This year has been tough. There have definitely been wonderful moments, but it’s been busy and overwhelming at times. You’ll notice it’s been radio silence around here, which I’m not happy about. I am very grateful for all the opportunities and the many reasons why it’s been quiet on the blog, but I do admit that I miss blogging here. I feel like I want to move this blog in a new direction, but I’m not entirely sure what that is. I suppose I’ll figure it out eventually!
Anyway, it’s time to look back over the year that was and reflect on everything that’s happened. If you’re curious, check out my reviews of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, as well as my mid-2017 check-in from June.
January started relatively quietly this year. Lots of knitting and reading, a few get-togethers with friends, seeing The Lion in Winter at the Grand Theatre, and the start of rehearsals for Peter and the Starcatcher at Original Kids. We also threw a surprise dinner for my mom’s birthday, which was a lot of fun.
February started with Shawn and I doing the adult thing and seeing a financial advisor (WOO EXCITING) and then we hosted a Superbowl party (I was in it for the snacks). I saw Vigilante at the Grand Theatre (which was AMAZING and I am dying for a cast album) and MTP’s The Little Mermaid (starring my lovely friend Steph as Ariel).
March was, as always, a busy month! I coordinated a photoshoot for OKTC’s three Neverland productions (Peter and the ROCKSTARS), and then jetted off (well, rode the bus) to New York City with the Original Kids — but this time, also with Shawn, as he got to be a supervisor this year as well. I saw seven shows, met Josh Groban, Chad Kimball, and Justin Guarini (for the second time), saw WWE at Madison Square Garden, had dinner at the most insane Japanese restaurant I’ve ever been to (NINJA New York), traipsed around the Lower East Side and reminisced with Shawn, and survived a pretty brutal snowstorm. Thank goodness my mom told me to bring my winter boots. Upon returning to London, I saw Green Day in concert, celebrated my birthday at dress rehearsal (such is the life of a theatre person), and enjoyed a highly successful run of Peter and the Starcatcher. It’s one of my favourite shows, and this production was both challenging and a lot of fun.
In April I started stage combat work on Peter Panhandler with New Twist Theatre and travelled to Hamilton with Brock, Ceris and Dustin to assist with choreographing the barricade scene for a production of Les Miserables. I also started rehearsals for Disney’s High School Musical 2 Jr. at Original Kids, planted some vegetable seeds, went to a paint night with my mom, and recorded a podcast for Theatrefolk.
In May I saw Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens with Joe, followed by Chicago at OKTC the next night. Shawn and I participated in the Walk for Alzheimers with friends, and even made the news on CTV London that evening. I wrote a guest post for Heroine Training all about London. I choreographed violence for LYTE’s production of Juvie, and ended off May with the annual Original Kids Graduation Gala.
June started out on a tough note. My grandfather, Frank Flood, passed away from cancer. He was such a kind, generous, selfless person, a true man of service, and a leader in the community. I miss him and love him very much.
The rest of June went fairly well; I saw Treasure Island at the Stratford Festival with my family, started auditions for Time Warp (my first choreographing gig!) with Musical Theatre Productions, Peter Panhandler opened at the McManus Theatre, Shawn and I went to the Oxford Renaissance Festival, and went to a spatter paint night with a bunch of lovely ladies.
In July, I actually published a proper blog post: What’s In My Stage Combat Bag? (a miracle!). I recorded a video for the Drama Teacher Academy, and The Drama Classroom Companion (which I co-authored and am really proud of!) was released to the world. The rest of the month was consumed by all things High School Musical 2 Jr., including two fun photoshoots, some scenic painting, a cast outing to see High School Musical Jr., and of course the actual opening of HSM2. I also started selling clothes with East Haven Clothing Co., and dyed my hair blue.
August started out with the closing of HSM2, including an impromptu celebration of National Twins Day. I did the unthinkable and actually took a couple of days off and got a massage and mani/pedi, and then Shawn and I travelled to Toronto to see Smackdown Live. Ceris taught me how to crack a whip, choreographed violence for Dog Eat Dog (Code W) with Crow Bait Productions, and started rehearsals for Time Warp.
September started with the annual Clark camping trip on Labour Day weekend. I started teaching OKTC’s T.A.G. (The Actor Grows) classes for the fifth season. I assisted Ceris with a puppetry workshop at Forest City Comicon, which was a lot of fun.
In September I dealt with another loss; my grandmother Irene Hishon passed away, at the age of 93. Gramma Hishon was small but mighty — she had nine children, 16 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. How she dealt with us all is beyond me. She was an amazing lady.
In October, Shawn and I bought new couches, I choreographed some movement for OKTC’s Oklahoma! G2K Edition and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I taught a class at LYTE at the Palace, saw The Rocky Horror Show at the McManus, hung up my sword collection on the wall, rode a mechanical bull, attended a Doterra convention event with my mom, and choreographed a siblings wrestling match for Theatre Aezir’s A Permanent Image.
November was all about performances. Both Time Warp and the T.A.G. showcases had fabulous performances. I saw Anne of Green Gables in preview at the Palace Theatre. I also went to my first hip-hop class in ages at The Dance Alliance and loved it, and went to a Lavender Mama workshop with Kendryth and Catalina, where we learned to make custom home decor signs.
And it all comes back around to December. I started stage combat choreography for LYTE at the Palace’s Oliver, I found a pair of tap shoes at a vintage store (you better believe I’ll be tap dancing in 2018), published another actual blog post here (Pay Attention to Details), and celebrated Friendsmas, which I hope will become an annual thing. OKTC announced their Spring 2018 season lineup, including Heathers High School Edition, which I am directing.
I’m ready for a fresh start in 2018. I have a ton of new goals and aspirations, and change is definitely afoot. Thanks as always for sticking with me, and let’s make 2018 a year of growth, happiness, and badassery.