One year later

This entry originally appeared on The Post ( on October 6, 2010.

Sunday, September 19th officially marked the end of my first year in New York City. I’m amazed at how quickly the past twelve months have passed, but looking back on the year helps put everything in perspective.

Last year I was frantically packing my life into boxes and making the last few coffee and lunch appointments with friends. Since the latter was my priority, I was left with a few hours on the morning of my departure to throw as much stuff as I could into three suitcases, two backpacks and a laptop bag. With the last of my larger possessions and furniture bequeathed to friends and family, I crammed some haphazardly packed boxes and a laundry basket of prompt books and scripts into a storage unit where they’ve successfully collected dust for the past year.

Amazingly enough, I haven’t even lived in my own home for a year yet. When I arrived a year ago, I was unpleasantly surprised to find my future home in shambles. With gaping holes in the walls and floor, no amenities (toilets, sinks, etc.) and a bit of graffiti. After a week at a friend’s and a month in a cramped studio apartment I began to acquire new furniture and make a home for myself. My room is still pretty minimalist with just an end table, couch, coffee table and a small storage closet. Thankfully, I still have my 360 and a recently-traded-for Wii to keep me entertained on the days when I don’t want to venture out in the city. Despite my lack of material possessions,  I enjoy this “streamlined” life I hadn’t previously enjoyed.

Instead of focusing my energies on acquiring new possessions, the past year has been filled with seeing and participating in theatre. Before I moved to the NYC, I had previously seen six Broadway shows and two Broadway tours. After a year of living here, I’ve had the honor of seeing many more shows due to various perks and friends. In just 12 months that list has grown to include 22 shows with a 23rd coming in a couple of weeks. Each show was a unique experience that not only provided great entertainment, but also the chance to see great actors of our time in a more intimate setting. Some of the actors, like Patrick Stewart or Christopher Walken, were beyond belief on stage, but also very much like I had expected them to be. Regardless, it was a remarkable honor to see such venerated actors on the stage.

While it seems that I’ve spent a lot of time seeing theatre, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with a number of talented individuals on my own productions. From a musical about fat kids to a staging of Euripides’ earliest work I’ve enjoyed a full range of work this year as a stage manager. Each show brought its own unique challenges, but with every new show I had the opportunity to meet and work with some remarkable actors, directors and producers. Conversely, there were also plenty of hiccups along the way, but I was still afforded the opportunity to grow and learn through each difficulty. Some of the venues where the shows were performed had great amenities and were well-equipped for the needs of the show, while others leaked steam from the radiator or required the use of space heaters and winter coats. Regardless of the conditions, theatre happened and audiences came, the show closed, and life moved on.

So how does this year measure up? When I prepared for this journey last year, my major goals were to make out to NYC in one piece and survive enough to stay for a least a year. Now that my year is up, I have to say that I managed to do pretty well. I went through the hurdles of interning and landed a steady job and have begun to integrate into the professional theatre world. For my first year out of college, I have managed to accomplish a lot with a little. With another year of uncertainty ahead I look forward to these coming twelve months with anticipation. I’ve got a whole new season of Broadway shows to see and another year’s worth of shows to work on, and I’m starting it off by cracking open a copy of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I.


~ by Geoffrey on 6 October 2010.

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