I started the year in california, dancing for The Weed King at a hippie pot-grower party. I did some audiobook recording with a former acting teacher, and briefly considered moving back to marin when I tasted the most amazing ham and cheese croissant in the world. I would have to live in the woods just to afford living in marin but it's california so you can do that sort of thing. But god help you if you want to get around without a car.
So I went back to NYC to the bitter cold and my slow months, where I art modeled, performed a little, did a bit of GTAing and SP work. I blocked off a day with Lefty or organize my life and ended up just organizing my ribbons (still no small feat.) My family and I were interviewed for a documentary on trans catholics (and the families of same.)
I spent a week in New Orleans teaching stage combat to pre-teens, which is somehow even more difficult than it sounds! I also went to three or four Mardi Gras parades, which were fun but....two was about all I needed to see. I caught a Muse shoe (which is a big deal for New Orleanians) and a metric ton of mardi gras beads. I didn't show my boobs even once, which seems out of character until you realize that it was *very* cold. I spent Fat Tuesday in the quarter, which was utterly lovely. Imagine Halloween, but with outdoor day drinking. Fantastic.
I saw Hedwig on Broadway three times. I'm pretty sure the first time was last year but whatever. I got to see Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C Hall, and Taye Diggs. All were amazing. I think NPH was my favorite, but it was great to see them each put their own spin on the character. And it was so wonderful to see a show that meant so much to me as a teen, a solo show that was created in village bars, actually make it to broadway and *work.* It's still one of the greatest pieces of theatre I've ever seen.
My performances picked up around March and I traveled to DC to perform 7 times (not counting the big ass halloween event I did.) We did a Tennessee Williams show! People liked it! We did a Sondheim show! People liked it so much that we're doing it in New York! I did a few Forbidden Kiss shows as a send off for Stage Left Studio. As much as I had kind of grown apart from Stage Left, I was very sad to see it go. It was a great resource for the New York theatre community and a wonderful incubator for me personally. I wish there were more places like it and I wish NYC (or the world) had a stronger structure in place to help artists create without worrying about money. It's hard to create things that are new when you feel like you *have* to make money, it's hard to take risks. That's why every big movie now is a remake or or a reboot or a sequel or an adaptation. Even someone as low on the arts spectrum as I am feels the pressure to choose projects based on something people have seen before, because it's so much harder to get people to see anything else. There are acts in my head that I'm dying to get out in the world but without a specific show (and deadline) to tie them to they get put off in favor of things that will actually make me money.
My other work picked up in march, too. I really like GTAing and I go back and forth on how I feel about the commute. With very few exceptions, the minimum commute is 1.5 hours one way and it's usually longer. I haven't been doing as many jobs with the 10 hour round trip commutes, but it's still rough. I've been getting better about writing while I'm on the train but sometimes, when I have to get up at 5am, I just don't have the brain power. I'm still pretty sure that I wrote an entire blog post in a notebook, but cannot find it for the life of me. And, talking to the more seasoned GTAs, it's become apparent that there will be a time when my body just can't handle the job anymore. I think I've got a few years before that happens but I'm going to start thinking of other ways I can A: Make money and B: Help people. One of the best things about this job is that I know I'm doing good for people that need it and I think I need to keep that element of my life going. I'm not sure what that looks like, maybe some other form of sexual education, maybe some other non-profit, maybe more work as a standardized patient, giving doctors feedback on how they interact with their patients. Or maybe I'll find enough outside income that I can GTA less and avoid burnout longer.
Owen and I broke up but it was pretty amicable. The relationship just kind of ran out of gas. We stayed friendly and it turned out to be for the best since he got a job in Minneapolis.
I worked on costumes for Broadway Bares and saw what burlesque could look like with broadway talent and broadway sense of scale. It was glorious and so inspiring! I don't know if I'll ever get to create anything on that scale but, god, I would love to.
It seemed like my prayers were answered on that count when, just a week later, Hilary asked me if I'd like to work on a six figure Halloween party. Well, that turned out to be something of a monkey's paw wish, but I learned a lot. I don't think I'm done with events forever but it definitely made me step back from them pretty fast. I hope that Hilary asks me to put together more pitches, because I think I'm really good at that. And I hope I can, eventually, get back into event planning on a slightly smaller scale, with the support I actually need. And I hope that no mormons are involved.
I lucked into a poledancing patron, who got me a pretty massive gift certificate for pole lessons, so I started training. It was tough but I managed to average a class a week (though that's nothing to most of the people who go to this studio) and I'm learning slowly. I'm pretty sure I can get my pole up in the apartment now that I'm sharing it with The Teddybear and I'm hoping that will let me supplement my classes by learning at home and taking practice breaks while I work from home. I really want to be good enough that I can start performing pole stuff. I love doing it and it would be great to have more marketable performance skills.
I finally went to sex camp! It was even better than I'd imagined.
I applied to Bindercon (a conference for women and nonbianary writers) for a scholarship. I didn't really expect to get it but I gave it my best shot and I got it! I had an amazing time, learned a ton, and pitched my cinderella book to two writing agents and both of them said I should send it to them when it was ready! That has made a huge difference in my writing, knowing that there's an actual possible future for this book. I actually thought about not going to the conference because I was worried that I was kidding myself thinking I could have a writing career. Bindercon was an amazing, possibly life changing experience, for me.
Five people in my life died; My maternal grandmother, my paternal grandmother's long term partner who was like a grandfather to me, my first year dance teacher at NYU, a former teacher from NYU who still hired me to model for her drawing classes, and DJ Jess, someone I'd flirted with at NYU who also ended up in the burlesque/nightlife scene. Losing all of them was sad, but two of them were suicides and those really hit me the hardest. They were both really sweet and upbeat people, I never saw the slightest hint that either of them were depressed. It really hammered home the fact that you never know who's suffering. I wasn't able to go to any funerals and I still feel terrible about that.
Overall, though, it was a pretty great year. I didn't have to move! I continued to be in love with Johnny Caligula (nee The Teddy Bear.) I really enjoyed living with Lefty! And now that she's moving on, I'm really excited about The Johnny moving in. We've got a two year lease and then we're looking for a place we can buy together (ok, he would buy it and I'd help him pay the mortgage. There's no way I could afford to buy even half an apartment.) It's a pretty big deal but I'm not nervous about it. It feels right.
I don't know if this post really captures how busy I was but by my count I had 48 performing gigs, 45 GTA gigs, recorded several audiobooks and hypnosis tapes, created at least 10 new acts, worked on two books, traveled to the bay area, New Orleans, and DC (about 9 times) and spent (conservative estimate) 270 hours traveling to and from GTA gigs. I spent a LOT of time feeling tired, sick, depressed, anxious, burned out, or some awful combination of the same. I I would like less of that next year, though I'm not entirely sure how to accomplish that. Still, this was a much better year than the past few.