New York life energises pair

Pair balance aspiration with reality

KIM DEWE
Last updated 14:09 18/06/2014
emma langdon
TAKE THE STAGE: Emma Langdon is putting her time in New York to good use by attending dance classes.
lachi mcbride, emma langdon
MAKING CONNECTIONS: Lachi McBride has been able to network alongside some of his music idols in New York.

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Kim Dewe recently spent some time in New York and interviewed a couple of young ex-Timaruvians living there. We have used her guest article for this week's Bright Lights feature.

New York has long been a magnet for aspiring performers.

So it is no surprise that with the growing ease of travel and competitive reality of creative jobs that small city folk are finding solace in the mega-metropolis.

Among those who have made the leap are former Craighead Diocesan School student Emma Langdon, 23, and former Mountainview High School pupil Lachie McBride, 19.

People go to New York for the vibrant culture, invigorating energy and the alluring opportunities it presents. There is no doubt that small cities can hardly compete with what New York can offer.

Among the romanticised image of tall buildings and the luxury stores scattered around Times Square, the city is also over-ridden with aspiring artists working in one of the many Starbucks stores, liquidation sales and $1 pizza joints, as they hope to make their break.

You would be silly to think the city will offer your dreams on a silver platter without first putting in the hard yards.

When I visited New York last month, I touched base with Timaruvians who are chasing their dreams.

I rode the infamous New York subway to a Whole Foods Supermarket on the edge of Central Park to meet with Emma Langdon.

Langdon is well-tuned into the city, as though she has been living there her entire life. As someone who had recently completed dance studies in Auckland, she moved to New York with some of her classmates and saw it as an opportunity to work with some of the world's most talented and motivated performers.

With the cost of living in New York far from modest, it proved difficult to pursue dance and a fulltime job simultaneously.

"In order to be successful in dance you have to commit to it everyday, completely, especially here," she said.

Her visa and insurance also created limitations, which meant she couldn't pursue freelance or high-risk work, including dance. Despite the setbacks, Langdon still managed to attend plenty of performance classes.

Lachi McBride has been living in Upper Westside, Manhattan, since late last year. He was previously struggling to find work in New Zealand and took on work in a fish factory.

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Since moving to New York however, he has been networking alongside some of his music idols and doing unpaid work as a musician's assistant.

His mother Jane said he is moving in the city's music and art scene and is living with Ingrid Bergman's grandson.

"I used to watch live shows on YouTube and read article to article about the artists I now celebrate on stage with," Lachie McBride said.

"I'm living day to day meeting important people in the music industry and using the connections I make in a way that'll benefit my future."

"The shift was at first eye opening and [is] still mind blowing. It's everything I envisioned and that's what has been so uplifting with it all."

Langdon said: "Nothing can prepare you for New York, no matter where you're from but you just have to get out there and do it".

- The Timaru Herald

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