I’ve talked to a few close friends about this, but it’s not something that manages to come up in casual conversation frequently… So for the record, and just to put to rest any rumors out there, here goes.
Yes, Sal is planning on moving back to New York City in a few months. And no, I am not going with him.
All things considered, he’s had one hell of a Charlotte run. Sal moved here for what was supposed to be a relatively brief stay… As I said at the time:
Sal calls his upcoming departure from NYC a sabbatical. I like that — it emphasizes that the absence is only temporary, and with a specific purpose. In his case, it’s to take a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC for a short time, save up some money living in much-cheaper Charlotte, and of course get to spend several months with me and the wonderful friends he’s made in Charlotte. Besides, the way the acting scene has been going in Manhattan lately, he’s probably got better opportunity to get involved with theatre groups in Charlotte this season.
That was in September of 2008… A few months turned into quite a bit longer than that, thanks to a terrific job opportunity that allowed him to be a full-time paid working actor with benefits. (How many of his classmates can say that?!)
But for a young actor who dreams of being on a Broadway stage, the allure of the Big Apple is hard to resist. So after almost a year of working at Starbucks here in Charlotte and two full years with his children’s theatre company, Sal recently made the decision to NOT sign on for a third tour with the theatre company, and he let them know that this would be his last season with them.
Sure, it’s disappointing. The rational side of me wants to shake him and tell him how good he has it here: a great home, a full-time job with a terrific theatre company, a huge group of friends, and a great series of performance opportunities at a local piano bar. And of course, Puck (and now Nala) and me under the same roof with him. From a rational perspective, it’s just plain silly to give these things up.
But ultimately, following your dreams isn’t about being rational. It’s about giving something a shot, especially when you’re at a point in your life where you have more flexibility and less to lose than you can ever hope to have in the future. So as an actor working to build a professional career for himself, he will never have a better chance than now.
And besides, him moving to Charlotte in the first place was the same sort of irrational “follow your dreams and give something crazy a shot” kind of decision. So who am I to begrudge his career the same odds-be-damned, see-what-happens gamble that he gave our fledgling relationship?
I wish Sal could have the theatre career that he’s looking for without moving away from Charlotte. Or better yet, I wish that I was able to follow through with my years of planning to relocate to New York City myself, so that we could just move there together. But the fates have conspired against either of those things happening, and that’s just the way things are, whether we like it or not.
We’re not sure when he will be moving, exactly… Could be as early as July, or perhaps much later than that. It will all depend on what kind of work he can find here in Charlotte temporarily or up in New York City. These are all things that we will have to tackle together when the time comes.
And that’s really all that I have to say about it until we’re a lot closer to his departure.