What a long friggin’ year.

Artistically, 2013 was filled with high points for me:

  • My adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo was produced in Canada;
  • I got to meet China Miéville while working on my adaptation of his novel The City & The City;
  • I shot my first feature-length film;
  • I played Porthos in The Three Musketeers;
  • I booked my first voice-over gig;
  • I booked my first on-camera industrial;
  • I had one of the best experiences of my theatre career with The House Theatre’s The Crownless King;
  • I fulfilled a long-held ambition of working with The Factory Theater;
  • I booked my first network TV gig.

In between all of those I wrote my adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities – which is now in rehearsal – along with two other scripts, one of which is my Super Secret Project. I fear I may have overhyped it at this point. It’s secret only because it will be a part of Lifeline Theatre’s 2014-2015 season which hasn’t officially been announced, and it’s super because it is, for me, a rather ambitious undertaking. You’ll see. The other script is also an adaptation. I don’t want to say what it is yet, because it needs a lot of rewrites before it gets slated and I don’t want to jinx it.

Exciting stuff, no? When I look at it all stacked up like that, I’m rather impressed with myself. That’s a pretty solid output. I’d wanted to write an original play this past year (rather than another adaptation), and I wanted to win NaNoWriMo, and be a Deathscribe finalist again, but I still think I did pretty well.

Oh yeah. And I lost thirty pounds. I gained almost ten of it back in the last month, but I am not defeated. I’m going to lose a lot more.

So why, in the face of all this awesomeness, was 2013 a year I’d rather not repeat? The answer is simple: Money.

As in, I didn’t make much. Sure, all those projects paid something, but even added up it doesn’t come anywhere near what I made when I had a full time day job – and it’s not like I was raking it in back then, either. But I realized the other day that I would have to book the highest paying of those gigs (the TV appearance) almost 40 times in order to take home as much money as I did when I was an administrative assistant. That’s kinda crazy. And being a homeowner, going this long without a steady, reliable paycheck has brought on unprecedented levels of stress. It’s really not a lot of fun.

So, in the new year my main task is a renewed job search. I will have to broaden my criteria and perhaps take something that won’t allow me to go out on every audition my agent calls me for. I’m not happy about that at all. When you have a year of firsts like I just did, you start to feel like finally, finally, everything you worked toward from college on is starting to fall into place. The idea of setting that aside now twists my stomach in knots and keeps me awake nights. But things are not falling into place fast enough, so I may have to reconfigure my goals. I’m still hopeful that I’ll get lucky and be able to do both.

But I’m not banking on it.