Oh 2012, we had some good times didn't we? I realized that I have a tendency to focus on what's missing in my life instead of focusing on what I've accomplished so end of the year introspectives are a great way for me to remember all those things I actually got done. And man, did I ever get shit done in 2012!
But other than regaining my financial independence, let's see what else was worth celebrating:
A lot of firsts this past year: first time to NYC, Vancouver and my first ever cruise, which coincided with my first ever visit to Bermuda. Oh and let's not forget my first trip to Swift Current & Saskatoon, SK. Travelled twice to Moncton, NB to visit family, which is once more than my annual Christmas visit and, of course, spent plenty of time on the train between Ottawa - Toronto - Montreal.
If someone had told me a few years ago that most of my income would come from Twitter, I... probably would have asked you what Twitter was. In all seriousness though, I'm really impressed at how quickly my skill set in web & social media grew this year. I learned how to use Dreamweaver and taught myself HTML. I got into podcasts and created a series for the Ontario Arts Council that is still up and running today. I currently produce, host and edit the whole thing from my laptop. I figured out crowdfunding and how to leverage my social media networks to make it successful. I also hired a great guy to create a website that really represents me and what I do. Because if you're going to work in social media, you damn well better have a web presence to back it up. Oh after a few years of knowing each other online, I finally met social media maven Rebecca Coleman in person and she let me speak to her class on my experience. That was pretty darn cool.
Well the year was off to a slow start, but by March I was present for the beginnings of Toronto's only French improv league, Les Improbables. The team has grown tremendously in the last few months from the cramped space on the third floor of the Fox & Fiddle, to bi-weekly sold out shows at the Supermarket in Kensington Market, to having our own professional style jerseys. If you haven't checked us out already, you really should!
In April, I got to perform in another one-women show, the terrific Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety, which got some lovely recognition over at The Visitorium's Big Stoopid End of the Year Post.
I got invited to perform Roller Derby Saved My Soul in Swift Current for the Summer Chautauqua Theatre Festival, which lead to a one-off performance in Ottawa that sold out. Oh and speaking of RDSMS, it was nominated for FOUR Les Prix Rideau Awards and actually won for Outstanding Fringe Performance. And there was the little Indiegogo Campaign That Could where I raised well over my $5000 goal. I learned a lot from this campaign and I look forward to a wonderful opportunity that's come up where I will get to share that knowledge with people. But more on that in an upcoming 2013 post.
I also booked three commercials: one for Manulife Financial and one for Comcast in English and one for the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities in French. In all of them, if you blink, you might miss me. The one for Comcast is below.
And there was also a a couple of cool little student film with some folks at Humber and also Niagara College that I'm looking forward to seeing.
In addition to all that, 2012 was a year of preparation in my acting career. I took plenty of classes, got some new headshots, put together a demo reel, set up this swanky new website and found myself a new agent. All things that make me feel like I will be hitting the ground running in 2013!
FITNESS & MENTAL HEALTH
I completely gave up any semblance of working out around the time of Mary Mags because if you're going to play a homeless alcoholic, why bother going to the gym? A theory that totally bit me in the ass when I got asked to do RDSMS shortly thereafter. I was completely out of shape and I knew that could be very detrimental to my upcoming performance so I hired a personal trainer who really turned everything around. She challenged me in ways I didn't even know were possible.
I've come to the realization that working out is actually a lot of fun when you find what suits you and have goals. For me, it's fitness classes and Zumba in particular. I've enjoyed it so much that in November I got my Zumba teacher training certification and I am now working towards additional accreditation, as well as a CanFitPro Fitness Instructor Specialist Certification, which I will be completing in 2013.
Not only did it affect me physically, but mentally as well. It forced me to take a good long look at what I've come to realize are some pretty major self-image issues that have contributed to a lot of depression and anxiety in my life. (For a very insightful read of self-image issues, I highly recommend my pal Kris Joseph's blog post dealing with this very matter.) With the encouragement of my wonderful support network, I have now been seeking professional help for these issues and I am moving my life in a new direction.
Speaking of support networks, I may have hinted at it a few times in this blog, but I met someone this year. In these pages, he's known as the DB (for Dear Boyfriend though he recently pointed out that it could also stand for Douche Bag, which Oops!) He is handsome, funny, talented and incredibly kind. We communicate like grownups but play like little kids. He believes in me, supports me unconditionally and frequently reminds me that, in his own words, I am a "smoking hot babe." Sometimes when I wonder how I got so lucky, he'll turn around and tell me that I deserve good things in life... Yeah, I'm not letting this one go anytime soon.
So, who's up for 2013?