365 Days of NYC
It’s officially been one year since my last professional dance gig ended in Virginia. One year since I packed up all my belongings and drove back up to NYC. It’s been a hell of a year. I vividly remember shoving all of my belongings into the good ole' Nissan Altima and driving myself up to Hamilton Heights in Manhattan. I was incredibly tired, heartbroken and overwhelmed. I had just finished a 6 month contract and had no idea what would happen next. Today, I live in a beautiful apartment in Washington Heights, I'm physically stronger than I've ever been, and overall I am happy and excited about my life. I've accomplished so much, some of which I didn't even know I would aspire to accomplish. I want to celebrate today by talking about all of that, but I also want to talk about something else first:
Specifically, today also marks one year without a dance contract, without being on-stage, without performing. I don’t want to dwell on it but I do want to acknowledge the feeling of disappointment and sadness that I haven’t “worked” in a year. The reason I want to share this is because I know that there is someone (or many someones) who is experiencing or will experience the same thing and I want them to know that they're not alone in their struggles. Every audition, every callback, having to go to my coworkers and clients at my 'side hustle' and say "Nope, not this time" got a little harder as the months ticked by. I got calbacks, made it to the end of auditions, and even got invited for an interview, but yet have nothing to show for it. I watched all of my performer friends book gigs and go on amazing adventures literally all over the world, while I stayed in one place. It was hard. People tried to cheer me up by saying, “one year is nothing – some people haven’t worked in 2 or 3 years”. Not really as comforting as they might think. Some days I wondered why the hell I chose to move across the country and pursue this insane dream in the first place. Some days I doubted myself so much that I considered giving up and moving back home. But I didn't. I persevered, I fought back, I chugged along every day, focusing on the positive, learning new skills, making new connections, and finding new meaning in my life while I wait for the next 'yes'.
That is what I want to celebrate today by launching this blog, which I've dreamed about doing for a long time. I have big aspirations for this blog and this brand, but for right now, I just want to share a little bit of myself with you. If you made it this far, hey thanks! Check out some of the wonderful, weird, & WTF things I've experienced in NYC in the past 365 days:
Signed my first lease on an apartment with two of my good friends. It is an elevator building with laundry in the basement. You don't know how important this is unless you live in New York.
Taught myself how to do a pull-up.
Became a certified group fitness instructor.
Worked at the Empire State Building.
The one, the only, Colin Barkell, is my boyfriend. It is nice.
Got a callback for a lead track in a musical.
Started taking tumbling classes, finally fulfilling my lifelong dream of wanting to do gymnastics.
Discovered self-tanning products. No, I still can't tan "naturally" in the sun, stop asking.
Finally published my website!
Visited new states - Ohio, New Hampshire, and Washington, Oh My!
Celebrated the 4th of July by watching fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge from a rooftop.
Found a place with legit carne asada fries in Brooklyn. It's called Lucha Lucha. You're welcome.
Won lottery tickets to a Broadway musical.
Did a 3 minute improv tap solo at a Japanese tap jam at Symphony Space (it was as random as it sounds).
Finally watched Breaking Bad. It lived up to the hype.
Drove a U-Haul in NYC. Noone got hurt!
Upgraded to a queen-sized bed. Fancy.
Took class with Jason Samuels Smith. While wearing Jason Samuels Smiths.
Learned original A Chorus Line choreography from the original Connie at an audition. It was intimidating as fuck.
Signed up for Spotify Premium. Life-Changing.
Danced for Neil Haskell at an audition, one of my dance crushes from SYTYCD when I was growing up. Pretty surreal.
Learned how to play a song on the Ukelele. Just the one.
A legit Mexican restaurant opened up across the street from my work.
Got [multiple!] 5 star reviews on Classpass from teaching group classes. Yay recognition!
Saw Queen in Las Vegas. Ah-maze-ing.
THE WEIRD.. & THE WTF??
Moved into a 4th floor walk up.
Moved out of a 4th floor walk-up.
A casting director yawned while I sang my 16-bar cut.
Watched a man get on the train with his dick out and started peeing.
May have been involved with deceiving the Chinese government.
Accidentally left all of my headshots and resumes on the train. After I went back to get them.
Donald Trump became president. Still not sure this is real life.
The priced of metro cards increased. Again.
I was almost on a reality TV show.
A man on the street called me racist because I wouldn't give him money.
A rat crawled over my foot while I was taking out the trash.
We had a mouse in our apartment. My roommate threw it out the window in a box.
I taught a spin class. I don't spin.
I danced in an authentic Chinese silk dress near Battery Park in the rain. I now own said dress. I do not know what to do with it.
I woke up (more than once!) to take a 7:30am workout class. It actually wasn't that bad.
I went to a call for something called "Pizza Workout". I did not get the job.
I flew on Spirit Air. Do not fly Spirit Air. That is all.