John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Random New Yorkage

For some reason, this morning I find myself thinking about New York City. While I've been through New York a handful of times, I've only ever once really spent any time there, which was when I was 16ish and applying to the theater program at NYU. My parents drove me up for an audition and a tour, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening more or less sightseeing by car. In particular, I wanted to get a better view of the Statue of Liberty, so my dad drove us around various parts of town where we could glimpse it between skyscrapers. ;) I remember thinking that it was much smaller and much greener than I was expecting.

The main things I remember from the trip were getting directions from a policeman who looked (and sounded) almost exactly like Sylvester Stallone -- which came as a great shock to me, I had always sort of thought of broad accents being purely a product of television -- and how Muchness and Bigness there was everywhere. That night, we took a ferry out of town (I don't know how many ferries NYC has that leave town headed for points south, nor which one it was), and as I looked back at all the sparkling lights, my mom said I looked sad. I replied that it felt like leaving Disneyland, which is kind of melancholy because it's a beautiful place, but at the same time you wouldn't want to actually live there because it isn't real. [1]

For some years, praeriedog and I had a running gag whenever we got into the same car that we were going to drive up to New York on a whim. We never actually did it tho, which is just as well -- we never had any real idea what we would do when we got there anyway.

Regarding NYU, I was accepted and offered an acting scholarship -- a fact I am inordinately proud of even today. Unfortunately, even with the scholarship the remaining tuition would have been the equivalent of buying a new mid-sized car every semester, and so I decided to go to VCU instead. Given that I met laurie_robey there, I'd say I made a good choice. :) [2]

-The Gneech

[1] My mom, with her usual capacity of grabbing the wrong end of the stick, later described this scene to someone else as if I was blubbering like a baby, which I wasn't. My emotional capacity at that point was so short-circuited that even I'd been sad enough to blubber like a baby, I wouldn't have done it. I was mighty screwed up at that point. These days I blubber like a baby at the end of a halfway decent movie -- but back then, I was quite the disassociative robot.

[2] My mom again, when she heard about this some years later, was quite upset. "If NYU was really your first choice, we would have found the money somehow!" Well, maybe they would and maybe they wouldn't -- but given that I decided not to pursue acting, and in fact almost flunked out of VCU because I had never learned to study (you can get a straight B average in public high school without even doing your homework -- not so in college), I still think it was the right decision. And I'm not sure NYU would have been my first choice even if money was no object. Besides not feeling like I was up to the competition at the time, I didn't want to go to school in Disneyland.
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