The Big Step
I used to love coming home to New York. I would see the skyline and my heart would sing. I would feel at ease in my little world. Then a year or so back, I never wanted to go home.It first started when my husband and I would travel to Disney World and leave. Obviously I cry leaving Disney World, who doesn't? It's a magical place where everything is easy and perfect and shiny and you don't think about the real world because you are in a fantasy one and you get fireworks every damn day. So I didn't count it.[gallery ids="80,83,81,102,101" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"]
Are we just vacation happy or is this free of the city happy?
Then I started booking modeling work in Europe which was amazing as you can imagine. I also dreaded coming back to New York because Europe was easy to me. I was doing something I loved with incredible women and immersing myself in art and food and wine and it was glorious. Again, it was vacation syndrome. Who wants to leave Paris to go back to work in Harlem? No one.[gallery ids="87,88,90,91,92,93,94" type="rectangular"]
Doing something I love...the face says it all
But it started happening with little trips to my parents and Vermont. Even just going outside the city for the day, I felt I could breathe and I didn't want to go back.I started having panic attacks almost daily for no reason. I was anxious about everything. I would think about my future and my dreams and our money and our apartment and wonder if it was ever going to work. I always had hope that I would book something any day. But it wasn't happening and I was losing motivation again and dipping into the pool of laziness once more. I felt the urge to give up. To sweep the ashes of my fire under the rug and sleep atop it and realize I will always be Cinderella but without the fairy godmother and just the soot on her face.I started thinking of where I could go, we could go. I wanted nature, I wanted space, I wanted a yard. Vermont was ideal. We have friends there, it has a great creative community that was blossoming in music, art, and professional theater. It seemed the perfect stepping stone to get out of the city.I was slowly realizing everyone I knew who I considered successful wasn't even working in New York minus a handful on Broadway and brief parts on television. Everyone worked regionally or on tour or on location. New York was just the place to get the work.
But here's the rub...
If I left, would I still be an actor? Could I still work? I researched and found, yes, I could. I was naive when I first came to the city; I didn't audition for out of town work because I wanted to make it in New York, not St. Louis. Now I realize that is where you have to start. New England has incredible theater that is both cast out of cities and locally. I could do this. I could leave New York and get back to being the actress I wanted to be. I could build my resume and kick some ass and return occasionally to audition and throw my resume down like a mic drop.I won't write about leaving New York because it is still too fresh. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I left huge chunks of my heart there. I left my family there. My family who raised me in a different way than my actual relatives. They taught me growth and passion and hope. They taught me that my journey is my own and I shouldn't listen to judgments on it because if I am happy then I am happy.I learned that I have been successful even if it hasn't been my idea of success. When I list the things I've done outloud, I realize I have lived so much life. I have done things people dream about and never do out of fear or they unfortunately don't have the opportunity to. I've made my twenties spectacular and full of the life I wanted when I was small and creating a new fairy tale world with my friends.I always thought leaving New York was failing. I had seen people come and go because it was 'too hard'. It is fucking hard. But leaving this way is not a failure. My mother and a dear member of my New York family had to remind me of that. Both of them told me that they know I think leaving is failing. They can see it in my eyes when I mention moving. I was terrified to leave this life I dreamt of and watch others stick it out and maybe make it. But they are right. It's not failing, it's moving on. It's changing the game. It's realizing that I took what I needed right now from New York and I most likely will be back someday but I have to go. I can't change jobs again and struggle from paycheck to paycheck in a city with no mercy. I can't play that game any more that is the current acting business. My fire stopped churning out ideas and creations. I missed them. I missed the heat of it.And today, in my office UPSTAIRS in my townhouse, I feel the heat again. It is merely embers but it's there and it's burning my core. I may not be rich or famous but I am still an actress and my background music is currently crickets and not firetrucks. My view is of trees not buildings. My journey is far from over. This is just a new chapter that I want to share. My journey to being a full time actress as I always dreamed. Just with some alterations here and there.