Ah, New York! My 12 months spent in this incredible city goes down as being the best time of my life! I went there in August 2006 and left exactly a year later in 2007 – can’t believe that was almost 5 years ago!! Seems like yesterday – oh how I miss New York New York.
After living away from home for 8 years, in 2005 I decided to leave Melbourne and go home to Perth for a year to regroup and spend time with family. It was different back then. When I went home that time around, I knew it was for a short stint – not for good – different to how I’m feeling now.
During this time I decided I wanted to do more study towards becoming a better actor. My mum couldn’t believe I never auditioned for NIDA, VCA or WAAPA (the 3 top performing arts institutes in Australia) as soon as I left school, considering I had just come out of a 5 year Theatre Arts Scholarship at John Curtin College of the Arts, where I had straight A’s, a leading role in our graduation production of A Midsummer Nights Dream and a truck load of ambition. But back then as a 17 year old, all I wanted to do was move to Sydney and break free from routine and exams and being told what do do. I wanted to explore and be independent and have fun doing the modeling thing and traveling. Even though I knew I still wanted to have a career as an actor, modeling started to take over.
After years of being based in Sydney and Melbourne and modeling internationally (Asia was where I had the most success), my love of acting was starting to take over again and I slowly started getting back into it.
Later, as a 26 year old, I was ready, willing and aching to learn. I decided I wanted to do this overseas, so I started looking into different schools. At first I thought about auditioning to study in London at RADA or LAMDA – two world famous performing arts academy’s, but decided on the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York…and I got in! Yeah!
During my time in NYC, I started a blog to journal my experiences…I only wish I had written more posts. However, what I did write has given me memories to always hold onto. And I am going to share those memories with you – I’m sure you will find them entertaining!
Here is my first post…
Liz in New York – elizabeth rose. a budding actress all the way from australia. and the journey has just begun!
Welcome to my blog! As this is my first post, it’s going to be a little longer than usual – so much to tell!
Ok, so lets start with the arduous flight from Perth on August 31st 2006. My first stop over was in Melbourne at 5am. The good thing of getting in so god damn early, was being able to be the first to ask for an exit row seat to LA. Oh yeah baby! It was the first row in economy. Gotta like that. What I didn’t like however, was finding out my flight had a cheeky stop over in Auckland! Hmmm…did I read my itinerary incorrectly?
Roughly 15hrs of flight time later, I arrive in LA. Stiff, tired and still a little spaced out from my little sleep inducing friend. Going through Immigration was a breeze, considering all the warnings I was given about hard core interrogation. In fact the immigration officer joked that he should get my autograph now (for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been accepted to The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute where I will study drama for 9 months)!
So, 3hrs to kill before my final leg to New York…coffee time! As I’m waiting in the queue, a guy I know from Sydney, Grant Weine, grabs my attention. Talk about 6 degrees of separation! He was on his way to San Fran, but arrived in NY on Friday. Turns out Grant knows a few Aussies living here, so we all went out for a night of debauchery on Sunday – heaps of fun! We went to this amazing Thai restaurant called Spice Market in a very trendy area called the Meat Packing District.
After dinner and countless beverages, we bar/clubbed hopped and was surprised to find most straight clubs had closed by 2am! What the? So we ended up at a great bar at the Gansevoort hotel, where we spotted Mischa Barton! A very pretty girl in the flesh. So funny how she was instantly surrounded by people trying to get a look.
So I’ve been here ten days now, and I’m absolutely loving it. NEW YORK IS AMAZING!! My first 5 nights were spent in a hotel in Midtown which is an excellent location. Right near 5th Avenue, Times Square, Macy’s and VICTORIA’S SECRET!!! I almost died and went to heaven when I walked in – 2 levels of the most stunning lingerie I have ever seen.
I’m now staying at ‘friend of a friend’s’ place (thanks to my beautiful friend Marcus who set it up for me) in the trendy gay area called Chelsea. The gorgeous specimen I’m staying with, Mark (gay – always the way!), immediately offered a temporary space for me to crash once he heard I was staying in a hotel. Unbelievably kind.
Apartment hunting has been harder than I thought. And oh my god, NYC apartments are SMALL! I’ve seen a mixture of places, and have a good idea of what area I want to live in. I’ve decided to sacrifice space for living amongst it all, and being close to school. Strasberg is in Union Square with plenty of great (and expensive) areas close by. I viewed a flat share in Union Square a couple of nights ago, which I’m praying I’ll get. It’s a one bedroom converted into two, which is very common for inner city living, but it’s clean and very nice. I’d be living with a guy who works hard and spends most nights at his girlfriend’s place, which is ideal. And only a 10min walk to school! Will keep you posted. Really hoping the search will be over soon, as the stress of living in limbo land is doing my head in.
Yesterday was the 5yr anniversary of September 11. I went down to Ground Zero where they had a memorial. Very sad and surreal. I could only stay long enough to take a few pics as it was very emotional.
On the way back on the subway, Matthew Broderick sat directly opposite me! I didn’t know where to look, or if I should smile, pretend I didn’t recognise him etc. Too funny. But really cool to see a famous actor being normal enough to still take the subway!
This Thursday is my orientation at Strasberg, which will be great. I’ve already dropped in to preregister and was overwhelmed by how friendly & kind everyone was. I also got my schedule which was exciting. My first day consists of tap dancing and stage combat! Unreal.
To sum it up so far, NY is dirty, it smells and if you’re not careful you’ll step in dog shit, but man this city is alive! You can find everything and anything here, and I’m constantly stumbling across hip bars and restaurants. It is so culturally rich and diverse, eclectic, and creative (an artist’s dream). It is also extremely safe, but you still get your fair share of loonies which add to the city’s character.
Well I could go on, but don’t want my first post to turn into a novel, so lets leave it there.
Ciao for now. Liz xx
Did you find this entertaining? Been to NYC too and loved it? Share your thoughts below!