Our country is going through a crisis right now. Whether or not our leaders choose to use the term “recession,” the people of this nation are feeling the sheer strain of a troubled economy. Businesses and banks are failing, prices are rising, jobs are being lost. There seems to be no end to the troubles we face. I have been neglecting Ash in the City for the last few weeks, trying to ignore life and the reality I am lost in. Two weeks ago, I got the call from my employer that my job was being cut. It was completely unexpected. My boss explained that the financial crisis had trickled down to our newsletter, resulting in fewer subscribers and the need to reduce costs. After working at The Nilson Report for 20 months, I was jobless with a five-minute phone call.
Luckily, my brother Travis was in town, and he (and a few fantastic friends) made sure I numbed the pain with the comfort of a night out. As painful as it is, I know this is for the best. I moved to New York with the intention of performing. Singing, acting, dancing… whatever. I took an improv class and fell in love. I met a brilliant group of friends to perform with, and expanded my comedy interests to sketch, musical improv, and solo work. Now that I am unemployed, I am taking this as a sign to get off the chair in front of my computer, and get out to wait in line for auditions. In the next few weeks, I have plans to hit up a variety of Broadway auditions, including Mamma Mia!, the new musical Spiderman, Mary Poppins, and Avenue Q. Of course, I am frantically searching for another form of income in the meantime, but it feels good to know that there is the smallest fraction of hope for me to actually make it in the activity I love most. Ever since my Mom took me to see Rent on my 16th birthday, my dream has been to be on that stage, capturing the attention of everyone in the theater.
I am now forced to rethink my lifestyle. Of course, the cost of my rent cannot be adjusted, but I can make other small changes to live a little easier. Today, I headed to Astoria and bought a bike I found on craigslist, for the same cost of a monthly subway pass. Of course, I had to get a high-quality lock to ensure my bike is not stolen, so that cost another chunk of change. But I am looking forward to saving a little green and living a little greener by riding my new (old) Schwinn. No more gym membership, cutting back on the Netflix (I can’t COMPLETELY give it up!), and no more beers with the boys (that one is hard).
The holiday season is arriving, and I am struggling to conceive gift-giving and flying Marcel back to California with me. Even Marcel is sporting a new pet bed… a free vintage suitcase from craigslist! The one thing that gives me complete peace of mind is the notion that I will soon be at home with my very best friends, my family. December 20th will be the start of a much-needed vacation. But for now, I am living one day at a time and praying for the best as I pursue a new start. I think I may even need to start up the Know York series again… this time on my bicycle, and this time under $5!