Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Review

Okay, December 31st, 9:05 p.m., time to think about resolutions! First though, I'll be cliche and think about 2012. What an interesting roller coaster of a year....

Started right out of the gate with show 48, Noises Off. This was a blast, not too much stress, just lots and lots of fun. Worked with a whole bunch of people I already knew, and a few new faces as well. What a great show, a fun role for me, and a lovely cast.

At the same time, I jumped into rehearsals for my debut as a high school director and designer. Guys and Dolls at Viewmont High has to be one of the most rewarding endeavors I've ever participated in. It confirmed my career choice as absolutely right, it gained me some amazing new colleagues and resources, it taught me a lot of lessons and gave me some fantastic experience, and it introduced me to almost 90 students who awed me every day with their passion, their commitment, their openness, and their joy. What I would have given to be able to go back and work with them again!

But it was not to be. Instead, the spring months dealt me some interesting cards. I was abandoned by a close friend, and that helped me cut a lot of ties with my alma mater. I went through some terrifying possibilities that might have changed my career and my life. I began dating a beautiful woman, inside and out, who changed some things as well. I continued working at my "normal" job, and searching for a teaching position, while living at home with my parents and brothers. I auditioned for several shows, and was rejected (either immediately or eventually) from them all, except one.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, show 49, was a challenging experience as well. A full hour away for no pay. A smart, enthusiastic, and inexperienced production team. A theatre being built around us, with no dressing rooms, inaccessible restrooms and water, and just enough wing space to almost hide everything. However, the payoff was in meeting and working with some of the best people I could have been blessed to know.

In the midst of all came the bombshell: I got a teaching job. A big teaching job. A terrifying, overwhelming, wonderful teaching job, that I quickly grew to love - even before I met the students. More on them later. In celebration, I got my own apartment, and began living on my own - a situation that has been so right for me at this point in my life.

I was also cast in show number 50 in twenty years of acting: The Scarlet Pimpernel. This was a cast, a design, and a show to die for. I had a fantastic role, and had so much fun. I was crazy for attempting to do it while I was in my first year of teaching, but it worked somehow, and was completely worth it.

Finally, November and December brought some more new things. I took students on a trip (gulp). I directed The Music Man, which was artistically successful and commercially not; and in the process I grew to care more deeply about my students and their art than I thought I could. I felt enough authority that I intelligently defended myself to custodians, administrators, and parents. I managed to convince some skeptical students to like me and work with me. I put up a murder mystery in 6 and a half days, and it made money. I discovered how much money really does permeate everything. I taught and learned and improvised and disciplined and gave up and didn't give up. I unburned a bridge. I expanded my perspective.

And I resolved to do something in 2013:
Teach truly.
Play truly.
Pay truly.
Pray truly.
Speak truly.
Think truly.
Live truly.

If I can keep the concept of truth in my daily life, and let it blaze in me, then 2013 will be a good year.

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