Now that I am home from my six week journey in New York, I am finding myself missing the cobblestone streets of the West Village, the sunsets over the Brooklyn Bridge, and even the tourists crowding times square on my walk to dance class from the 42nd street Times Square subway stop four times a week. Here is a little recap of the last couple of weeks of my life changing adventure.
Since my last blog, I have been doing a ton of work on monologues, on and off camera auditions, voice lessons, and my dancing. I got headshots taken at an amazing studio called Babaldi Studios, and absolutely loved them. It was great to feel pampered and have photos taken of me for a day! My musical theater class taught me the ins and outs of productions, the history of the business and some of the most famous shows, and even took me to see some incredible theater. During my stay in New York I was able to see “Hair,” “Happiness,” “West Side Story,” “9 to 5,” “Waiting for Godot,” and was even able to usher for “The Philanthropist,” with Matthew Broderick and, “Coraline,” where I showed Denise Richards to her seat! My audition technique class had me trekking ALL over the city to go to auditions and get as much experience as humanly possible, even if I wasn’t going to take the job. So, with my new headshots, I found myself practicing monologues to the window in my room (which looked out over onto a lovely brick wall, I love New York), about sorority girls, serious family subjects, and everything in between. I found myself doing character work on sides (small cuts from the script given the night before auditions) late into the night. Coffee soon became my best friend! I was totally exhausted, but I loved each and every moment of it. I was also dancing my butt off at Broadway Dance Center. I took four classes a week a minimum to make myself competitive at musical theater auditions. This is mostly because you don’t get to even sing if you don’t pass the dance cut! So, I had to keep on top of my game. I also had the pleasure of going out to dinner with a good family friend, Jenny Powers. Jenny has played Meg in the Broadway Production of “Little Women”, Rizzo in the Broadway Production of “Grease”, and most recently she played Gina in the Lincoln Center production of “Happiness”. She is an incredible woman, and had so much great advice for me. From auditioning tips, to love life, she is really like a big sister figure to me. It is so great to be in a big city and have a network of people surrounding you wanting to help you succeed. After dinner with Jenny we went to meet her fiance at the stage door of “West Side Story,” he is currently playing Tony. I took the subway home with them and got a feel of how life could really be for me if I was doing eight shows a week. Totally COOL!
My last lecture from my audition class was also something that I would really like to write about. During my last lecture the professor, who is also a major casting director for Broadway shows, and he even cast “High School Musical,” wrote on the makeshift white board in our classroom these six words: What do you have to say? Then he went on to read a whole bunch of articles from all different sides of the political spectrum, and from different issues affecting people all over the world. It made a lot of people in the class uncomfortable, even angry. That, I think, was the point. He really wanted to force us to think, to keep ourselves educated, to read the paper every day, and formulate our own opinions. I have been reading the New York Times every day, and I’m not embarrassed to say that “Sports Center” is probably one of my favorite shows, but this lecture really made me realize that I still have a lot of learning and formulating to do. I should probably watch the news more, and stop worrying about baseball. Haha. Over the past year I have grown immensely to become what I hope is a confident, passionate, and independent young woman. My time in New York was perfectly capped by this lecture. This lecture, much like William and Mary, forced each student in my class to never stop growing as a student, actor, or person.
I plan to return to W&M in the fall and continue pursuing my love of theater, auditioning, and learning. I cannot wait to see what the fall has in store! Off to London!