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I read a blog post on Backstage this week by actress Justina Vail entitled 5 Powerful Ways to Wrap Up 2013. She introduced what she calls a Ta-Da List. This list should contain the triumphs or goals we achieved during the year. Instead of simply pushing forward in the couple of weeks, I now will give myself a chance to truly reflect on the events of the last 12 months.

On a broad level, I want to say it’s been a disappointing year. I want to look at the opportunities I missed and the struggles I faced. But reducing the year to a good or bad label serves no real purpose. It gets me nowhere to feel sorry for myself so I have to examine my decisions and each outcome from a place of power, not weakness.

To create my 2013 Ta-Da List, I considered each aspect of my acting career, including auditions and bookings. Also, I reviewed other areas of creative work as a filmmaker. While I may not have reached my goals in every area, I can certainly see where I made progress and what triumphs I can count.


1. This blog. I started the blog for Acting Made Stupid Simple last December and this year provided momentum for its growth as well as many learning experiences along the way. I discovered how lots of people found the blog by searching for information about my Fatal Encounters episode. I also developed an interest in creating Top 10 lists to keep the information clear and concise.

2. Series auditions. My hard work allowed me the chance to audition for many TV series in 2013, including Breaking Bad, Revolution, Longmire, Army Wives, Sleepy Hollow, Vampire Diaries, Star-Crossed, and more.

3. Teaching. I set up workshops in two cities, began teaching weekly on camera and improvisation classes for Queen Theatre, and started coaching actors for taped auditions. The more time I spent helping other actors, the more I started enjoying the audition process again.

4. Writing and directing. Thanks to teaching weekly classes, I was given an opportunity to write a short film script. I ended up writing a 12-page script in one night inspired by the actors, the location, the time limitations and the other variables affecting the shoot. I realized having a sense of urgency helps and being “boxed in” to a degree by the other variables also really fuels my creativity.

5. Collaboration. One of the standout collaborative experiences has been making a short film with Queen Theatre Executive Director Erika Waldorf. Also, I enjoyed sharing the creative process with many respected colleagues who taped my auditions, served as readers, rehearsed with me before auditions or on the way to out-of-town auditions, and much more.  Each encounter served as a reminder that a team effort is always more valuable and more rewarding than a solo act.

QT_Playback with kids

Some of my Queen Theatre on camera acting and improvisation students enjoy a playback session.