weekend Djing gigs.

But he makes the balance between life and creativity seem fun and fulfilling. So how does one of the city's most ambitious gay indie musicians juggle it all without going crazy?

We dropped by his pad and asked... As a musician, you perform several different generes, with several different groups every week. What does a busy musical week for you look like?
Robert Maril: In any given week I use three distinct voices: my contemporary "art music" voice, my church choir voice, and the voice I was born with, my country music voice. It's not unusual for me to go from a new music premiere to DJ at a gay bar, then get up early the next morning and sing in church choir, then go sing a gig with my country band, Kings, that night. It's these moments that recharge me — these maybe ten creative hours a week drive and inspire me to get up another day and go to my day job.

How do you manage your aspiring music career alongside a full-time job while still sleeping, eating and staying in decent shape?
Ah, the "when do you sleep?" question. It all boils down to making a schedule and sticking to it, even if your schedule changes every day. When I have the chance to get in bed early, I get my ass in bed. I don't skip meals, I quit smoking (over a year and counting) and have cut my coffee consumption down to a pot a day. Joking (I'm not joking).

How about your love and social life? Do you ever get to hang out with friends or date with such a busy schedule?
I used to get to the end of a 45-day run of work, rehearsals, and gigs and realize that I hadn't seen anyone that wasn't a coworker for a month and a half. That — you know, the whole prospect of dying friendless — spurred me into making sure that I plan time to spend with my friends every week. Luckily, my bandmates and the people I help run Rhymes With Opera (the experimental opera company we founded) are my best friends. As far as the love life goes, I'll let you know once I've figured it out.

How do you blow off steam after an intense work period?
By its very nature, my band helps me blow off steam. I recommend that everyone sit around a kitchen table with Steph and Emily while drinking whiskey and making up country harmonies at least once in their lives. Other than that, if I have time to truly turn off I escape to my bed, where I"m catching up on Arrested Development. I've somehow never seen this show until now. Please hold all boos until the end of the interview.

What advice would you give to an ambitious person who feels like they have no time for healthy living and relaxation?
Having "no time to" do anything is a myth made up by people who think you have to look frantic to be productive. Set realistic goals and then carve the time that meeting them will take out of your calendar.


How do you maintain balance? Tweet your tips. #Miller64Balance

Tags: Lifestyle