I compose, produce, perform, distribute and licence music.
My work life is not a typical one in that I work for myself, a freelancer, but ultimately this suits my line of work. The main advantage is being free to devote time to all my interests, those that pay the bills and those that might someday. While some are spent entirely devoted to the creative process and the equally important administrative process other days are spent traveling from studio to studio where I record jingles, movie soundtracks, voice overs, cartoons...you name it, I've done it!
What you learn in school will in some way or other always serve you out in the workplace/real world, it's hard to put your finger on when or how but these basics are essential. For my work in particular experience over time has been all-important, as well as a knowledge of the recording process, an ability to work with people, patience and knowing how to listen so that my clients are best served. A professional approach to your job is as important in the creative field as any other.
Here's the first step for high school students
The creative field is very much defined by the person, not so much what they've studied as how they can implement it in their day-to-day. I studied psychology as a degree and business studies as a graduate diploma and these have served me well in the administrative and organizational side of my work. The creative side is purely subjective in that each person will develop their approach. A belief in what you do is all-important in bringing it into the real world. Always follow your heart.
"Only a very small percentage of people make a living from you're trying to do" "Maybe it's time to get a proper job" "You're getting a bit old for that now"