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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm Back: A Year In Review 3/11-3/12

Oh. Well, hello there, gentle readers. And my brother.
I bet you're wondering where I've been.

I've been here but I've been BUSY!  My last entry was SEPTEMBER in 2011 And let's face it. It was a half hearted attempt at excusing my absence from the blogosphere. Is it still called that? I don't know, who cares, never mind. I'm going to update you on all my favorite things, a few setbacks, and the things I was the most excited about all year. Then it will be like we never parted, and we can pick right back up where we left off.

[Beep bop booooop. Time Machine noises! Beeeoop.]

March 2011: Went to Florida to visit family. Had an incredible time, got a terrible sun burn. Went to Chicago to visit friends. Saw a great show at The Steppenwolf. Introduced new friends to old friends. Sunburn eventually healed.  Hidden Falls had our first "Comedy Lab" run at Improv Boston. I saw Prometheus Bound at the A.R.T OBERON space. My obsession with immersive theatre, the A.R.T and Diane Paulus began the first time I saw Sleep No More, but Prometheus would be the beginning of my obsession with the OBERON space. Later in 2011 I would return to see several other productions there.

April 2011: My first ever paid gig as a motivational speaker. After speaking to the undergrad nursing class at UMass Amherst in January 2011, I was invited back to address the second bachelor students. I wrote about the content of my talk in this blog entry. Around the same time I was included in a very nice article in UMass Amherst Magazine.

May 2011: I had a meeting regarding Gorefest or a rehearsal for Improv Asylum Mainstage almost every night of the week! Boring to write about, no? That's ok. I filled my free time with adventures involving writing, motorcycles and inspiring theatrical productions.

June 2011: In June I entered my very first sporting event: Ruckus, a three mile long race with an intensive integrated obstacle course. I finished close to dead last... in the wave after mine. That's what happens when you don't train for athletic events that you register for on a whim. However, by the end of the day I was muddy and sore and happier than I could ever remember being. Endorphins, go figure. I also got my bicycle fixed in June and began riding it everywhere I could. At the end of June, we had a death in my family, which was sad, but brought a lot of the relatives together in a nice way.

July 2011: As per tradition, I spent the weekend of the fourth with some of my favorite people ever. Ted's parents open their beautiful home in Maine to us each year, and this was no exception. We had an absolutely amazing time. I brought a newish friend with me and was thrilled to see that he got along swimmingly with my gang. Also in July, my best friend from kindergarten got married at the church we grew up in. Our new mainstage review:  Life Before Sext opened at Improv Asylum, which meant rehearsals slowly drew to a close. And Laura Clark and I finalized our script for Gorefest 9. With all my new free time Sunday - Wed nights I saw shows, checked out condos (and houseboats!), and had plenty of late night beach adventures in Eastie and beyond.

August 2011:  Even more time in Maine, this time with my college roommate who came East to remember what the ocean smelled like. At my day job I took on the large task of assessing the entire respite aide staff via 1:1 interviews so we could develop a new competency program for CNAs. And, one of THE best things that happened all year.... at the end of August I had the extreme honor of presiding over the state-sanctioned union of two of my best friends, Amy Koske and Mark Teffer. That's right, they weren't married when we all woke up that morning. On top of Mt. Tom, overlooking a lake I said some words, and they made promises. I said more words and they said beautiful things that made everyone laugh and cry. I said one more sentence and they WERE married. Magic!

September 2011: September marked the world debut of the web series I had been diligently working on all summer with Jonathan Katz! Explosion Bus, produced by Tom Snyder, is my first web series AND my first time voicing an animated character. (Very fun, and now in its second season!)

October 2011: I turned 28 years old on the first day of October. I started this blog on my 25th birthday. I could never have imagined all the things I'd write (and not write) about in that time! In October a few other notable things: my friend Colleen tied the knot with her best friend and now-husband. Also Hidden Falls performed at our first out of town festival, in Philadelphia. It was my first ever time renting a hotel room all to myself, the show was amazing and I got to meet my musical improv hero Jill Bernard, in person! At the end of the month my second full length musical was produced at Improv Boston. Co-written by Laura Clark, with music by Melissa Carubia and directed by Bobby Smithney, Gorefest IX: MASSacre General Hospital got some great reviews and made me very happy. Because I took a step back from performing/directing this year I got to actually celebrate Halloween as well!

November 2011:  Hidden Falls got to perform at the New York City Musical Improv Festival right at the beginning of November. The show went well, and it was incredible to be at a festival dedicated solely to musical improv. That same weekend, the UMass School of Nursing honored me with an award. I took a train from NY to Connecticut and drove from Connecticut  to Amherst. Arriving just in time for the ceremony, I gave a short acceptance speech as the 2011 Distinguished Young Alumna of the year. I am the second woman to be awarded this new distinction. It was a true honor to meet past recipients of the (original) Distinguished Alumni award as well as to trade stories with this year's recipient. In other news, I took up a Spanish class at night, and began writing a web series with Laura Clark.

December 2011: December was full of surprises, some good, some bittersweet. I tried some new things... like finally taking a puppet workshop with the one and only Bobby Smithney! I auditioned  and got into a new musical improv group, directed by Bryan Dunn, called B.U.M.P! I celebrated my mother's birthday with her! At the end of the month, Norm Laviolette and I had a meeting at Cafe Graffiti. The outcome of the meeting was this:  I would not be taking a position on the cast for the upcoming mainstage production. We decided not to consider this a true "retirement," as they would like me to come back on a future cast. In the meantime, Norm told me, I would still be counted on for corporate gigs and he hoped I would continue writing and pitching ideas for other show slots at the theater. "You have two theaters in this city with their doors open to whatever ideas you have. Not a lot of people can say that."

January 2012: Like the four years past, I rang in the New Year with shows at Improv Asylum. A few weeks later, not only did I leave the IA Mainstage cast but Dan Faneuf and Jane Blaney both performed their final (retirement) shows. It felt like every single week we were staying up all night to say nice things about each other. It was beautiful and sweet, but a huge relief once it was all behind us. Also in January, about one week in, I got hit by a pick-up truck on the way to work. Thankfully, he had put his brakes on. Also thankfully, I was all bundled up for a snowstorm and when I hit the pavement I didn't suffer too much damage. Also ALSO in January I began rehearsals for B.U.M.P, and continued rehearsals with Hidden Falls. My Sundays became entirely dedicated to musical improv. My passion for improv, which had begun to dip recently, was rejuvenated. It was like magic. Or crack. I couldn't get enough make em ups.

February 2012:  Early in the month I dyed my hair bright purple, the same shade it was back in college before the School of Nursing insisted I knock it off. This gesture was exactly what I needed to chase the winter doldrums away. 28 years old and still classy. Also early in February, B.U.M.P debuted at the 10p Thursday slot at Improv Asylum and was an instant hit! Meanwhile, Hidden Falls had landed a second comedy lab slot at Improv Boston on Wednesdays so that started up the very same week! Also, Explosion Bus began recording episodes of Season Two.

March 2012: That's right now! So instead of recapping it, I'm just going to restart my blog. Ok? Ok. Let's do this.

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