As I enter my 2nd week of my temporary Receptionist assignment, I can’t help but feel a little…. Underwhelmed. Being a Receptionist here isn’t very different from being a Receptionist in Dallas. I have to remind myself that I’m living in New York for a reason. And that reason is not to sit at a desk all day long and wait for the phone to ring. That reason is to act. To perform. To better myself as an artist, and as a human being.
It’s difficult to remember that sometimes. Because, truth be told, and this may come as a shock to some of you, Times Square is not exciting if you’re not a tourist. Our apartment is very close to Times Square, and my office is very close to Rockefeller Center. Therefore, I am almost constantly surrounded by tourists. And being constantly surrounded by tourists can be really draining when you’re on your way to work, and you know exactly where you’re trying to go. Now, listen, I know that I moved to the most-visited city in the world, and that tourists should neither surprise nor annoy me. And, really, most of the time, they don’t. And, truthfully, I sometimes still feel like a tourist myself, so I can hardly blame them for stopping to stare at buildings they’ve never seen before. However, I came here, not for vacation, but to work as an actor, and I know that I’m going to be doing very little of that this month, so the tourists are extra nerve-grating.
Having a survival job is nothing new to anyone who has ever tried a creative endeavor. And trust me, I’m not complaining about the paycheck I’ll be getting. The people I’m working with are really friendly, and I do have the opportunity sometimes to walk around the city a little bit. The job is not without its perks; it’s just that this job is not fulfilling to me. So I need to remember to be proactive about pursuing other creative opportunities. Simply going to a class or attending an improv show can keep me focused on why I’m here, and feeling hopeful to what I may accomplish in the weeks and months to come.
Our apartment is right across the street from the Broadway Dance Center, and the Al Hirschfield Theater, where Kinky Boots is currently running. Times Square is literally a block away. New Dramatists is a short walk away, and Actors Connection is around the corner. I may not be able to audition for shows this month, but I can certainly take advantage of the opportunities in my neighborhood. I’m going to take a couple of dance classes, perhaps some on-camera acting classes at Actors Connection, and I’m going to take advantage of living so close to so many theaters. It would be foolish not to.