New Year's

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?

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!

Resolutions for the New Year - "Be slow in considering but resolute in action." - Bias of Priene

Well you guys, I finally have my New Year's resolutions together. And it only took me, like, two weeks! (#awks)

So I guess we should first go over how I did on my 2016 resolutions.

2016 New Year's Resolutions

2016 New Year's Resolutions

Not as well as I'd hoped, to be totally honest. Which isn't to say "badly," but last year I had definitely, in some way or another, completed all of them. And this year, not as much. I think I was too specific for 2016, so when my life and priorities changed, these didn't change with them. But let's go through them all:

Write the Uglies screenplay: I just didn't do this one. I still want to. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is still one of my all-time favorite novels, and I think it'd make a fantastic movie. But I just didn't do it. I worked on other feature-length projects. But I didn't finish this one.
Get my own apartment: Well, THIS one I very much completed!
Go to South America, Asia, and/or Africa: Hello, my trip to Peru!
Get my reel together: Well, yes and no. I don't have one video of clips of my work. But if you go to my Actress page, you'll see tons of clips of my work that are all labeled and easy to watch. So... I think that counts.
Go to another city in the USA: Well, technically I traveled to Boston, but I meant a new city. So I didn't do that in the USA. But I did see a new city in the UK, so I feel like I still fulfilled the spirit of the resolution. Mostly.
Start my 401K: I was too specific here, but I was also lazy with my finances. Sure, I've been saving money, but I haven't started a retirement account. I have, however, gotten a credit card and started to build up my credit. So I've advanced the planning of my financial future, even if I haven't started a 401K, which is within the spirit of the resolution. But I also could've started all of this way earlier in the year and then done both, so I'm not sure that I get to consider this a win.
Write/Act in 2+ shorts and submit to FESTIVALS: I've acted in so many shorts this year. But I've only written/produced one short in which I've also starred. It's a bigger production than I expected. And I'm very proud of it. So maybe I just overshot with this resolution. Either way, I'm proud of the work I did last year. It just wasn't the work I thought I would do.
Attack life with the confidence of a mediocre white man: Done and done.
Do 10+ industry seminars/workshops: I easily did more than ten!

Overall, not a terrible showing for my New Year's resolutions. But I think I can do better in 2017. Here's what I have coming up!

2017 New Year's Resolutions

2017 New Year's Resolutions

Most of them are much more vague 2016's. But I think that's good. It makes them more flexible and reasonable for a life that's changing and constantly in flux. These are resolutions I can achieve even as my priorities change over the course of the year.

Move to Los Angeles: This one, I think, is pretty self-explanatory. I'm heading out in June. It's time. I can't be bi-coastal if I'm only ever on one coast.
See 2+ new cities in the USA: Sure, it was within the spirit of the resolution to have seen Edinburgh instead of a new American city last year. But this year I am so specific. I have to see more of my own country. New York, LA, and Boston do not count. They have to be new cities to me.
Increase my future financial security (401K/credit score/fuck you money!!): This one, also, is pretty self-explanatory, I think.
Get a new doctor and have a check up: Guys, it has been embarrassingly long since the last time I saw a doctor. Long enough that, technically, my doctor is still my pediatrician from when I was a child. That's just not acceptable. I don't think there's anything wrong with me, but it sure would be nice to know for sure.
Be the Blood of the Dragon: Guys, I've been really inspired by Daenerys Targaryen lately. Her leadership, her self-assurance, and her ability to make people believe in and follow her. I want to emulate that. Sure, she's a fictional character. But they're admirable qualities, and I'm gonna get them.
Get at least one of the following: agent, manager, union status: It's time. I can't control who will like me, or if a union project will cast me. But I think it's reasonable to expect to achieve at least one of those over the next year.
Finish at least one feature-length project: I have so many things that I'm working on that I never finish in favor of shorts. But this year, I don't care what it is, but at least one feature screenplay or full length play is gonna get written.
Simplify your material life: For all that I bitched about getting rid of all of my childhood stuff, I felt so much freer and stronger once it was gone. And, frankly, I don't really miss it. I'm gonna try to keep getting rid of stuff as much as I can. I don't need a lot of things. And I like how I feel when they're gone.
Have/Complete monthly goals. January: shoot WICF film, go to Planned Parenthood about an IUD, send out industry updates: I think it would be a good idea to set these kinds of goals for myself more regularly than once a year! So I'm shooting a short film on Saturday for the Women in Comedy Film Contest, I'm gonna send out updates about the work I've been doing since the holidays to my contacts throughout the industry, and I'm gonna go to Planned Parenthood and see if I can't get an IUD before Planned Parenthood gets fully defunded.

What do you guys think? Do you have any resolutions of your own that you're actually going to keep up throughout the year?

"It's midnight! Somebody kiss me!" - Friends, The One with the Monkey (S1E10)

Happy New Year, everybody!

Well, it's just past New Year's, meaning that we are all overrun with friends who are claiming that it is a "new year, new me!"

And man, if you're one of those people, you go for it! I so sincerely, genuinely mean that. If your new resolution is to work out more or something along those lines, then I really believe that you can do it!

In my own personal experience, however, those kinds of things do not work out for me.

I didn't want to just not make any New Year's resolutions, though. After all, the new year is a globally recognized period of personal change. It may be difficult to change major things about your lifestyle, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth trying to fix some things that could've been better in the year before! So I wrote some things down and stuck them to my bedroom door. (Hee, that rhymed by accident.)

A study of Harvard MBA graduates showed that only 3% of them had clear goals that they had written down. But that 3% earned ten times as much as the rest of their class, combined!

Now, by having written down my resolutions, I'm not saying that I expect to make money along the same lines as the best Harvard MBA graduates. I am an actor, after all - I expect to be living pretty modestly for just about all of my life. But I do think that it'll make these reasonable goals easier to achieve, I'll achieve more by having done it, and I'll be that much more advanced in so much of my life!

Also, I know I'll remember to not get a girl pregnant. Certainly can't forget that one.