Skipping Summer In The City

And just like that...I'm back. "Where have you been, Luke?" is a question that I am sure has plagued your heads and thus ruined your summer. I. AM. BACK. And loving it!! I feel renewed, I feel refreshed and I am ready for whatever being back in the city has for me.  For now, lets go back to April when we last checked in here on NevNYC (I know, wtf.) But when I explain the madness, you'll understand the lack of blog content. In April, I graduated! Nope, not my degree, but the Company Year I was telling you all about. Just like that, 3 years of school in New York City, was over! Well, then what….

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The Beginning of "The End"

Here we are, a week beyond the starting line for my final year at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. A point where a flurry of questions begin to swamp my mind on my morning commute. "Where did the time go?", "Have I learnt as much as I thought I would?", "Am I starting to feel industry ready?" etc. etc. etc. To my second question I say YES. There was a hesitance in the 3 years prior to moving NYC, to acknowledge personal growth. Although it was encouraged, my 18, 19 and 20 year old self was somewhat reluctant to appreciate development in skill, knowledge or mindset. Well to those previous Luke's I say, OWN IT! In this industry, especially whilst at school, we spend years, months, hours and minutes diagnosing "the next step", resulting in a heavy mind full of the pro's and con's of spending those savings on headshots, on taking that class, on going for that drink the day before an audition, etc. Well to that I say just let it happen. Follow your impulses and follow your instincts. As I've said in many previous posts, what is right for one person may not necessarily be right for the person next to you, or anyone else for that matter.

As I enter my final year, that is really what my personal goal is. To follow my own personal impulses and instincts, and not self-critique when making those decisions. Whether it be in classes, when performing or when continuing with NevNYC. Part of this is being okay when a mistake is made or when I feel like something didn't go to plan. I think in my 21 years I have learnt more from those moments than any other! It's hard when at school, and as I've heard, even in the industry to compare yourself with others. But why? I don't know any two people who are EXACTLY alike. You may share striking resemblance to one another, you may each have outstanding work ethic, but you are made up of something that makes you, YOU! Don't apologise for it, don't neglect it, don't cover it, don't compare it. Own it, accept it, work on it, develop it, strengthen it, share it.

When starting NevNYC I didn't plan on a lot of blogs being about topics like this but I have found in the last few weeks that you guys really respond to blogs like this. At this point I really want to stress that when a blog is written about topics like this, be it mindsets, the ways I deal with stresses or daily situations, that I am in no way, shape or form writing it with the intention or it being THE way to approach similar situations. At 21 years old I would find it somewhat uncomfortable to believe that I was some advocate of self help. Heck no, that is not my intention. All I can do is write down my experiences and interpretations from various teachings, so that is what I will continue to do. Based on this experience, I've recently been collaborating thoughts with my old roommate and current neighbor Cassy. In recent weeks we've discovered similarities in the way we look at things so thought it would be great to collaborate on a piece of writing for NevNYC. I can tell you now its going to be something that I haven't really done for this channel yet but it's sure to be great. I'll let you guys know on Twitter and Facebook when it will be released but we want to make sure its at a good point before we make it public! Exciting times!

I wish all my fellow students an amazing final year! Lets do this guys!

As for the future of NevNYC, I will continue to upload based on how I'm feeling and through a variety of different blogging styles and different content. This year I will be uploading a little bit more details on the program I am on at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I've had a few questions from prospective students so I'm currently planning a big F.A.Q blog post that should be heading your way soon. Along with another Quick & Easy Recipe post! It has been SO long since I did one and I LOVE shooting them. That being said I have a lot planned and in the pipeline for the rest of the year but as I adjust to this new schedule and dynamic in my life I wanted to say a quick thanks for sticking with me!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

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Losing my Mojo (Creative Block)

For a week I've been hesitant to post this, and the many ways in which I've attempted to write about this topic. Mostly because, since starting this blog in May, I haven't experienced the usual appearance of creative block. As someone who hates feeling pessimistic or experiencing a lack of hope, I've had a really hard time with creative block for NevNYC and for the main reason I'm here in New York; Acting. 

I know "blah blah blah", "woe is me". One of the main reasons I was hesitant to post this was because I now there is so many worse things going on in the world and creative block is something so many creatives experience day-to-day and sadly is just a part of the career paths I have embarked on. 

