The road to Broadway has many ups and downs

A day in the life of a struggling actor from Fla

NEW YORK, NY - The bustling streets, close quarters and fast pace of New York City can seem a world away from South Florida, but many entertainers leave the sunshine with dreams of becoming a big star.
 
Nick Ciavarella left Jupiter for Manhattan, a place where the pace never slows and the race never ends.
 
"I don't even remember what happened the first year I was here, and it was a blur," he said.
 
The 26-year-old man sits waiting for an audition with realistic expectations.
 
"They are seeing like hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people for like three or four parts, you know?"
 
He has traveled with large theater companies before.  He knows that despite enormous odds, any missed audition could mean a missed opportunity.  
 
"If I went to every audition and got upset that I didn't get cast in every single one of them, I would last like one month here," he said.
 
The dream of New York is an adjustment from the weather, to the transportation to the size of the living quarters.  Ciavarella showed me around his very narrow apartment in Brooklyn.  He shares the space with three roommates.
 
"It's totally, it's tilted this way a little bit, it's really funny. We have a level and the bubble was way on the other end when we tried it out," he laughed.

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The view from his bedroom is like nothing he had seen before.
 
"Those are fake windows, and they don't actually lead to the outside.. and I learned that the first morning I lived here. I thought it was like 4 a.m. and I looked at the clock and it was like noon."
 
Like many actors, he takes parts big and small and fills the gaps with temporary jobs.  He says he's held at least a hundred jobs in three years.
 
"Let's say that there is a month where it is slow with auditions and I get a job. That lasts a month and I start making more money than I ever make, and I'm just like this is great... I can like live in New York.. go out easily, and it's like totally fine," he said.
 
As he emerges from his audition, he is disappointed by not discouraged.
 
"And this happens sometimes, the parts that were all available got cast yesterday. But they still have to have auditions for possible understudies or replacements, so everybody was kind of like groaning, like uh."
 
For actors like Ciavarella, it is equal parts: hope and reality, knowing the part of his dreams could be just one audition away.  He just doesn't know which one.
 
"So far I've been here three years. And every year has been better than the last. So as long as that trend continues, I'll stick it out."
 

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