Hollywood Fringe Festival

New Year, New Habits - "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." - Jim Ryun

So it’s been a minute since I’ve posted here. But I like to recap my annual New Year’s Resolutions, and I miss having the opportunity to reflect and self-assess on this blog!

2018 was a lot of a year for me. If you don’t follow me on social media, then, in addition to the sketch comedy group I mentioned in my last post literally nine months ago (Hot and Funny! Check us out on YouTube!) I was also in a choose your own adventure play called Princess Priestess with Neko Squared Productions that flew me to Dallas/Fort Worth, a Hollywood Fringe Festival musical called Public Comment that won a Producer’s Encore Award, an experimental short film called Blackmail by Charmed Productions that will be coming out later this year, and I applied for a Fulbright Award. So all good stuff. And Los Angeles is becoming easier and easier - I definitely don’t hate it anymore the way I used to. But you know, I barely thought about any of that lately until I started typing this paragraph.

So. Reflection and recapping! Let’s start with last year’s resolutions.

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Produce 2+ new projects: Success! I fulfilled this one so easily because of all of the work I’ve been doing with Hot and Funny, to the point that if I had known how much I would be producing with them, I wouldn’t even have made this a resolution because it wasn’t a challenge to achieve.

Travel to 2 new places, domestic or international: Also success! Most of them were in California, but seeing how I’ve barely explored the west coast, it still counts! This year I went to San Diego, Dallas/Fort Worth, Vermont, Sacramento, and Solvang, in addition to traveling home to New York and visiting Boston, and it was all lovely.

Take 3+ new performance or skill classes: Didn’t quite hit this one, unfortunately. I was well on track - I did a scene study/audition workout class with Stephen Snyder, and then Improv 201 at UCB, but towards the end of the year I didn’t have as much extra income for things like classes as I had hoped. Oh well. It was nice to be working out again, though, and working towards this resolution gave me better insight into classes in LA, so I now know so many places I would like to study!

Get my driver’s license: Didn’t get this one, either. I got my driver’s permit, and I had intended to make driving lessons my third skill class, but then it wasn’t that lucrative a fall/winter. I’ve carried this resolution over to this year, though, so I intend to make it happen before my permit expires!

Be more of a bitch: Success! This comes from a line of resolutions I used to make that I KNEW I could achieve, just to get me started. The first year I did these, it was “don’t get somebody else pregnant,” and for biological reasons, that was an easy victory. But this year, totally by accident, it ended up becoming more of a real resolution. And because of it, I have taken way less bullshit this year, and become known as someone who can handle herself with difficult people, or men on the street.

Have/Complete monthly goals: Hard fail on this one. I don’t even have that good a reason for it. It’s just ultimately a pain in the ass to come up with a list of things every month, especially as things changed on a month to month basis. I’d be halfway through a month and find out that a project was a much bigger time commitment than I had thought. I still write out plans, and things I need to do, in my planner. But this, in this format, isn’t what works for me, and I think it’s time for me to give up on this as a resolution and find a different way of doing it.

Finish 26 books: Close, but no cigar. In all fairness to me, some of the books I read were quite long, cerebral, and difficult. (I loved the 600 page biography of Queen Elizabeth II, but it took me FOREVER to read.) But on the flip side, I also counted plays. But I’m bringing this one back again, so hopefully I’ll make it this time around!

Start a retirement account: Success! It wasn’t the IRA account I expected, but it’s still a solid investment into my future.

Apply for the Fulbright at LAMDA: Success? I did apply for the Fulbright at LAMDA. It was way more difficult and time consuming than I expected, but I did it, and grew through the process, and it literally changed the way I look at myself and my work. And then I was rejected for the Fulbright at LAMDA. I was rejected way earlier than I expected, too. I thought I’d at least get through the first round with my application. It’s making me take another hard look at myself and my work. This is mostly a post for another time, but it’s inspiring me to make 2019 the Year of Excellence.

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Get my driver’s license: It’s time. Because this shit is just getting pathetic.

Finish 26 books: I was so close last year! So I think I can really do it this year!

Open a Roth IRA account: I started my investment account last year, but I’d like to have a solid nest egg of money that I’ve just put away, too.

Have 250+ strong days (defined as practicing 3+ of the habits I’m trying to cultivate): I’m trying to 1. practice Spanish on Duolingo, 2. do a small workout, 3. go a full day without eating meat, 4. practice piano, 5. meditate, and 6. go to bed before 1am every day. Since I started tracking these habits, I’ve been pretty good about doing 1-2 per day. But I think I can do better. So I’m trying to do at least three of them every day now, or at least three of them for roughly two thirds of the year!

Finish writing a script that is not a sketch: I did SO MUCH sketch writing in 2018, and it was awesome! Particularly because I had so many of them produced as well! But I want to also take time to focus on a couple of other projects I enjoy that I’ve put on the back burner just because they won’t be as easy to produce.

Produce another staged reading for charity: I did a couple of them very successfully in 2017, and I think they’re a great, fun way to give back. So I’d like to do them again.

Start my script consulting business: It started out coming from the need to supplement my income a little… but I need to really get it together, create a contract, specify what services I provide and exactly what they entail, and start marketing myself in a big way. I think I could be very, very good at this. So I need to make sure it happens!

Don’t re-watch any TV series more than once: Since I’ve come to LA, I’ve been relying on comfort TV a whole lot. And while most of my favorite TV shows stand up to the rewatching, there’s so much other television out there to be watched that I can’t rewatch Parks and Rec over and over and over again.

Achieve one or more of the following: theatrical agent/manager, speaking role in a TV show, another role in a feature film: Fairly self-explanatory. These are the next steps in my career, so I need to make sure I hit them.

Beyond all this, though, I’m trying to just be better. I think I’ve been giving myself too much slack - I am capable of more than what I have been doing, particularly in terms of the quality of my work, and that’s going to change. Like I mentioned before, 2019 will be the Year of Excellence, so I’m hoping to not just achieve all of my resolutions, but to achieve them well.

What about you? What resolutions or habits are you starting this year?