Road to a Name Change: Part 3

[This post is the third in a multi-part series about the process of changing my name. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.]

By the time I submitted my name change petition, it had only been two or three weeks since I realized I’d need to move on it quickly. That haste turned out to be a good thing, because Maricopa County is busy. In some jurisdictions, you can submit the paperwork and be seen the same day. Not here! No, after I turned in my forms, I waited four business days per the deputy clerk’s instructions before calling back in to schedule my hearing. Overly-optimistic me figured I’d get things sorted by the end of 2021, but nope! The first available hearing wasn’t until January. (This call took place in October.)

While I was certainly deflated, the kind administrator handling scheduling had one more surprise to throw me: the hearing would be virtual. This was great (if slightly unexpected) news from a COVID perspective—doubly so when January’s Omicron spike showed up—but it also meant that we were required to submit our additional required documents online. RIP to my pre-printed copies of my name change order (that you typically must bring, already filled out, to in-person hearings), but bigger RIP to my data security, as I now had to submit scans of my driver’s license and birth certificate via email. (But hey . . . at least they aren’t correct anymore . . . .)

Virtual hearing: yay! The state of Arizona refusing to invest in secure document transfer systems: boo! Despite the general upheaval, though, by Halloween I had a hearing date and a clear list of requirements. Time to sit back and relax or something, right?

WRONG. The legal gears were turning, but I had a whole bunch of professional problems to sort out. The top two priorities: overhauling my website and fixing the over sixty scores in my back catalog. I had a firm announcement date for my website, December 1, but I knew I didn’t want to spend the entire end of the year fielding requests for corrected scores from folks who had my work in their libraries. Those would need to be done earlier so I could send them out ahead of time. But with sixty-plus scores to go through, how on earth would I get that done?

Two things proved instrumental in this endeavor: the ADHD meds I’d recently started adjusting to and the invoices (and invoice tracker spreadsheet!) I’ve maintained over the years. This didn’t cover everyone—I still needed to track down folks I’d performed with or written for as part of school assignments and anyone I’d ever given anything to for free—but it did cover commissions and website sales, which was more than half the battle. After a couple days working through my mailing list and various inboxes, I’d assembled a list of everyone I would likely be able to find. Once I had that list, I began with the scores I knew they had, then worked my way (more or less) chronologically backward through my catalog.

Although most of these scores are now readily available on my website, I’m not actually done with this process. When I was updating pieces (not just the scores but also the twenty zillion accompanying parts), I edited PDFs wherever I could, meaning most of my Sibelius files are still out of date. Maintaining those will likely be a process of years. (If you find yourself in this position, I found Adobe Acrobat the fastest way to effectively edit PDFs. It’s not the only option, and Adobe can be a pain, but it may be worth it if you’re shopping around.)

As I was managing scores, I also took the time to update a bunch of stuff on my website. That process turned into quite the adventure, so it’ll be the focus of next week’s post. Stay tuned—we’ll be exploring how I drastically restructured my website and had a heck of a lot more fun doing it. Some of it was for my own vanity, but some things had to be done if I was going to be ready for December . . . .

Name change expenses in this section:

  • Adobe Acrobat: $25/mo if you’re subscribing via a monthly plan
  • Certified copy of my birth certificate: $30 (would’ve been more if my mom couldn’t go pick it up and send it to me—thanks, Mom!)

Total this section: $55

Running totals:

  • Part 1: $0
  • Part 2: $336
  • Part 3: $55

Total so far: $386


This is Part 3 of an ongoing series in which I document the process I underwent to legally (and publicly) change my name. I’ll take you through a different part of the process every week, until we get as close to the end as we realistically can. (Truly, I think it never really ends.) Check back in next week for the next installment!

Thanks for reading! If you learned something from this post and would like to tip me, head on over to my Ko-fi page. For more analysis and commentary like this in your life, come back every Saturday at 8pm MST. To support the long-term work I do as an artist and advocate, you can find me on Patreon and @honestlyeris on Instagram.