Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm feeling something inside, and yet I still can't decide if I should hide or make a wide-open grin

Obligatory reflecting on the end of another year. I like to do it in survey form because it helps to organize my thoughts - ask the right questions, target my thinking, see where everything is going. The truth is I think I needed it this year more than most.

A lot of people have had some bad things to say about 2010. And there certainly are many, many reasons in our world to say 2010 was a less-than-stellar year. There are many reasons in my own life to agree, but the truth is, after my 09, I had nowhere to go but up, really.

2010 was the craziest, hardest, best, worst, happiest, most confusing, FASTEST year of my life. No, seriously. I accept that today is December 31, 2010, but someone hit warp speed in September and I haven't caught up since that time. It's not the first time this year I remember feeling that way - more like the fourth. I learned so much. I gained SO much. I lost so much. I was both lazier and busier than I've ever been ever.

2010 saw the end of some of the best things to ever happen to me. 2010 saw my last day at Strasberg and my last day as a Clefto. The end of my time as a student (of academia, but certainly not of the world). 2010 asked the hard questions about money and life and what am I going to do now and where do I go from here (grad school?) and how on EARTH do I make this acting thing work?

2010 also saw the beginning of a new and weird phase in my life where I had to ANSWER those questions and I had to remind myself each day, every day, that I am happy and lucky to wake up in New York City and to be as much as I know how, not settling to do something that's NOT what I love. To keep trying to remember that I was brave enough to pursue something this hard, and to be proud of that.

2011 is the first time in my life that I can safely say I know nothing of what's coming for me. I don't know what to be excited about. I don't know what to be afraid of. (I do know that I ended both of those sentences in prepositions and here, in my adult life, is what I have learned - sometimes it sounds better that way, dammit.) But I do know there will be changes. I do know that I'm not ready for them. I do know that I'm really, really, really excited for them.

So here it is, my 2010 synthesized into a couple of nice internet generated questions, because I will never have enough words to say everything I need to want to have to LOVE to say about this crazy mixed up year.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? Not be a student. I'm sure there's something else but that feels like everything.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made a lot, I kept exactly two. I'm a glutton for punishment though, so I'll be making more. HAHA wait. Actually, I made one very important non-resolution, but that's the one I kept.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? Ugh. Still none. I HAVE to use my passport in 2011.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? Real world acting successes. A boyfriend? Haha.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 11/12 - NYU Commencement 2010. Because, graduation. Haha April 23rd, the most difficult work/tech/concert day of ever/my last Cleftos show. I don't remember the date, but the last day I left Strasberg as a student.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Graduating from college.

9. What was your biggest failure? Hm. I worked really hard to arrange something for my summer but didn't get anything. I... I'm not sure. Which is nice, actually.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Actually, I got sick a lot more in 2010 than usual - always just colds and stuff but I remember being sick at least 6 times in 2010 which for me is a lot.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My new mattress. Oh my god. Also maybe my cowboy boots. Haha.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? With each passing year I remember how lucky I am to know the people I know and how lucky I am to need them as much as I do and have it be okay.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Once again, appalled is better than depressed. A certain director, a certain former peer, some friends. Some national political figures.

14. Where did most of your money go? Rent. Rent. Rent some more. Food. Going out.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 5 Women, final Clefto show, graduation, summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010? "Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" - Elton John, "Rock and Roll" - Eric Hutchinson, "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z/Alicia Keys, "Love the Way You Lie" - Eminem/Rihanna. It's thoroughly unsurprising how many of these things are from Cleftos, once again.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

* happier or sadder? The sadder but wiser girl am I.

* thinner or fatter? Fatter. It's fine though, I have a plan for 2011, haha.

* richer or poorer? Poorer.

Ah, my oh-so-successful adult life.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising & saving money. Traveling.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Feeling sorry for myself, Facebook.

20. How will you be spending New Year’s? At Maya's with friends.

21. What was your favorite TV program? Rediscovering Grey's Anatomy. No real changes otherwise.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I... well. Yes.

