I remember when I got to New York [in 1990]. There was so much stimulation and I was so giddy. I wanted to be a theater actress so badly that I knew it was the perfect place and I felt right at home. But I have ADHD and when you take every single thing in — the whole city at once, it can be very overwhelming but exhilarating as well. In my show at 54 Below, I talk a lot about being a theater actress, the struggles that I’ve had learning things with ADHD, finding the love of my life, having children and juggling it all. The joy of doing my show is telling the absolute truth about myself. I’ve never been onstage by myself before and have it be just about me. It’s terrifying but satisfying creatively, because I’m my own boss. It’s liberating.
What do you love about New York?
1. I love all those new beautiful parks along the water along the Hudson River by the West Side Highway. When you have children you don’t want to be indoors all the time. You need different events to go to. Once we went to Chelsea Piers and were looking at the boats and we found a Sesame Street fire truck ride. You put a quarter in and it jiggles. All my son could talk about was this tiny little Sesame Street fire truck. That’s what what he calls Chelsea Piers: the place with the Sesame Street fire truck. And there’s the Intrepid. I just love that New York has made it a priority to have these public spaces that are so exquisite.
2. I love that Mark Fisher Fitness has taught me how to get in shape in the most physically economical way. I started going there right after I had my second child, a little over a year ago. I was doing Annie on Broadway and I was just feeling tired. Mark Fisher Fitness was the perfect match for me. It’s the most joyful community based gym that I’ve ever been to. The only thing that they’re serious about is proper form and technique so nobody ever gets hurt. But other than that everyone wears capes and glitter and runs around talking about unicorns and love and positive energy. Whether you do a million pushups, or one pushup, you know you’re in a very positive environment.
3. I love going to Grand Central Station when I don’t have to be anywhere. When I was 19 years old and moved to the city, I went to Grand Central and I thought, “What is this extraordinarily beautiful place where everyone’s rushing and no one’s looking up.” I don’t care how crowded it is, I always twirl under the stars in the middle of the main hall, where the clock is. Even if I’m feeling shy I always do it. It makes me feel good. I twirl once looking at the ceiling then I twirl the other way. Spinning around, looking at the ceiling of Grand Central Station makes your problems go away.
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