Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Year in Review

It's obligatory. The year in review thing. I'm sorry. And it's long. Really. REALLY. I'm sorry.


January 1, 2010, I went to San Francisco for the first time in seventeen years, which is dumb, because I lived there and fricking LOVE that city.

2009 was the worst year of my life, and true to form, it tried to get in one last kick December 31st by giving me the worst flu I've ever had.

But by January 1st, it was like a magic spell had been broken. I was back on my feet and swinging. I had 365 days of awfulness to make up for, so I hopped in my car. My best friend since the 3rd grade was up in San Francisco, I hadn't seen her in three years, and it was GOING to happen.

Adorable Pair
(this is where my family used to walk to watch the sunset)

While there, she was proposed to in Muir Woods by her fella Todd. And that was really, really cool.

Giddy introduced me to some of the coolest playgrounds here in So Cal, including one called Heritage Park, which looks like a minature Boston.

Heritage Park

I was a part of the inagural cast of Hollywood Dream Role at the Acme Comedy Theater. I got to act with some really amazing, working actors who changed the way I view the world.

Backstage with Walt Willey Freaking. Out. Two Classy Broads Hollywood Dream Role with Candis Cayne Hollywood Dream Role with Elaine Hendrix My Hero! Debi Gutierrez and I Two of the Hottest Crack Heads You'll Ever Meet I caught him trying to sneak out the back Have you ever danced with a soap star in the pale gel light? "Planet of the Ferrets" - Hollywood Dream Role with Kirk Fox Jeremy Jordan Guest Stars on 'Unscripted Hollywood Dream Role' Hollywood Dream Role with Brody Hutzler

Susan Lucci Liked Us!  She Really Liked Us!

I decided to expand my knowledge base and I started training over at The Groundlings, which has been incredible. I feel like the timing was perfect. What is it, when the student is ready the teacher appears? That's what it was like. They are tough as nails, but, seriously, really cool people and I'm a better performer because of them.

Katie Thompson came out to visit TWICE this year. The first time was just to give her normal amazing show...

Katie Thompson and Tom Lenk (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Katie Thompson and Tom Lenk (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

...but then she came back and she and the Giddies and I caught The Pageant of the Masters, which is one of those bizarre things that everyone always tells you to do but you never do it.

Pageant of the Masters Pageant of the Masters

And I went to Laguna for the first time. I saw a shop that Mr. Giddy designed:

Ryan made this!

And discovered candy heaven

CANDY MONSTER!!! Pageant of the Masters Like a kid in a... wait.  Nevermind.

Giddy and I went to a historical event at Knotts Berry Farm called Knotts Preserved

Knott's Berry Farm Preserved

Along with some of the greatest minds in historic kitch culture

Knott's Berry Farm Preserved Row of Genius

We got to listen to the guy who invented the Knott's Halloween Haunt

John Waite, creator of Knott's Halloween Haunt, talks about the early days, special effect construction, and its evolution

And Rolly Crump, who created Knott's Beary Tales, but you might know as an animator from those little films Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp, or perhaps as the designer of the Haunted Mansion and Enchanted Tiki Room.

Rolly Crum and Chris Crump Talk about Knott's Berry Tales

We tried on some hats

Knott's Berry Farm Preserved Knott's Berry Farm Preserved

And were featured on the official Knott's Twitter stream for the awesomeness of our final choice.

Official Twits of Knott's Berry Farm

I worked some more at my day job.

Jonah?  Is that you?

I grew a chia head on my filing cabinet.

"Umm... your roots are showing..."

I decided to try out some new improv styles and started performing short form with Theater Sports

Theater Sports 4-30-10 Theater Sports 4-30-10 Theater Sports 4-30-10
(Team Demographics were the running champs for five weeks straight!)

I also made my Liquid Radio Players debut

Liquid Radio Players Liquid Radio Players Liquid Radio Players

I started seeking out the treasure of artists we have here in LA.

Michael Caine Carol Burnett and Tim Conway

I started going to real auditions in towns far away from here.

The Halls of Power

That all came to nothing and was a complete waste. I mean, if I went into how many auditions and projects have just absolutely imploded, you'd shake your head and tell me to get a nice job in accounting. It sucks when you take a leap of faith and nothing appears. But I did it. So. There's that.

I went up to Canada for my birthday after one such audition collapsed into glorious disaster. It was an AMAZING time and, seriously, I love Canada.

We're going FAST! Mom and Dad I've got Canada on my brain The Danleys in their natural habitat It becons... Bearly found a mounty!

Joe and I didn't cool our jets on the Angry Marshmallow front. We filmed two projects Tales from HR and SuperPout

We're makin' movies Payin' back

And the puppetry front didn't cool, either. Erik performed in the Pee Wee Herman show here in LA, and April went off to a national conference with some of the biggest puppeteers in America and is now training with Henson for Puppet Up/Stuff & Unstrung.

Erik, Rebecca, and Monkey April and I at Storytime Funland

But we all came together to crash the Super Bowl with our Sock Zombie entry into their little contest.

The Glamerous Life of a Puppeteer Superstar The Glamerous Life of a Puppeteer Superstar Sock Zombie Doritos Ad is Crashing the Super Bowl!

Just a few weeks ago, we performed for some of our puppeteer idols (cast members of H.R. Puffinstuf, Sesame Street, etc.) at the LAGOP holiday show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

Space Birds at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater Space Birds at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater

It's so funny that just a few years ago, the three of us had been waxing dreams of some day being cool enough to perform at Bob Baker's. And this year, that day arrived.

