I'm writing this as I'm bundled in sweatpants, my Hobart fleece sweater, and accompanying me is my carry on and a venti Starbucks refresher. I'm listening to the soundtrack for La La Land for about the 5th time, and my sisters are beginning to text me their goodbyes. I didn't want to wake them up since they had school today. Luckily, my mom and grandma waited for my Lyft with me. Being 4am didn't burden them, but I felt like it was one. Unlike other times, this time I am not being dropped off by my family. I chose to let them sleep in and show them that I could do this. Unlike other times, I am not flying to Rochester. I am currently en route to New York City, for the first time ever.
When people first head I was heading to Hobart and William Smith they all said the same thing, "Make sure to take a picture in Times Square!" As many of my friends and family now know, I am not in that glamorous part of New York. I am in Upstate New York, which to the best of my knowledge is known for wine, buffalo sauce, and the Finger Lakes. I'm 6 hours away from the city, and with no car or license, NYC has remained a goal for me. New York city is so far, that I found it easier to go to Toronto, Canada for my spring break.
I am scheduled to land in Nashville, and then finally in the city. I do not know what to expect. I love big cities, but this is a beast unfamiliar to me. I imagine this is how people feel when they go to L.A. for the first time. The reason I am visiting NYC is because thanks to a Professor Friedman, this sophomore was accepted into the HWS "Behind the Scenes" program. It's a 3 day trip where HWS students are connected to alumni in NYC and L.A., in alternating years, whose careers are in entertainment.
While I would have loved this extra week at home, I knew this was an oppurtunity I could not miss. Never having been to the big apple, and dreaming of seeing my name adorn glossy pages and TVs, I had to see what this industry offered for people from my little liberal arts school.
Without a doubt, this is an invitation I am glad I took. My friend Gail has gone on this program before and she went the year that HWS took the group to L.A. Over the summer, while I was interning in DTLA, she was in Santa Monica at Viacom. We made plans and were able to meet, explore L.A. and its art, and really connect over our aspirations for the industry that shapes dream and fuels imagination.
I always joked I was Holly Golightly. A young person from the West, technically she's midwest, going to New York city to make a name for herself. Along the way her heart is broken, she reinvents herself, and ultimately she has her happy ending. I've endured two so far, so I'm waiting either for the third or for a job offer before I graduate. Love is nice, but it doesn't pay for my loft, grooming my Chihuahua, or my Swarovski pens. (Inside jokes) Putting my comedy cap aside, my time in New York has been full of growth. My skin has become thicker, my pool of knowledge has widened, and my desire to make it back to L.A. is steadfast.
"Moon River" is the one song that can always strike a chord with me, but "City of Stars" is the only song that makes me feel both happy and sad simultaneously.
I will write about my time once I'm finally there, until then please let me know what you think are the musts that I should do while in the city.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.