I <3 NY
I was reading through my (very) old blog last night for some answers, and I came across this post I wrote in September 2008. I found it especially poignant at this juncture in my life. It gives me some hope, and I thought I would share it with you.
Penniless, Not Friendless
I am penniless and all that is missing is Lily Bart’s sleeping draught.
Unfortunately, my forays into the world of children’s theatre are going to pummel me further down a path of financial turmoil. But it’s necessary (and good and proper) that I do this. The Union is going to take most of my money… but I can’t help reading their contracts lovingly. All the crazy provisions and stipulations for how actors are to be treated fill me with pride. You must give me a ten minute break every hour and a half. You must provide me with a blanket. You must wash my costumes after no more than two shows.
I will sleep, read, sing, and starve to death for three months. Adventures.
My unbelievable time so far in New York has been filled to the brim with adventures. Crazy, strange things. Each month is a different color in my mind. I have somehow successfully avoided the monotony that so scares me. I spend so much time alone, or alone in a group, travelling to strange places, taking bizarre subway rides. Diving into some new crevice of New York or tasting some new flavor of the city.
I am passionately in love with the society that I have shared over the past year. I value above all else my experiences of the different walks of life the world has to offer. New York holds friends for every facet of myself.
I love knowing my neighborhood (which is mostly comprised of old Jewish women). I see at least one Pasta Presto regular on the street per day — sometimes as far down as Union Square! I love Connie’s gossip about our local businesses… how far above us our competitor “Lasagna Restaurant” down the street sold last night. The neighbors dropping by to complain about the latest change on the streets. I even love the most ridiculous and awful of regulars who come in a attempt to swindle out of me free glasses of Merlot… yet at the same time know so much and have a certain investment in my life.
I am crazy about the beautiful waitresses and waiters, Connie, Roberto, and Angel that I have lived with. Day in and day out we watch the gypsy woman across the street, a crane collapse, the demise of Rite Aid, and the erection of new buildings.
I am crazy about the new amazing actors I was privileged to meet and work with this summer. It feels so wonderful to know that there a community people struggling towards the same end as I am.
I am crazy about the old amazing actors that I know who entertain me during catering and offer me advice in their UWS apartments.
I am crazy about mentors and other artists who inspire me and help me.
And I am crazy about the oldest and best of friends who remain constant in my life and instil me with comfort, stability, and life beyond my circus of interests.
And even with all of these wonderful people for whom my heart is filled to brim… there is still so much time to be spent alone. So much precious time to right my head in the corner Starbucks or a marble bench at the Met or a shady spot in Central Park.
This is why I love New York. The variety and adventure that it forces into my life. I love active variety in my work; I love active variety in my friends.
What a glorious, reeling adventure this must have been for you. Glad you came out the other side. I imagine a year hustling for acting jobs in New York is one of the best ways to grow the tough, teflon skin needed to make it –anywhere–in that profession. Great details here–i especially like the beautiful waiters and waitresses. Like the Billy Joel line from “Piano man”:
“man, what are you doin here?”