Hello. Just spent the last few hours here and this is my view right now.
I’m just sat in Bryant Park not that far from Times Square. There are loads of little parks here with seats and you just rock up, get on the internet and people watch to your hearts content. There’s some Shakespeare in the park going on, people hula hooping and juggling. Just a whole array of stuff. I think I’m actually behind the New York Central Library too. I can’t believe another 2 weeks have gone by (sorry but this all going by too quickly for my liking). It’s flying by but at the same time it’s like what happens in two weeks here would take two months anywhere else. It’s great and I love it here but it’s like being dragged through a hedge backwards at the same time with the speed it all goes on. I don’t mean the speed of people walking around. I just mean the way things just happen quickly here. To say I’ve been here just over a month I feel like I’ve lived here 6 months. In comparison to London I just didn’t really meet many people and make many friends in 18 months and here I’m making a friend a week I would say. I met Eilin an Irish opera singer one day when out singing and we have met up a few times (good to have someone to talk singers talk to) and then I met Marc also whilst out singing. I’d seen him at the Opera on Tap workshop but he was with the people singing the low stuff for the night so our paths never crossed (I was in the high team), but he passed me when I was out singing and I recognised him.
We had a few drinks last weekend and when it was my turn to pay I nearly died when the wine came to 22 dollars per glass. I have never paid that much for a GLASS of wine. In the South of France in February me and Claire were laughing our heads off coming home with BOTTLES for 2 euros, so I’m a bit like ‘get to feck’ with your 22 dollar glass of wine. He said he didn’t even like it either after two glasses of the stuff. Great. Really worth it then. Ha ha.
But I’m glad I’m meeting people who I enjoy chatting to. It helps so much. I’m not just doing this alone all the time, even though essentially I am alone and we only ever really have ourselves to rely on at the end of the day. I absolutely love New York though. There isn’t a moment when I wish I wasn’t here. I haven’t pined for home once. I miss my brother, nephew and sister in law but I just love the vibe and the energy. It’s just an easy place to be. I could be out every night if I wanted. I wake up in the mornings and just have this feeling of wanting to get out in the city and I want to come back as late as I can. In London I just wanted to do what I needed to do in the city and get home as quick as I could.
So I feel like I’ve found my place (phew and at flipping last), but unfortunately I can’t just move over here. This whole Visa thing, OMG!!!!!!! Last week my head was all visa this and visa that and visa, visa, visa (yawn, yawn). People were sending me solutions which wasn’t really helping when my mind was in overdrive as it was. I know deep down what my spiritual lessons are and I do pray and ask for help and guidance. Many people are keen to tell me I must be crazy doing what I am doing, but I know in my gut being here is the right thing. I like to be in control but I know I have to surrender and let it all unfold too and I know forcing any solutions (something I learnt in Al Anon years back when I used to go because of my dad’s drinking) doesn’t help. I was half asleep last week and got a message telling me to ‘let control go and surrender’. Not easy but I know it’s the way to go and I do it kicking and screaming but when you don’t know what to do next what else can you actually do?
I’ve stopped thinking about visa’s and just started being here and letting go of the outcome, and enjoying it. The universe knows I want to live here and if it’s meant to be it will be. I’m doing my part in it all. I thought I could apply as I’d been offered a teaching job but they suddenly decided they didn’t want to give me the job so I was back to square one. Now I don’t care. Just go out and do my singing thingy and be who I am every day. That seems to be the winning formula right now, and I never know from day to day what will happen. I had it in my head I needed to sing where some ‘civvies’ are, or people who live here, so off I toddled to West 72nd St to sing outside the subway. This is all a risk. I shouldn’t be doing it but ‘feck it’ really. Taking the risk. Feck it, feck it, feck it. I met Eilin the same day as a lady heard me who sits in the park there most days watching the world go by. An elderly lady with her carer and some friends called Rhoda. She called and said she wanted me to meet a friend of hers called Norma who was in show business since the age of 14 (managed Marni Nixon and worked for the Kennedy’s for 4 years too). I love hearing about these people’s lives. She still organises a lot of concerts here and knows a lot of people. I went yesterday for 3 hours to chat and sing and chat some more. Hilarious too. I love that older people just say what they want (no filter and no lack of real honesty) so these two women were at each other. Norma was saying to me ‘you must be crazy. Have you any idea how difficult it is here? You won’t make it’, and Rhoda was saying ‘stop being so negative. This girl has spirit and I recognise that and she will make it work and I want to help her’. Lovely really. She wants to sponsor me a bit to try to get things off the ground.
A very strong lady who took over her fathers’ business when he died with no business experience. She said everyone gave her 6 months but she proved all the men working for her wrong. Good for her. I must stay positive and NEVER stop believing. If I didn’t believe I wouldn’t be here in the first place. There are people trying to help me here and Norma gave me a golden list of people to contact and try to sing for (got on the case today). Rhoda wants to help me do a showcase and another guy there was in the business and says he knows managers etc…..so if I set up a showcase they can help me. I’m rolling with it. It’s the only thing I’ve got right now, and to be truthful if I listened to Norma and let it take over I would be a heap on the floor so I have no choice but to STAY STRONG!!
I do have other opportunities. I am singing for people. It has only been just over 4 weeks. I’m proud. I get scared too. I’m vulnerable. I don’t know what I’m doing. I need help but I am out here doing it. I said to Marc the other day when he was scared about something coming up ‘just do it. JUST DO IT!!!!!!’.
Aside from all that I am on holiday too. (I have officially made my life into one long holiday. Woohoo!!!!)
If all else fails I may as well have the holiday of a lifetime. How many people can say they’ve spent 3 months in New York? I’m also coming back in September for another 3 months. Already made that decision. I’ve walked across Brooklyn Bridge, been to the beach
(love that there’s a beach so close by and will be frequenting it often burning myself like a true Brit in the sun not caring it if ages me 5 years, because I’m sitting in that fricking sun whilst I can), I’m making friends, I’m listening to live jazz, live music everywhere I go, I’ve been to watch The New York Ballet (loved it).
I’m taking in the ‘vibe’. I’m singing for and eating with the homeless and building bonds and will be hitting senior centers very soon, I’m raiding thrift stores for bargains, I’m eating good food and drinking alright beer (only alright cos I did live in Belgium and all that) and doing pub quizzes, I’m sitting in parks watching the world go by and I’m chatting, chatting, chatting which doesn’t always go so well. I’m also attracting some pervs. Two guys this week wanting to touch me up a bit. Honestly, if there’s a weirdo or perv to attract somehow out of the 100’s of people around me they’ll find me. Every homeless person that wants a dollar will find me. Every waif and stray will find me. I must have something that says ‘hit on me’. When it comes to a ‘normal’ guy who I might actually like back it’s a whole other story…………been a long long time. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be kissed!!!!! My single Soprano days continue…….