New York City is the biggest small town. I’ve been here 7 years and it didn’t take me long to call NYC home. The friendships I have made in the past 7 years are some of the greatest connections I have ever made and will possibly ever make. But there’s something different about New York friendships. Actually, probably any city based friendships. They are fleeting. They are short. They are intense firecrackers that whistle off into the night. And it took me 7 years to finally realize this.
I make friends easily. I always have. Therefore New York was a piece of cake for me. I lucked out with one of the best jobs in the world, working at Tarzan the Broadway musical and I met my first New York friends. Somehow, against all odds, every last one of those people I still talk to at least once a month and out of those, I have a few incredibly unique and close friendships that will last a lifetime. This…was a fluke. This is the only job where I continue to involve every last person who worked there in my life. I thought that’s how they all would be.
Last night of Tarzan
In New York, you can find someone to fill a specific void in your life at any place and time. That is not saying all friends in New York are place fillers. They are more…heart fillers. They give life to pieces of you that may have died or have not yet lived. They compliment your world for that short time they are a part of it and then they are gone.
I love how new friendships start. Any friendship. You don’t know if it’s going to be forever or if it’s just for a day. But you meet someone and you mention a film or maybe quote an obscure lyric or Buffy dialogue and the person to your left screams “OH MY GOD!” or “IT MUST BE BUNNIES!” because they get it, they know, they like it or love it or breathe whatever it is just like you do. It may be a moment of laughter or a moment of pain that brings you together. It doesn’t matter how it starts. But when it does, it’s like magic. New York is so full of these magic moments I sometimes imagine it as Neverland and full of happy thoughts and the happy thoughts are people and they help you fly through whatever it is that is happening in your life at that time.
In the New York world I live in, people are always changing jobs. It is probably because of my age, my career path of an actress, or just the state of living in New York in general. If you come here to pursue anything it seems you have to have at least 6 jobs before finding the one that fits. Working in the service industry, you become very close with your coworkers almost immediately (if it’s the right job). You bond over angry guests and being broke. You converse about the acting industry or books you’re reading or television and movies. You start realizing you spend more time with them than anyone else in your life and that’s actually great. The coworkers I have met and befriended have helped me through breakups, moving days, late nights, hangovers, bad tips, deaths, jealousy, summer days, winter days, rainy days, plays, movies, Halloweens, New Years, brunches, shopping excursions, manicures, and birthdays. My coworkers are the people I think I am my best with sometimes. They bring out a fun and team orientated side of me. I become involved in their lives and concerned about their troubles as well as their joys.
However, last summer, I had a moment that broke my heart. I was outside at a popular bar in midtown and there were people I used to work with at Hard Rock sitting near me and the friends I was with. I had dated one of them and obviously remembered his name…but there was one in particular that I couldn’t remember his name to save my life. And I had been to his house!! We had gone out together countless times and partied in his apartment. I had met his girlfriend! We were best buds! And I couldn’t remember his freaking name. It destroyed me because I felt so horrible that I could forget someone who made me laugh and cheered me up every time we worked together. This guy was my bro! I was surely going to hell or some deep dark hole for being the worst human ever.
It came to me a few days later. It was then that I realized it didn’t diminished this coworker’s effect on my life at that time because I forgot his name. The moments we shared were still there. I just hadn’t seen how quickly they disappear. I had never tried to hold on because I didn’t think I could forget so much so soon. I was still an asshole but only like a baby asshole.
It’s the same as an actor. You do tours, plays, musicals, movies, web series, commercials, etc and you make friends. You may have the friend for a day which I like to make on sets when I do background work. I’ve lucked out though and on the set of Mildred Pierce, I was lucky to befriend some ladies I have since gotten together since the production filmed. The people I toured with I still see except for a few of them. Every show I’ve done, I’ve been fortunate enough to make very strong foundations for friendships.
However, the trick to these friendships is not to be offended when they fizzle out. In the past few months, I have realized how sensitive I have been when I discover I haven’t spoken to a certain individual that was once in my everyday life in months or possibly even years. I automatically started thinking, “Well, they hate me.” But that’s not it at all. I mean, they might, but more than anything it is just losing touch. New York is a big small town but the metropolis part creeps in sometimes and you realize it’s kinda hard to travel to Brooklyn to have that drink or Queens to see that show sometimes. People get new jobs, new shows, new apartments , new relationships and kind of drift away. Again, they don’t lose their value and you don’t lose yours to them. They just…aren’t there any more. You aren’t there either. Maybe they are thinking the same thing about you and what’s happening in your life. Maybe they stalk your Facebook or Instagram (which backfires sometimes because you FEEL like you’re in touch with them, but you’re not). It’s hardly ever one person’s fault over the other.
I consider myself very blessed with the people I have met so far in my few years here. Some are forever and some are just right now, but they are all special to me and we help each other through this hard knock life in the Big Apple. I still don’t know if it’s like this in other cities, but I hope it is. It’s an incredible feeling to walk down the busy streets and see people you haven’t seen in months, like a small town grocery store. Those little moments of catching up as you’re running errands or to rehearsal or work are pure magic and remind you how surrounded by love and support you are in a city that can sometimes mask it with obstacles and failures.
And if anyone I’ve lost touch with reads this, I am always up for catching up even if it seems I have drifted away…I’m still here for you as you were for me.