For about a year, Natalie Arneson and her husband met at a New York City train station and tossed their baby back and forth to each other.
"My husband and I were each working very very low-paying jobs. I was making $9 an hour at Starbucks and he was making $12 an hour selling shoes so we had no money to pay a babysitter. So we arranged our schedule so that one of us would get off work in time to meet the other one on the way to their work. So we would meet in the middle of a train station and hand the baby over and then keep on our way," Arneson sayd.
Arneson and husband survived that year, moved on to better things and now the former Friendswood resident (she met her husband doing A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theatre) is back in town to try out her new show Manhattan Melodrama - Natalie Arneson in Concert in which she talks about the challenges of starting a career in New York City with no money and while raising multiple children.
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Arneson, who besides performing also runs a musical theater for children and gives private voice lessons, (while her husband is an electrician working in film and TV) said she decided to channel her experiences into a show after talking with friends and realizing how much material she had.
"I had always wanted to try it [NYC]. When we had our daughter I thought that dream was gone. But then we found ourselves after Hurricane Ike without jobs, without a place to live, and my husband kind of jokingly said this would be a terrible time to move to New York City, why don't we go ahead and do it. So we did."
"I always wanted to know if there was a possibility that I could make it in New York," Arneson says. "The real push for me was I had some other mom friends who were feeling like they had neglected their careers for their children which often happens but they were starting to feel resentful or very regretful that they had children. I didn't want that to happen to my family. I didn't want to wake up when I was 40 years old and say I'd never tried.
Arneson plans to open the show in New York City in August; here's your chance to have a first look. 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, Ovations Night Club, 2536 Times Boulevard #B. For information visit ArnesonProductions.com/manhattan-melodrama. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $30 reserved seating.