I’ve officially lived in Las Vegas for a month now and it’s been a whirlwind of stress, excitement, loneliness, growth, rehearsals, budgeting, anxiety, new friends, old friends... the list goes on.
So, here's a brief synopsis of how I came to be in Las Vegas.
This move comes out of a turbulent time ridden with anxiety and a bit of an identity crisis. I was in between contracts after my last Royal Caribbean stint ended in mid-January. I was in the post-vacation slump after my incredible trip to Australia. I was living with my parents working a random job. I wasn’t offered my requested ship and was navigating a long-distance relationship with no bearings on where my own next step would be, let alone a step together. Ahh!
And while we don’t need to dive into the details on that... let's just say, I was at a low point. Some days I stayed in bed, but some days I managed to get out.
On one of those days that I got my butt out of bed, I got that same butt on a plane to NYC.
After an extremely trying travel day that tested my limits, I auditioned for the Rockettes and got cut. Ok, carry on. I tried to make plans to meet with Dance Spirit and the editor was out of town. Alright, cool. And I spent a lot of time in coffee shops alone and walking the streets of that electric city, buzzing in my own uneasiness. But I also got some love from an old friend and her snoring French bulldog. This trip was more of proving to myself that I can solve problems (airline issues) and put myself out there even when I feel like absolute crap.
A few days later I got my butt onto another plane, this time heading for Sin City.
I auditioned for Vegas! The Show and had a few PR interviews lined up. I told myself that even if nothing came of it, I’d be proud of myself. Because just like my trip to New York, getting on a plane, putting yourself out there, with no guarantees of an outcome... that's hard to do.
It was my last night in town and I was on my way to see my cousin perform in Mindfreak (fantastic show, I might add) when the company manager at Vegas! contacted me. I got a callback.
I was scrambling to change my flights last minute (another test of patience) but I made it work, showed up, and the next day I was offered a part-time contract in the Vegas! The Show with rehearsals to start the following Monday. Whoa!
So, my problem of getting a job was solved and yet a new one was created. I live in Florida. How do I get my ass across the country in 8 days?
Thanks to ships, I’ve learned to live minimally and I was able to pack everything in two days. I did hours of research on apartments and even booked an Airbnb for my first few nights. I planned four stops along the way where I wouldn’t have to drive more than 10 hours a day, booked the hotels, and luckily my mom was able to take a few days off to embark on the cross-country drive with me. Thanks, mom! I booked her a return flight and things were set.
Mom and I in my car, packed to the top!
We stopped in Jacksonville Florida, Biloxi Mississippi, Dallas Texas, and Albuquerque New Mexico before arriving in Las Vegas Nevada four days later. By another stroke of luck: my cousins live here, one of whom just bought a house. At the last minute her plans changed and she was able to offer me a sublet in her spare room. So now, I’m living with family in the suburbs about fifteen minutes away from the Strip. Not bad!
I started rehearsals the very next day and I opened in Vegas! The Show this past weekend.
In addition to working on the show, I’ve been applying to what feels like hundreds of jobs, going on interviews, and receiving more rejections. I've been working on building my writing portfolio with lots of freelancing. And I've been striving to find the calmness in my failures and successes, without getting too attached to either. Easier said than done, I might add.
So, that’s how it happened and now I'm waking up in Vegas. No glitter though, sorry Katy.
My first month has brought so many emotions and I’ve had to face many insecurities. But like I said earlier, the most difficult step is showing up. Getting out of bed, booking the ticket, stepping on the plane, pinning on that number, applying for the job, accepting that you have no clue what might happen. It all takes trust in yourself. And that, I'm here to tell you, is sometimes really hard.
But who knows, you might end up becoming a Vegas showgirl.
Reunited with the gorgeous Brittany Lake.
Our lovely dance captain, Jen Jordan!
Opening night flowers from Leisa and Dani. Such a sweet surprise!
A NOTE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
If you're feeling like life is a turbulent, chaotic mess that you don't know what to do with and that maybe it's all meaningless... that’s where I was for much of the two months leading up to this move. So, you're not alone. I started using BetterHelp.com to speak with a therapist online and I recommend it even you only feel semi-shitty. It’s almost more important to practice good mental health when you're feeling ok so that those spirals become less frequent. Sometimes we need some help, so let's break the stigma.
I also recommend breathing. Breathing helps.