I'm in the process of writing my story of when I was living in NYC studying acting. There's a lot to my story and for many years it's been so private and special it was hard to even talk about. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times :) If you're just tuning in, I suggest you start at Part I for it to make sense. All links in order at the bottom of this blog entry. I promise it's a juicy read. These entries often include actual journal entries from that time in my life. I'm so grateful I documented so much! Once I finish here, I hope to expand into a book. I'm posting these frequently but they'll also be interspersed with real time blogs :) Thanks for reading & supporting!
*All names are changed
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Well here we are. Nearly half a year and forty posts, I've told my story. Some of it feels like yesterday and the rest I can barely remember. It was quite an experience to re-read and often relive the words I wrote so long ago. Trust me when I say I'm aware that these are just the barest of bones in my hopes to someday write an actual book. But at least it's out and it's begun.
Perhaps you're wondering what happened next. I'll tell you, in a nutshell. I rushed straight to Los Angeles and into the arms of the Old Flame. He moved back to Utah soon after. We jumped into a relationship quickly and spent the next couple of years in a very tumultuous on again off again relationships. We lived together for a year of that time and even got engaged. We'd set a wedding date and break up. It was a strange and [not physically] abusive cycle.
One day, I decided it was time for me to move back to New York. It happened quickly. I found a room and off I went. I went into the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School and was thrilled to see I was just in time for the auditions for the annual children's musical put on at the actual Atlantic Theater Company. I was dying to do this since I had studied there. The audition went great and within just a few days of being back I had a gig. I got a job in a high end clothing boutique and spent my time at work and at rehearsal.
I hadn't been there for long when I got in touch with The Guy. I don't know how it happened. I must have let him know I was coming back. One night we made plans to meet up for drinks. I left my current place in the Bronx and headed downtown a little early. I was enjoying being back and didn't mind hanging out and walking around some old haunts until he got off work. I got off the subway and took a seat in Union Square for awhile, soaking it all back in. Suddenly in front of me was Ned, the cute red head boy who was also an ATC alumni. What did I tell you time and time again about New York (and the world) being small? I was happy to see him and told him I was there waiting to meet up with The Guy.
It got later. And later. I waited until I didn't want to wait any more. I decided to go home instead of once again waiting on The Guy. Those days were done, right? I figured he'd probably call when I was in the subway and I think he did. We never met up.
The Old Flame soon came out to live with me in my little room I was renting. My parents saw how toxic we were and so I didn't tell them he was coming. He got a job at a restaurant and there were some fun times together in NYC but mostly...there weren't.
I loved doing the kids show at ATC. I loved the funny roles I got to play, the songs I got to sing, the people I met and the fact I was on that stage. It was fantastic.
My aunt Adrianna came out for a visit again and I didn't tell her the Old Flame was there, either. Then one day there the Old Flame and I are walking down the street near columbus circle and practically bump into Adrianna. Smallest. World. Ever. My secret was out then.
The Old Flame soon was up to his old tricks. Not telling me the truth, drinking too much and becoming mean and belligerent. The only good thing that really came out of this was that he met a friend at work, Will, who was a lot of fun and I liked immediately. It turned out that long after the Old Flame was out of the picture Will and I would remain friends and both times I went to NYC just this last year I got to see him. He is one of my first two calls that go out to those there I want to see.
My living situation was less than ideal. My roommates didn't want the Old Flame there, they were very strict. It was a family that rented out three rooms upstairs. One of the roommates we did really like and get along with, though. The Old Flame cooked the three of us a big Thanksgiving dinner and it was actually kind of fun and cozy.
I was taking a couple of classes at Juilliard. Sitting in class overlooking Lincoln Center was magical. The fact that I was actually there was never lost on me. I was able to have internet access there. My mom had just let me know there were soon going to be auditions for "Jesus Christ Superstar" back home. At the time that was a show that was on my dream list and rarely done. I knew I had to audition. I would hop on the computer and email with the director to let her know I was interested, although in NYC. She gave me a callback and let me skip auditions.
Things seemed to be in a jumble at the time, but actually they were all strangely falling into place. It was apparent our living situation was not going to last. The Old Flame went to an audition for a children's tour and booked it. He'd be leaving, I wanted to do "Superstar" and we were both over living in a tiny room together under the rules of a crazy family.
