Falling Into NYC – and FRANKENSTORM

I HAVE SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. I apologize for not posting in so long but I feel the lack of blogging proves how I am in full-swing Manhattan living. I’ve done so much since I’ve been here and it has been a crazy whirlwind but I am FINALLY settling in.

Who would have thought that I would be spending the end of October as a shut-in?! Luckily my power hasn’t gone out so I’m quite enjoying my time in. First thing, my unsolicited day off has motivated me to update my blog, which I haven’t done in FOREVER. So here is a BIG update.

First things first: Hurricane Sandy. Trains have been shut down since 7pm Sunday and luckily I didn’t really have anywhere to be. So I just locked myself away in my nice apartment in Washington Heights and haven’t gone outside since. I’m pretty sure that is what the entire city is doing as well. And judging from the grocery stores, everyone is all stocked up on water and bread… because you won’t find a jug or a loaf within 100 miles.

MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) announced the following this morning:

My heart goes out to all of those who were affected by the Hurricane. I feel so blessed that I was in an area that was not badly damaged.

I’ve been sleeping, eating, and watching movies – It’s like college all over again! Since Halloween is coming up, I’ve made the mistake of watching a bunch of scary movies. I realized this mistake last night when I went to bed, alone in my giant apartment, waiting for the power to go out and for IT to come get me. Fortunately, I am fine and IT didn’t find me.

October has (obviously) been a crazy month for me. It started with moving in to my current sublet in Washington Heights. The area is so-so – mostly Spanish speakers, Columbia medical students, and old people? – but seems really safe. I see police around patrolling the area and just recently noticed surveillance cameras set up a block down. Whatever all that means doesn’t matter because I LOVE the apartment. It’s much larger than I was expecting, it has a very homey feel too it, and there is so much space. I’m sad that I will only be here until the end of November! But hopefully I will have my OWN place by January and all will be settled. I’m not worrying and taking baby steps to get where I want to be.

Being in NYC in the Fall really had me missing the beautiful campus at Miami. Autumn is my favorite season; I love the weather and the changing leaves but there aren’t many leaves here to see change. I got lucky though with the family I nanny living so close to Central Park. I go with the kids almost every day and when the leaves finally changed (last week/much later than I expected) I had a sense that I was home. It was nice. I keep experiencing those little feelings of home and they are a lovely reassurance that I have made the right decision in moving here.

Speaking of Miami and home, it was great to have a piece of both come to NYC at the beginning of the month. The many talented musicians from Miami came to perform at Carnegie Hall in an event titled “Miami Takes Manhattan.” Along with that came some exciting events including an alumni gathering and social event. I signed up for the Alumni Reception that took place at Sardi’s and I am so glad I did. I got to connect with previous classmates who are currently living in the city, professors and faculty who had even more connections for me, and also met distinguished alum who were and have been nothing but kind/helpful.

A group of women who came up from Ohio for the event had “extra tickets” and were trying to sell them throughout the night. One of the women asked Lys and I whether we had tickets and we both said no. We expressed how we wanted to but that it just wasn’t in our budget at the time. Later she came up to us and gave us her extra tickets and told us to enjoy the show! I was in awe! It was one of the nicest things anyone had done for me in awhile. And what was even better was that they were some of the best seats in the hall… 11 or so rows back, dead center.

Throughout the evening Lys and her boyfriend, Joe, had befriended a couple of Theatre alum named Diana and Dan. They are also some of the nicest people I had met in a long time. Since we were the last group left at the reception we were “kicked out” and decided to go get some food and drinks together. The two of them treated us (Lys, Joe, Adam and myself) to a feast at Southern Comfort complete with two pitchers of Blue Moon Pumpkin Spice ale. It was fantastic. I cannot express how lucky we are to have met them.
Diana and Dan founded a theatre company here in the city. Their company, The Drawing Board, workshops new plays and then produces staged readings of the ones they believe have promise. They invited us to a reading that took place last Wednesday and took our head shots and resumes to put on file when they are reading plays that have roles for us. Ah, networking.

So the Carnegie Hall Performance was obviously amazing. It was surreal to hear and see the performers on stage – some were good friends, some I’ve worked with, some complete strangers to me. I am so proud of the musicians and of Miami for giving them this once (or possibly more than once) in a lifetime opportunity.

