#WFH Diaries: Shea Duncan of Mophonics

As the pandemic continues, and with most folks still working from home, we're continuing to check in with industry pros to see how they're faring. Below, we chat with Shea Duncan of Mophonics.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

New York-based music director and composer at Mophonics.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I live by myself in Manhattan's East Village.

What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?

During lockdown I was working from a scaled-back studio setup in my living room (sorry, neighbors!). Working, living and exercising in the same quarters was a real challenge, but fortunately I'm now back in the office and have returned to a somewhat "normal" routine. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

There is an amazing community of Aussie expats here in New York who have rallied together throughout all of this, and they've been the core of my social life. Many of us were mates before the pandemic, but the group has really grown during the last few months. Being a long way from our families, it's been special to see everyone looking out for each other. We're making the most of the nice weather and tend to organize runs, workouts and basketball games or host dinners at each other's places. A few of the guys own a cafe in NOLITA called Charley St., so that's become our unofficial HQ.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

I don't have any kids of my own but want to give a huge shout-out to those who do! I've been in awe of a few of my colleagues, seeing them successfully juggle parenting, work and teaching duties.

What are you reading?

Mindset by Carol Dweck. 

What are you watching?

I just finished all three seasons of Fauda and am now suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I highly recommend it, and make sure you watch it in Hebrew with subtitles if you do! I also just started The Get Down. A friend of mine, Elliott Wheeler, is an amazing talent and wrote the score. I'm really digging it so far.

What are you listening to?

Music-wise, I'm currently going down an Edvard Grieg rabbit hole. Podcast-wise, I've been enjoying Score: The Podcast.

How are you staying fit?

During lockdown, Core Rhythm Fitness's Zoom classes were a lifesaver. Now things have opened up outdoors, it's a mix of Tone House on the East River and West Village Athletic's Run Club.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Running! I've never been much of a runner in the past, but I took it up during lockdown as an excuse to leave my apartment, and it's stuck.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Almost all handshakes and hugs.

An aha! moment since all this started.

I probably didn't need all of those canned beans after all… 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Truthfully, I don't have one. Rather than speculate too much, my strategy in all of this has been to take things as they come. One thing I will say is that I've been really encouraged by New York's inventive response to the challenges of the pandemic. There's been no shortage of hurdles this year, and it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the real hardships people are facing, but in the wake of all these challenges, I've really felt New York's resilient spirit kick into gear and I'm confident the city will bounce back stronger than ever.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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