Where a chance and opportunity begin...

I took a chance. And the universe offered something extraordinary; two and a half months in New York City. To study, network and play in "an endless city of possibilities". Today I left Australia full of apprehension, excitement, tears, nerves, wanderlust, what ifs and appreciation. A bittersweet concoction of inevitable emotion. Taking the leap to travel alone, pause work, and dedicate an intense amount of time to my craft have been great contenders in shaping my decision as too whether or not I would audition, let alone, accept my place to participate in the 2018 Summer Intensive at Atlantic Acting School in NYC. This time last year however, as I waited at a set of traffic lights on Parramatta Road in Sydney heading home from my evening acting class I dug deep within to realise; life is about believing in what you have to offer. Step into the arena and go for what you want in this lifetime. Because, let's face it - no one is going to do it for you!

So that's what I did. And here I am.

This opportunity was thought of, then thought out over a number of months. I conversed with friends and teachers who had previously completed the course - or who were about to complete the 2017 Intensive - and, also began listening to a podcast recommended by a friend, 'Action: The Pursuit Of Acting Excellence' by Leigh Foster. These gifts of advice pushed me to read more, know more playwrights, plays, scenes that fit my brand and reread 'A Practical Handbook for the Actor' by Melissa Bruder, Lee Michael Cohn and Madeleine Olnek alongside the recommended text list when accepted. Preparation doesn't provide all the answers, however for me, preparation allows opportunities to grow. It allows for more play with the content, rather then stress as you try to claw your way through a simulation of information overload.  

For my sanity, I wanted to be comfortable in surroundings and financially secure. I set out to be prepared for the 6 week intensive and all my expenses required to live contently within my means in New York and my financial commitments still in Australia. I created a spreadsheet of expenses and Google mapped destinations in order to gain some perspective 15000 plus kilometres away. This planning hopefully will also allow me to experience the theatrics Broadway has to offer - both on and off. Only time will tell! I was also recommended to use Today Tix for affordable Broadway tickets, locate a TKTS booth or try your luck on the day at the theatre!

Six weeks means short term accommodation. This was a struggle for me. I needed to get an idea of the city before I could decide where I wanted to stay. I considered public transport locations or if walking could be an option and, how far I wanted to be from Atlantic and Midtown as I wanted to experience the hustle and bustle of New York as a first timer.                                                          A recommendation list is offered to you via the school however if your staying longer or wanting to experience New York in a shared apartment, these are the Facebook pages I found helpful:        Australians in New York - NYC Accommodation (Aussies International)                                             New York University (NYU) housing, sublets & roommates                                                                  Gypsy Housing NYC/Available *NEW  

An app I loved was Roomi. This app had a lot of great sublet opportunities and was very simple to use. Check this one out!

Craigslist was helpful in securing some potential options however I was also scammed twice into believing some sublets offers. Tip: call companies, FaceTime/Skype potential opportunities and do your research before you commit to any payment transactions. 

So far from my 21 hours of flying, 2 hour connecting flight wait at LAX and 5 hours in New York, it has been anything but the anxious scene I created in my mind. In the last never ending Monday I have met a myriad of people all doing there thing. Tip: enjoy the moments to yourself to read, sleep or watch a film. However. Just have a conversation. You are not alone. One random comment here and there led me to finding out so much about different people and the chancea and opportunities they were willing to leap for. 

Here's to what a New York summer will bring. 

Samantha Camilleri