So, I'm in a diner. Torn seat cushions. Greek football on the radio. On my second cup of coffee.
And I realize, for the first time since I've moved here, the start of a new year hasn't been punctuated by frantic, creative desperation.
2011 - Get here. Push through the snowstorm. Rebuild. Find new artistic work at all costs.You have lost everything. Get moving.
2012 - Prove yourself. Do summer stock auditions and as many shows as you can.
2013 - Take a risk. Pull out that solo script you've been scared to do for a decade -edit, submit, produce and perform GHOST ON A STICK.
2014 - Join SAG-AFTRA. Realize that you haven't dealt with death and loss and a corrupt sense of self. Go back to therapy. Do meds. Make a brand new solo show and hustle that as hard as possible.
There's uncertainty. Not in a troubling way. But in an open, inviting approach. Maybe a solo show will take off this year. Maybe more poetry will follow. Maybe love will chime in my bones. Maybe work in TV and film will begin. It's an exciting future.
So, let's get to the heart of why I jot these down each year. Mark the notch of time. Ego? A bit. More importantly, it's to remind me that it's never done alone. Every inch of what's been accomplished is the result of countless people (only a handful of which are personally thanked today) who have shaped me and kindly supported my odes and nonsense.
Here's what's been done, what I'd like to do this upcoming year, and my thanks....
Produced and performed KING OF THE HOBOS - Guys, this is the quite possibly the best thing I've ever done. A one man hobo musical set in the Great Depression. All the current music is available online to stream for FREE (or, if you want to download it, you may purchase) Plans are in motion to edit the show to an hour and twenty minutes, do another workshop this year, and then pitch it for an long term Off-Broadway run. I owe Abigail Taylor-Sansom so much for finding the heart of the piece and continually pushing me as an artist with this work.
Wrote four new songs - Apart from new songs for the hobo musical, I also wrote some individual new music as well. Some much more refined work than the past. Songs about mental recovery, loving in New York City, and bracing for uncertain, hopeful change.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED
- A diet of expectation is appropriate and healthy. I've come to say this at least twice a day. It's on a card at eye level by my desk.
- Always leave a party when you start to feel sad.
- Before you were making things in an effort to earn glory or fame or wealth or any money at all, before you were making things to garner potential status or affection, or prestige, you were making them for yourself. As a quiet, invisible child, alone. Start there. Remember that.
Here's where I get unconventional this year. I'm not getting specific. I'm gonna focus on three spheres of human quality, and with each undertaking I do, I'll ask myself: how does this improve or limit me in these three areas?
I want to use this year to further deepen and improve in the following three tenets:
And now, let's define them.
Self-love - Internal maintenance and growth. Mental health. Physical health (eyewear, dental work) Time given to rest and to goof off and to create. Consistent examination of negative thought patterns and limiting behaviors.
Self-care - external maintenance and growth. Apartment upkeep. Clothes. Food, Walking. More engagement with friends.
Self-respect - Appreciation of abilities and esteem. Taking professional stock in myself. Being prudent with time on external projects. Accepting compliments and praise whole-heartedly. Being open to receiving love.
Thanks to the following people:
Jelina Seibert and Dave Seibert
Jeric Jones and Stephanie Girard
Megan Jeannette Smith
All those who helped produce KING OF THE HOBOS