Archive for May, 2011

Bus Time Happy Hour

Does anyone else love that overwhelming feeling of anxiety that comes along with big life changes? I originally intended that as a sarcastic statement, but now that I think about it, that anxiety is actually a good thing. It of course means that I have a lot to deal with between now and the big move in July but it also signals that an epic life change is on the horizon- a change I’m more than excited for. Therefore, anxiety = excitement?…let’s go with that for now.

Some days are more exciting that others. Today was a particularly exciting day. I’ve been planning this Memorial Day weekend trip to NYC for a little while but, due to circumstances out of my control and my “it’ll all come together” attitude, I found today’s to-do list completely overwhelming. During today’s lunch break, I packed a weekend bag (no easy task for a gay man who likes his options), found a dog sitter, bought a bus ticket, and made a sandwich (man’s gotta eat). Needless to say, I tackled the list and even had time for an outfit change. I’m on the Megabus, en route to my new city, rocking out to Born This Way, and sipping on a water bottle cosmo, and the sun is finally shining. What could be better?

So I’m off to start my search by scoping out some neighborhoods…I also get to be with my best friend/former roommate, Katie. Katie lives in Astoria, Queens, and has a room opening in her place in September. We’ll spend Friday exploring Astoria, Sunnyside, and Woodside in Queens. On Saturday Katie is venturing out of the city for a Memorial Day party so I’ll do a solo trip into Manhattan to walk around Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, and Inwood. I figure once I get a feel for some neighborhoods, I’ll feel much better about going through an apartment hunt. I’m also checking out a potential July/August sublet in Morningside Heights on Saturday. AND I’d love to catch a show…too much for one day? I’ll make it happen.

Oh- My sister’s been sending her followers my way and I just got a text from mom saying “Hope you have a great time in ny, this is the beginning of a new chapter for you! xoxo.” I have the best family.

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Anyone know anything about/have experience with RDNY.com?

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Curtain Call

Opening nights in the theatre world carry an inexplicable exciting energy; an energy I felt in my stomach for the first time when I hopped on stage in a mostly white, middle-school production of Once on the Island. Since then, I’ve experienced opening nights onstage, backstage, in the audience, in auditoriums, in a barn, and of course, at Hartford Stage. Unfortunately, the last year or so has left me feeling a bit jaded to the opening night energy I love about theatre. I work a long day in the office and then work and attend a pre-show dinner for donors; by the time the 8pm curtain comes around, I’ve been running around too long to really allow the opening night excitement to seep in. Often, I don’t even see the performance as I make my way over to a local bar to prepare for the cast party. Friday night’s opening of Gem of the Ocean at Hartford Stage put that exciting feeling back in my tummy.

This particular opening marked the end of my time at the theatre where I began my professional career at the ripe age of 21. My three year journey at Hartford Stage feels like a play in itself- Each department I journeyed through is like a separate act with a unique plot line, setting, and cast of characters. In one scene I sat backstage squeezing lemon after lemon and orange after orange to provide a star actor with her specifically requested freshly squeezed juice. A few scenes and costume changes later I was featured as a producer with a luxury problem: a line of customers that stretched out the door to the end of the block. Opening night gave me the chance to reflect on my journey, reconnect with the inexplicable opening night sensation, and look forward to the next act.

By the way, opening night also gave me the chance to see a quality piece of theatre directed by a friend and mentor I met on my Hartford Stage journey. If, like me, you’re going through a crazy life upheaving transition, you should check this out.

