One year ago today, I drove into Brooklyn with my cat, and was greeted by a policeman who asked me why the hell I would ever move to Brooklyn.
It has been quite a year, and honestly, I am much more emotional about it today than I thought I would be and it's not even 8:00am. I've done a lot, been through a lot, learned a lot. This is not an all-inclusive list, but in the past year:
• I went from living on own to living with other people and managed to not completely implode despite some of the people being truly awful.
• I found a job where they pay me to be nice and make other people smile, though I had to spend a very long piece of time working with a truly awful woman first before I found the good job.
• I appeared in five full-length theatrical productions, playing a total of fourteen characters; one monologue festival; and two short play festivals.
• I became a member of a theatre company.
• I sang in not only three of my five shows, but in Central Park and on my front stoop for total strangers.
• I got a mention in a New York theatre review. A good mention.
• I lost my backpack when some asshat stole it out of my moving van.
• I saw shows on Broadway and off. And off-off.
• I found a decent apartment with light and windows where my cat and I can be comfortable and I can cook in the kitchen.
• I befriended some wonderful people, including my upstairs neighbors who are two of the most lovely, caring, giving, thoughtful people.
• I walked probably a thousand miles all over Manhattan.
• I went out places by myself and found people to talk to.
• I recorded a song in a studio.
• I learned that I am much stronger, more capable, smarter, and more resilient than I thought I was.
• I missed my Chicago friends and family and life more than I can say.
I wonder a bit of the life I'm building here is just like the life I had in Chicago, just elsewhere, and I'm wondering if I'm okay with that. Should I have taken the steady day job that keeps me funded instead of staying a temp so I would have more time to audition? Should I have gone to more EPAs? Should I be working harder to build a foundation to become a full time artist?
I think the reality of it is a financial question. I have to live somewhere and I have to eat so I have to do something that pays me regularly. And as far as steady jobs go, the one I have is not bad. The people are lovely and the work itself is fine. But I think in the next year, I need to make sure I don't lose sight of my theatrical goals as I grow within this non-theatrical company.
To that end, I am thrilled to announce that I will be appearing in King Richard 2 and Romeo & Juliet this October/November with Hamlet Isn't Dead. And I still have my own projects churning in the back of my head.
I said when I moved out here that I would give it three years before I seriously consider the question of whether I want to spend the rest of my life in New York or if I want to go back to Chicago, or elsewhere. I'm one-third of the way through my experiment and having a lot of fun, finding a lot of value in the adventure.
But for today, I am going to feel all of the feels as I remember driving away from my mom last year on one of the hardest days of my life. Happy anniversary to me.