This photograph above was why I got my studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to begin with. I walked in to the space right before sunset on a beautiful day in May five years ago. The first words out of my mouth to the agent: “I’ll take it.” I didn’t care what the rent was, or that he would later ask for way too many months of deposit, or that it would take a few months before I could move in. This was the skyline that I wanted to wake up to every single day.
“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”
The New York City skyline has always been an inspiration for me. As a kid, I could remember riding Metro North from New Haven to Grand Central, the first few times with my Dad and then alone, to take classes as Broadway Dance Center. As the train made its way to the elevated platform in the Bronx and then 125th Street the skyline would come into view before descending to the tunnels beneath the city. After I got my license and began driving into the city, there was a point on the Bruckner Expressway where you’d come up a ramp and “bam!” the skyline would hit you. Whether it was on the train or in a car, you always knew you were just a few minutes away from the magic of New York City.
In 2003, a month before my 23rd birthday, I finally made the move to New York City. First to pursue an education at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and two years later I opened my first studio in NYC. The rest is history. This city that I grew up aspiring to live in, and for the last 13 years have had an amazing love-hate adventure with, is a city that I will always love.
I took this photo with my iPhone as I was waiting for guests to arrive at my “going away party” on Friday. I was feeling a bit nostalgic. As I sat alone in the middle of the cyc that I built when I first moved to the loft, I remembered that moment when I walked into the space for the first time… the “I’ll take it” moment… and realized that in less than a month, I’ll be leaving this great city.
My mission and purpose has changed over the last 13 years, I moved to New York City to be a fashion photographer, but as time went on I realized that with film and theatre I can say much more, I can tell different stories that make a difference. That’s my new purpose, and that’s my new mission. The morning of September 13th, 2016, I’ll be waking up to a new skyline in the City of London.
Kevin Michael Reed is a theatre maker from New York City living in Dublin and London. His production credits have included producer, director, playwright, dramaturg and designer. He is Artistic Director of Squire Lane Theatrical UK, a theatre production company specialising in developing new works for the stage. He holds a BFA in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY), a MA in Playwriting from City, University of London, and a MFA in Theatre Directing from The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College Dublin.