living the dream

Well, here it is, officially: I am moving to New York!

I had to skirt around the topic for the last few months to prevent what was previously yet-to-be-finalized information from being leaked to the wrong sets of ears. But now, things have been finalized and all those who need to know are in the know. How, exactly, I got to this point... Well, it's a long story.

Close to a year ago, I came to the realization that I had nothing left to gain by staying here in California. So I formulated these grand plans for running away. As the months went by, my choices narrowed down and I decided to move to New York. But one question still remained: do I actually have the guts to do this? All my life, I've always made the safe choice, thinking that it would be the right choice. And because of that, I've never been convinced that I've done the best I can.

I started taking risks. I began by applying to jobs in different cities and different states. Jobs that I could conceivably do and some, truthfully, that I could not. But that was all part of the experience. Resume after resume went out, and the handful of responses I received back were not very encouraging. Still, I refused to give up. Something was out there for me, it was bound to be. I considered another option - going to school. I looked up graduate programs in public health, education, and music. They were all so intimidating, and my heart didn't leap at the thought of any one particular program. Until I came across The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. It provides a 2-year conservatory program in musical theatre, with campuses located in both New York and Los Angeles. The application requirements were within my reach, and the program was exactly what I was looking for. Despite anything I have ever told anyone, and myself for that matter, I know that all I've ever wanted to do was perform. And I believe that I have the drive and determination to take me as far as I want to go. So I applied to AMDA, as well as Circle in the Square Theatre School, also located in New York, and for once, I listened to my heart.

Now that I had a game plan, it was time to come up with some alternatives. What if I didn't get accepted into a program? I still wanted to move to New York, so I needed to make sure that happened. I applied for more jobs, inquired about apartments, and came up with a time line for selling all my personal belongings in California, including my beloved Rav4. I flew out to New York this past week, did a couple of interviews, scored some job offers, and found a roommate. And this weekend, I completed my application for AMDA with an audition and interview in San Francisco. Now all I've got to do is wait.

The plan is: wait for an acceptance or rejection from AMDA. An acceptance means I will become a full-time student in June, working part time as a hostess in a restaurant midtown. A rejection means I will fly to Seattle to audition for Circle in the Square Theatre School in mid-April. An acceptance from Circle in the Square means I will become a full-time student in September, again working part time as a hostess in a restaurant midtown. A rejection from Circle in the Square means I will be working in New York City full time, either as a hostess in a restaurant midtown or as an employee with a temp agency, filling positions in the creative media field. In all cases, I am moving to New York on April 29, 2008. My roommate, who is a University of Oregon alum and Hawaii native (and has a dog, by the way), currently lives in Manhattan and will be searching for an apartment for us. If we don't find an apartment by the time I am in New York, I will be staying with my aunt in New Hyde Park, located on Long Island, while we find a place to live.

I bought my one-way ticket to New York City today. There's no turning back now.

I have never felt more proud of myself. I still can't believe I found the courage to change my entire life and pursue this crazy, far-fetched dream of mine. There are a lot of things that have happened in the last few months that have contributed to this decision. Most notably was my family trip to Italy and Spain. I learned that there is so much beauty in this world that I want to experience and be a part of. While I was there, I was incredibly happy, and I saw that I could be happy in a place that wasn't my home. Also, the most interesting people in my life are those that have lived in multiple places, taking with them history, culture, and varying perspectives. I want that. I want to be that. Finally, I'm tired of regret. I have to go to New York because if I don't, I'll always wonder about the life I could have had.

I cannot wait for the personal growth that is bound to happen because of this new milestone in my life. In the last couple of weeks, I've felt everything in the entire range of human emotion: happiness, fear, anticipation, frustration, nostalgia, you name it. It's exhilarating. Thrilling. And exactly what I've been needing.


Akiko said...

YAY! Go, Gina GO!

Alichacco said...

i'm so proud of you for doing this. you have the guts that i don't have (or at least not yet). can't wait for you to get out here! keep me posted.

Leanna said...

I am SOOOOO proud of you! you are an inspiration to us all!

Michael said...


My Wish said...

"Once you choose Hope, anything is possible."