A 5,6,7,8

Oh those famous four numbers that tell you, you better be ready! This week has flown by, and I can safely say I am in for an amazing experience at AMDA. 

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This week saw me moving to Manhattan and ORIENTATION. For those who aren’t familar with the term (and that included me until a week ago,) hopefully this helps…

Orientation is a period of time at the beginning of a college academic year, where new students will particpate in events and meetings to welcome them to the institution. ”

So. Tuesday saw me move across the water, and up to the West Side. I have to said Upper West Manhattan is Beautiful! With a friendly helping hand from a current student, my suitcases, well that is, my life was successfully moved to my room. After 6 weeks of moving, I could finally UNPACK!

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The dorms are compact, but I wasn’t expecting much space considering the incredible location. The massive positive is I am in a single room! Why get so excited about this? Well American kids are pretty used to sharing rooms when they venture to college. I am fortunate I have my own space; allbeit small, and currently with a bunk bed… 

The next five days flew by and included signing pages of enrollment forms, meeting and greeting current and new students, seminars and placements. 

After sleeping in a basement room for over a week, I still have a lingering chesty cough… Which was not going to aid my vocal folds as they tried to belt out the last phrase of Here I Am. Luckily, someone was watching over me, and as I performed to the faculty … my voice just did what it was told. Thank you body, thank you universe. I was so pleased with how my voice and acting placements went.

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More hours were consumed in seminar halls learning about the school, and imporant notices before classes would begin next week. I have to say the emergency lock-down chat was something the internationals were, well, not used to. I forget I am living in a country that allows fire-arms, and sometimes the danger that comes with that. Fortunately the lovely NYPC man that came in, reassured me NYC is one of the safest cities to be in.

Saturday came and It was time to don the leotard and layer up nude, pink and black tights, pack my bag with every style of dance shoe and go prace my way through Dance placements. I’m really proud of my performances in each style, and grateful to all the money my mom has spent on dance classes since I was a child. It has paid off and I am in top levels for Tap, Ballet and Jazz. Wahoo!

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I’ve met some glorious people this week, friends that will definitely stay along my journey, and who knows hopefully in the next chapter of life. We managed to snap some pictures at an event Friday night….

Alas, Orientation is complete. I have my exciting and jam-packed schedule and some excellent training to look forward to.

Let’s see how the first week of classes unfolds…

Again. 5,6,7,8.

 

“One Day More…”

How have nine whole days passed since I saw Wicked?! That feels like it was yesterday. However I have to admit, I do not have that many stories to report. Life has been pretty, dare I say it, normal. Obviously besides the fact I am living in the greatest city in the world, the routine has been pretty relaxed.

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And now I approach my final night, and morning in Brooklyn. It’s treated me well and definitely educated me on this bustling and diverse borough that is brother to Manhattan. I have to say, I won’t be sad to leave my second and last Air B&B. It has been interesting to say the least. Basement rooms with no windows, or natural light are not for the faint-hearted. My wardrobe choices haven’t been first class over the past week either.

As I am across the water, I spent last weekend walking through Central Park and re-visiting some of Manhattan’s most touristy sights. Hey, I’m allowed to do this every once in a while! It just confirmed that I was actually HERE. I know it may sound silly, but being over in Brooklyn, It’s easy to forget where you are.

And of course, I couldn’t resist a little window browse at one of my favourite joints…

The weather has been up and down this week, with the inevitable descent into Autumn and the back lash from Hurricane Matthew, I have literally been in crop tops, and thermals layered with jumpers. Yes, the majority of my three suitcases have been in action this week!

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I spent a day wondering the streets of Williamsburg. It’s one of the places everyone recommends you go and visit when you come to NYC, however I have to say there isn’t THAT much to do. If you fancy a cup of coffee or something to eat, you can take your pic of quirky little cafes and restaurants, but besides that… resedential life resumes. I did spot lots of fun street art. This one kept calling out to me.

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 – Wise words.