Grace, Jasmine and me at Blockheads

Not so long after that enjoyable event came my 23rdbirthday. It was strange having a birthday with few friends and family around but it turned out to be great! I got a few of my city living friends together and we got dinner at a Mexican restaurant chain called Blockheads. The place is great because it has delicious food and cheap (for NY) margaritas! It was great food and even better company. I was especially lucky to have my good friend and former housemate Grace among the guests. She is currently working at a theatre in Long Island called Gateway Playhouse. It is near 2-hour train ride away from the city but she came in just to celebrate! She also got me a thoughtful birthday gift of things I won’t want to buy if I get sick, complete with a thermometer, tissues, and cold medicine. Which came in handy the week after I spent the weekend at her Theatre’s Haunted House.

Lys got me a delicious Pumpkin Cupcake from Crumbs. Mmm

Yes, that’s right, Grace also got me the opportunity to work in the Haunted House at Gateway Playhouse on my birthday weekend. It was very nice to be haunting again. It can be rigorous and painful but when you make someone pee their pants, that makes it all worthwhile.

I was brought in as a substitute actor because so many had requested that weekend off [for things such as homecoming, comic-con, and illness] and I was put in the Arts and Crafts room as an infected patient in a treatment center. As some of you know, I have experience working in a haunted house and working at Gateway was very similar to working at The Dent Schoolhouse. One thing they have in common is that they are both among the top haunted houses in their respective tri-states. See here for their rankings: THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE / GATEWAY’S HAUNTED PLAYHOUSE.

Crazy Infected Clown – Make Up by Sam Abbott

So now I can say I’ve worked at two of the best haunted houses in the Nation. That’s pretty cool.

Another plus to working there was that I got a weekend out of the city. During the day, I took a walk in the nature around Bellport (the small town where the theatre is located) and I got to relax and spend time with Grace. It really was nice – until the train ride home.

Ugh – because of construction my train was delayed an hour and I had to take a train to a bus back to a train just to get into the city. It was a nightmare, especially because I had to baby sit that night. But I made it there all right and just a half hour late.

The following weekend I with Jasmine for a late birthday weekend. We have been on the search for a good Indian restaurant here in the city (If you have any suggestions PLEASE send them) and found a decent place on the East Side called Darbar. Alas, nothing compares to Ambar in Clifton, OH. I think we were spoiled by their delicious Chicken Tikka Masala and will never find anything as good out here.

We also went to a comedy show to see Chris D’Elia. He’s a funny guy – had Jasmine and me in tears. We were sitting right in front of him while he watched the opening acts and it was fun to listen for what he thought was funny. He laughed, so at least he’s not an ass comedian that only laughs at his own jokes! I also liked his opening act Myq Kaplan – follow him on twitter, he’s hilarious.

I also had a lovely movie marathon with Jasmine and discovered a movie theater in the city that shows ROCKY HORROR every Friday and Saturday night at midnight!! This was quite the EPIC discovery. And surprisingly the NYC Rocky Horror isn’t THAT much crazier than the one Denton Affair puts on in Cincinnati. However, here is a list of awesome stuff they did:
1. LMFAO/GANGNAM STYLE DANCE PARTY PRE-SHOW (I died)
2. An Orgasm contest for the “virgins” (which we did at my show – so great)
3. Threw rice, toast, cards, toilet paper, and squirted water guns at people
4. Had an awesome cast that I couldn’t take my eyes off of (not better than my cast though, of course)
And oddly, they had a female playing Frank-n-furter so I was kind of disappointed by that… that’s not sexist somehow, is it?

I also got to meet up and reconnect with a childhood friend who lives in the city! I hadn’t seen her since my Freshman year homecoming… 8 years!! That is a long time and we will never wait that long again!

My Halloweeked was pretty great. I went bar/party hopping with Jasmine – realized how much I miss Oxford bar prices. I wanted to be a unicorn but had to improvise as Cat Woman because my unicorn horn hasn’t come in the mail yet. We also had a movie night

And now I am here, shut-in my apartment until further notice. I think the trains are going to be down for a couple of days so I might be getting to know this neighborhood really well. I did just discover a Little Caesars Pizza a couple of blocks away so… there’s that.

I have been seeing shows and I will do my best to post reviews!

Thanks for reading and caring about my life!

Until next time,

Heather

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