2015 was an insane year. Looking back on it, I can’t believe how much I squashed into it. It’s been wonderful to look back on it though, and recall all the awesomeness that happened this year! So read on to find out my highlights of 2015 — theatrically, professionally, and personally!
I started off January with a wonderful new acquisition: my dad bought me a car! I used that car to meet up with my friends Lizz and Nicole in person for the first time. This was the first time I had ever met online friends “in real life” and I’m so glad that I’ve met these lovely ladies! (We’ll be getting together again on January 3 to celebrate our one-year “friend-iversary”!) I started rehearsals for Nancy Drew: Girl Detective. I finally got my play, Inspector Noble and the Figure in Black, edited and available to purchase! I got to substitute teach a musical theatre class at Dance Extreme, which was a super-fun experience.
One of the highlights of the month was winning a scholarship to join the Badass Babes Blog Club + Ecourse! I’ve admired Sarah Morgan for a long time and it has been an awesome opportunity to learn from her and the lovely ladies who are part of the club!
I attended the Brickenden Awards with my theatre peeps — didn’t win, but it was fun to dress up! I saw The Eyes of Heaven at the Palace Theatre, and wrapped up the month attending Art Fidler’s retirement party at OKTC, which was a gala to behold!
February began with shadowing Brock while he taught stage combat for Lucas S.S.’s production of Macbeth (and taught some high school guys how to exit properly in a kilt!). I performed some scripts for the London Playwright’s Lab, and recorded TLTDay’s Podcast #17 with Ceris. Shawn and I celebrated our friend Andrew’s birthday at a “Halloween in February” party, which was lots of fun (even though Shawn dressed up in a couples’ costume with his friend Kody instead of me!).
I got the chance to choreograph violence for Disney’s Beauty & the Beast Jr. for the LYTE program, which was a lot of fun. Speaking of lots of fun, I took Shawn to see The Pretty Reckless and Nickelback in concert, and they played my favourite Foo Fighters song, Everlong, as an encore!
To challenge ourselves, Ceris and I created the #Top10Challenge Instagram project! It was a lot of fun, and it was so great to see people’s interpretation of our prompts. I think we should bring this back in 2016!
March is my birthday month, and Shawn and I spent my 32nd birthday weekend roadtripping to Toronto (what better excuse to go on a roadtrip?), where we saw The Heart of Robin Hood (SO GOOD) and went to Medieval Times yet again. I will never get sick of going to Medieval Times! I love travelling so much!
The birthday celebrations weren’t over though! In April, I had a triple-belated-birthday party with my Nan and stepbrother Derrick. Hooray for parties! I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at the McManus Theatre. I choreographed violence again, this time for Jane Eyre: The Musical for OKTC.
Nancy Drew: Girl Detective performed as part of OKTC’s annual PlayFest, and I operated the sound board for the first time in my life! It was terrifying, but I survived, and now I can add “sound operator” to my resume! Nancy Drew won a whole bunch of awards at the PlayFest Awards, including the Post-Curtain Award and Most Creative Use of a Blackbox Space!
Less than a week after Nancy Drew closed, we started rehearsals for The Big Bad Musical! (It never stops, right?) I also filmed a promotional video for Dixie Outlet Mall, where I got to chase a $20 bill down the street!
In May, Shawn and I officially became homeowners! Much of May was spent learning about home ownership, being domestic, and seeing movies. I also had an adventure in Stratford with Nicole and Lizz where we shopped, pulled tarot cards, and saw the most adorable group of baby ducks at the Avon River!
June brought lots of adventures! Shawn and I went to a stag & doe party for our friends Aaron and Amanda, where Shawn won his weight in booze and a Shop-Vac. June in London is the start of summer festival season, and I enjoyed the London Fringe Festival, the Dundas Street Festival, and Nuit Blanche! I also travelled to Toronto to see a Blue Jays game with Shawn, Kendryth and Andrew.
