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Paul Taylor Company Dancer Michael Apuzzo Writes FLYING THROUGH  YELLOW

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If life is a road of traffic lights for every milestone, green means go and  red means stop, but at yellow, how do we know whether to slow down or speed  up?

That’s the question asked by Michael  Apuzzo, a principal dancer with the Paul  Taylor Dance Company, in his first book FLYING THROUGH YELLOW (March 15,  2012; Fast Car Press), his engaging memoir of his parallel evolution as an  artist and a young gay man.

Slowing down is an option for some. But during an unforgettable narrative,  Apuzzo discovers that flying through yellow at full speed every time is the only  option if you choose the risky uncertain road of committing to a life in the  arts.

Apuzzo’s wild ride through youth begins with a chance event at a neighborhood  fair and a hilariously botched audition that led to his unexpected television  debut as a kid. But local child stardom didn’t prepare him for the bullying he  would soon encounter in the grade school years that followed. What did was  earning a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. These two very different achievements  required the same fearlessness and self-discipline to fly through yellow without  looking back. But fear of crashing was the only thing on his mind when he had to  face a champion opponent almost twice his size in an international  competition.

Whatever Apuzzo encounters, he not only wields willpower, but plots a  specific strategy for how to win whether it’s an outrageous adventure beyond our  imagination or the more mundane everyday struggles that every young reader can  identify with from getting good grades to fitting in.

When he left behind his blue-collar roots to arrive at Yale, Apuzzo was too  busy achieving to realize that he was gay until a disastrous first sexual  encounter with a man (and also an ex-girlfriend) landed him face to face with  the law, therapy, and his own forced self-awareness.

With a magna cum laude degree from Yale behind him and big dreams ahead of  him, Apuzzo moved to New York City. After landing gigs on Broadway and the  soaps, a chance whim led him to audition for a coveted spot in one of the  world’s most admired modern dance companies even though he had no professional  training in modern dance. One by one, dancer after dancer was eliminated until  there was only one left. Could this really be happening? Where did this yellow  light come from? Apuzzo never planned it on his itinerary, but it opened up a  road of unexpected opportunity that he’s still driving on today.

Some yellow lights are terrifying. Some change fast. Sometimes the road is  clear but the lights aren’t easy to find. Sometimes no matter how confidently  you fly through yellow, you’ll risk a crash. It’s hardest of all to fly through  a yellow light when you or others don’t think you’ll make it. But that’s all the  more reason to go for it. There’s nothing to lose.

For aspiring artists or everyday risk-takers, FLYING THROUGH YELLOW will give  readers the confidence and insight necessary to face life’s challenges, grab  opportunities and never look back.

Connecticut native Michael Apuzzo  graduated from Yale, Magna Cum Laude, in 2005. He’s performed at the Yale  Repertory Theater, was featured on Live! with Regis & Kelly, and toured with Twyla Tharp’s  Broadway show Movin’ Out. An algebra teacher, Abercrombie&Fitch model and  2nd degree black belt, Michael has been a dancer with the Paul  Taylor Dance Company since 2008.

FLYING THROUGH YELLOW by Michael  Apuzzo was released by Fast Car Press last month, March 2012. Price: $13.95,  100 pages. For more information, visit http://www.flyingthroughyellow.com.

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