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.
(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.
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.
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...
...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.
And I went to Laguna for the first time. I saw a shop that Mr. Giddy designed:
And discovered candy heaven
Giddy and I went to a historical event at Knotts Berry Farm called Knotts Preserved
Along with some of the greatest minds in historic kitch culture
We got to listen to the guy who invented the Knott's Halloween Haunt
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.
We tried on some hats
And were featured on the official Knott's Twitter stream for the awesomeness of our final choice.
I worked some more at my day job.
I grew a chia head on my filing cabinet.
I decided to try out some new improv styles and started performing short form with Theater Sports
(Team Demographics were the running champs for five weeks straight!)
I also made my Liquid Radio Players debut
I started seeking out the treasure of artists we have here in LA.
I started going to real auditions in towns far away from here.
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.
Joe and I didn't cool our jets on the Angry Marshmallow front. We filmed two projects Tales from HR and SuperPout
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.
But we all came together to crash the Super Bowl with our Sock Zombie entry into their little contest.
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.
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.
I cut my hair.
The Giddys had an exceptional year, with Giddy Girlie's art really taking off.
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.
And Mr. Giddy (a.k.a. Ryan Winn) is having, I think, what has been his best professional year thus far.
(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
My aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She never smoked.
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.
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.
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.
And I had my first book signing.
And people read it
And bid on it
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
Continue work on my Grandpa's memoir
I played around SoCal
(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.
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.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo, made a promo trailer for them, and wrote another novel.
I am now in the 2nd draft stage.
I won an award for my acting. My mom asked me if it was a lamp.
My friend, Maurissa, decided to hold a seance for her birthday this year.
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 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.