The Dramatic Work of Rich and Joyce Swingle

Moving to NYC

08.19.08 09:27 PM Comment(s) By Rich

I'm often asked for advice from young actors about moving to New York City. In today's New York Times there's an article about the process: Finding Your First Apartment.

Here are some other pieces of advice:

Sign up at Manhattan Plaza now. It offers subsidized housing for those who make at least 50% of their income from the performing arts. Joyce and I were on the list for 10 years before getting in. Don't worry if you don't make half of your income from the arts now. They won't ask you to prove it until you work your way pretty far up on the list. For me it was four years.

There are often apartment and roommate leads in Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Classifieds.

I recommend you leave your car behind and use Zipcar.

My main piece of advice is to find a great church home. Without one your chances of staying true to the Lord and your convictions will be greatly challenged in NYC or any major city...or anywhere.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church has an Art's Ministry.

Actors InC ( is a great fellowship that meets Monday nights (the dark night for most theatres). They offer free acting workshops, and they've even been known to offer free headshot sessions. It's not really a church since they don't have a pastor and sermons, but they do open and close with prayer and have a Bible study. It's a great place to get connected with other Christian artists. I spoke on a panel they hosted, which is available online.

Our church, Westchester Chapel, is just outside the city, but Joyce and I have been reverse commuting since 1998 because it's such a great (and quite artistically minded) family.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you know of a great fellowship I've left out, please post a comment below and leave a link.
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