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New York is often times described as a “concrete jungle” but for me, it’s my personal dreamland. Growing up, whenever I talked about my dreams with anyone, I always said, “One day, I’ll go to New York and put my name in lights.” I blame my mother for constantly playing the entire soundtrack of Phantom of the Opera since I was in her tummy.
I didn’t go for my dream right away. I went for the practical route of finishing high school, then college, then looking for a stable job. I was in my third year out of college, working and finding myself in a warm blanket of stability. It felt very stagnant. I couldn’t help but think fondly of New York from time to time. I didn’t feel like I would ever pursue the dream anymore because I was so scared of not climbing the work ladder at the same time as the people I graduated with.
One day, while I was again in my habit of thinking about New York, I found myself going to different acting school websites and reveling in what could have been. One thing led to another and I submitted a video audition just to see if I could get in. Two months later, several acting schools in New York invited me to audition for them live. I thought it couldn't hurt to give it a try.
I asked for leave from work and decided to go on a holiday trip to New York. I auditioned, got into several schools, and finally, I found myself staying. It all happened so fast and both my mother and I were shocked at the position I found myself in.
I remember walking through the streets of New York terrified as people would push and shove me out of their way. I found myself questioning my choices and breaking down at home alone. It all changed quickly though. I was exposed to so many vibrant people; their passion overwhelming and contagious. Their energy multiplied my own energy to pursue my dream more fully and my dreams got even bigger. The energy of this city is invigorating. I’m always surrounded by people who are pursuing ten dreams all at the same time. Now, not only do I want to act, but I want to write, direct, create, and devise all kinds of art.
It’s my third year in New York now and I have no regrets. For me, foregoing my stable life to pursue these dreams gives me so much meaning. Even though I may never achieve all of those dreams, the fact that I am able to pursue them is so rewarding for me. New York is really a great city because it allows people to dream and dream big. I find myself walking fast through the streets of New York because I am always excited to dream and create with the people I meet.