migrating south for the winter

It's now my fourth day in Miami, and I still can't believe I'm here. The last few weeks have flown by in a blur, as usual, and I'm trying my best to slow down enough to capture it all. This is yet another feeble attempt.

My return to New York was a good one, focusing most of my time and energy on our showcase, "A Standard Night in New York." When Friday rolled around, we performed to a sold-out audience and had an amazing time doing it. The entire show was video recorded, and I just finished putting together DVDs for the cast. The next step is to edit the show down into song clips to post on YouTube. That will take a while, but I'm looking forward to having an updated video reel for my website and audition submissions.

After the show, I came down with a nasty chest cold, and it was tough to make it through my final days of packing and moving against the impending snow storm in New York. But somehow I survived and arrived at Gate 20 in Newark Liberty International Airport in one piece. The flight wasn't so bad, and I trudged on despite a mild fever, achy muscles, and continuous coughing fits. I think my excitement made me feel better than I actually was. We landed in Ft. Lauderdale, and from there, we picked up our rental cars and headed over to Kendall, where our cast house is located. The '70s inspired decor and layout has kept us laughing since day one, but all in all, there are no complaints to be heard.

Aside from living in a kick ass pimp house, our days have been easy going and fun. The weather is mild and the sun is constantly shining. When I'm not in rehearsal, I'm at the gym or exploring the local area to find out where all the necessities are. I suppose we'll start going out soon, but for now, we're all trying to get settled. I'm one of 12 New Yorkers in the cast of 24. A little more than half are non-union actors, like me. Yesterday, I enrolled in the Equity Member Candidate program, allowing me to gain my first credits toward joining union, Actors Equity Association. It'll be a while before I become a full-fledged member, but this is a great first step toward that.

The process has already been a huge learning experience. Having in been in school for nearly two years, I definitely forgot what it felt like to actually be in a show. A lot of the last few days has been getting used to that alone. But also, this is my first professional production, and the level of focus is much higher than anything I've experienced in the past. In our first music rehearsal, we finished one entire song in about 15 minutes. I'm normally accustomed to finishing a song in about half an hour, so I actually felt like I was struggling a bit to keep up. That's a great feeling, to know that I have a challenge ahead of me to make me a better and stronger performer.

So it's been a great start to what will surely be an amazing run. I'm really very fortunate, and every day has been filled with gratitude. I'm so lucky to be here.