Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Roundup

It's that time of year - the time that every blogger everywhere recaps their year, and says out loud (or in writing at least) their goals and dreams for the New Year.

I said in a previous post that I tend to wrap my year around my birthday - that is the time that I like to set my personal and professional goals moving forward.

That does not mean, however, that a New Year isn't the time to reflect on the previous one, or that I cannot reaffirm my goals at that time.  My personal year may not end until October 16, 2014; but what a great opportunity to refresh my goals right now.  To recommit myself to making the rest of my 31st year the best one yet. (Those will come in the next post, this one is too long already!)
In the Keys.

So - to Recap 2013 (in no particular order other than the one they came to my brain in):

-My first full year in Florida, and what a year it was for me professionally!

Penny Girl's First Christmas!
-My sister came to visit and told me she was PREGNANT!  We welcomed our niece, Penelope Belle, on October 24, 2013! Such a magnificent blessing!

-I started teaching Dance again with Dance Station Orlando.  I truly believe that there are people that you are meant to meet and work with, and teaching for DSO has been an incredible blessing.  When we left California, I was so burned out that I thought I never wanted to teach again.  What I've learned is that I have the heart of a teacher, and that if I limit my work time to certain hours it won't consume my life.  It's been awesome.  I am so looking forward to adding an acting class to my teaching time in 2014!

-By the numbers: I shot 7 commercials, 3 short films, 2 feature films and performed in 2 major theatre productions.  That's just awesome. I am looking to double that volume in 2014!
On Set.

-Jason and I did a LOT of Scuba Diving.  I spent a lot of that time seasick, throwing up over the side of the boat, but I was able to (with the exception of 1 time) puke and rally (meaning get my butt up and get in the water, where I knew I'd feel better).  My dive skills greatly improved in 2013, and I am excited to finish up my Rescue Diver in March in the Bahamas while Jason completes his DiveMaster course.

-In that vein - we spent a lot of time at the Beach.  St. Augustine, New Smyrna, and 4 weekends in the Keys.  Cue the Beach Boys...

St. Augustine
Too Much Fun in the Keys

-2013 was the year of the Agent.  I learned a LOT the hard way about the agent relationship in Florida, and how different it is from Los Angeles. I am now repped by a team of agents (3 in Orlando and 1 in Atlanta) who are excited about me and believe in me and what the future holds.

-Jason found a full time job, and has already been promoted.  The transition back to him working full time after two years of freedom was tough on both of us, but we are trying to embrace the opportunities that are here and now.
No Caption Necessary.

-I learned how different shooting Indie films can be, even from each other.  Budget is a major factor, and each experience was definitely unique!
Nik, Solange and their kids (our godbabies) Caity and Ollie.

-Our godbabies are a year older, and are the coolest kids on the planet.

-I got to sing and dance with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.  It rocked. 

Outback Bowl. Go Blue!

-We went to see my Wolverines play in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day.  We lost in the last 30 seconds, but it was a GREAT game!

-I was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical in the Broadway World Orlando awards.  Too cool.

Even Sister Mary Amnesia
is a Wolverine!
-Comedy IS my thing.  Just because I don't do standup doesn't mean I'm not funny, and in Orlando's model saturated commercial market, it sets me apart.

-I remembered that an audition is an audition. It has no bearing on my self worth or value to those that care about me.  Go in, do your best work, and brush it off.

-I went home to California three times!

-We took a cruise in January and it was the only time this year that we left the US - a sharp decline from the amount of traveling we did in 2012.  We went to Honduras, Belize and Mexico, and dove in each country.  There is more traveling in our future in 2014, even if it is mostly domestic.

Skiing June Lake in California.
-We went SNOW SKIING! I hadn't been in at least 15 years (possibly 20?), and it was just like riding a bike. I forgot how fun it is.  There is a yearly ski trip in our future, I think.

-Most importantly, I've come to the conclusion that family and friends are the most important and that you don't get time back.  I'm learning to work hard on my career, but limit it to certain hours.  I'm trying to call and text more often. To be a better wife, sister, daughter, friend to the people that have put up with so much of my crap over the last fifteen years.

Still Having Too Much Fun!
Hope you had an exceptional 2013, and that your 2014 will surpass all your expectations! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November is for Giving Thanks/Recap of Week 1

The blog has been quiet again - not because nothing is going on here, but because I am trying to be more intentional about the downtime that I do have.

I think maybe my lesson for year 31 is going to be to stop and smell the roses. I've been on a freight train to something ever since I was a teenager. There is always something I am driving towards, some end goal in sight. Having goals and drive is a good thing, but not when it eclipses everything else. So maybe my 31st year is about Balance - finding contentment in the everyday, and continuing to work forward into my goals for tomorrow and next year. To not let myself get so wrapped up in "the work" that I forget to come up for air, or to look around and see all the good that is present.

I spent some time at home with my sister a few weeks back, meeting my beautiful new niece. Here's the thing about Kelli - when we stood in line for qualities, she stood in the contentment line twice and I visited the drive line an extra time. I have always been envious of how my sister is always content where she is at. She is absolutely present in every moment, and you always get 100% of her attention when you are with her. I've always been "fire lit under the ass" driven, which breeds a lot of discontent. Not that I don't have moments of contentment and that Kelli doesn't have any drive, but she got the lions share of one, and I the other. I am trying to stand in the contentment line at 31.

As part of that, I have made a serious effort to do the "month of Thanksgiving" on my Instagram/Facebook accounts, and wanted to share the list (so far) with you here.

For a girl like me, who is rarely content where she is at, it's important to remember the best things in life. The moments, the people, the experiences that you are grateful for can help bring you peace, and keep you grounded in the present moment as opposed to the unknown that is to come.

So, primarily for my own reference, here is the first week of my list of things I am thankful for this year. It is not all encompassing, and primarily based on the circumstances of each individual day.

Day 1 - I am so thankful my niece was born healthy and that my sister came through the birth like a shining star. Though Penelope Belle has only been here for eight days, I cannot imagine a world without her in it.

Day 2 - Thankful for time with my best friend of umpteen years. Solangey is a better friend than I deserve, and spending quality time with her is like gold. I love you, Solangey! Here's to many more years of margaritas and girl talk!

Day 3 - Thankful for my parents. I am so blessed to have such incredible parents and so happy for them in this next stage of life!

Day 4 - Found this gem today. So - today, I am thankful to have been raised with three cousins who are like brothers to me. Love you, Brian, Mark and Kevin. I am so proud of the men you have become!

Day 5 - Thankful to be home safe with my wonderful husband! (After returning safely from my visit to LA)

Day 6 - Thankful for a wonderful job and a phenomenal boss, doing something I really enjoy every day and maintaining the flexibility to audition regularly and with short notice! If you have ever been a working actor, you know how important that is!!!

Day 7 - Thankful for this little guy. Indiana Jones is so smart, so funny and loyal to a fault. Life is better with an awesome dog in it - no matter how tough the day, he can make me smile.