Luke Stewart

Singer - Actor - Dancer

Final Blog 1-11

This will be my final post using this page as a blog. From here out this will become a news page to inform about my upcoming projects and developments.

I realized when doing my final paper that I had been doing these blog posts in an incorrect format and would like to share all of my 11 requirements in this posting. Sorry guys.

  1. Broadway Show: My first Broadway show here was Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. I saw this with my amazing friends David, Lauren and Lauren's father, the remarkable Bill Kent. We waited outside at 8am to get rush tickets when the box office opened at 10. It was such a fun first New York experience and an inspiring show. Since then I have seen many more Broadway shows. Here's a list: Waitress, Cats, School of Rock, Come From Away, The Price (twice), Significant Other (twice), Miss Saigon, Sweat, and Amelie.
  2. Off-Broadway Show: My first off-Broadway show was technically off-off-Broadway which was a very cool contrast after just seeing two Broadway shows in a row a few days before. The show was a Neil Labute Short Play Festival. It featured a new work by Labute as well as new pieces that he personally selected. My other off- and off-off-Broadway shows include: Yen, If I Forget, Ring Twice for Miranda, The Light Years, The Penitent, and Beardo.
  3. Concert: I went to a concert on one of my first days in the city. I saw the jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy at 1am on January 1st. I went with Sam Ray, Courtney Dahl, Alex Armesto and our good friend Ben Stine. It was such a fun experience! I love live music and this was music that I wasn't very familiar with but the energy in the venue was electric. I haven't seen any other concerts yet but I am looking forward to the next one that I get to see.
  4. Brooklyn Bridge: My walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is actually a kind of funny story. Living in Brooklyn, my train going into Manhattan crosses a bridge with an amazing view of the city, especially on the way back. So I always assumed that it was the Brooklyn Bridge because it was huge and had this amazing view and it went to Brooklyn. So when we had a nice day, I decided that I would get off the train a stop early and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It wasn't until I took a picture of the Downtown Skyline that I realized that the real Brooklyn Bridge was over there... in my picture and that I was in fact on the Manhattan Bridge which I had no idea was even a thing. So I have yet to actually cross the Brooklyn Bridge because it got freezing outside again until recently and because it is surprisingly difficult to get around Brooklyn once you're in Brooklyn. It's much easier to start in Manhattan.
  5. Museum: I recently visited the Ukrainian museum for the Pysanka Easter Egg Exhibit. The eggs aren't just your everyday-dunk-in-vinegar-coloring Easter eggs; they are works of art, painted by very talented artists to be displayed here. They designs are intricate and make you wonder how they did it. There were nearly 300 eggs and each one was incredibly unique. It was a wonderful experience suggested to me by Bill who is our resident Wednesday night chef at the rectory.
  6. Central Park: I have been to Central Park a few times at this point. I went once when it was frigid but that trip wasn't very fun and didn't last very long. When I'm in Manhattan on nice days I try to go and see a new part. Some of my favorite places were seeing my friend Sam Ray play softball at the Northern Fields, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and the fields near 100 St (even though we got kicked off because they weren't in season). I can't wait to spend more time exploring the park and finding it's gems.
  7. Food I've never eaten: I try to be an adventurous eater because I love food and I enjoy expanding my palate. Although, as a vegetarian, it is much harder to find a wide selection without going to a specifically vegetarian place. One thing that I tried for the first time here in New York that I now love and didn't even know existed before is chilaquiles. It's a traditional Mexican dish where corn tortillas are fried and then soaked in salsa until softened, top it with an egg and some veggies and there it is. It is so great and almost always vegetarian. Since the first time I tried it in early January, I get it almost every time I see it on a menu.
  8. Write from somewhere alone: I am currently writing from a bench in Prospect Park, a large park in Brooklyn only a few stops away from where I live. There are botanical gardens to the North and even a zoo! It's a great place to come and explore just a little ways away from me.
  9. Choice Event with Classmates: I spend so much time with my classmates in the city. Some of my favorite times are just spending time in their apartments or walking around Washington Heights. As far as events go though my favorite was getting to see the Short Play Festivals that Steven wrote, Evan directed and Lauren and Natalie performed in. It was so amazing to see their work on stage here in New York. It just makes me excited for seeing more and more of my friends in their debuts and onward.
  10. Event with Alumni: I have gotten to meet so many alumni since being here. All of their stories are so interesting and the community is so strong. One of my favorite experiences with alumni was going to see a drag show downtown with Evan Zimmerman and Kyle McIntire. I couldn't tell you the name of the venue or the queens that performed but we had such a great time and all became good friends from that night.
  11. Event for me: I love my alone time in the city. It lets me explore with no reigns and have more opportunity to take things in. My choice event was the day I went to the 9/11 Memorial. I had never been there and I found myself in Manhattan with a few hours free. I decided to go to the memorial on a whim and it was breathtaking. Being young at the time of the attacks it took a long time for me to understand the magnitude of what had happened that day and I don't think I'll ever understand how it felt to be anywhere in the city at that time. Seeing the enormous 1 World Trade Center and the beautiful, simple and powerful fountains next to it where the original buildings once stood put things even more into prospective. I walked the streets surrounding the landmarks and tried to imagine them filled with dust, chaos and fear like they would have been that day and for many days after. Soon I plan on visiting the museum which I hear is very powerful and beautiful as well.

