Report of our EXpedition

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why New York has had a hold on me

I can't help but love the sound, the food, the lights, the people, the music, the art, the films, and the entire existence of this city. I have become addicted to this city, and as in most addictions, they must be ended. For me, New York City became my awakening of self, and the awakening of what exists in life. This place molded my raw mid-western abilities into an ever sharpened tool to be used anywhere I see fit. This city allowed me to let go of my inhibitions and express what I had been to afraid to unleash.

But this city also becomes a curse, that without effort, no one can overcome. If one allows this city to use you, you can become a balled up wad of trash, swept up and shipped off to a landfill. Or you could become trapped in an ever continuing cycle of struggle and success, which could have one not realizing that years and decades have gone by.

I have experienced the joys and struggles of being a dreamer, trapped in the NYC maze in which others have been in control of whether I am able to travel through to the end. I have experienced the high of having my first animated film seen in Times Square and in Harlem. I have had the great fortune to meet great people within entertainment, politics, and the creative circles. But within such success, I have until now, remained the cliche of a starving artist, always looking for that big break.

This cycle has continued for me for seven years, since graduating with my MFA Degree. Having to work in bookstores and hoping for adjunct teaching positions. All just to get by until my big break would come. What broke this cycle, was to think outside and away from the glamour of New York. To know that this city has harnessed what I need to succeed anywhere I please. And in a surprised moment, my chance, my break came more than a thousand miles away.

I am now an full animation professor at a school in Arizona. I will be able to teach and create, with the freedom that I had dreamed of. I will be able to concentrate on my field, instead of how am I going to pay the bills. I can relax and have time to myself, instead of always being on the run looking for the next opportunity. The kicker was to kick my addiction to New York City. The city where I still love the sound, the food, the lights, the people, the music, the art, the films, and its entire existence.

Maybe I haven't kicked that addiction yet, New York is still in my blood.

James N Bowman