So here it goes…
I hope my journey inspires you to do YOU – even when you’re rejected or naysayers don’t accept you (ugh, can’t stand them).
Well guess what… you’re the bomb dot com, and you can create your own reality – and aint’ nothin’s unreachable.
This is chapter 1 of “My Journey”. Stuff about lil’ ole me and how it ALL went down.
CHAPTER ONE: DANCE AND THE CITY
Let’s roll back about 25 years. (dang I’m old)
When I graduated with a BFA in contemporary dance, the next obvious step for every dancer was… New Yawwkk City – of course. Although an original Long Islander (pronounced Lawngislanda) who frequented NYC quite a bit growing up, it was still a scary shift to now live in The Big City. And boy, was it a scary concrete jungle.
After graduation I searched high and low for an apartment with cheap rent. I found a “dump” that came with a roommate in the hellish section of NYC called Hell’s Kitchen. A well-suited name considering the drug deals, prostitutes and the piss on the doorsteps. I would run my ass home every night from the 42nd street subway to my dump on 44th so as to not get mugged or harassed. Yep… this was Hell’s Kitchen in the 90’s.
So, I did my thing. I had a work-study position with a contemporary dance company called Jennifer Muller – The Works, and took classes at Dance Space, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Peridance, Trisha Brown, and Alvin Ailey. I went on countless auditions for the Ailey School, Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Mark Morris, David Parsons, the Broadway shows Cats and The Lion King. I even dabbled in commercial acting, was an extra on films and auditioned for a few hip-hop videos. I tried everything to get a gig; even “massage therapy” – but once a client asked about a “happy ending”, I ran my ass outa’ there – literally!
My life was an endless schedule of traveling to and from dance classes, auditioning, running my ass home to take a shower, all while keeping up with my fitness teaching schedule. Yep, even with my crazy dance schedule, I still did fitness. Dude, a girl had to make money, and teaching fitness was the job that was flexible enough to do all my dance stuff.
I hustled – I hustled hard. I even ate peanut butter sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs for nearly a year and still scraped by to pay the bills. Yep, I was living the dancer’s life. It may not have been bliss, but I was proud of it.
Now all this may sound exciting on the surface (or not) but something didn’t feel quite right. Ok, A LOT of things didn’t feel quite right. Even though I had a sorta’ steady paycheck from teaching fitness, I was always disappointed not getting that big break I yearned for. I was either too short, too fat, too brown, not talented enough, or didn’t fit the costume. And mind you, I was about 10 pounds lighter than I am now and I was still considered “fat” (ahh… different times then). It was rejection after rejection and I was fed up and depressed.
the Off-Broadway show, STOMP.
And that takes us to the next chapter of my saga… coming tomorrow.