Amy Connerley has an outstanding career as a dancer, singer and actor in New York City. She talked with me about how she balances everything and tips for people who want to live in New York!
I’m so glad Amy is here! She’s a little different from my typical interview in that she has an active dance and choreography career, as well as acting. Her perspective was super interesting and I hope you like it! If you do, please tweet her and let her know!Loved your interview, @AmyConnerley! Click To Tweet
You have an incredible resume: singing, dancing, acting, writing. How do you divide your time and is it split evenly between everything? Or do you tend to spend more time on some vs others?
One of my favorite quotes is, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” However, it is definitely a double-edged sword. I do have the tendency to spread myself to thin and try to do too much. I have so many ideas and goals in so many mediums, that it is difficult at times to move forward in any of them. Growing up I really fell into dance primarily, but now I divide my time more evenly depending on what projects I am working on at the time.
I wish I had more time in the day in general. If I do have any free time, I’m currently trying to work on my guitar and piano skills! But that is a very slow and tedious process when you’re teaching yourself!
Your voice has a musical theater quality to it. With your dance background, could you see yourself on Broadway?
I would absolutely love to be on Broadway. I’m a huge musical theater fan and do some musical theatre work around the city, so it is certainly something I am looking towards in the future!
I love that you post your resume right on your website! Not a lot of artists do that and I think it’s a great reference/resource for people to get familiar with you right away. Did you design your website yourself?
I did design it myself! Helping other actors and dancers set up their website is one of my many side gigs! I try to be as transparent as possible in my social media and online presence. It can be scary, but I think that is how people connect with each other.
We all have embarrassing/funny stage stories (I had my pants pulled down on stage once) – do you have any funny stories from life on stage?
Oh my God! It was my freshman year in high school, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was on the dance team and we had a performance at the Homecoming pep rally. It was a huge deal to me because I actually thought that my dance skill, would make people like me and I was so excited to hit the stage in front of everyone and do what I do best. The music started, I hit my first big leap and when I landed my knee buckled and I rolled to the ground. By the time I was able to get back up everyone else had continued to the next step and had rolled to the floor. It was so traumatizing at the time. But looking back, of course, I can laugh, and I do!
How long have you lived in NYC? Where are you from originally?
I have lived in the city for 6 years which is crazy that it has been that long, but here we are. I grew up in Blacksburg, VA and went to school in Richmond, VA!
Do you feel that living in NYC impacts who you are as an artist? How has your life changed since moving there?
I would say it does affect me. NYC is a very interesting place. It is very hard to survive here financially, emotionally, and just keeping up with the pace required to stay in the game. So, it can be really challenging to stay positive and energized. However, on the flip side, there is inspiration everywhere in this city. It is filled with talented and driven people everywhere. There is amazing art, theater, and live music everywhere. It is absolutely a beautiful place to live.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of moving to NYC to pursue their artistic dreams?
I would say be prepared. Be prepared to struggle, be prepared to have to make sacrifices for your career. Be prepared to work. I would also say be open minded. Let the road take you where you may. Everyone’s path is so different in this industry, so do not compare yourself to someone else’s journey. I would also say be prepared to listen. Come here. Hit the ground running. Work so hard, but also listen to what your heart says. A lot of people come here and stay past the time that is making them happy. They stay because they think they moved here so they must “make it.” That validation also might never come in the way you want, so come here and pursue your dreams, but don’t make that the all or nothing in your entire life. Be a person as well. Treat yourself well and listen to yourself.
I am a terrible dancer. I just find that following any instructional videos is super complicated because my brain scrambles what limb goes where. Do you have any advice for uncoordinated weirdos like me?
Well, first of all, anyone is a dancer. So, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I would say be patient with yourself. And if you are learning off a video, focus on each body part one at a time. Figure out what the arms are doing, then focus on body angles, then footwork, etc. Take your time! Choreography pick up is a learned skill, so the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it!
You recently choreographed a flash mob for a wedding proposal. What was that like? How many people were involved?
It was such a fun experience. I love getting to celebrate a huge moment in people’s lives like that. There were 8 talented dancers in my piece, and we had such a great time. And she said yes!
Do you find a certain age group is easier or harder to train in dance lessons?
I don’t know about easier or harder, because each age group as different aspects that may be easier or harder. Personally, I favor teaching teens and young adults. I really love diving into story telling and intention when I am teaching, which is a more advanced and mature concept. I enjoy working with technically proficient dancers and helping find that sweet spot between using your technique but not relying on it.
Lastly, what are your career goals for this year and how are you working toward achieving them?
That is a big question. I have so many career goals: I am releasing my first single this year, I am really focusing on tv/film and working on getting more television and indie film roles, I am releasing musical sketch comedy projects. I do have a lot of big goals, but I also think it is important to have smaller step goals to get you there. And although I want to do so much, as I said earlier, I think it so important to roll with the punches and see where this life takes me. Thank you! 😊