Neil Gaiman

New Year's Resolutions - "I hope that in the year to come you make mistakes." - Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year! January 1st may be a cosmically insignificant date, but I still think it's amazing and very cool that we as humans took the coldest, darkest part of the year and chose to make it about rebirth and new beginnings.

Let's talk new year's resolutions.

Like last year, this post is going to be about the resolutions I made for 2017, how I did with them, and the resolutions I've got coming up now for 2018!

2017 Resolutions

2017 Resolutions

Move to Los Angeles: Done!
See 2+ New Cities in the USA: I'm probably cheating a little bit by including Cooperstown, NY since it's not in the spirit of traveling like I had meant, and I technically went there when I was very young, but it was still new to me, so good enough! Cooperstown, NY and Detroit, MI.
Increase my Future Financial Security (401k/IRA, credit score) (fuck you money!): My savings took a pretty big hit from moving across the country, but my credit score is way better now (in that it exists) and, in the spirit of the resolution, I've started saving money again, so I'm counting this as a win.
Get a New Doctor and Have a Check Up: Done!
Be the Blood of the Dragon: Every year I give myself one resolution that I know I can accomplish, mostly for the funny, but also so I can know for sure that I'll accomplish at least one. In 2015 it was not to get anyone else pregnant. In 2016 it was to take less BS. This past year, it was this, because this quality of fire and leadership is a) something I greatly admire about Daenerys in Game of Thrones, and b) want to have. I feel like I let myself get walked over a little bit too much this year, though. There were some aspects of my life in which I really took charge and made things happen and was a leader, and some in which I really didn't. So I don't know about this one. I wouldn't say that I didn't do it at all. But just that I wasn't really consistent with it, either.
Get at Least One of the Following: Agent, Manager, or Union Status: Well, I'm still unrepresented and non-union. The bright side is that moving out here made it very clear that I am not yet ready to be SAG, although I could definitely join AEA. And while I don't have representation yet, I've done heavy research into agencies, and I'm working towards it. So I guess I fulfilled the spirit of the resolution, if not the actual letter of it.
Finish at Least One Feature-Length Project: Nope. Didn't do this one at all. It was maybe a bit too ambitious of me to hope that I could write a feature around producing multiple other projects and moving across the country, but at the end of the day (or, rather, year) I just... didn't do it. Oops.
Simplify Your Material Life: So, so done! I got rid of a ton of stuff this year.
Have/Complete Monthly Goals: I just... didn't do this one, either. After February I decided it couldn't really be a priority. I think that was misguided of myself, but it's what happened.

So... a mixed bag on resolutions for 2017. Some great successes, but not entirely enough follow through. It's unfortunate because I know I can do better. But the year is over now. Meaning that it's time to move on to 2018!

2018 Resolutions

2018 Resolutions

First of all, can we just appreciate how much better the camera quality is on my new phone??

Produce 2+ New Projects: I need to start creating my own work in LA. I also find that I like producing, particularly when I get to produce shows for charity, so they don't have to be huge works, but it's my new favorite kind of volunteer work, and I want to make it happen!
Apply for the Fulbright at LAMDA: Did you know there's a Fulbright available to study classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art? The odds are pretty against me, the way they are with any Fulbright, but the opportunity to study humanity and performance through classical theatre in London at one of the most long-lasting and prestigious schools of drama in the world? How could I possibly not go for it?
Start a Retirement Account: Pretty self-explanatory. I'm 25. It's time.
Travel to Two New Places (Domestic OR International): I didn't specify that they have to be cities because there are places I want to go that aren't metropolitan areas, like Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon. I know traveling new places will be a little difficult from here on out since I'll also be going back to New York a couple of times a year, and that'll be a bit of a financial/time drain. But I have every faith that I can make it happen, especially if I don't limit myself to cities!
Be More of a Bitch: I'm pretty concerned with how much people like me. A little bit too much so. I need to start standing up for what I want, even if that goes directly against what someone else wants. Some random dude talking to me when I clearly just want to listen to music/read a book? Tell him. I think someone isn't pulling their weight in a group project? Let them know. I think there's a line to be walked between being nice, kind, and polite, and being direct, firm, and a little bitchy about getting what I want, and this year I am determined to find it.
Take 3+ New Performance/Skill Classes: I realized I didn't take a scene study class at all in 2017. At first I was saving up for the move, and then money was tight, but god I am aching for a class and community here in LA. My training is slipping and I can be better. So I will be.
Get my Driver's License: I never could spell "license" without a spell checker. But this resolution is also pretty self-explanatory. Over the past six months I've proven that I can get by in LA without a car. But it'll be nice to have the option to rent one. Especially since this is a thing that teenagers can do, and I still can't.
Finish 26 Books: There's too much to learn in the world to not be reading more than I have been.
Have/Complete Monthly Goals: Recycling this one from last year. It was a good idea to make sure every month is productive, and I want to give it a more serious try in 2018. This month, I'm going to get my CA Driver's Permit, solidify travel plans to New York since I didn't get to go home at all over the holidays, and reach out to some commercial agents on the west coast.

