Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Might As Well Be In Fargo

“You live in New York, right?” Yes. “It must be great to be so close to everything – workshops, training, opportunities, coaches, auditions, studios etc.” WRONG! Despite common belief, you can live in New York and not be in Manhattan or anywhere close to it.
As I write this, I am sitting here in Upstate NY, actually not far from the geographic center of the state five hours by car from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal. “You can't get there from here,” is a phrase often heard “in this neck of the woods.” While that's not quite true, it is difficult to make a trip to and conduct business in any of those cities in one day. Although, it can be done.
To help you relate, it's like a trip by car from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Detroit to Chicago, Spokane to Tacoma, Phoenix to San Diego, or Houston to New Orleans.
Let's say I want to attend a voiceover workshop in New York City. It begins at 10 a.m. Here's my day and travel itinerary:

3:00 a.m. Alarm goes off. Out of bed, grab a cup of coffee to wake up, wolf down a yogurt with some All Bran, then shower and dress for the trip.
4:00 a.m. Jump into the car and head for Albany NY – travel time: one hour forty minutes.
5:40 a.m. Arrive at train station in Rensselaer, NY. I'm taking the train as it's the same amount of time as by car but I won't have to find a place to park my car in Manhattan, a nightmare.
6:10 a.m. Train departs for New York City.
8:45 a.m. Train arrives Penn Station in New York. (Thankfully, today the train is on-time.)
9:00 a.m. Grab a cab (I could be waiting for a half hour at that time of day.), subway or bus to my destination. Although, in New York it might be faster to just walk the 15 blocks.
9:45 a.m. Arrive at workshop destination just in time to freshen up and grab a bottle of water before the session begins.
10:00 a.m. Workshop begins.
1:00 p.m. Break for lunch
2:00 p.m. workshop resumes
4:00 p.m. workshop concludes
4:20 p.m. After saying goodbye to new friends and others I met at the workshop, I'm headed back to Penn Station.
5:30 p.m. Grab a quick bite to eat and snack at Penn station for the trip back to Albany/Rensselaer.
6:00 p.m. Train departs New York.
8:30 p.m. Train arrives Rensselaer, NY
8:40 p.m. Retrieve car from the parking garage and head back home.
10:20 p.m. arrive home. Phew! Long Day. Nearly twenty hours.

Why did I just share this with you? Well, it's to illustrate that just because I live in New York doesn't mean I have any better access to workshops, training, auditions or events than someone living in Fargo. Although, Fargo IS only three and a half hours from Minneapolis. Piece 'o cake.


  1. so many workshops, coaching sessions are now done remotely through skype, google hangouts or zoom room kinds of networking technologies. would love to hear why you do or do not like to use these! ;)

    1. I do use them for VO coaching. I use them for VO meet-ups and other gatherings. However, when you work from home there's an advantage to one-on-one interaction, in person, that you can not get via a Skype, Google or Zoom Hangout. Then there are the important social aspects to meeting people in person. For example with Marice Tobias workshops you need to "be there." The point of my blog was to show that to some it may appear that I live close to events and opportunity which is not the case. Casting intensives require the actor to attend in person, as may know. For Improv workshops I need to be there to assess body language and other non verbal clues, otherwise I'm going to always "be in my head." I could go on and on. Thanks for your comment. I do appreciate that you read my blog. Thank you.

  2. Jerry, I'm teaching improv for voices in the greater Los Angeles area and totally agree with you on this! Thanks for biting and continued success to you. I would recommend a good Scott Brick audiobook for that commute. ;)


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