This summer my focus has been somewhat "wack". Back in October of last year I scored an assisting job in the Summer Program Office of the school I study at. AMAZING! As a student currently on a F-1 VISA (a VISA where I can legally study in American, however cannot work, EXCEPT on campus), this was such awesome news. Regular hours, awesome colleagues and management. As the year has gone on my responsibilities have broadened and as we approached the start of our Summer Programs my schedule got busier and busier. When I finished my first year training on the Full-Time Acting program I swapped onto full-time hours on the program. It sounds like I'm complaining about my job, this is NOT what this blogs intention is, I love my job and I am very appreciative of the opportunities and experiences it offers me. 

The problem I have with situations like this, is I HATE half-assing anything. As the Summer Program becomes busier my attention and focus has been on my job. Meaning my hours dedicated to writing and shooting images have decreased. The hours dedicated to training have also decreased. I still allow myself time per day to warm up physically and vocally, but applying it practially has been tough. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by acting and theatre even within my side job, so it's not as if it's a lack of inspiration that has instigated this "drought", I believe it's a pure focus shift. 

Within the past two weeks I have hit a rock bottom regarding my creativity and channeling as well as having one of the most creatively stimulating weeks of my life. CONFUSING!  I am someone who does not like to live amongst negativity or pessimism so after a week of wallowing in self-pity and blog-neglect I decided to pull my finger out. No one else can make a change expect myself so I decided:

> The only person who can implement change in my own life, is myself. 
> Cut the crap - I've been eating a lot of junk food lately, so best thing to do is CUT. IT. OUT.
> Book our rehearsal spaces to go over singing rep and old dances/jazz combinations. 
> Sing at Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland Jazz Club to reconnect the feeling of getting up and performing.
> Read more
> Write down more ideas
> Re-read old blog posts
> Clean, tidy and organise the apartment
> Explore more of Brooklyn
> Spend more time with Gino
> Find the time to sit and enjoy the apartment. 
> Appreciate more.

I have to say from the positive mindset I have now thankfully returned too, this list looks so wanky, but it helped! All these things factored in to me re-routing the way my mind was heading. I say this in almost every reflective blog post but for me, positivity is all about changing the mindset and the way you look at what you have and what your goals and aims are. One of the most beneficial things I did was to take a day to get everything back in check and back in line. I sat on my new sofa with my laptop and my notepad and just wrote everything out. Everything that I feel I am lacking, everything I've seen recently that has inspired or interested in me and everything that I want to do in the coming weeks. For some reason having it all written out really helped with implementing change. Setting up performing at Birdland really set my performance preparation routines back into check. SIDENOTE: If you haven't been along to Jim Caruso's Cast Party on Mondays at 9PM yet, you're missing out. Jim is such a wonderful host and the food/drinks are diviiiiine! I had so much fun getting up and singing again and it re-lit the little flame in me, right in time for second year! Also within the same week my friend Adam, who I go to school with asked if I would like to record a radio play that he had adapted. Erm...YES! We had so much fun recording the piece for Galaxy Radio Theatre, albeit EXTREMELY hot in the recording booth! 

After a follow-up week of being proactive and positive its safe to say I am in a much better place but BOY did I hate having a week like that. But I guess its the normal, some people are going through things way worse, obviously. And some people have longer bouts of frustration or creative block but I really make it my priority to not fall into those droughts, and every time I do, its an opportunity to learn what really pulls me up and out of those moments. 

Wow. I feel so much better after getting all that off my chest. Damn I'm sorry you guys had to sit through all that, half of it probably didn't even make any sense but y'know, I guess its all part of what we do and its something we all go through from time to time especially when we get into a routine!


In other news:

I've been working on some possible future YouTube stuff, and you can pre-subscribe to the channel here!

What do you guys think of a live stream Q&A either on my Facebook Page or my YouTube. I receive a lot of questions about living in NYC and thought it could be fun! Let me know! 

Last night was really really great. I currently have my friend Joel staying with me in our spare room before he heads back to the UK. Joel actually shot my blog post in Times Square and did such a great job, but yeah he stayed with us this past week and with last night being his last night in NYC we decided to do some cooking. I say US, but Gino and Joel really cooked up a storm in the kitchen last night. Be sure to check back this week on ExperiencingGino to see what he made.... But yeah last night was really great, we had friends round we all had some drinkies and played games, it was just the perfect Sunday Evening to set up for a great week. I spent Saturday re-organising and setting up the apartment with new furniture that we got. I'm going to be doing a separate apartment post where I will go into more detail as to how we acquired the furniture (it involves my friend Jess, a UHAUL truck and driving through the heart of Manhattan at the butt-crack of dawn). 

I got the new Harry Potter book, or play script. And I am SO freakin excited! I will be reading it over and over again for the next week!

But ANYWAY *raises Monday morning coffee* heres to a positive week of making things happen!


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