ONLY IN NEW YORK
“I always wanted to see the lights of Broadway; I always wanted to hear the traffic roar. I always wanted to be a part of New York City’s great big heart, and now I am I couldn’t ask for more.”
– (Thank you, Michael John LaChiusa for that great duet in the Broadway production of The Wild Party.)
There are days the city will tear your heart out and leave you hustling, walking, shuffling…WAITING, like either a drone or an over-stimulated rat. Then there are days that completely make up for it. It’s a love-hate relationship, a co-dependent dance, a tease and flirtation, and a slap in the face. Today I love this town. The aroma from the hot-dog carts mixed with sewer-steam invite a flood of memories and emotion in me so strong I wanna break out singing “New York, New York.” In the live musical in my mind there are forty strangers suddenly swaggering down Broadway with me, crooning like regular ‘Sinatras’ and belting out like only a good ‘Liza’ can.
I moved here to attend a music-theatre conservatory and during that time I fell in and out of love several times (with the city, yes, and perhaps, maybe a few boys.) I’ve performed in Japan, Korea, regionally, and in New York on soaps, indie films, really bad ‘new theatre’, and one Off-Broadway play. I’ve also been a hostess, a waitress, a ‘model-caterer’, and a ‘coat-check girl.’ The last few years I’ve been focused on building a design business and since then I’ve designed for CoverGirl, MAX Factor, the New York Comedy Festival, the People’s Choice Awards, and more. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be a business-owner and successful designer; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Well…almost anything. There’s still this thing that makes my heart beat and literally jump out of my chest with passion and that’s the theatre. Thankfully, my design business is at a point where I am able to maintain my work-load, continue to build my portfolio of clients and get back to this thing I love – the acting classes, the short films, the one-acts, the classics, and the music.
The music, oh the music…
Two nights ago I found myself with about eight other talented friends in an amazing apartment in midtown. There was floor to ceiling windows, an incredible view, and a beautiful baby grand. The sight through these windows upon entering was Times Square (lit-up and showing-off like a lady who knows she’s hot), then as you turn from left to right you could see Hell’s Kitchen, the Hudson River, and across to Jersey – and I mean way across. Turns out the apartment (and the baby grand) belong to Steven Reineke, the world-renowned composer and conductor of the New York Pops. What a guy – he had only recently moved into this place and there were boxes upon boxes filled with musical scores, operas, books upon books, and piles of sheet music! A friend of a friend was staying there and we had stopped by only to grab him for dinner, but as we were waiting Steven walks through the door (as only he should, it’s his place!) We introduce ourselves, chat for a while and randomly he sits at the piano. He comments on how badly it needs tuned and while testing the keys a song emerges. We listen for a while and then all at once we are singing. We did stop for a dinner break at one point, but we sang through sunset and up until midnight with his talent and inspiration at the keys. It was SO MUCH FUN. I honestly have not had an impromptu sing-along or ‘real-life-musical’ moment in years. We had opera singers there that night that shared my geek-love for musical theatre, and all of us were bustin’ and belting out our favorites. At one point, with no sheet music, Steven lays down the chords to “Seasons of Love” from the musical, RENT. Bum, bum, da-da-dum… da-do-do, bum, bum, da-da-dum… ‘Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six-hundred minutes…’
If anyone tries to convince you that musicals are cheesy and no one ever does ‘that’, I beg to differ. I also think the neighbors in that apartment building may state their case as well. Musicals do happen – I experienced one on Tuesday night. Just like a miracle, it will probably make you laugh, cry and definitely sing hosanna to God in the highest with thanksgiving in your heart for the precious gift of music.
Thank you, Steven for playing for us, and MOM, this one’s for you.