Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Moment in NYC

With Pam Bradley and Nick Demos at Yum Yum, June 2016.
Last April, after 16 months in New York City, I left. I had been partying with celebrities, working front-of-house on Broadway, and assisting a beautiful soul named Nick Demos. But all that to say, I felt caught up in being the assistant and the usher. There was nothing wrong with these jobs, but the need to have a multi-faceted identity was really gnawing at me. I love assisting, but my creative brain wasn't able to find any of its own outlets at the time. I wanted to be seen as a creator, as well.

NYC is like that friend who loves to party with you. You like, it, too. But she doesn't bathe too often and smokes in your face. And sometimes you get tired of that. I took a breather the week after Cabaret closed, where I'd spent a whole year of my life telling people where to sit and begging them to respect others. During that respite in quieter environments, I thought to myself how important it was to be grounded. New York City is a storm, and you can't build a strong ship in a storm. The ship must be built in calmer weather before embarking through the rage.

Danny Burstein is a kind, generous man who happens to also be a generous actor. I got to watch him work as Herr Schultz in Cabaret roughly 380 times during our year there. Through what seemed like little effort, he shook hands, nodded hellos, and had a serenity about him. Everyone in the building was worth his time. Some of our bosses, some other "celebs" in the business, are not this way. They are a part of the storm. But someone like Danny is a ship in the storm. Being like that might take time, but it's time I'm willing to put in. And that long-term investment has led him to portray a stunning version of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at the Broadway Theatre. His sense of self and generosity translated on stage with impact. The character and the man both had something to share and explore about humanity. The ship had docked.

Seeing Danny Burstein triumph as Tevye
in June 2016.
Like him, and many others I respect, I want to be a ship in the storm.

I may have been back in NYC for just 3 days, which is different from living the grind full time, but I felt at least like a sturdy tug boat. Every goal I'd set for myself in leaving the city has been met, even if it was short lived or the result was unexpected. I acted in a play last summer to good notices, I was hired as a manager (though resigned due to policy differences), wrote a new play, and leaned up my body. I also dated... I overcame some mental anguish that was truly fogging my self care abilities.

It's not rejuvenation. That sounds temporary. Rather, it is a revelation. A tectonic plate moved within me, and it's settled into a new terrain. It's what made the Pacific Northwest and now me. There is always another earthquake possible, but that's not something we can dwell upon. Let's enjoy and take precautions in what is made from failure and growth, and have good building codes with relationships and our faith in the self and the greater good.

New ventures are on the horizon. And it's going to be good.

Thanks, NYC, for not changing. It helped me see how much I have changed.

I don't need you, anymore. Instead, I want you.