This year was jam-packed; it started busily, and only snowballed from there!
I love keeping records, so let’s take a look at this year in numbers:
I performed shows with SIX companies this year: Nana’s Naughty Knickers (Meadow Brook Theatre, MI); El Grande de Coca-Cola (Lakewood Theatre, OR); Mamma Mia! (Broadway Rose Theatre, OR); Pinups on Tour (DoRight Productions, OR & CA); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Windy City Players, Northeastern Tour); and as a Character and Caroler (Red Shoe Productions, OR & WA).
I got to be a glamorous Spanish-speaking showgirl wannabe, an illiterate and fiesty 14 year old boy from the 1840s, a prim law student at her wit’s end, a hip-hop dancing Santa, and I got to sing and dance my heart out to ABBA in four inch stilettos (what more can you really ask for??). I have adored the range of experiences I’ve had the privilege to take part in this year. All together, I performed easily more than 200 times in 2018!
In addition, I auditioned for about 150 companies/productions, and I was fortunate and flattered to receive more offers than I could accept this year. I had to make some difficult decisions, but I am proud they had to be made.
One of those auditions also brought me my wonderful agent, Melissa Baldauf at Big Fish NW based in Seattle, WA. And through her, I had my first professional modeling gig this year too!
In between shows I still found time to attend and learn from my dear friends and fellow performers: I saw (or read) 39 plays/performances this year, including some works I was really excited about: Love’s Labours Lost, Othello, and Oklahoma! at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Bernhardt/Hamlet and My Fair Lady (with Laura Benanti) on Broadway; and the entirety of Portland Opera’s season (my favorite was their utterly delightful Cenerentola).
And yet more! I kept my technical passions sharp this year by Properties Designing two productions: the world premiere of the original musical John Hughes High (Staged, OR), and A Tuna Christmas (Enlightened Theatrics, OR). I had a blast painting jello molds, rigging old radios to light up, and figuring out what works best as a lightsaber holster.
I also enjoyed some personal career markers:
My aunt (an actress for as long as I’ve existed) and I got to see each other perform for the first time ever; and I was so proud each time I could hardly stand it.
I now own my first pair of LaDucas and yes, the hype is worth it. I love them.
I watched Slings and Arrows (for the third time). What?! It’s so good!!
I was invited to discuss what being a professional actor is like with students at my alma mater, some of whom were also dear friends I overlapped with in college.
I also read four books which I believe strongly added to my career experience this year (and looking forward): Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, How To Run A Theatre by Jim Volz, and Essentialism by Greg McKeown. These works proved a deeply informative and inspirational platform to jump from, and helped to further empower me to design my life and career the way I know they can be.
I close 2018 full of gratitude and mildly exhausted, in the best way. I am looking forward to a highly anticipated vacation, and then to jumping right back in with both feet. Currently, I’m studying my heart out to prepare for a spring with Jester Educational Theatre’s Revolutionary Revue, where I’ll get to play a whole host of familiar American historical figures!
Here’s to 2019: may it be a year full of opportunity, balance, and fulfillment!