the shelah marie

encouraging healthy women from the inside out.

The Road To NYU: The Moment Before

This is entry five in The Road to NYU series. Just short entries about my the steps I’ve taken in moving to New York and attending New York University. Check out entries one, two, three and four.

The Moment Before

"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." –Sandy Meisner

Many times, directors will ask you to create a “moment before,” or create what happened just before the scene began. It’s a way of creating a mental map for yourself emotionally and gives you justification right at the START of the scene.

It’s weird but I feel like I am in a “moment before” now. It’s as if I am on the brink of something – what I’m not sure – but something really phenomenal. When I get over the crippling fear about moving away from my loved ones to the big, scary city, I can’t help but think of all that is waiting for me there. I plan to milk this expensive education and the busy city for all it’s worth. I have the momentum to just hit the ground running, or at least power walking.

It’s no secret that I am really passionate about theater and film, but there is much to be said about preparedness. Planning and proper preparation are paramount to any artists success, assuming you have a baseline level of talent and are passionate about what you do. With that said, I will share a few things I did to get ready for the move. Feel free to add some of your own input or stories about following a dream.

Here we go:

1. Held a garage sale and sold everything that is not beautiful or useful. Clearing clutter is good mentally and NYC is not the place for pack-rats. Everything I did not sell I tried to sell to Plato’s Closest – unsuccessfully. After that, I gave all my crap to Goodwill.

2.Secured affordable housing through NYU. I will be staying in a dorm traditionally reserved for freshman at NYU, however during the summer the school opens it to other students and people needing housing for internships, etc. I’ll be staying in a double and sharing a bathroom with 4 others. I have access to a gym, health clinic and other NYU amenities. Including 12 meals/week I will be paying $190/week. In the village. Cannot. Beat. That.

3. Returned my library books.

4. Added up my pennies. Luckily, through working and saving I have some change to get me over there until my financial aid kicks in. I cannot say how important it is to save, save, save for a big move. Save yourself some gray hairs. It doesn’t take a lot you’ll be surprised how far that little savings will go.

5. Researched my future professors and start seriously thinking about what I want out of the program and what my thesis project will be. Going into a program like Performance Studies (I still don’t even know what it is) with a clear definition of what you want to study I like driving with your eyes closed. Get an idea beforehand about who you will be studying with, what your professor’s interests are and how you can make all of that work for YOU.

6. Told everyone. This might not be good advice for everyone, but for me it has helped a lot. Closed mouths don’t get fed. I don’t try to get over on people, I don’t try to brag – but finding a sincere, genuine way to let people know about what you are doing is a smart idea. You never know if a person will help you, or knows someone who can. Also, making those key relationships is what separates the “working” artists from the extremely “successful” ones. I felt very timid about creating this post, but people have donated about the amount you would get from a local scholarship, just because I asked in a genuine, honest way. I’m not saying going around blabbing to homeless men on the street about your graduate degree, but making those connections is an invaluable and necessary part of this business.

Now, on to the moment after.