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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of Musicals and Voice Over Auditions...

I just got back from my second musical in as many nights.  Last night, I saw the dress rehearsal of a musical that my girlfriend helped out with on costumes called "Life on the Mississippi," based on the book by Mark Twain.  A small theater and a small cast, it was quite a good show, the story centering on Samuel Clemens and the period of his life when he aspired to be a steamboat man.  Tonight, I just got back from Porgy and Bess at the Richard Rodgers Theater on 46th Street.  Starring Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier.  Yes, I said David Alan Grier of In Living Color fame.  The cast was amazing and it was such a treat to see the show and hear the rest of Gershwin's score.  All I had ever heard of that show before was, of course, the song "Summertime."  My general manager at NY1 has a sister who does a lot of art directing on and off Broadway and so we got free tickets to the show plus a cast Q&A at the end.

After I left, I wandered through Times Square, past Spiderman and the Naked Cowboy, back to the subway thinking about the amazing things that have happened since I moved here and how I remain in love with this city.  I'm in the midst of trying to compose a guest blog entry for my cousin who lives in Germany now on the subject of why I moved to NY.  I was going to write it in a single sit down but the process of typing the first few paragraphs got me thinking about checking in with the dream I had about 6 years ago to make this happen.  What did I think of the city then and what do I now think of it having lived here for 3 1/2 years?  I saw it as an adventure waiting to happen and it may not have unfolded exactly as such and certainly not right away but it hasn't disappointed me. One would think that all that dreamy-eyed optimism would have been dulled down a little after that much time plugging away and dealing with the stress of city life. But, these days, if I ever catch myself getting downhearted, whether it's simply annoyance with daily life in the city, or all out negative thoughts about my chances of really succeeding at what I'm trying to do, all I have to do is open my eyes and look at the city around me. I'll inevitably catch something that makes me realize what I find in this city that makes me want to stay, regardless of how little return I see sometimes in terms of success at my career.  I look up and see things like this:

...the tribute in light for the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, that speaks to the majesty of such a pile of concrete and steel and the embodiment of the souls of all the people in this city and their ability to pull together in times of hardship...or I look up and see the lights of Times Square and all the bustle of the city around me and think what a strangely complex machine this city is, drawing in tourists to gawk at its splendor while it churns on relentlessly, its inhabitants minding their own f@#$ing business and trying to get on with their day...or I manage to find the time for two musicals in one week and remember what a culturally vibrant and magical city I live in, and all that pessimism washes away and I realize how lucky I am to just be here now, doing what I love doing.  Doing it at all.  Parts of me wish I was doing more of it but doing it all should be good enough really.   

It's all about perspective too, I've come to realize.  I didn't come here because I didn't think there'd be any hard knocks or because I thought it would be easy.  I came here because I had to.  Fundamentally, I don't think there's any reason for doing something unless it's challenging.  (Obviously, I'm not talking about every day things like cooking breakfast or taking a shower, I mean the big things like career and lifestyle choices).  It's the same drive that keeps me doing yoga five to six days a week.  I have to constantly challenge myself to grow and become better at the things I do and how am I going to do that if I back out of something because of a few missteps or pitfalls? 

Today was no different.  I woke up and scrambled to get one voice audition in before they closed it (as you remember I was frustrated because twice in one week, and once after my voice coach reviewed one of my auditions for me, an audition was closed before the deadline and my work was not submitted).  I made it.  Then I made it to yoga for the noon class and when I got back, I reworked my current voice demos, placing music under some of the spots I've done, and stitching together more of the work I'm proud of vs. the stuff from my original demo.  Then I submitted to four more voice auditions.  Cooked dinner and headed off to the theater...but not before shaving my beard and playing around with other facial hair options...

...before ultimately shaving it all off....I don't know though, I kind of like the mustache...I was laughing about how much I liked it.  Katrina said I looked like a scary hipster. 

But I digress...a productive day followed by some well deserved entertainment.  I'm doing well and I'm still enjoying the city...even if I haven't quite crested that hill yet and become my own boss as a living and working composer/voice over artist.  But some day.  Meantime, I'm having a blast.  After 3 1/2 years, I can certainly say that my view of the city has changed.  In a way, that image I had of the city before I moved here has not been tarnished at all...in fact, I'd say it's been polished. And I'm able to see more in it than I ever did before.  


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