Believe it or not, more often than not, I opt for reclusive and quiet activities by myself or with just a family member or a friend. Social situations actually create a variety of anxieties and a series of setbacks for my brain. So, in a way, given the scope of my work, whether that be creating arts programs at Creative Arts Workshop, teaching kids, or leading food tours and groups around Nyack, it makes no sense that I would still choose to stay within these professions. Each day that passes, I try to become a little bit more aware of myself. Actually, these Sunday emails to you all have been extremely therapeutic and a wonderful outlet so if you’re reading this, thank you! I hope that there are pieces of these thoughts that resonate with your own heart and soul. So back when I was a teeny kid, I remember having tried sports and several other activities but nothing really landed. Then one morning, my father took me down to the local middle school, where a woman named Nancy Florkowski was operating in the Redford Youth Theater. That morning change the trajectory of my life. Long story short, I fell in love with the people, the teachers and the kids at the youth theater. I became lifelong friends and childhood friends with many of these folks. I stayed active in the youth theater all the way until I move to New York to study musical theater. The major takeaway for me from being a part of theater programming was the confidence I developed along the way. In playing with roles and characters and other human beings, a safety was created, not to mention the magic and wonder of the theater as well. I’m thankful for Nancy Florkowski and her children and family, because they really took me under their wing and opened my eyes to so many wonderful parts about the world and about myself. Theatre also gave me a voice. The voice that would later help me lead class at PS 142 or staff trainings with community schools. It also gave me the confidence to begin leading historical Pizza Tours around New York City. And I enjoyed all of it. There are still moments of anxiety before most public engagements that I am a part of. One of the things that helps me get over that initial threshold is remembering all of the wonderful outcomes that have come from these types of experiences before. In this way, each time I complete an event or a lead a meeting, I am creating more supports for future experiences. For example, after each walking tour, I lead of Nyack, I leave feeling reinvigorated and refreshed. Partly because of the walking and fresh air, and partly because of taking a time out of my own brain to be with other individuals and share a new experience. I think this all creates a push of dopamine that makes one want to do it all again. It also helps push through any of the anxiety and voices in the head that say: 'Just stay home!' Those little voices are a problem, but we are bigger than those little voices, aren’t we?! The result of this all is that each experience we offer here at Joey G's Nyack Food Tours is one that allows you to get outside of your comfort zone and safely transition through a fun learning experience that feeds you and your soul! There are so many beautiful ways to do this: Whether it be a Public Food Tour with some unexpected guests or taking a class at a local library or studio. Or simply going for a walk down to the library and making an impromptu stop at the chocolate shop to pick up one of the newest delectables they have in stock! I invite you to check out our fall season of public tours and events, which vary from Spooky Stories to Stayin' Alive, our 1970s murder mystery dinner and, of course, our third annual Tidings and Traditions Holiday Food Tour (tickets available soon). If you’re feeling creative or looking for a more consistent way to connect with community, consider checking out one of the arts-based workshop series at the Creative Arts Workshop where we are now also offering programs for adults. Registration is open now until this Weds, 9/13 for our fall programs. At CAW, we have Nature and Life Drawing Studio, a drawing workshop for all levels. We also have a wonderful movement course called The Dancing Within if you are interested in realigning your understanding of movement, self and self-love through dance. And if you are looking for a good laugh, come and join The Attic Improv Company for being silly, giggles, and a wonderful outlet for the joyful spirit! So from food excursions to arts and theatre, whether you have experience or not, we have something for you. If you’re ready to step outside your comfort zone and make a friend, have a giggle, or just eat some delicious food, I hope to see you at one of our events or workshop series. And above all, I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!
Happy Sunday! Joey G & The JGNT Family
PS Looking for an opportunity to slow down and savor delicious flavors in good company? Join our next public tour. Click here to see available dates. PPS Interested in learning more about our arts programming through the Creative Arts Workshop? You can click here to explore adult arts programs and/or sign up for email updates about future opportunities.