Two and a half weeks left before we are supposed to head home to California. I have a book deadline to meet and a manuscript to edit for a client. All my time is being eaten up by apartment hunting (on line mostly since I can’t find anything affordable that we can all–Julian, my husband, and me–fit into, and obsessing about how to make attending the School of American Ballet (SAB) possible for Julian. And every way I look I see a dead end.
This so-called offer to attend SAB year round seems a mixed blessing…or more like a curse at the moment. There is still no room in the dorm. There is also no financial help for the dorm–if we got Julian in. The website says there are honorary scholarships, but we keep getting told there is only financial aid for the SAB portion of the program–the actual tuition for dance classes. I had two boys ready to be chaperoned; one found a free place to stay. Then I found one more; neither one has parents who will commit 100%, which makes it impossible for me to rent an apartment for all of us. Basically, that leave me looking for an apartment for just my family. Worse yet, today the public school, Profession Performing Arts School, told me there may be no room for one more student in their senior class. Ack! Blech. I’m pulling my hair out.
It would be one thing if I thought we should just bring Julian home and put him back in the program at City Ballet School. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a great program. It is. It helped Julian immensely. Everyone who sees Julian who saw him dance last year says so–and it got him all those scholarships this summer. However, from what we’ve been told to date from Willy Burman, Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, as well as a few others, SAB is the place for Julian. Balanchine is the basis for all contemporary dance, says Desmond, and Willy says Balanchine translates into all styles of classical ballet–and every company these days is doing Balanchine works. Plus, having SAB on your resume is something a dancer wants, and being in that final show to get seen by all those company representatives definitely offers a unique opportunity not found elsewhere.
From Julian’s perspective, SAB demands perfection. No one else has demanded that of him, he says. He said the classes at SAB were the hardest he has ever taken. He liked the style. He says he improved as much in 5 weeks at SAB as he did in 9 months at City Ballet, although he concedes he was learning something totally new (and putting it to use).
Plus, despite his desire to stick it out at his high school and wanting to go to prom and pep rallies and grad night, he says he’d really love to go to a school where he would be accepted. He’d love to dress how he wants and just be himself. He thinks he can do that in NY.
All that said, I’m left trying to figure out how to house three of us in a one bedroom apartment in NYC for $2,000 or less per month, half rent/half house sit my house in California so my cat is also taken care of, and get Julian enrolled in school–all while my editor says I must suddenly turn in my last chapter and a half earlier than expected and I took on an editing job I wanted to farm out because…well…I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to make $1,500 to $2,000 ( a month’s rent).
And it’s hot and humid. I walked blocks and blocks today with my back pack on my back. I had a big dark square on my shirt when I was done. I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to get a coffee thinking it was cheaper than Starbucks (it wasn’t) and was so frustrated and tired (oh, my aching legs), that I also got a donut.
Oh, and my husband is still in Germany.
The highlight of my day, however, was telling Desmond about the news (acceptance at SAB) and getting his feedback and help. I loved hearing him praise Julian…of course. What dancin’ boy’s mom wouldn’t. (He sees improvement over last year…) After he confirmed that Julian should accept the spot at SAB, I also loved having him take on OUR problem! He immediately offered to make calls to Professional Performing Arts School, SAB, his short-term housing connection, and Laguardia High School. Oh, how nice it is to know people in high places. I won’t tell you who he called when he couldn’t get the SAB registrar on the phone…I had to laugh! Talk about knowing people… Whether any of this will make any difference, I don’t know. But I felt so relieved to know someone with way more pull than I have was taking on Julian’s cause.
Will I sleep tonight? Probably not. I probably won’t rest until we have a spot in a high school for Julian and housing somewhere.
Right now, I need to work. Otherwise, I won’t have a book published or a client to pay me. In the meantime, I’ll pray and trust that everything is working out…