If you’re living anywhere near New York, you know that this morning it’s blisteringly COLD!!!! brrrr, the season of multiple layers, followed by sweating profusely on the subway, in the office and at any public establishment and returning home to wear sweatshirts, flannel pjs and socks is upon us (o joy). But that’s not the main theme of this post today hahaha.
In case you missed it, I am currently working over at Stella Adler Studio (my training studio) two nights a week with the Adler Youth 2 Outreach program. My friend Jason, who has made a few appearances in photos and posts in the past, is the fearless leader of these high school and college students as they tackle Shakespeare verse and text for the first time! As with all theater education programs, even while I’m helping newbies learn to maneuver in this art form, I always end up learning a whole lot about myself and get reinvigorated to continue with my pursuits in the profession.
Never has that been more true than last night, when my Tempest scene partner, Melvin, gave me a surprising compliment: “It was pretty courageous of you to come to school in New York wasn’t it?”
*zoom in on me… dumbfounded*
As soon as he said it, I was thrown off balance. My moving to New York was seen as a courageous thing to do?
Immediately I said to him: “Well I don’t know if it was courage necessarily. I auditioned for the program, I got accepted, my parents were willing to support me in whatever college choice I made, so I accepted my admission and moved to New York for school.”
Melvin replied: “Yeah but it’s different here compared to there [Mississippi]. Was it a hard transition?”
“Well, I was lucky because I came here for school, so I was immediately thrust into an environment where most of us were coming from somewhere else and had RAs leading us through the city helping us get acclimated.”
*and then the phone rang*
While our conversation was prematurely cut short, it definitely left me thinking about how my choices can be viewed by others. I never saw my decision to attend NYU as courageous, instead I saw it as the next step to achieve the goals and dreams I had for myself. So when I reexamine the path I have taken thus far, the only thing I can see is how truly blessed I have been and continue to be.
Blessed to have the upbringing I had. Blessed to be raised with two of the best parents in the world, handpicked for me by God to support, love and encourage me. Blessed to have a brother who had dreams as big as mine, who is making it in his chosen field and eager to assist me in any way he can. Blessed for the friends, NY family I have cultivated, and the jobs and gigs I have booked along the way.
So my courage is rooted in faith and the blessings that came as a result further buttress the fact that I have been called to do this and my talents should not be frivolously thrown aside.
Wow. Talk about a great rehearsal 😉
Adler Youth 2 Program