Looking back at 2017, plus eight things I resolve to accomplish in 2018

It’s the end of the year. Time to assess how we did in 2017, and resolve to accomplish even more in the upcoming year. Looking back, it’s been a heck of a year, for Theatre Unleashed, StageCrafts, acting, playwriting… It’ll be tough to top. But a good friend of mine recently asked what my goals are for 2018. Honestly, it wasn’t hard to come up with what I think is a comprehensive and suitably ambitious list:

  • Raise $50,000 in an Annual Fund for Theatre Unleashed, the Los Angeles-based non-profit theatre company I help lead.
  • Acquire and launch a second property for StageCrafts LLC, my for-profit theatrical venue rental and management business
  • Get new theatrical, commercial, and literary representation
  • Get back in a regular submission rotation – daily for acting breakdowns, every other week for plays
  • Finish the three plays I have in development
  • Launch the StageCrafts podcast
  • Celebrate Jenn’s 40th birthday with her in Iceland
  • Start studying martial arts again

That’s decently ambitious, I think.

Looking back, I am pretty proud of everything that I managed to accomplish this year. Let’s see…

My new job is great. Jenn and I launched StageCrafts and took over management of studio/stage. We’ve been in control of the place for almost 365 days, and we haven’t burned it down yet! We also managed to do major upgrades and improvements to the space without breaking the bank!

Earned a Best Actor Award and critical acclaim (plus two of the most scathing reviews I’ve ever gotten – something I take great pride in!) for my portrayal of Lenny Small in Of Mice and Men at Theatre Unleashed.

The Anniversary Issue got into the playoffs at Serial Killers at Sacred Fools. We got eliminated again in the first round, but still, we were on the brackets!

Premiered my interactive dark comedy, Three Can Keep a Secret at this year’s Hollywood Fringe, where both the script and performers earned stellar reviews, multiple award nominations, and an Encore! run.

The Boys of Spring and Fall earned a Judge’s Pick at Short+Sweet Hollywood.

Hang a Lampshade On It took home the O’Shadows Cup at O’ShadowsFest III: In 3D, which happened in my very own theatre at studio/stage. I also just found out that Lampshade will be premiering in both Sydney, Australia (at Short+Sweet Sydney) and Columbus, Ohio (at MadLab Theatre) next year!

Yellow Means Caution garnered an Audience’s Pick at Short+Sweet Sydney.

Super Sidekick: The Musical enjoyed three successful productions this year, pictures of which are all coming soon!

A Very DIE HARD Christmas was once again an undisputed smash hit.

Friends Like These was read at the LA County High School for the Arts.

Jenn and I launched our vlog, What We Do When We’re Dark, and have enjoyed a modicum of success with it so far.

Altered Spirits premiered! My first major role in a feature film.

I was approved as an Entertainment Professional for Comic Con next year! Also, I got new headshots. Guess who’s back in the game?

Finished paying off all of my credit cards! Yep, that actually happened. Honestly, I’m more excited about this than almost anything else.

Also, Jenn and I had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Bailey into our lives! He’s occasionally a little jerkface, but we love him dearly.

To be fair, this year wasn’t all just sunshine and happiness. My paternal grandmother, Eileen Crafts, who was my last remaining grandparent, passed earlier this year. Her loss had a profound impact on my family. Likewise, Jenn’s paternal grandmother, Vera, passed away as well, barely six weeks after Eileen. We also lost some friends – Erich S. and Eric C. immediately come to mind. We’ll carry their memories forward with us in our hearts.

We made a tough call regarding the future of Theatre Unleashed. Taking most of 2018 off from producing, and giving up our home at The Belfry to focus on fundraising is a scary prospect. But I honestly believe it’s going to lead to bigger and better things for the company.

Also, I stepped down from the Board of Directors of the Theatrical Producers’ League of Los Angeles; a very difficult decision, but one I felt was necessary.

2017 was a strange year, full of turmoil and upheaval, both globally and locally. Overall though, I have to say, it was a good one for me, personally.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store.