I was really excited to attend the Oxford Renaissance Festival with Lizz and Nicole, and we had an absolute blast, despite the fact that it poured rain all day! I also attended Shawn’s cousin’s bridal shower with the Clark women, where I won more prizes (woohoo!), and then spent some much-needed relaxation time at Shawn’s parents’ trailer.
One of my goals this year was to make more blogging connections, and in July I had a coaching call with the awesome Stephanie Shar. She’s super nice and motivated, and gave me tons of great advice! #bosslady (She also interviewed me on The Loudmouth Lifestyle!)
I had a fun time at the Home County Festival with my friends Kihanna and Mel, and ate an enormous burrito and cherry lemonade (and didn’t get sick!). Kihanna and I got beautiful necklaces with the moon phases of the dates we were born — a super cool souvenir of a great day!
More adventures in August! Shawn and I went to another Blue Jays game, as well as two weddings in one weekend! Both brides were named Amanda. One wedding had a photobooth. (#weddinggoals — that’s my one regret from my own wedding, not having a photobooth.)
I saw Norm Foster’s Outlaw at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia with Brock, and then went to my friend Joe’s birthday party! Lizz, Nicole and I took to the road again for a fun day trip to Port Stanley to read tarot cards and start my Wreck This Journal. I also started rehearsals for The Conchologist, where I played one of my most challenging roles to date, “Monkey Sir the Orangutan.”
September marked the beginning of OKTC’s 25th anniversary year celebration with The Great Kick-Off, where I met my 60 new The Actor Grows (T.A.G.) students. I started teaching T.A.G. classes later that month, which was a bit nerve-wracking at the beginning, since I hadn’t ran the program since 2012, but it quickly became old hat again. I also enjoyed sunshine and local artists at the #MyDundas street festival.
On the blog front, I had an awesome Skype chat with Lindsay, Craig and Ally from Theatrefolk! Theatrefolk is one of THE biggest theatre blogs going, and I was thrilled to get to chat with them — more to come about that very soon!
Apparently I wasn’t satisfied with just teaching and acting, so I added a third big project to my fall — I helped out at auditions and started rehearsals for The Trials of Robin Hood, where I was assistant fight director, and met my new minion, Dustin, who took over my previous role of fight captain.
I’m an author! I published my ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Theatre Etiquette. Stage combat work in November included choreographing violence for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and teaching sword safety for The Tempest, both at OKTC, as well as choreographing a GIANT mêlée for TORH with what seemed like over half the cast. I also taught an improv workshop for United Way London & Middlesex. More blogging outreach came in the form of a phone chat with Jennifer from Theaterish.com!
I participated in the London Santa Claus Parade with the cast and crew of TORH (where we met a llama), and tried archery for the first time and quickly became obsessed. My mom and I made two kinds of muffins, two kinds of soup, and baked mac & cheese.
My second major accomplishment of November was participating in, and winning NaNoWriMo. I went slightly crazy in the process, and I’m not sure if I’ll do it again, but I’m so glad I did it this year.
More stage combat? Of course! I advised on violence for Sweeney Todd: School Edition at OKTC. I also hosted the four T.A.G. showcases at OKTC (and received some lovely gifts). We announced the OKTC Spring 2016 season, and I announced my twelfth directing project at OKTC, Disney’s Tarzan.
The Trials of Robin Hood opened to much excitement! The cast and crew played archery tag for the first time and I quickly became obsessed. We had a mini 3M reunion. I also became a lady of the realm (for a second time… the first was back in 2014). What a great experience, with a great group of people.
In 2015, I wrote 111 posts and I got over 110,000 hits on the site! I published a play and an ebook. I directed two shows, acted in a show and a commercial, did stage combat work for a whole bunch of shows and taught 60 new students! I made tons of new friends and made tons of new memories.
2015, you were an amazing year. 2016, I can’t wait to start fresh with you!
Photo Credit: Big Bad Musical photo – Kihanna Becke; all other photos – Kerry Hishon
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