To finish my travels, I walked across to the waterside, and you do get some epic views…

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In the middle of the week, look who came to join me.

image Oh hey, girl hey! 

It’s been nice having a familiar face to spend some time with. Tim, thank you for not walking away after we met up, I had been around strangers for a week, so I did talk for QUITE a while.

We spent the evening dining at a MUST pizza place, Juliana’s (http://julianaspizza.com/) Now ordinarily I would highly recommend Grimaldi’s just next door, but word on the street is there has been some drama and the owners have parted. Locals were telling us we must pick Juliana’s as the Pizza is even better. I hate to admit defeat, but oh my, the pizza hit the spot!

After we had stuffed our faces with cheese and bread, we went to the waterfront at Dumbo (which again is something you MUST do if you are over this way.) The skyline was glowing next to an soft orange sunset, and I felt myself welling up. I was standing in the exact same spot only 5 months earlier, wishing and telling the universe this is where my heart longed to be, and now. Now, this is somewhere I can call home. I felt such a strange overwhelming flood of emotions; every day I am grateful and thank ful to the people that have helped me get here.

img_2538I sit here, writing this in the comfort of my little underground den and look forward to the next 48 hours. They hold excitment, new beginnings, and MANHATTAN.

Tomorrow we’ll discover what our god in heaven has in store…. 

Need I say any more?

“Unlimited, My Future Is Unlimited”

Yes, we all know the melody that goes along with those famous words!

After spending the day in rainy Manhattan, and entered every online lottery availble (unfortunately/fortunately there was no success!) I thought I would give the in-person lottery a shot for WickedAs the saying goes you have to be in it, to win it.

And … I Won It!!  img_2467

Even though I could probably do a one-man rendition…It’s one of those shows, that every theatre student knows, and has probably seen more times than their parents but tonight was special. Tonight I got to see Wicked where It all began. On Broadway. 

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The Gershwin theater in itself is something spectacular! You step inside to a world of Oz, with emerald lights, merchandise galore and a very large extravagant map of Oz across the back wall.

 

Well if that wasn’t enough, when the doors were opened for admission to the theatre. I was taken aback. The Gershwin is SO BIG!! The stage looked incredible, and I knew even before the overture began It was going to see Wicked like I had never seen it before.

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Everything was on a grander scale, the cast, lights, orchestra, stage. I have to make a special mention to the sound department, the quality and mix was flawless.

The two leading ladies, Jennifer Dinoia as Elphabaand Carrie St. Louis as Glinda were show-stoppers. Both adding their own flavour to the character, without being a complete carbon copy of previous performers. And this show is iconic: proving the star factor they both hold.

Dinoia’s vocals were like my favorite bar of chocolate; smooth, creamy and hits the spot every time. She had slight Idina flavor to her, but made me feel at ease that even the highest belt felt like she was singing in her sleep. St. Louis added a quirky edge of Glinda that I haven’t seen before. She was like a 10-year with a sugar addiction, and we saw the highs, and the come-downs. She created another dimension, added the extra layer which just added more depth and quality to her performance. Both delivered with gusto and greatness (how Glinda would always expect things to be done!)

Michael Campayno (Fiyero gave the girls a good run for their money. His vocals, just like Dinoia’s were flowing as effortlessly as a river. He also oozed that arrogant charm the character insists for during his entrance! He is also easy on the eye which always helps. In addition, the ensemble were so together, and like a force to be reckoned with as a company.

The only thing baaaaaad happening in Oz… (That’s just for you Adam, if you’re reading this!) was the orchestra finished playing as everyone was leaving, and I always stay to clap once more for the band… However I was the only one clapping tonight. It is a pet peeve of mine. The musicians are JUST as important!

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Wicked just reinforces how badly I want to succeed within the Performing Arts. Like Schwartz wrote Unlimited, my future is unlimited. And that is what the next two years hold, unlimited amounts of options and doors to be opened. img_2475

 

 

xo 

“New York or Bust, I’ve Just Arrived!”

