February 7, 2011

Shock to the System.

This week marks my 10th Anniversary in NYC! 
Click Here to catch up on the story of how I ended up here!
My 1st NYC Performance.
"Kiss Kiss" Elan Awards 2001 honoring Ann Reinking.
Choreography:  Rhonda Miller
Let's just begin my journey in NYC by saying... HOLY SHNIKES! I was clueless! CLUELESS people. But lucky for my clueless little butt, I had friends that wanted to take care of me. 

When I got to NYC, I already had an in to get a waitressing job from an old drill team student of my mothers. (A story all its own for a later date.) So, after my first weekend in the city, I called up Dana and she told me to come down and start training. (Now, that is lucky my friends! Looking for a waitressing gig in this town BLOWS!)  
Getting to the restaurant would be my first venture on the NYC Subway system without my friend Jordan. So, I looked at the map for hours the night before. I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to take the 1 to the 7 to the 6 train. I left my apartment 90 minutes before I needed to be there. (Tardiness is one of my biggest pet peeves... It's rude!) That long 2 transfer trip took me about 45 minutes. Oops. Well, better to be early. I trained that day, set up my schedule for the next few training shifts and headed home. Back through the 6 to the 7 to the 1 train. It took about an hour this time. 
I did this long trek day after day. Eventually taking my server test (I think I failed and Dana didn't say anything about it... Cause I know I didn't study!) and beginning to wait tables. I had been in NYC almost 2 weeks. 

On Feb. 13th, I came home from my very first shift making money to hear Jordan tell me that she had been cast as the lead in the National Tour of Footloose and was leaving in 2 days! 2 DAYS!! How was I supposed to navigate NYC without her? Why was she leaving me? And... I was supposed to find us an apartment alone? Alone!! This poor girl had no allegiance to me! Why did I feel so shocked that she got a job? That is why we both moved to the city! 

I called my mom the next morning crying and crying. At the time, I don't think I was aware the reason I was so upset was because I was scared for her to leave. I didn't want to go take dance class alone. I didn't want to sit in that apartment alone. I didn't really know anyone else. I didn't want to be alone! I was happy she got a job, I just didn't know what I was doing. I really contemplated getting on a plane and going back to Oklahoma that minute. But I am full of way too much pride and it would have killed me to have people think I gave up that soon. So... I stuck it out. 

The next few months of my life were crazy difficult then and insanely comical now. 
I had to leave the sublet in Harlem at the end of February but had no where to go. My mother had a sorority sister that had an empty bedroom in Alphabet City so I crashed there for the month of March. I moved all my things there by a very kind stranger with a truck. Yup! That's right. A stranger with a truck people! I met him while I was waiting tables. He was an actor. Still cannot remember that nice mans name! 

I then had to move out of that place in April because the tenant was returning. Lucky for me, Dana had an extra room! I cannot for the life of me remember how I moved my things over there and up those 6 flights of stairs. (I had Jordan's things as well you see.) That apartment was fabulous for me! I finally felt like I had a place to rest that was mine. Sort of, anyway. And that really helped the Psyche. But unfortunately, I was still extremely homesick. I just didn't realize how hard it would be to make it in this business.  
At Dukes Summer 2001.
That summer was great! Annie came to live with us while doing an internship. Jordan was back and I finally had people to hang out with! The 4 of us, Dana, Jordan, Annie and I, all lived in the worlds smallest apartment with the 2 biggest couches on the planet. Cramped or not, it was fun. 
Then in August I finally went home for more than a weekend. Taught dance for 2 weeks and really got my fix. I did NOT want to go back to NYC. I just didn't. But I did. 
And then THIS happened.

After 9/11, I had an entirely new outlook on my time in NYC. I had a new outlook on life. I stopped my moping around and got down to business. 

I chose not to write about 9/11 in this post as I have already written that post. Please feel free to read that story again and understand what I mean by my outlook changing. 

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