"You never get a second chance to make a first impression"
Words that have echoed in my head since I was a child. My parents would recite this to my brother, sister, and I before we would attend our first days at school. As simple as the mantra sounds, it is quite powerful and has maintained a strong hold in how I conduct myself on a daily basis.
I have only been living in New York for a few weeks and have had many opportunities to make first impressions on others and to form my own opinions on the first interactions I have had with my new neighbors and friends (well, the tourists and locals that surround me in the city). The people in this city are from all different walks of life, but as I compile individual impressions, I begin creating a general vibe that the city seems to give. So far I view these people as a cold, discontented bunch who are desperately searching for instant gratification. Whether they are quick to point out the flaws of the drivers around them, in dire need of that next cigarette, or ready to sell their soul for a part in a musical, they all seem to be missing out on a life full of meaning and substance. And though this current view is cold and harsh , it is ever-changing and continues to surprise me.
This is not to say that my friends and acquaintances in the
land of "Musical Theatre" are the same way. I view them quite
differently actually. They are outlandishly optimistic and
realistically down-to-earth in a harmonious balance of crazy and
contentedness. But I do not consider these song and dance folk an
accurate representation of the city as a whole.
In no way do I want my view of this city to seem negative. I love every
single scowl and sideways scorn that I receive from these strangers,
the smells, the noises; they all create such a unique atmosphere and I
wouldn't trade them for the world.
When it comes to making my own first impressions, I believe I have yet to shake the bright-eyed, "this-city-is-everything-to-me", naivety of a person who has just moved here. I still smile every time I ride the subway, the ferry, or the bus. I still feel a swelling in my heart when I see the Statue of Liberty every day on my way to the city and every night on my way home. At auditions I ask too many questions and seem too eager to please. But I have heard that this "green attitude" can be more of a blessing than a curse. Sometimes that spark is what makes a director remember you and that optimism is sometimes hard to find here.
Living on Staten Island with my Aunt Pam and Uncle Steve has been such a wonderful blessing. I am able to save money at the moment to eventually move into the city. They have opened up their home and their hearts to me and I can't thank them enough. I would also like to thank my cousins Steven, Patrick, and Melissa for letting their cousin live with them. I'm sure I mess with the bathroom schedules but they have never complained and I'm grateful for that and for them. Having family here has really helped with the transition.
My favorite moments of this new chapter in my life have all been pretty small. I've loved sitting in various parks and just taking in the sounds of the city and nature combined. Reading books in those parks and on the subways and ferry rides. Actually knowing enough about an area to help give someone directions. It all makes me feel so calm and that this place is where I'm meant to be.
With more auditions lined up for the upcoming week I know that I will continue to have many wonderful adventures. And I am ready for the challenges that they present. I've got that green, naive optimism along with the thoughts and prayers of my friends and family. I'm practically unstoppable.