One of the cool things is that if you're not a jerk, sometimes you make friends, and sometimes those friends invite you to come play in their projects. Such was the case this summer. I was invited to be a part of a reading in Dallas of a play written by Oprah's radio producer.

Dancing the night away! Oh JR... Dancing with the e-Women Champion "Chatter" Chatter Cast

I cut my hair.

A couple people complimented me on my hair yesterday, which meant I needed to go home and chop it all off.

The Giddys had an exceptional year, with Giddy Girlie's art really taking off.

Da Giddy Girlie and Da Gidgets

Her artwork has been featured on BoingBoing and by fancy pants artists. She was even invited to display her work at the "Fleeting Immersion" show currated by Chris Hardwick's gal.

Fleeting Immersion ShowFleeting Immersion Show

And Mr. Giddy (a.k.a. Ryan Winn) is having, I think, what has been his best professional year thus far.

Being all celebrity like and such
(this is him at the San Diego Comic Con)

I'm busting with pride to hear about him inking Grant Morrison and the new Batman and Cat Woman stuff.

Oh. Yes. We made our annual pilgramage to the San Diego Comic Con

Because our prince Adam couldn't be here this year... My purchased swag The Wonder Winns!

My aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She never smoked.

68920031 68920024 68910032 68920032

Aunt Ginny's feisty spirit and wicked sharp humor has shaped my life. My parents came down and we got a chance to go see her. Aunt Ginny was given about four weeks to live when she was originally diagnosed and the doctor wanted her to go gently into that dark night, but she would have none of that. She signed herself up for chemo and it is six months later. She'll probably outlive us all.

So, I got a second trip to San Francisco in this year.

Flames Cafe Winchester Mystery House DSCN0523 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Arrrrgh! DSCN0516
Sees Headquarters Mom's True Love Sees Headquarters California Academy of Sciences Bus tour of San Francisco Fresh seafood on the sidewalks of Fisherman's Warf Fresh seafood on the sidewalks of Fisherman's Warf California Academy of Science de Young Museum Like "Jaws", but with less teeth and more whiskers Open your eyes! Totally worth the $2 admission price Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum Phoon like an Egyptian

Along came October, and I spent a week in Boston, tucked into a little bed and breakfast near Harvard Square, and, after years as kids talking about what it would be like and pouring through bridal catalogs, I got to help my best childhood friend from the 3rd grade get married.

C&T Yelladino, Co. Wedding of the Century C&T Yelladino, Co. Wedding of the Century C. Yelladino and her Carrot Cake Cupcake C&T Yelladino Pleasure Cruise 2010 C&T Yelladino Pleasure Cruise 2010 C&T Yelladino Pleasure Cruise 2010 DON'T PUT YOUR FEET ON THE FURNITURE! C&T Yelladino Partnership 2010 C&T Yelladino Partnership 2010 C&T Yelladino Partnership 2010 C&T Yelladino Partnership 2010 C&T Yelladino Partnership 2010

It was one of the best weddings I've ever been too. I met some incredible new friends and was made an unofficial offical alumnae of Tufts by proxy.

Many moons ago, I started writing a book. After years of submissions and waiting and submitting and editing, I decided that I was sick of waiting for someone else to say that I was good enough. So I published my first book.

It's official!

And I had my first book signing.

My Very First Book Signing!

And people read it

Caught reading

And bid on it

The Woodcutter Hits the Acme Awards

And in these final days of the year, I entered my book in a writing contest. To get to the upper levels, you have to make it through Stage One - an unbiased book review. So, I got my first book review from Reader Views and it sounds like they kinda liked it. Sales are up and things are good.

I made some trips to Seattle

DSCN0567 Christmas Morning Christmas Morning Christmas Morning iPad to the Rescue! My kid brother My Sister in Law My Big Brother DSCN0453

Continue work on my Grandpa's memoir

ARMY

I played around SoCal

Giddy Bliss Chinatown Adventure! Whimsic Alley Mecca! Why eat a cow when you can get refills for free? Celebrity Sighting Sea World 4th of July Spectacular Glow Backstage at the Acme Specimen No. 96 Charlie She looks so much like her Aunt Kelly it is ridiculous TGF Birthday! That dude from the Pirate movies I refuse to acknowledge Sea World 4th of July Spectacular Diana Costa and Maurissa Afandor
(and this is just what I had my camera for. I also caught a ton of shows and saw friends I haven't seen in a long, long time)

I worked on some personal growth stuff.

I got cast in my first national commercial.

Early Morning on the Rooftops of Los Angeles

And then my part got cut on set.

My friends didn't care, though, and I filmed a feature called Down the Chain, a short called Wonder Girl, and a Sivartis piece called Teeth for the YouTube.

Janice

I signed up for NaNoWriMo, made a promo trailer for them, and wrote another novel.

Whew!

I am now in the 2nd draft stage.

I won an award for my acting. My mom asked me if it was a lamp.

The Acme 2010

Prepping for the Seance

My friend, Maurissa, decided to hold a seance for her birthday this year.

And by the birthday power invested in me!

Lady M's Awesome Day of the Dead Spooky Birthday Spectacular 2010

The guy ended up being completely not hokey at all and said some stuff that was so spot on, I can't even comprehend it.

The Medium

The message brought to me from across the grave was to color outside the lines.

So, 2011? I've got my crayons out. Let's do this.

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