So what do you guys think? What are your resolutions for 2018? Do we have any of the same ones? I'd love to see if anyone else has any good ones that I can steal for myself!

All-You-Can-Read Blog Buffet!

Okay, so much has happened that today, instead of getting one long argument of a blog post, you're going to get a bunch of mini posts, all rolled up into one! More long form Weekend Update than, you know, Last Week Tonight.

Because you guys, the past couple of weeks have been absolutely insane. I didn't update last week because I was shooting for three separate projects, running to several auditions, and barely finding time to eat and sleep amidst all of that. It was all excellent fun, and I loved it, don't get me wrong! It was a short film and two webseries - Lactose Intolerance, Twisted Tales, and In Retrospect, directed by my friend Amanda Jane Stern, if you want to look out for them! - and they're all hilarious. But overall, it was also exhausting. If you had told me ten years ago that I'd be a massive workaholic who would willingly wake up at 6:30 AM for her job on a Sunday, I would've thought you were insane. But that sure is what happened this past weekend.

All of that has made me think a lot about how I spend my time, though, and what's worth it. For instance, every day that I don't have a paying gig, I'm at home working at least eight hours a day on either the business of being an actress, or writing scripts with roles I create for myself. And all of that is absolutely worth it, and it's the reason I've been cast in about three things within the past week! But sometimes I know I allow myself to get involved with projects, or let myself get put in social situations, where I would feel rude for declining. Especially if I know I would hurt somebody's feelings if I wasn't there, I will almost always turn up. But I've also been exhausting myself recently, and it's making me consider that maybe I need to drop some of these projects and friendships that are no longer serving me. One phrase I've tried to keep in mind this year is "don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm," and I've been working to remember it because it's a thing that I oftentimes do. It's a process, it's not something I'm going to snap to and start cutting people and things out of my life just like that. But it's something I've been considering recently. More of a way of trying to think about what I'm actually getting out of everything into which I put my valuable time.

Don't worry, the people and projects I'm thinking of aren't you and yours!

I've been thinking lately about romance and dating as an actor. This is a topic I'm sure I'll go into again, in greater detail, at some point in the future. But, I won't lie to you guys, I've been a little bit romantically lonely for a while. And I say that fully understanding that I don't have the time for a relationship. 99 times out of 100 I will place my work above a significant other. And I have a lot of work. And I don't doubt that choice. I've even tried to, but it's what's right for me. I would hate myself if I lost out on my dreams because some boy or girl distracted me. And if/when something really is right, I'm sure we'll be able to work something out. I look to the relationship Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer have as an incredible inspiration: They both have their own stuff to do, but when their schedules coincide they always choose each other, and they're still very happy, loving, and supportive. I just also know that that's a lot to ask of someone, and it makes me a little sad how difficult it is to find someone who interests me, who I like, and who is willing to put up with all of the baggage that comes with me and my work.

Finally, on a similar but much brighter note, I've been thinking lately how much I appreciate and value real friendships, and how good it is to hold on to what I believe in. Without going into details, I recently had a friendship that I have had to fight for over the years validated. And it's been giving me the warm fuzzies ever since when I think about it. It hasn't been turbulence-free, but because we both refused to let go and insisted on loyalty and perseverance, it's really paying off now, and I appreciate it.

So, you know, that's cool.

Some exciting stuff is coming up this week, so I'll be back to my single-topic, long-form blog posts soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this short form style! Because now that it's what I've written out, it sure is what I'm sticking with.