The End as an Intern

My time as an intern with Jim Carnahan Casting was full of paperwork, coffee runs, things that I can't discuss at all (I don't even know if I can say that) and hearing one end of thousands of phone conversations. It took a while to adjust to the office lifestyle with regular hours and never knowing what to expect the next day but once I got used to it, I really felt at home. I made strong connections with everyone in the office, even Jim himself. I started to find the fun, getting to know everyone more personally and knowing how they liked the work for them to be done. I was almost sad to leave because I felt I could have gotten so much more out of staying longer but 14 weeks was enough time without getting paid and I'm confident that I will be seeing them all again soon enough but in a much different capacity.

Showcase Completed!

Yesterday was our 2017 Senior Showcase at the Signature Center. Every BFA performance student anticipates their showcase from early in their freshman year so it was a shock last Monday when I realized it was only one week away. On Sunday, we had our final dress rehearsal and a wonderful dinner with our class and some family members followed by a night trying to get some sleep with so many nerves. Once we got to the venue, we had a spacing rehearsal and then it was time to go. There were some expected nerves for the first performance but it went better than ever before. After that, I think we all felt much more confident and and the next two performances just got better. Overall I had an amazing experience and I am very excited to hear the results.

Friends in Shows!

Last night I got the chance to see my second performance in New York involving one of my classmates from Otterbein. I saw Steven Meeker, an acting major in my class, perform in the Magnet Theatre's first 10 Minute Play festival. It was a great night of short plays. Steven played the host of a children's reality cooking show that had a never ending finale, playing off the commercial breaks that always seem to come at the worst times.

The first time I saw my classmate's work in New York also involved Steven but that time as a writer. I saw the first round of the Manhattan Repertory Theatre's March Short Play Competition. The play by Steven was called More Than/Less Than and featured Natalie Szczerba and Lauren Kent as the wonderful performers and amazing direction by Evan Moore-Coll. The play made it to the finals of the competition but was not the winner. They putting on the same show later this spring in two other short play events. It was so great to see my classmate's work in a New York house and I'm looking forward to even more close friends making their New York debuts whenever they come along.

For more on the four I mentioned in this post visit:
Steven Meeker (www.stevenmeekerjr.com)
Natalie Szczerba (www.natalieszczerba.com)
Lauren Kent (www.laurenkent.net)
Evan Moore-Coll (www.evan-moore-coll.com)

Busy City

In internship the past couple of weeks, we have been casting for a few major Broadway shows(I can't say what they are but you've heard of them all already). David and I have both gotten to be a part of the auditions for those shows which has been very exciting. I've also gotten some more tickets for awesome shows around town. We had the day off on Tuesday for Winter Storm Stella but I still made it to Manhattan to go in for the Disney Cruise Line.

