Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goodbye '13, hello '14

Happy New Year everybody!

I don't know about you, but I'm happy to be done with 2013. Last year was a pretty crazy year - started off kind of rough, and it never let up. Let me take a few minutes to go over all the craziness that was 2013...

  • Started with the 2-month adventure that was the Miss Nelson production/tour. It started off with almost a month straight of tour. It was fun to be away from home and to see so many parts of the West Coast, but the traveling time went way too long. And it was a stressful tour, with some challenging interpersonal dynamics, plus some personal drama that I didn't want to deal with.

    • But absolute highlights were performing in Vegas, having an amazing day off in Portland, getting to see some friends who'd moved to the cities we toured to, and getting my first piece of fanmail! 
They love me! They really love me!

  • After Miss Nelson, I had two more shows left on the contract: Charlotte's Web (playing my favorite role at CTC, the G-G-Goose) and Rumpelstiltskin (another long run and stressful tour). While maneuvering through these shows, I also had a big, fatty life choice: whether to stick to the full-time theater job, which had pretty much taken over my life, or to leave the security and begin a life as a freelance theater artist.
I played Fern & the Goose in this one. I've never had so much fun shaking my tail feathers!
  • In May, I began my life as a freelance theater artist. I also went to Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the first time, which was beautiful and amazing. And I want to go back!
  • I taught eleven straight weeks of summer camp, mostly entirely by myself. I choreographed a lot, worked with over two hundred kids, and definitely gained a lot of confidence as a teaching artist.
  • I started rehearsals for Les Miserables, playing Cosette, a production that almost 300 people auditioned for. It was a wonderful reminder that I could play characters who are older than eight.
  • Once the fall started, I got back on the joyful job train. I thought I got a job, then I didn't get a job, then I did get a job with the same company. I got another job at another company, teaching lots of different classes.
    • I learned that preschoolers and glue sticks don't mix.
    • I learned that Katherine doesn't mix well with tiny children with tiny arts supplies.
    • I learned that I can teach little ones, and it can be fun, but I enjoy elementary school kids more.
  • Les Miserables opened and closed. It was, without a doubt, the most significant theatrical experience I've had.
My name's Cosette. I think deep thoughts and sing high notes.
  • The Monday after Les Miserables opened, I started rehearsals for Mame. It was a little too much, a little too fast. (And by a little... I mean a lot.) Sadly, I didn't get to enjoy the show as much because I was overwhelmed. The show was a success, and I got to play a real ditz - that was fun! Nothing like playing a dumb blonde -- err, bubble-head brunette.
The costume designer had fun with this mother-daughter combo!

  •  And throughout the entire year, I was taking online classes through the local community college in Early Childhood Education. I did well in all of them, but I didn't love knowing that every week I had homework again...
Even though all year, I was doing the kinds of things that I enjoy, I was out of whack. Out of balance. I took on many things because I felt like I "was supposed" to, or "ought to." And while I think they were all worthwhile investments, it was just too much overall. I didn't enjoy myself as much as I wish I had.

And now I'm here, at the beginning of 2014, and I'm looking forward to making some changes. I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions, and they all always end up being broken anyhow, but I do have some goals in mind. Changes I want to make:
I want more balance in my life. This year it was all about shows and work. By the end of the year, I felt like I had 3 jobs, and essentially was working 14 hours a day - but only being paid for 6 of those hours. This year, I'm actually taking on more work, but I've taken out the work that I'm not excited about and adding jobs that genuinely excite me. *
  1. I'm looking forward to having time to do things like work out, cook, and enjoy relaxing activities like watching TV or reading. There was not enough of any of that in 2013. By the end of it, there was hardly any cooking at all. (Thank goodness for leftovers and frozen meals!)
  2. I'm taking shows that genuinely excite me. That might mean a few less shows, but that's alright. I'd rather be excited by the work than overwhelmed. Besides, 10 shows in 2 years is a lot. I'm ready for a breather.
  3. I love my friends and I want to spend more time with them. 
  4. I'd like to do things like write more, crochet more, practice my horrific piano skills... but if I don't do them, then that's OK too.
  5. And now, for my favorite one: I want to wear tiny hats more often! Every time I do, I feel happy that I'm wearing a tiny hat. They're cute and silly and fun, and I like them. So I shall try to find excuses to wear tiny hats! Tiny hats for tiny people?
I'm also embarking on a year-long challenge, a la The Happiness Project or 31-Day Yoga challenges. I'm calling it

The 2014 Monologue Project

Monologues scare me, and I don't have enough available to use at auditions. I have bazillions of songs! But monologues? Not so much. So my goal is to learn one new monologue a month: 12 new pieces by the end of 2014. Classical, contemporary, comedic, dramatic, child-like, mature.... you name it, I want it. **

Hopefully I'll update this blog more often with progress on that project. But no promises... I'm sporadic enough with the updates already.

Overall, I'm looking forward to 2014. I think it's going to be a good one. Best wishes to you and for a wonderful new year.

* This does mean that at some point I'll be technically working for five companies simultaneously... But hush. That's an an anomaly. 
** Hopefully it goes without saying that if you have any recommendations for pieces I should look into, please go ahead and throw them out there!

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