Monday, December 31, 2012

See ya, 2012!

Happy Almost New Year!

Wow.  What a full and wonderful year it has been; full of personal and professional victories, heartbreak, tragedies, triumphs, community, spirit and love.  I know this because I kept a full journal tracking the intricacies of my daily life EVERY SINGLE DAY of 2012.  

That was my New Year's resolution: Journal every day of 2012.

I have written every single day and I'm proud to say that as of right now I have written 223,367 words and that every day of 2012 is accounted for. I have completed my resolution for the first time in, well, ever. And I'm very proud of that.  Sure, I'm a hard worker but I would never include willpower or discipline as any of my great traits.  

I end the year feeling more complete, more aware and more mature. The anger and resentments of the past couple of years passed as the pages of my journal filled. I literally and metaphorically turned the pages on the past.  

And so onward to 2013.   May it bring you many blessings. 

All love, 


p.s. Rather than have you read my daily journal, I've selected my top five moments of 2012.  

5. Loverboy with Ryan

My childhood friend, Ryan is Loverboy's number one fan.  They were touring with Pat Benatar and Journey and had a stop in KC in late August.  I pulled some strings and got front row tickets for us to go to the show.  My first front row tickets to any concert and it's this one.  

We arrive at the concert in the rainy aftermath of Hurricane Isaac just as Loverboy starts their set with Queen of a Broken Heart.  Ryan breaks out into a run passing people left and right.  We get up to the very front and he waves to the guys in the band as if they are old friends.  I learn that he has seen them twice--once in Wichita and once at the State Fair in Hutchinson.  He has emailed two of guys at least four times to let them know he's coming and that we're on the front row. 

They know him.  They wave or point back.  Ryan is a wildman at the front of the audience.  He bounces and thrashes while singing every single word and turning alternately to the people behind us, singing to them and cheering them to do the same.  His enthusiasm is infectious to say the very least.  Toward the end of their set, they throw Ryan both drum sticks.  He dives to the ground and gets one holding it high in the sky so they and all of us can see that he got it!  We cheer for this.  

After their set, Ryan is visibly worn-out, crying, holding his drumstick. When Journey played later, he sang along every word to Faithfully while tears streamed down his already wet face.  It made me cry, too.  Two forty something men singing the songs of days gone by.  I'll never forget that.  

4. My 12th Annual Holiday Wassail

For the 12th year, I've carried the torch for the annual holiday wassail.  

What is a wassail?  Well, it's both a noun and a verb.  As a noun, it's cider-based rum punch.  As a verb, it's like caroling.  

This year for the first time in its history, we did both.  We took the show on the road.  We donned choir robes and some 20 of us took to the streets in my neighborhood en masse singing Christmas Carols and swigging whiskey.  And no, the neighbors didn't call the police.  It was fun and merry and exactly what the holidays should be.  We spread joy.


3. Turning 40

I turned 40 in July of 2012.  I was celebrated at a large party full of friends and family. I felt beloved. One reveler said "it was a beautiful jewel box of people and an over-the-top love fest."  There were wild performances, too many drinks and Kelley Deal of The Breeders even dropped by with birthday tidings.  What?

2. Seaside, Florida
This year began with a month-long artist residency with Escape to Create in Seaside, FL.  In the idyll of this beautiful town, I found creative discipline, talented peers and a super-supportive community. I was also able to spend my days in boxers, socks and ball caps.  Wine and coffee were staples of my diet.  

In this special place on white sand beaches on the Emerald Coast of Florida, I birthed my one-man show, Jolly Rancher. 

1. Jolly Rancher

I didn't set out to do a one-man show while I was in Seaside.  It just happened.  Truly. I had two weeks to put together a show based on a collection of short stories.  Two weeks.  I panicked and then I edited.  Rinse and repeat.  Jolly Rancher debuted at the Seaside Repertory Theatre before a crowd who didn't know me at all.  A crowd whose median age was at least 65.  Not what I ever imagined my demographic to be.  Nonetheless, Jolly Rancher happened to a sold-out and adoring crowd.  The laughter was deafening and actually made it hard to get through in a timely manner.  What a grand problem to have! Being away from my own creative community, I thought that maybe I was just popular in KC.  That maybe I'd fail everywhere else.  But no, it was a great success--so much so that I brought it back in April at the Fishtank Performance Studio to acclaim and sell-out crowds. And then I brought it back yet again in December in conjunction with the exhibition, Have I Been Here Before through the Urban Culture Project/Charlotte Street Foundation.   The reactions were stunning.  People laughed.  People cried.  The best compliment I received was from a tearful man saying "Thank you for sharing my story for me." People connected to my stories and that led them to share their own stories.  That's the power of storytelling.  That's the power of sharing.  And that's what I'm all about.  

Other notable moments: 

Hava Nagila at Gina and Alex's wedding.
Watching the Republican Party implode. 
I became a Universal Life Church Minister.
I went tubing! 
Walked from Pier 39 to Golden Gate Bridge.  Hiked in Muir Woods.
I got a colonscopy. (and I feared that having an asshole all of my life would be a pre-existing condition)
I finally ditched my Blackberry and changed carriers.
I hiked Topanga Canyon.
I had a brief dalliance with P90X which boasts "muscle confusion."  I worried that my muscles might get so confused that I'd start talking out of my ass and shitting out of my mouth.
I saw George Strait in concert as well as Kool and the Gang who opened for Van Halen. And a feral Fiona Apple.
My kitty, Neely made the Google cam.
I stopped grinding my teeth.
I was downgraded from bifocals.  My eye doctor said "Maybe that prescription was a bit premature."   

I was voted Third Best Local Theatre Performer by readers of The Pitch.  THIRD BEST!  
April and Nate's 10th Anniversary Dinner Party in LA! (And bumping into Seth Rogen at Whole Foods.) 
Being voted a finalist by my peers in Artist, Inc.2.  The praise of your peers really is the best. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jolly Rancher Presentation

Jolly Rancher Interview on KCUR

What happens to a young man who spends his childhood off the grid,  growing up in a rural area with no formal creative outlets?

He goes on to write and act in his own one man stage production, of course.

On the second half of Wednesday'sCentral Standard, we are joined by local writer, director, artist, and man-about-town David Wayne Reed, whose one-man show Jolly Rancher sold-out the Fishtank Performance Studio in Kansas City last April.
He'll discuss what drives him to write and share his childhood experiences with theatergoing audiences.