My journey as an immigrant begins as soon as I put on my shawl and carry my bundle. Although it isn’t nearly as much stuff as I would really bring with me if I were immigrating to America, the bulk of the shawl and bundle make it easier to pretend I have a lot with me. My favorite part of the number is when all of the immigrants emerge from the archways singing in our different languages and all end on “America.” To get into character, I imagine myself on a busy New York street. Living in New Jersey, I have the opportunity to go to New York City basically whenever I want. However, no matter how many times I have been there, I still feel a sense of wonder when I look up at all the signs and buildings. The sheer magnitude of the Empire State building is overwhelming when you are standing next to it. I still feel like a tourist when I go to Times Square. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to come from another country and be dropped in New York City with no other means of support and to have to start a new life. The part where we get “crushed” by J.P Morgan is highly symbolic. Walking around New York City, you see the names of some of the biggest companies in the world. It is easy to see how immigrants feel hopeful that they too can rise to such great success but can become discouraged and intimidated by corporate America.
I decided that my character is basically alone with her little sister, Kathryn. Kathryn and I spend a lot of time just sitting almost hopelessly against a pillar waiting for something to do and trying to take it all in. I imagine that there is a feeling of apprehension of being in such an overwhelming and unfamiliar place. At the same time, there are so many exciting things to look at. There are many opportunities to explore both feelings when doing the immigrant scene.