15 Key Things I Learned From My First Actor Business Trip To NYC

I just got back from a 2 week business trip in New York City.  I went to audition, take class, explore the city, and visit friends.  And boy, did I learn a lot.  Here are my 15 key things I learned from my actor business trip to NYC.

  1. A lot of actors live in Washington Heights, Astoria/Long Island City, and Brooklyn.
  2. Most actors don’t like Time Square, which is a little ironic given that that’s where the theatre district is and where auditions are held at Pearl Studios, Ripley Grier, or at the New York Actor’s Equity Building.
  3. Pack light…
  4. The classes offered in New York City (at Steps and Broadway Dance Center in particular) are all so amazing.  And so many of these teachers are industry professionals who are still working and involved in projects regionally and on Broadway.  Taking class is such a great way to network.
  5. Networking is key.
  6. Building a relationship with casting directors is so important.
  7. Having a peaceful, calm, and nice place to come back to after a long day of auditioning is so important for your personal well-being.
  8. I loved Jersey City!  The view of Manhattan from the Hudson River is such a spectacle.
  9. It was my first time going to 54 Below… had no idea 54 below was a small cabaret underground.  It looks like such a bigger venue from pictures and videos online.
  10. Not all of the trains in New York City are reliable.  I ended up using the 1, 2, 3, A, N, Q, R trains most frequently.
  11. I didn’t realize I had an incredibly large NYC family until I went on this trip.  It made NYC feel like home… and I’m so grateful for that.
  12. Auditions in NYC are like any other audition.
  13. The accompanists for auditions in New York are all so brilliant!
  14. The food in New York is AMAZING!  So many incredible vegan places.
  15. You spend a lot of money on food/eating out.
  16. The most popular side jobs for actors are: waitering, catering, teaching, and personal training.

If you are an actor and you have never been to New York.  Go!  Coming from someone who was scared of New York for the longest time and felt safe and comfortable in Chicago.  I’m telling you to go!  Taking this two week trip, truly opened my eyes to the opportunity there.  For someone who loves Chicago and loves my Chicago theatre family, it’s weird for me to say… but I’m so excited, nervous, and eager to move to New York in the spring.


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