Sometimes God just hits you smack dab in the face like a wall. One day you’re going about your life and BAM— He decides to pull you so strongly along with Him and all you can do is grin and go along for the ride. Well that’s what has been happening to me ever since I graduated. Everyone kept scaring me with the post graduation pep talks, the “Real world” dilemmas, and the New York Actor advice, but all along I knew I had something greater helping me a long the way so I decided to TRUST heavily in God and put everything in His hands. Instead of harping on a certain job that I wanted upon moving to New York, I simply had zero expectations and decided that clarity would come to me when I needed it to come. And so it did.
August 11th I flew up to New York City to couch surf for a few days and visit some friends all the while auditioning my little patootie off. With NO previous experience of professional auditions, I had no inclination as to what to wear, how to do my hair and makeup, if my resume and headshot were good enough, and where the heck the audition studios were. Needless to say I felt lost in a lot of ways but I decided to simply enjoy the process of auditioning instead of trying to overanalyze it and freak myself out. Yes, I decided to trust in the process.
Day One I arrived to Pearl Studios on 8th Ave and walked into the legendary audition quarters surrounded by people doing vocal drills, stretching, and looking at their audition books while warming up of their perfectly toned bodies. I decided to crash a Wicked Broadway and Tour Equity call and ended up only being there for a short while due to the fact that they didn’t decide to see non-union dancers. Low and behold what did I do? I picked up my bags and headshots and walked across the floor to the Busch Gardens Williamsburg dance call. Needless to say after 3 hours of jazz, tap, and partnering, I walked out of the audition with a job offer and 2 new amazing friends who happened to be going to Rockette auditions the following day with me. Not only were these women wonderful friends but they happened to be previous dancers for Stilletto entertainment as dancers on the same cruise line that I’ve always dreamed of working for. Do I think this was a coincidence? Not so much. They told me everything about the job, the perks, the people, and the dancing and I was so thankful. I spent the rest of the week going to more and more auditions, meeting new friendly faces, and learning the ways of the working actor world. After couch surfing for the majority of the week I headed to Hyde Park for a little R & R with my friend Jenna and her family. The trip was incredibly relaxing and fun, full of hiking, good meals, laughter, drinks, and new aquaintances. Jenna and I got a ton of girl time in and I felt rejuvenated before going back into the city. Shortly after I got back I was troubled by some horrific news of a tragedy that struck a best friend of a friend and an acquaintance of mine from University of Florida. I don’t want to go into detail but this young woman happened to touch the lives of hundreds of my friends at school and the way she left this world was very shocking and sudden. Needless to say after all the positive things happening in my life I was floored by how to make sense of this and God’s timing. Why would God take the life of a woman so young and deserving of a good life? Why then? Why that way? These answers I can’t even truly answer without sounding like a fool but the only conclusion I can come to, being someone of spiritual influence, is that not all of what we do and happens to us is controlled by God. Sometimes awful things happen to awaken us but God doesn’t want these things. He would never wish them upon us. Disease, death, car accidents, drug accidents, drinking accidents, murder, rape, shootings, the list goes on and on. There is a lot of evil and a lot of unrest in this world that believers cannot justify. But from this tragedy I did learn to appreciate my breath, my body, my family, my friends, my life, my passions, my career, and my soul infinitely more. Lauren left this world in the most awful way and I will never ever be able to understand it, but one thing she did teach me is to live fuller than I could ever imagine. Live well. Live happily. Live freely. and Live with Love.
From that point on, I began to adjust my eyes on the bigger picture. I decided to live with a fuller amount of appreciation for those around me, for quick encounters with people on the street, for a good meal, for a good laugh, everything. I realized that at any moment life can slip away from my fingers or someone else’s. Someone that I love. And although that is terrifying, it made me amplify my life to a new degree. I returned home to say goodbye and hold my loved ones one last time, and returned to New York for the permanent move in. I enjoyed several days moving in with my sweet and perfect father, running 2 miles along the river, seeing a jazz club, watching Kinky Boots on Broadway, and assembling and decorating my lovely apartment. I greeted Giana, my new NYC roommate, packed up (yes—already) for my Busch Gardens Dance contract job in WIlliamsburg, VA, and set off for New Jersey. Things began happening that were almost eerily coincidental. I got the job offer the first day I got to the city, agreed to the contract, found a best friend in need of a lease for 2 months (the same months I needed to be gone from the apartment) and hitched a ride from NYC to Virginia with one of the girls I met the first day at the audition instead of buying a bus ride. That drive to Virginia happened to be the most refreshing drive I’ve had in years, all the while getting to know the dancer I met on my first day. After 7 hours in the car we quickly realized that we were more similar than anyone I’ve ever come across– and now we are roommates at my new job and the rest is history. Although a lot of you may be weirded out by my spiritual banter and not think that any of these random facts have anything to do with one another, I can guarantee they do. My life has unfolded sequentially in the past couple weeks with a sense of freshness that I cannot explain. Although one of the events was not happy in any sense, I have learned more and felt more as a human being than ever before since I arrived to the city. I am trusting, be-friending, loving, and opening my heart like never before and it feels incredible.
Praying that if you got through this entire blog that I made you feel something raw, something sad, something scary, and something powerful today.
Go Love, people.