Working While Playing is a Non-Profit 501c3 that was organically created in 2012 by Adam Monaco and Danie Ocean.
Adam and Danie were sharing a house together in Ardmore, PA at the time. They had been playing music and writing songs for practically their whole lives. Frustrated with spending so much money on recording and working with difficult people in the industry, they decided to buy their own studio and record music out of the 3rd story room of their house. Being the people that they are, they found themselves allowing anyone that needed help to record and they also let friends use the space to rehearse.
One morning, while Adam was enjoying a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, Danie had an epiphany. "Adam! Let’s have a space that can help musicians to be able to have the resources they need to create music!" It was then that they realized that something could be done and that the idea for Working While Playing was born. Adam and Danie decided it was time to create something that they themselves wish that they had a long time ago. The plan was to provide a tool to help artist’s to build their careers and to allow community members to keep their creative outlets alive in an affordable way.
It took 2 years of planning twice a week at the Saxby's coffee shop in Ardmore until Adam and Danie were ready to open up their first location. It wasn't an instant success to say the least. People were excited and were starting to join, but there was also a great deal left to accomplish. So much of their time and money was being poured into this endeavor. This pair didn’t give up, despite setbacks, and they took the tough times head on.
With their positive outlooks on life, Danie and Adam accepted these struggles as learning experiences. Thank goodness that these two were prepared to persevere because after putting in all new floors and having multiple volunteers sand and paint walls, the building was shut down. The day it was shut down was, of course, also the day of their big fundraiser.
This was a pinnacle point in the making of this organization. Within a few hours of this crazy situation, Danie got on the phone and found a local Italian restaurant in East Falls to host the fundraiser. Adam tackled social media on his awesome smart phone and spread the word.
The fundraiser ended up being a success. Within a week, Danie and Adam were signing the contract for their new location in Germantown, Pa. Moving a fundraiser and signing a new lease may have seemed like easy tasks, but raising enough money and finding a new landlord in the amount of time they had to work with was insane. Their ability to achieve what they had set out to do, despite the struggles, made it such a monumental time for the organization. They didn't just give up. It was then that they realized the strength they had and the powerful force that was behind them. Getting through these times provided living proof to their members that Adam and Danie would stand by them. Working While Playing wasn’t just some pie in the sky dream. It was now a reality.
Working While Playing plans to have locations throughout the country and is currently in the process of opening their second space. It’s almost like a YMCA for musicians.
Music is not about the glory, fame, and the illusions that it has been perceived to be. It is much larger than us. It’s an outlet and a form of expression that can't be repressed.