I did the show, The Old Flame was out of town and when he came back that was that. I agreed to be friends for a little while but when I found out he had not only cheated on me with his tour partner the entire time but had stolen the furniture MY parents loaned us that we had in a storage I was paying on, that was that.
He still tried to reach me a few times and I never responded. This time, it was me who realized at the end that this wasn't love.
Life is so funny. Everything is happening for a reason. Exactly as it should. Believe me when I tell you I know this to be true. Suddenly I was in Utah, again. Making sure everyone knew I was leaving for New York again as soon as the show was done. But then I booked another show. Okay. As soon as the second show was done. But then I'd begun to date the musical director of "Superstar". This was the one time I had said I was done. Done with guys. I was absolutely not going to be looking for anything. No boyfriend, no relationship. This one both snuck up on and surprised me. Big time. It was, and he was, completely different than anything I'd ever experienced. The first time we went for drinks I heard a little voice say, "what if this is the guy you marry?" I pushed it aside and took everything in stride. It started casually. Easily. This guy had it together. This guy was a good guy. I'd never experienced this before. What I learned, is that after you're done with The Guys and The Old Flames, comes The Love. Yup. He turned out to be My Love.
I went on a quick trip to NYC with my mom right after I'd begun seeing My Love. Adrianna and her husband had a hotel and a show booked but suddenly couldn't go. So we went. I decided to do a couple of auditions while I was there. I was sitting in the green room at my old school once again waiting for my audition when who should walk past the door, do a double take and come in? The Guy. I hardly remember what was said but we said we should get a drink while I was here. He called later while I was walking down the street with my mom and I still felt nervous to take the call. I think it was more nervous from the old turmoil more than anything else. He was going to text later when he got off work. I felt a little uneasy about meeting him, but I figured I would. But then...it was getting late. And later. And you know what? I decided I wasn't going to wait all night to run out to meet him. How many times did I need to learn this lesson? And that was it. That was the last time. When I got the text far too late asking where I was, I didn't even respond. I went to bed.
Over the years so much has changed. Three years ago in the summer I was in NYC for a YouTube gathering and I was excited to head to Chelsea and look at school. I'd heard they were moving to a new building just an avenue over, but I guess I didn't realize that meant the building I'd spent my time in, had my adventures in, made all my memories in would be gone. Imagine my surprise as I walked down to find a brick wall where the door had been. What? No! I was instantly choked up. I was brokenhearted. How had all of that happened just on the other side of the wall and now nobody will ever know? So much went on there that shaped me forever and now...it was gone. It was the strangest feeling. I saw the door to the new building but decided not to go in. Why? For what? That wasn't the ATC that I knew.
Last year I went to NYC twice. The next time I went down that street that wall was now a new apartment building. Wow.
In my move home the second time, I'd left behind boxes that for some reason never got mailed to me. In those included scripts from school and a huge binder full of notes and work.
Now it was like nothing was left. It's like it was all wiped away and left me with little tangible reminders.
How would anyone know now? How would I show them what made me...me? That's when I knew I'd just have to tell it.
It's crazy to see where everyone ended up. For the most part my classmates all went on to different jobs or started families and moved back to where they were from, or at least out of NYC.
Life. Life is so unexpected.
Maybe you're wondering what became of The Guy? He is still acting. He is also married! In fact, he married a girl he met right after we broke up! Of course I always pictured that if that had happened for him, it would be someone dark and mysterious like the girls he always said he found so attractive. I expected to see Megan Fox or Dita Von Teese on his arm. But no. Quite the opposite. They live in Louisiana. It took me years to reconcile and recover from the hurt of those words, "I don't love you." But now I smile at the way it all worked out. And I forgive him. And I forgive me.
His brother Sean is newly married and it looks like he's also working steadily as an actor.
I have seen Jenny a couple of times. She's back in California. I stayed with her for a few days a couple of summers ago. While it becomes more obvious all the time that life has pulled us in very different directions and there is little common ground, we'll always have an unbreakable bond and a great love for each other no matter what happens or how much time goes by.
Oscar I haven't seen in years but we've recently connected online and write an occasional hello. He no longer lives in NYC. He is in a relationship and has been working on a documentary about our favorite subject...New York!
