New York And Back With Hardly Any New York

I am typing this while on the 12:07 PM Metro North express from Grand Central Terminal. Until a few minutes ago there were rivers of sweat pouring off my body. This is a train I shouldn’t have attempted to make, but did. I am on my way home from New York City. My nearly five hour roundtrip commute is in pursuit of a 10 minute audition!

I continue to be amazed by people who make this commute to the city from this part of Connecticut every day. When most out-of-towners think of my state they think Fairfield County. When the first of those Fairfield County passengers get off I’ll still have over an hour to go.

This all started yesterday afternoon with an email and three pieces of copy from my commercial agent. Could I be there today at 11:40?

Of course I could.

Making the 9:33 AM train to New York is to me what making at 3:00 AM train is to most of you. I am nocturnal. My bedtime is around 5:00 AM. This morning my alarm was set for 7:50. I was actually up before 7:00.

I now know this trip well. From the Metro North platform the subway is down a long formerly majestic hall. It’s downstairs to the mezzanine then down again to the platform.

I have a MetroCard with a balance. It makes me feel less of an interloper and more like I belong.

Beyond the train today’s destination was one subway for two stops then a two block walk through pouring rain! Less than ten minutes from GCT I was taking an elevator to six and the casting office.

Casting Factory Outlet! The place was nuts.

There were at least six simultaneous auditions noted on laser printed paper signs and close to a hundred actors sitting along the walls. Some folks looked like they knew one another and were chatting. They all seemed to know the drill. Everyone was nervously sizing up the competition.

I signed in and sat down.

It wasn’t long before Colin fetched me into what looked like a large office. We were above Madison Avenue in what was evidently not a soundproof room.

There was a mic, but no headphones. Down near my feet was a Mac laptop. The casting director for this commercial was joining us via Skype!

I read my three pieces of copy took some direction and read one again.

I was OK. I wish I was great. Maybe I was. It’s all so surreal. Judgments are tough to make.

Will I get it? Who knows? A friend who has been a regular at these says you audition then forget about it. Sometimes you hear, usually you don’t.

I love this experience. I loved being in the casting agency, even if only for a few moments. I’d like to get cast, but right now I’m merely learning the ropes and getting comfortable.

A quick look at my watch told me I had time to make this early train I’m now on.

Unfortunately, I entered the subway and got all the way down to the turnstile before realizing it was a downtown only platform! I rechecked on the way back up: no signs!

It wasn’t until I was finally on the “6″ heading north that I realized it would be touch and go. I was only two stops away, but as the train pulled into Grand Central it slowed and my pulse quickened. This time of day it’s one train an hour to New Haven.

I ran!

I ran up the stairs past the token booth then up another flight and into Grand Central Terminal proper. My train was on Track 26, a little farther than I expected.

It wasn’t until I cleared the gates and was on the platform that I saw my train was still there. As I panted my way into the car a buzzer buzzed and the doors closed!

I’ll be in New Haven two’ish and hopefully back in bed before three.

It’s a good day.

16 Responses to “New York And Back With Hardly Any New York”

  1. Lou Lange says:

    Good luck Geoff – fingers crossed for you…

  2. Brooke Stegner says:

    Wishing all the best as usual Geoff! Stupid Channel 8 doesn’t know what they are missing but we all do. And actually, I bet they do but are too thick to admit it! Please let us know how it turns out.

  3. Terry P says:

    I’m exhausted just reading it! You know we are all pulling for you!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I used to live in CT and always marveled at those who made the daily commute to NY. I was strictly a weekend visitor, and since weekend schedules for the New Haven line were also once an hour, I know the feeling of the mad dash to the track to catch a train!

    Break a leg with those auditions!

  5. Jim says:

    Funny – Every Metro North commuter knows exactly what you’ve been through. Especially when traveling during off peak hours when there is just 1 train an hour. Most have a perfectly timed plan to leave their location and catch the train with just a few minutes to spare. One small hiccup can cause that plan to fall apart! Glad to see you just made the train!

  6. “I am nocturnal. My bedtime is around 5:00 AM. ”

    No wonder you always say “Don’t go to sleep yet!”

  7. Denese says:

    I have vivid memories of running (not easy on crutches!) trying to make that last train out of GCT. When the option is sleeping on the floor of GCT, it’s amazing how quickly the pace picks up!

  8. Betsy says:

    Are you auditioning for another weather reporting job? I’m new to this blog. I just discovered recently that you “retired” from Channel 8 and I for one will say I am not happy! I have been a loyal WTNH viewer since my daughter was born 17 years ago and I stayed home for a couple months with her and watched the 4pm, 5pm and 6pm news to while the time away (she was a lovely baby and still is). WTNH is the only local news I watch and you were a big reason for that. so wherever you go, please let us know and I’ll keep track on your blog. good luck!

  9. Bob says:

    We make occasional trips to NYC. It’s a fun day but, when we causally walk into the station and find our train is leaving in 5 minutes is un-nerving. then we run for the train and the race to get a seat can be aggravating. people with their coats or laptops taking up a seat. you ask them if the seat is taken and they look at you like you’re taking what belongs to them. oh well, we don’t go that often.

  10. NancyB says:

    I always thought it would be so glamorous to work in NYC and commute but never got the chance. I did work in SF and commuted from the East Bay on BART but that was about 30-45 minutes one way. It got pretty old pretty fast – and I wasn’t familiar with SF like I am NYC so I was sort of afraid to really explore. I was pretty glad when it was over!
    Good luck and I hope you get cast in something soon. You’ll be great.

  11. rick says:

    you have accomplished much in your short vo career. i will tell you ,however, that to have come to cherish the touch n go audition so early in your quest is a sign that you my friend have the makings of a true pro. less than an hour on the ground in manhattan and done off peak. kudos ,my friend, kudos.

  12. April 5, 2011

    Geoff,
    Hello! Are you getting interviewed for another weather forecaster?
    Also I just wanted to let you know that you did an excellent job on your livestream. It was great seeing you. Let me know when you will be doing another. I hope you will be getting something soon. I couldn’t believe you mention me on livestream. Keep me posted and good luck. You and your family is in my prayers. Have a wonderful evening.
    Sheena (Waterbury,CT)

  13. Cindy in Brooklyn, CT says:

    NY is a much longer trip for me. I laugh when I’m traveling and people who hear that I’m from Connecticut and assume I go to NYC all the time because I’m “so close”. Well, in the sense that I CAN make it a day trip if I’m looking at a really long day. Being in the NE part of the state means I’m only about an hour from Boston, 45 minutes from Providence and a little over 3 hours from NYC.

    Good luck with all your auditions. At least, you’re enjoying yourself.

  14. We are praying that you hear positive news soon regarding a full time job!!! Blessings!!!

  15. Hmmm. Yesterday was AFLAC the duck day. Gottfried was of the chosen people, why not the next duck? Just don’t make any sushi jokes.

  16. NancyZi says:

    Been there, done that. But not for an audition!

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