The “I’ll Make It Anywhere” Mentality
So, here I am in New York City!
Well, still not living there yet but I can say “employed in NYC with slightly over an hour commute to my Nanny job every day.” … And if I have noticed anything about living here so far, it’s how cut-throat the city can be. Whether it is finding a job, going to the subway, pushing a stroller on the street, or waiting in line for a performance with ASSIGNED SEATING, no one has the time of day for anyone else but everyone wants to be first.
Does it bother me? Sometimes. Mostly because the negativity gets to me personally when I know I should just let it roll off my shoulders and keep on trekkin’. I’ll get over it and get used to it eventually but until then, I’ll just allow myself to be grumpy about it.
In any case, I’ve been here (in and out of the city) for two weeks now. I’ve seen a couple of shows (Potted Potter and Phantom, which I will review in a separate post), eaten at MANY places, and caught up with most of my city-living friends………..
Until today. I felt like I was missing something. And it wasn’t until today that I realized it……
Frank Sinatra was right when he sang “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you New York.” Everyone here has an entitled mentality (…okay maybe not everyone but hear me out). I’ve nicknamed it the “I’ll make it anywhere” mentality. With the rapid pace of the city it can be hard to keep up so those who “ARE” making it look down upon everyone around them and don’t have any patience at all and those that “AREN’T” want to pretend that they “ARE” so they behave the same way. But I can see why they do it because there are so many people here from all different backgrounds and people are constantly on the go and the opposite to those people are the ones harassing you but in any case, that’s not why I came here.
I came to New York to do what I love: Theatre. The practical approach to this would be to get an agent and audition, sign up for a bazillion audition mailing lists, and work on monologues until I pass out. The problem with that is those things all require me to have a decent income/savings so that doing those things can be my full-time job. Plus they are all much easier said than done.
However, I am taking a different route. I’m going to Nanny in order to save money so that I can EVENTUALLY do what I love. Unfortunately, I became so focused on making money that I forgot why I was here in the first place and I keep being dragged down by the daily routine of my life. Some days I feel empty because of how exhausted I am. Others, I feel broken because I’m not pursuing my career. Mostly I feel like I am missing something. And FINALLY I realized what it is!
Today I took Emma, the 3yr old girl I nanny, to a music class. She loves to “perform” and the class was right in her building so it couldn’t have more convenient. I saw it as an opportunity for a break: a chance to let someone else look after her for an hour while I sit on my Chicky-chicky-bum-bum [as Emma calls my Butt] doing nothing.
All I can say is that the exact opposite happened.
The young man leading the class was named Ryan. He seemed early to mid twenties and held a large smile on his face throughout the whole class. He was very friendly and welcoming and asked us to take off our shoes as we entered the room. This was my immediate thought process:
“He has got to be a failed actor, trying to make a buck. I wonder if he even likes doing this. I hope he doesn’t smell my feet. These kids are all so young. He’s probably judging me for bringing a three year old. Stop smiling weirdo.”
BUT WHY was I thinking this? Who knows, that is just how my brain works, I guess. Anyways, he passed out instruments for the kids to play and at 10:30am on the nose, the class started. That was also the moment that his true character shined through to me. I don’t care what he is OR was OR what I judged him for, I took it all back immediately when I realized he wasn’t there to do my job for me, he was there to help me do my job better. Help me teach, interact, and get to know Emma.
His energy filled the room. It was completely self-less – All completely for the children. No care or regard for what any of us parents/nannies thought because he had completely given himself over to entertaining the toddlers. I was honestly shocked. I don’t know why! I was immediately inspired. The moment he started singing and strumming the guitar, engaging the children in ways I never could… it was amazing. He let go of himself and that is really something I need to learn how to do. I admire him for it.
He wasn’t up there thinking about how much his rent is or whether this job pays enough or how long it would be before he could go to lunch! He was, as actors say, “out of his head.” This saying is something I understood but had never had such a close encounter to it in a very long time. A reminder to stay inspired, no matter what road I am taking at the given moment. That even though New York is a cut-throat place, I still need to maintain my ability to be selfless and willing to give myself over to others.
So what have I been missing? Inspiration! Admiration! The willingness to LET GO and stop caring so much about what OTHER PEOPLE are thinking.
In short, I realized today that I am too self-conscious. And for what? So that I can hold myself back?! Well, not anymore world. This is a chick who ain’t gonna care no more. Thanks New York for the
career lifelong lesson!
The class we took was through a group/company called Funikijam. Click Here for their website! I’m definitely interested after today!