Jonathan Genziano (AKA Bachronym) is a nurse, musician, and fashion enthusiast living in Los Angeles. He talks to us about his experience growing up in Alaska, his move to LA, and his dedication towards playing the cello.
I lived in Alaska for 27 years. My dad was stationed there in the military back in 1992 and eventually retired. It was different, but not so much as a lot of modern TV shows make it out to be. I lived in Anchorage, which is comparable to most small suburbs in the lower 48. We had long winters that would last up to seven or eight months. To stay sane in the long darkness, you had to pick up a hobby or activity.
Everyone had to layer because of the weather and I think 90% of our middle school wore the Denali fleece from North Face. The Monkey Fleece from Mountain Hardware paired with UGGs were another wardrobe staple. Everyone pretty much knew what Gore-Tex was in Alaska. It’s really interesting because hiker-core is such a big thing right now but it was literally what we were wearing in grade school, just maybe not so put together (laughs). It was out of necessity and I never thought it would ever be a fashion thing.
I got into snowboarding when I was 7. Burton was one of the first technical apparel brands I bought into. Eventually I discovered Arc’teryx in high school. I went to REI one day and found out about the hefty price tag associated with the brand. That’s when I really started to dive into understanding materials and why certain garments were priced accordingly. I eventually saved up and bought an Arc’teryx Stingray in Mahogany from their Whiteline series (snowboarding and skiing). The jacket was made up of Gore Soft Shell and was equipped with a RECCO reflector. This was the beginning of my obsession and from there I found out about Veilance which led me to Superfuture, and eventually Acronym. It was all game over from there.
Well, I had a lot of layers, so I downsized a lot when I moved. I had this really nice Stone Island Ice Parka that was super warm but just not practical at all here. Admittedly, it took me way too long to actually buy shorts and T-shirts. In the beginning it would be 80 degrees and I would still wear all black but eventually I came around to buying color and lighter weight fabrics that are better for the summer. I usually wear merino wool now, especially the Outlier Ultra Fine Tees and also Uniqlo Airism series. I also bought some Acronym shorts this season and they have been really great. I’ve been here for three years and I finally have a nice summer outfit I want to wear in hotter climates. But overall, I wanted to approach new climates with the same level of research I developed from living in Alaska.
I have been a nurse for 7 years. I was in an inpatient orthopedic/neurosurgery unit back in Alaska for 4 years. My first job in LA was on a stroke/neurology inpatient unit. Neurology is a difficult field in healthcare. There’s still a lot we don't understand about the brain and especially the diseases associated. And as a nurse, patients with neurological issues can be very mentally and physically taxing to work with. I worked there for two years and recently transferred to the recovery room (PACU: post anesthetic care unit). I enjoy being a PACU nurse. I’ve learned a lot about different surgeries and how patients recover from them and the effects of anesthesia. It's a very different environment than the normal inpatient setting. More importantly, I have better hours. I used to do 7am to 7:30 pm shifts and I’m not a morning person at all. I now work 11am to 11:30pm and I’m much happier.
In terms of COVID’s impact, I had just finished my PACU internship and was getting comfortable with my new position. COVID then hit hard (December 2020) and I was redeployed to work back in the inpatient setting since elective surgeries were cancelled. It was shitty, but it was a situation where I and many other healthcare workers understood what needed to be done at the time. I was an overflow nurse that would go to different departments including COVID inpatient settings. Through all the chaos, we were well fed from local restaurants, and for the most part, felt safe while donning proper PPE. LA was the COVID capital of the nation but then quickly became the vaccine capital which was reassuring.
Music is definitely my number one passion and I spend most of my freetime playing. If I could redo college, I would’ve gone to music school. I didn’t feel like the best cellist out of highschool, and part of me kind of wanted to choose a more stable route. I started playing the piano at first when I was a kid but absolutely hated it. My brother, who is six years older than me, plays the viola who is also a 4th year anesthesiologist resident. Hearing him practice at a young age developed my musical ear. I developed a liking for string instruments so I picked up the cello at 12. I eventually got private lessons and practiced... a lot. There were some days I would play six to eight hours when I got home from school.
While in college, I got a substitute position with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and continued to play with them from 2009-2018. I would play concerts with them while juggling nursing school and eventually would go to rehearsals after my 12 hour shifts as a nurse. I also joined a string quartet through the symphony and performed multiple recitals. I have a few friends who attended prestigious music schools who have helped me with my technique over the years. Since moving to LA I’ve had small gigs here and there but mostly just practicing and developing my technique at home. Music school maybe in the future?
Since gyms have opened, rock climbing has been a big part of my routine. I also can’t forget about my nerdiness and love for Starcraft (ahem... Grand Master NA server Terran... ahem). I grew up doing Taekwondo for 12 years and learned a lot about patience and discipline at an early age. I tend to be very strict about my time and how I decide to utilize it. Also knowing when to relax is probably the most important. You can’t always be working. Spending time with good people is always a must. I tend to hang out with many people who inspire me in different ways. Surrounding myself with people like this helps my motivation and drive towards my craft. I have met so many great people since moving to LA. It has been an incredible journey.
You can follow Jonathan on Instagram at @bachronym.