23. What was the best book you read? Hmm. I loved The Princess Bride, I loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I very much enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. Hmm. What other new books did I read in 2010? I rediscovered leisure reading late in 2010 and it was great. So I read a lot of new things but those ones stand out most.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Eric Hutchinson's "Sounds Like This" album. The song "Carryout" haha. Um... I'm not sure. This was more of a rediscovering old albums that I loved year than a finding new albums I loved year.

25. What did you want and get? To graduate early. To move out of Harlem (sort of). A keyboard. A good part in the practicum show. A relaxing summer break. A new job.

26. What did you want and not get? Listen, I can't help it - a boyfriend. To get cast in things sooner post college. To go abroad ANYWHERE.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I recently saw The King's Speech and it was beyond excellent. I, predictably as everyone, looooved Inception. Oh! Pirate Radio! Did I see that in 2009 or 2010? Because if it was 2010, definitely that.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? TWENTYONE! It was the hottest day in New York City in 25 years or something absurd, but at midnight the night of we went out for a bit, came home. Shopped in the morning, watched Sex and the City and tried not to die of heat stroke, went to work, dinner with the roomies & bar hopping. Great fun.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Managing my money better.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? I don't know? More adventurous than 2009, I guess. New things were more likely to make it into my wardrobe if they didn't look like anything I already owned.

31. What kept you sane? Taking it one day at a time and mastering actually talking about it when something was bothering me for potentially the first time in my life.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? A holdover from last year - I'm still totally in love with Matt Morrison.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Prop 8 overturned, DADT repealed, why we didn't clean up the Gulf Coast for fucking EVER. I have to guiltily confess that I knew next to nothing about midterm elections.

34. Who did you miss? My California friends. My family. The usual.

35. Who was the best new person you met? Uh... I know that I literally have met new people in 2010 but I'm not sure?

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: I re-learned in 2010 that it's not worth it to try to be perfect, you will only kill yourself trying.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "This Broadway's got - it's got a lot of songs to sing; if I knew the tunes I might join in. I'll go my way alone, I'll grow my own - my own seeds shall be sown in New York City."

38. Make some new years resolutions:

1. Eat. Better. No more excuses.

2. Make and stick to a regular involved exercise plan: dance 1x a week, pole 1x a week, gym 1x a week. Minimum.

3. Take more photos.

4. Really seriously pay better attention to my money, and put more in savings.

5. Travel more.

6. Work harder. Each day, everyday.


1. Will you be looking for a new job? Probably. Probably not a new job, just a second job.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship? Yes.

3. New house? Hopefully not, actually.

4. What will you do different in '11? Audition more, dance more, work harder.

5. New Years resolution? Made several. Think these are all actually achievable.

6. What will you not be doing in '11? School! Like at all.

7. Any trips planned? None yet but really, REALLY need to get some in the cards.

8. Wedding plans? Uh. No.

9. What's on your calendar? Work, auditions. Auditions, more work.

10. What can't you wait for? To see what happens.

11. What would you like to see happen different? A lot? I don't know.

12. What about yourself will you be changing? I'm becoming a grown-up. Weird!

13. What happened in 2010 that you didn't think would ever happen? Hahaha a lot, actually. I guess graduation, in that I of course always knew it WOULD happen but it was so so surreal.

14. Will you tell the one you love how you feel? I tell all the ones I love I love them all the time.

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 2010? Not terribly much, no.

16. Will you start or quit drinking? Hah. Neither.

18. Will you do charity work? To be honest, I doubt it.

19. Will you go to bars? Yes.

20. Will you be nice to people you don't know? I live in New York, that kind of behavior is considered a liability.

21. Do you expect 11 to be a good year for you? To be honest, 2011 is about to be the most uncharted, unscheduled, unstructured year of my life. I can't expect anything, I don't think, but I hope so.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now? After 08-09 I had a tough time picturing a more transformative year. Turns out, I was wrong, and it was 09-10.

23. Do you plan on having a child? Absolutely not.

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now? I really hope so.

25. Major lifestyle changes? Who knows?

26. Will you be moving? Hopefully not, actually.

27. What will you make sure doesn't happen in 11 that happened in 10? There're some things.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans? Dinner with my family & party with some of my favorites.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight? Haha I have no idea.

30. Wish for 2011? To make my theatrical career happen. To travel. To live and love more.

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