After a very short Yellow Cab journey from JFK I touched down on Tuesday evening ready to stay with my first Air B&B. I’ve been in the City for two days now. Brooklyn will be home for the next two weeks, before I make the move to the Upper West side of Manhattan.

Just to make it easy to see… I’m about 20mins away from Manhattan at the moment. Even closer to the center than I was in the London, even if it looks like it’s much further away. The transport links are so excellent all across NYC, and what’s even better, they run 24hours a day, 7 days a week!!

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I have to say … For my first experience it isn’t bad going at all. I am lucky enough to be sharing a fashion designers apartment, getting to see his newest collection before anyone else does. This really is the city of dreams, where creative and artistic minds are allowed to flourish and thrive. I take my hat off to this guy, his career is really blossoming. img_2441

I’ve been getting to grips with the local trains and Subways, and this is a borough I haven’t properly explored before.

Yesterday, I was in familiar surroundings in Brooklyn Heights, and even re-visited the area I had some photos taken earlier this year. The Manhattan skyline is so breath-taking. And today was spent exploring the hip and happening area of Williamsburg. Life is pretty relaxed at the moment, however I am not taking one moment for granted.

One place I did visit today that I have to say is a massive recommendation for anyone taking a trip to Manhattan ….

The Big Booty Bakery

With too many incredible, sugar filled treats, this place is worth spending $10 and giving your sweet tooth a kick! The cookies are delicious (especially the peanut butter one,) and even though I don’t personally eat cakes, the cupcakes had some of the most spectacular flavours of frosting and looked immaculate! 13686939_287985368229282_1562298_n

Only 72 hours into my adventure, and I may have only Just Arrived (see what I did there?!) BUT I already feel like I am home. Something about this city and the people just click with me. There is one main difference this time:img_2440

I can tell I’m not on holiday for one simple fact….

The jet-lag is real everyone!

Let’s see what the weekend brings. More stories to come.

xo

“It Won’t Be Long Now…”    

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I’m currently sat on the top floor of a British Airways Boeing 747 enjoying the high life that club offers. I feel like a VIP, ready to begin my new chapter in life (thanks Megan, you are a star!)

Now, this blog will be a series of posts that document what New York has in store for me. I hope you enjoy reading about this crazy British girl across the pond, but mainly it will be here when I’m grey and old, and forget about events from this journey I am about to embark on.

Since April my life has been a rollercoaster of emotions, and a whirlwind of time passing by. I have always known that Manhattan is the city I was meant to live in and be a part of, and now the dream is becoming a reality. It is the city of dreams, that never sleeps and where “Daffodils who entertain and Angelo’s and Maxis.” (Be prepared for a lot of very stagey quotes. If you know the song; I am proud!)

The last two weeks have been very testing. And I wouldn’t be sat enjoying this wonderful champagne if it wasn’t for my incredible mother, family and friends. I am truly grateful for every single person that has contributed, and helped me achieve my dream. I cannot say thank-you enough, and hope to make you all proud.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my years in London, the memories I hold I will cherish for life, and the friendships I have made, I pray, will not fade. But the time has come to move onwards, and hopefully upwards. I am so proud to say I will be studying at The American Musical Dramatic Academy (AMDA.) The next two weeks I will be spending brushing up on my augmented 7ths, and practicing my wing time steps, ready to give it my best during Orientation week. 

HOWEVER, there will plenty of stories between now and then.

I’m sat here, looking out the window to the blue skies and white fluffy clouds, with a big smile on my face and tears running down my eyes. Friends, and Family… I miss you so much already. Be prepared for lots of messages and pictures – please do not get sick of me! Tears of sadness, and happiness, and mixed feelings are rushing through my body. But I have no fears, or regrets.

ANYWAY

Now to enjoy the rest of this blissful flight experience, and I can safely say Manhattan, here I come.

It won’t be long now….

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