Monday, August 5, 2013

17 years in the USA!

August 4th 1996, I came to the big apple for a 2 weeks dance workshop at the Martha Graham School. After a week, they offered a full scholarship to shape me into a Graham dancer in the hope I could join the Company. 17 years later I'm still in the USA and feel more American as time goes by.
At 24, I was already a workaholic and had achieved quite a lot in France, but here's 17 things I've achieved here.
1 - I learned English.
When I came, all I knew to say was: "One coffee please, thank you" (Read it with the thickest French accent you can imagine, and double it...).

2 - I became a Graham dancer and for five gorgeous years performed with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble in over 30 States.

3 - As a dancer, I performed in the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, The Sophie Maslow Dance Theater and other less prestigious dance company, and that made me the dancer I am today.

4 - I became a faculty at The Martha Graham Dance School, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Arts, American Dance and Drama, PMT Studios, taught for 3 years at SUNY Purchase. I also offered modern dance workshop at Hotchkiss CT, UNICAMP Brazil, RYVERDANCE Mexico, Williamsport PA, among other exotic destinations.

5 - In 2001, during the biggest crisis I had experienced so far, I created the Saba Dance Theater.

6 - With my dance company, I created 5 New York Seasons, including "The Four Seasons" winner of the Best Performance in 2004 at the Bessie Awards.
Saba as the sun - THE FOUR SEASONS - 2004 Photo by Erico Narita

7 - Got my name in most major publications, including a full page in the Sunday Art section of the NYTimes, for my show called "3."

8 - From the press received in New York, I was invited by the famous photographer Lois Greenfield to do a photoshoot of my creations.
Rachel Sattler, Saba and Tomoko Muneto - 2005©Lois Greenfiled

9 - 3 of my Lois Greenfiled pictures have been used in her calendars, and even to represent her work in a NYC photo exhibition.

10 - I got a GREENCARD! Which in the words of the American immigration means that I am "Exceptionally talented." Whatever that means.

11 - In 2006 I realized I had a problem with alcohol, and joined a program of recovery, and I've been sober since March that year. This I consider my biggest achievement of all.

12 - I moved to Trenton, NJ. If you think that was easy, think again. Most people around me at the time thought I was crazy. It's been a wonderful experience.

13 - In 2010, I created Cloudy Sky Films, my own film production company.

14 - I wrote, produced, directed and starred in my first webseries: SHERRY'S KITCHEN. This felt like going to college, majoring in filmmaking, but concentrate the program of 4 years into 1.
Saba as Sherry Cordial in Sherry's Kitchen, Ep 5

15 - I joined SAG (Actors union), and am now able to make tons of money for a day's work.

16 - In 2012, I won my first 2 awards in film making for ABOUT A WEEK, a short film adapted fro the feature screenplay that, in 2013, won an award as well.

17 - In July 2013, a week before my anniversary, I complete my first feature film, SNOW. I wrote, produced, directed and starred in it, like in most of my productions.

So here you go. If you still reading, you'll know that there's no way of knowing what the future holds for you. But one thing for sure, is that what happen to me, happened, because I made it happen. Along the way, I made friends with incredible people, I lost some friends, and I lost people that I loved so much. That's life.
Thank you for these wonderful years. If you're reading this, you are a part of my life, and I love you for it.

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