It’s estimated that there’s a rotation of about a quarter million people attempting to make permanent residence in New York City each year.
I’ve (only) been here for 4.5 months now and while I have always been able to find an infinite number of reasons for immigration to this beautiful city, I have only recently begun to understand why one would chose to leave.
New York is a tough city! The subway system takes a while to get the hang of (I still occasionally find myself on an uptown train when I should be traveling downtown), finding your way around a city mapped out on a grid can be more difficult than you’d think, walking everywhere is growing more tiresome every day (especially during the hot summer months), I just heard someone yell, “I hate you! I hope you die!” right outside my window, and there never seems to be a shortage of tourists in Times Square.
Moving to New York City makes the most extraordinary people mediocre. You can be the king od queen of your small town and feel like a celebrity walking into your local Target, but walk down the streets of midtown and you are just another commuter with their earbuds in and shades on.
So, how can a city that breaks you down make you feel so alive?
New York City can make or break your dreams. Sometimes it breaks you before it makes you. But it takes a fighter to thrive in a city that equalizes you upon arrival. You have to know what you want and know that you want it more than anything.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about one’s relationship with New York City and it seems that no matter how long you’ve been living here, no one seems to have the answers. Just theories and mantras that keep them afloat.
To be an actor in a city like New York you have to be a little crazy. You’re already trying to maintain your sanity and pride in a profession that will chew you up and spit you out, leaving you doubting whatever confidences you had about yourself and your talents. But trying to weather the competition and pace of the entertainment business in New York City is more than trying to navigate upstream without a paddle.
Being an actor in New York City is like trying to navigate upstream without a paddle, a map, a boat, or even a clear destination.
So, what do you do when you truly only have your dreams to guide you? It sounds painfully obvious but, in the end, the only thing that will get you where you need to go is your dreams. One of the beautiful things about New York City is that there is an over-abundance of things to do and projects to feed yourself artistically. The struggle arises, of course, in the price tag attached to everything the city has to offer. But, given the choice between brunching on a Sunday afternoon and taking a couple dance classes, the artist seeking true fulfillment will choose to dance.
And that’s why we are here. New York City – the city that never sleeps. I prefer to think of it as the city that never wakes up… because everyone is living their dreams. We are here because there is no place else in the world that lives up to our standards. There is no other city that can keep up with us. Any New Yorker will understand when I say that living anywhere else in the country is like walking behind a tourist in Times Square. You can’t help but want to pull your hair out and shout, “MOVE!”
So, you’re a New Yorker. So, move.
Move, if it means finding an agent NOW.
Move, if it means pounding the pavement.
Move, if it means seeing friends that keep you positive.
Above all else, move in the direction your heart and soul want to go, because they are relentless and will never rest, even if you do.
And if you’ve truly tried all of that and you’re still not happy, then maybe you should move.