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Treasure Hunt

My search for the perfect affordable New York City apartment in a charming neighborhood with a 30-minute (or less) commute to midtown feels like a treasure hunt. The map? Craigslist, of course. And, aided by friends and Facebook, it’s actually been an easy map to navigate. Once my move became public, friends came out of the woodwork to offer rooms and suggest neighborhoods and sublets. 1st stop on the map? A July & August sublet in Hamilton Heights, Harlem for $440/month- I’m spending part of Memorial Day weekend checking out the place & neighborhood. The other part of that weekend will be spent exploring Astoria, Queens with good friends Katie and Sarah- they have a room opening in their apartment in September. Stay tuned for a full report of both apartments/neighborhoods…

But a boy’s got to keep his options open, right? My move put me back in touch with Sarah, another good friend from college who is also planning a move to NYC this summer. After a few Facebook messages back-and-forth, Sarah and I discovered we have similar timelines and budgets AND she doesn’t mind that the pup will be a 3rd roommate (don’t worry, more on him later). So, even though we’re both keeping our options open, we’ll go ahead and do a search together. Neighborhoods under consideration:

Manhattan
          » Inwood/Washington Heights
          » Harlem
Brooklyn:
          » South Slope
          » Greenwood Heights
Queens
          » Astoria
          » Sunnyside

Craigslist is telling me that this perfect affordable New York City apartment in a…(you know the rest) actually exists in the above neighborhoods; there are lots of results in BK and Manhattan. HOWEVER, where are all the Queens apartments listed?! Many of my actor friends live affordably in Astoria but I’m seeing very few apartments listed in the neighborhood (and even fewer in Sunnyside). So actors, share the wealth- is there some secret Queens-only treasure map that I’m missing? And I thought Craig had it all…

Oh, I’m totally open to other neighborhood suggestions so feel free!

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The 4Everybody Email

My departure from Hartford hit me hard today when my boss sent a “4 Everybody” email. An email adressed to our 4Everybody outlook distribution list hits the whole staff and Board in one instant and makes the contained piece of information wildly public and somehow real. The topic of today’s 4Everybody email? Well, me of course:

It is with very mixed feelings (sad for me, happy for him!) that I need to announce that Jared has accepted a position at a production and artist management company in New York City.  Jared has worked his way through pretty much all departments here over the past three years, and has been an invaluable assistant to me this past year and a half.   I suppose New York was eventually going to nab him, so we will send him off with all good wishes when that moment happens at the end of June.  Jared has generously agreed to stay on through June 28.  Look out for details about a send off event in the next few weeks.
 
My boss’ email and the flood of “congratulations” and “we’ll miss you” messages that hit my inbox and facebook wall remind me of how much I have accomplished and how many friends and mentors I have gained in my time here. I started as an intern 3 years ago and it’s been an amazingly wild ride ever since…Stritch, Fisher, 3 Galas, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, a multi-million dollar renovation project, and a national search for a new Artistic Director; I’m definitely prepared for this next step.

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In the Heights

Well, here’s one answer to my nagging questions about Hamilton Heights. From this video, I can dig it.

Video courtesy of my new friends Harlem World.

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To-Do

Yesterday was a big day for me (for a number of reasons). I accepted a position with a Production/Artist Management Company in New York, had my first experience writing a letter of resignation and giving my notice to my current employer, and had a fair dose of personal life upheaval. Even though I have plenty of time to get things in order before my July 1 move to the city, my love for organization got me started on one of my famous “to-do lists” this afternoon…and let’s be honest, I needed a project to keep my mind busy. The list so far:

  • Find an affordable apartment in a charming neighborhood with an easy commute to midtown*
  • Organize contacts (because those need to be in order before a move)
  • Write thank you cards to my new colleagues and my amazing references
  • Order personal business cards
  • Pack up my current apartment

Ok so actually the first thing on the list was to go out, get trashed and tear up the dance floor with my Hartford family- I love crossing an item off a list. Anyway, the above is a very preliminary and scattered draft; as it evolves, so will this blog. Want to see my move from Hartford > NYC and transition into a city boy? Stay tuned.

Also- I have the chance to sublet an apartment in Hamilton Heights (which is part of Harlem, yes?) for July and August. For under $500/mo I can’t turn it down, right? It’ll give me a chance to get settled and discover some new neighborhoods. Thoughts?

* – I’ll find it, I swear!

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