Showcase is a little over a week away and it's getting very exciting. I'm hoping to have a great turnout and reaction for the showcase. I've had friends in town for their senior showcases so hearing about their experience has made the anticipation even better.

Happy St. Patti's everyone!

Spring Break 2017

This Monday marked the beginning of Spring Break for Otterbein! Normally when you think Spring Break you think a vacation to somewhere tropical or lots of relaxing at home with family. For my internship class, save Natalie and Jenna, it means another week in the office. The weather kind of wants it to be spring but winter is still holding on here in the city. I really can't wait for spring. On the few really nice days we've had here, the city just seems happier. There are less sirens, people are outside because they want to be and even seeing a group of pigeons flying with a nice sunny day in the background is a pretty sight.

This is a short one but with Spring Break brings visitors to the city so I'm off to meet some good friends that I've been missing since the move! Very exciting!

NYC Second Thoughts

I guess the title makes it seem like I'm having second thoughts about being in NYC but I really just mean my second blog post with thoughts about NYC.

Really not much has changed other than I've seen a lot more shows (I'll post about those soon), I've ridden a few different trains and met more new friends and ran into more old friends. My routine is the same: every weekday I wake up, hop on the Q or B, get off at 42nd St and go to work and then go home or to meet people or to a show. I understand the city much more now. I'm starting to remember what stations have what trains and I even know some bus routes. I have my my favorite deli's and Indian restaurants in certain neighborhoods now too. But New York is still New York and New York doesn't notice me learning about it and occasionally getting lost or being scared in it, which is actually kinda nice.

As for my internship with Jim Carnahan Casting, it's pretty much the same old thing too but with a few new things sprinkled in every now and then. I've been given more responsibility and the others in the office don't feel that they need to be as hands on with me, which I guess is because I actually know how to do things now. I've sat in on some auditions that I can't talk about but I can say that I even got to be a reader for part of one. I also have everyone in the office's coffee order memorized so if you're ever wondering about that, I can give you the scoop. The most valuable things I've learned as an actor has definitely been what I've heard from people talking on the phones in the office. It's a small office and everyone is almost constantly on the phone talking about actors or shows and just hearing what they have to say about different actors and how specific some characters have to be has been very insightful.

Well that's pretty much all I can think of right now so... Later!

P.S. My favorite place for lunch is FRAME on 7th between 39th and 40th! It's the bomb!

NYC First Thoughts

It may be news to some of you but most of the people who I'm close with know that I made my move to New York (yes, the city) about two weeks ago. I am living in Flatbush, Brooklyn, a place that I had never visited prior to my move. I am still learning the area but have found it very welcoming. I spent the first week just acquainting myself with all of the new things (subway travel, walking quickly, the bank thinking my card was hacked, etc.) and getting together with all of my long lost friends. On New Years, I attended my first New York concert which was a fusion jazz band called Snarky Puppy. New Years 2017 was definitely one of the best nights of my life with some of the best people!

Last Monday, I began my internship with Jim Carnahan Casting at Roundabout Theatre Company with my classmate David. So far it has been an extremely eyeopening and exciting experience. So far my skills have been put to the test with many taxing jobs such as picking up coffee, printing things, stapling and most recently sorting sweetener packets. Although my tasks so far aren't what most people see as the glamorous NYC lifestyle, my time in the office has been incredibly informative with constant talk of projects that have past and are upcoming. I can't wait to see what comes in the next couple months!

That's really all for now but keep checking back for new and exciting #NYCupdates!

What's a blog?

Hey! First blog entry ever! I'm really not sure what to do for a blog... is it like a diary? Just something to keep people updated? Will people other than my professors even read it? I guess I'll just have to find out.
Here's a little of whats going on in my life right now: We are only about a week away from opening night of The Addams Family at Otterbein (September 22- October 1), I am building this website (duh), and today I went to the Westerville Food Truck Festival and I am still stuffed to capacity with delicious food.
I think that seems like a pretty good first blog post so keep coming to my website so you can read more fun things that I do and starting in January you can follow my journey in New York!!

Your ever-faithful corespondent,
Luke