I have spent a lot of my life planning. What will I do after high school? After college? When I move out of my parents’ house? When I get married? When I move to New York? I am so used to the idea of what happens next, that I often forget how to simply enjoy where I am.
I had several opportunities in the past few weeks to really take in my new city. We’ve been here since March, but we only signed a lease at the beginning of August, so it’s still very new to me in a lot of ways. There’s an energy here that is unlike any other city I’ve experienced. I can’t explain it; it just…is.
In the past month, I was able to attend the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, take several walks through Central Park, see the Manhattan skyline from Staten Island and Brooklyn, visit an old bookstore, see fantastic views from Receptionist desks, and basically just soak in New York City.
I was walking back to my apartment from a playwriting workshop a few weeks ago, and as luck would have it, the quickest path is through Central Park. It was about 3:00, so all the kids were getting out of school. There were a lot of families walking through the park, and there were people just simply sitting in the grass, talking with their friends, or reading a book. No one was talking to me, or acknowledging me, but I was overcome with a sense of peace. I knew, in that moment, that this is where I belong. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, or where the next few months and years will take me, but for now, New York City is my home. And I love it.
Of course, part of living in New York City is taking advantage of it. For me, as an actress, there are training and networking opportunities here that I simply won’t find anywhere else. I have had two auditions in the last week and a half. Last week, I attended a networking lunch with a Commercial Print Agent. Tomorrow, I’ll start a 4-week class on Commercial acting (which is different from regular acting, I guess — tune in next week for the exciting conclusion!).
Soon, I’ll start an improv class, and find some other on-camera acting classes, as well. I chose New York over LA because I’ve always been more drawn to the stage; but I also know that I need to make myself as marketable as possible if I want to really make a living out of this. So I will find the classes that will teach me the things I need to learn, and I will create opportunities for myself. And when I’m not out at auditions or taking classes or rehearsing and performing, I’ll settle in to my apartment in East Harlem with my dog and my husband, content to be exactly where I am.