Lynne. Lynne is still in NYC and working as a makeup artist. I found her online a few years ago and wrote her immediately telling her I don't even know what happened between us so long ago but I hated how it ended and that I'll always love her. She said she felt the same. We exchanged a few messages, but really haven't kept in touch. I'd still really love to see her sometime.
The teacher who once said to me, "you're so extreme, Deena" was also the teacher that shut the door in mine and Lynne's faces and his is a face I see on just about every other commercial.
Brayden, that guy I looked up to that seemed so cool, so New York that took me under his wing in my first year of school recently found me online. He lives in Alaska and is acting, directing and has a beautiful family. I was thrilled to hear from him.
I could go on forever with all the people I mentioned through the last 39 posts, but it doesn't matter. You get the idea .
As far as what I learned with how to behave in relationships, what I need and what I should and should not do / tolerate...well that's another book! When My Love reads these blogs he is supportive, enjoys them and it's fun to see his eyes get huge when he tells me, "that is so not you! I don't even know who that is! You would never do that!" And it's true. That's the hard and sad and fun and amazing thing about life. We are different people all the time. Every few years. We only become our true selves by what we experience. By the hurt we endure, the adventures we have, the people we meet, the heartbreak we survive. By learning what works for us and what doesn't...and more importantly why.
I don't regret a single moment wasted in NYC. With The Guy. With The Old Flame. It has molded me into the strongest, most confident, happiest me yet. I only wish I could tell young girls (and guys) not to pin all your hopes and dreams onto another person. Do not depend on someone else for your happiness. Don't put your career, your hobbies on the back burner because you're too caught up with a crush. Don't put yourself second and don't live for them. And don't stay in a situation where you're not getting what you want from the other person. Know your deal breakers and don't be afraid to walk away. Everyone deserves to be happy. I never thought, like so many young people do, that something was wrong with me or that I was unloveable. That's what I want to get across, too. Nothing is wrong with anyone. It's all about the combination of two people. Sometimes you're not you at your best because you're not with the right person for you. It's all about what two people can bring out in one another. Like who you are with the other person. And there are so so so many people out there for you to meet. Experience. Don't try to make one be what they simply can't. It really is easy. When it's right, it's easy. When it's right it's not a struggle. Nothing is forced. Nobody tries to love anyone. Nobody has to fight about marriage. When you meet the right person, for you, it all falls into place. And there is no way to make it happen before the universe decides it's your time.
Simple as that.
As simple and as unknown as that. A reminder that life is big and us humans are resilient and we really can do anything.
And there you have it. A little snippet of my life that feels both like the biggest and smallest and best and worst time all in one. A time when a little girl who moved across the country and experienced a new city and people and school and career and love and loss and all sorts of things in between.
Thanks for reading.
Part 1: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-york-state-of-mind.html
Part 2: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-york-state-of-mind-part-ii.html
Part 3: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-3.html
Part 4: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-4.html
Part 5: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-5.html
Part 6: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-6.html
Part 7: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/im-in-process-of-writing-my-story-of.html
Part 8: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-8.html
Time to Press Pause: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/time-to-press-pause.html
Part 9: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-9.html
Part 10: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-10.html
Part 11: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-part-11.html
Part 12: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-york-diaries-par-12.html
Part 13 (with an extra shot) http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-new-york-diaries-part-13-with-extra.html
Part 14: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-new-york-diaries-part-14.html
Part 15: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-15.html
Part 16: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/im-in-process-of-writing-my-story-of.html
Part 17: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/im-in-process-of-writing-my-story-of_10.html
Part 18 (September 11th) http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-18-september.html
Part 19: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-19.html
Part 20: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-20.html
Part 21: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-21.html
Part 22: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/im-in-process-of-writing-my-story-of_20.html
Part 23: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-23.html
Part 24: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-24.html
Part 25: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-25.html
Part 26: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-26.html
Part 27: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-27.html
Part 28: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-28.html
Part 29: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-29.html
Part 30: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-york-diaries-part-30.html
Part 31: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-new-york-diaries-part-31.html
Part 32: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-new-york-diaries-part-32.html
Part 33: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/01/im-in-process-of-writing-my-story-of.html
Part 34: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-34.html
Part 35: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-35.html
Part 36: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-36.html
Part 37: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-37.html
Part 38: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-38.html
Part 39: http://beanerlarue.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-york-diaries-part-39.html