Savage is passing the morning with a stale sheet-cake and some YouTube videos of South Korean soldiers doing sit-ups in their Speedos, so he let me have a crack at this letter from the Savage Love mailbag:

My boyfriend and I are about to be seniors in college. We were friends and had feelings for each other for about a year before we dated, but now we've officially been together almost a year. I have never been so in love, and I'm certain he's the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

We used to talk about our future a lot; we're both actors/singers so we intend to head to New York and move in together after school. It's been very common to mention things about marraige; wedding songs, kids, a house, etc.

Recently I had a talk with him about the fact that he doesn't have a job (and I do). Performing is a rough industry and it has a lot to do with luck, so I advised that it would be wise to think about getting a job or a side plan for when we're auditioning in New York together. After all, he can't rely on his parents to pay his bills forever. I just want to feel like there will be a point in our relationship where I can rely on him financially.

Well, I'm sure you've guess that the reason I'm writing is because this made him really upset. He asked me if I thought I should be the one talking to him about this. I responded with "If you think you're going to spend the rest of your life with me, then yes. If you don't or if you aren't sure, then maybe not", and he just said, "Then maybe we shouldn't be talking as if we're going to spend our lives together, because I don't think you're the right person to be talking to me about this".

Lots of conversation has happened since this, but the bottom line is that I want him to know I was just looking out for his best interest, because getting a job really is important—especially since he's never had one before. Now that he's responded the way he has, I feel like I can't talk about our future anymore.

Please help me.

The answer is clear, PHM. You can do better. Not a better boyfriend—a better city.

New York has been the land of dreams for wannabe stars for generations, the place where people go to pay too much rent and make too little money for a snowball's chance in Hell's Kitchen of being noticed by anyone with any talent and clout.

But baby starlets don't have to do that grind anymore—with the dawn of the 21st century, the sun is setting on New York. Stars are made on YouTube and Facebook and the most exciting, inventive performance in the country is coming out of other cities: Chicago, Portland, Seattle, and even Austin. (Have you seen The Method Gun by Austin's Rude Mechs? Fantastic stuff.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: New York is played.

It's the nation's most provincial arts city, the most ingrown and deaf to the sounds made in other places. Chicago, Portland, and Seattle look to other cities, but New York only looks to itself—and its performance scene suffers as a result. But you don't have to take my word for it.

Exhibit one: Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal, the only New-York based theater critic who reviews shows in other cities with any regularity:

It embarrasses me to say it, but most American drama criticism is provincial, and New York City is every bit as provincial in that regard as the smallest town in America. I'd like to see that change... I'd much rather be one of a dozen traveling critics—and until somebody joins me out on the road, I'll continue to be embarrassed for my benighted profession, which operates on the mistaken assumption that if it doesn't happen in New York or London, it isn't happening.

Exhibit two: Back in the day, Seattle theater-makers with any initiative moved to NYC as a matter of course. Now, they stay—and some are moving back. (And some hotshots, like director Kate Whoriskey, who developed Ruined, which won Tony and Pulitzer awards—are moving from New York to Seattle to further their careers.)

Some Seattle theater folks have done well for themselves in New York: Mike Daisey, Reggie Watts, Tommy Smith. But what do they do once they've made it out there? They come back here to develop new work or to show off their latest masterpiece.

Exhibit three: Broadway is a boneyard of the imagination. The best musicals these days are made by outsiders (Stew, Les Freres Corbusier, the Canadians who wrote The Drowsy Chaperone for the Toronto fringe festival—Toronto). And some of the worst, most clichéd, soulless shit in America is written by longtime New Yorkers and members of the Broadway establishment.

Exhibit four: some of the world's best companies don't even bother touring to New York anymore—Romeo Castellucci, for example, has toured to Seattle, Los Angeles, and New Jersey... but not New York.

I could go on. The point is, you shouldn't move to New York with your boyfriend and get chewed up in its economic meat grinder only to rot in one of the theater world's most moribund cities. You can find better jobs, cheaper rents, and more exciting opportunities elsewhere.

Stick with the boyfriend. Dump New York.

(And yes, he's being a baby. Even if his parents can afford to pay his bills for the rest of his life, a self-respecting adult will work towards financial independence—which will be much easier anywhere but New York. Tell him exactly what you expect of him as your partner and equal. And maybe his less-than-ideal attitude is just a byproduct of anxiety about the future—anxiety that might be alleviated if you all choose a city with better opportunities, both artistically and financially. But if he can't man up and have reasonable adult conversations, follow the advice of commenter Lily Fluffbottom: Dump him and NYC.)