Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year's Eve is here again. My inadvertent alternating schedule of staying in to welcome the odd years and going out to usher in the even has asserted itself once again, this year in the form of a party with friends. Both hosts are exemplary cooks and exceptionally gifted at wine selection, so the evening promises to please my palate as well as my spirits.

What can I say about 2003? Plenty, as it turns out. Here's a look back at my experiences over the past twelve months, in no particular order:
  • I only did one play all year, but considering I got to do a role in it (Harold Hill) that I've wanted to take on since I started that crazy hobby sixteen years ago, I'd have to characterize this as a great theater year for me.

  • I lost my last grandparent, a sad milestone to be sure. But my family carries on, enriched by all she brought to our lives, and with a greater appreciation of what we all mean to each other.

  • I got a new place to live, in which I'm quite cozy and pleased. Sadly though, I've been forced out of it by minor flooding three times now. The situation seems finally to be well and truly resolved, so I look forward to much drier domesticity in '04.

  • I shoveled and trudged through more snow than I ever thought I would. As a resident of the DC area, we just aren't used to such a tremendous volume of the white stuff.

  • The United States went to war, and one of my oldest and best friends fought in it. He came home alive and safe. Hundreds of other men and women, our fellow citizens, did not. Though "major combat operations" have been over for more than seven months, the fighting and violence continues, sporadic but still deadly.

  • The Chicago Cubs had an outstanding season and came within five outs of making the World Series. But it wasn't to be, and Hell's supply of road salt remained untouched for yet another year.

  • I saw my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, up very close and personal. Whether it was from being in the front row, the over-the-top lighting, the Tom Jones music blaring before the show and at intermission, or the pure undiluted talent of the man himself, I cannot say, but I found the whole experience a tad overwhelming. I know I had fun though, because my sides were hurting when I walked out, having been split by laughter.

  • The celebrity passings that touched me most deeply were those of Fred Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. I like to imagine that the two of them have gotten together for tea or a drink Up There. That'd be one amazing conversation.

  • I got a piece posted on one of my favorite sites, TeeVee. As the writing over there is part of what inspired me to start this blog in the first place, it's an accomplishment of which I'm extremely proud.

  • My main fantasy football team, the Lost World Warriors, went undefeated on its way to winning the championship. To say that I'm pleased with the way this inaugural season of the Bot Bash Football League turned out is a severe understatement. Even more pleasing to me, though, is the fact that several of my fellow owner/coaches have already expressed enthusiasm for doing it again next year.

  • I made a number of wonderful new friends, enriching the tapestry of my life that much more. I tried my best to keep in touch with all those dear to me, both old and new, with my usual varied results. If I have a resolution for the next twelve months, it's to be a better and more constant friend to all those I care about.

Now 2004 is just twelve hours away here on the East Coast. What does next year promise, aside from elections and Olympics? In my case, I know exactly what's in store for me, at least through the first half of the year.

I mentioned back in November that I was taking on a big project, something I'd never done before but had been contemplating for years. Now, with the start of said project just nine days away, I'm ready to unveil it.

For the first time since I started doing theater back in 1987, I'm going to be on the other side of the audition table. Tryouts for my debut as the director of a full-length show are set for January 9th and 10th. The venue is the McLean Theatre Alliance. The show is Anything Goes.

This will be a gigantic challenge for me, but it's one I'm eager to tackle. I've assembled a talented, energetic, enthusiastic production team around me, and I've got the support of the wonderful folks at MTA. Now I just have to pull it off.

Good thoughts and encouragement would be most welcome. And if you live in the DC area and would be interested in trying out for the show or pitching in behind the scenes, drop me a line. The more good folks we have along for the ride, the better.

Tales and details about my first time in the director's chair will come as the days and weeks roll on. But for now I'm going to take advantage of the last few hours of this waning year and relax for what might be the final time until the show opens in late April.

May 2004 be a happy, healthy, adventurous, and fruitful year for us all.
Posted @ 11:53 AM


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