Time for that obligatory "this year in review" Facebook status, which I'm doing now because I plan on disappearing for two days so I can fully rest and recover. (I'm officially back to work January 2nd. Yes, I carved out my own vacation time, because I'm a self-employed adult).
This past year was a year of some great adventures and some important growth. This was the first year I really felt like the pieces tetris-ed into place and I started seeing the results of years of hard work and hustle. I made a lot of hard decisions and really learned to trust my instincts in making them. I made some giant strides in giving zero fucks about what anyone else thought (someone's going to resent you for it no matter what, so why not just do what's most effective and what makes you happy). I lost friends along the way, but I also made new connections I didn't expect to make and are now incredibly thankful for. I'm starting to find the people I want to surround myself with; the real artists, the rebel rousers and ones who refuse to settle for anything less than the best. This is the year I learned I have more control and power in what happens than I thought I had, and that the results really come down to me.
Highlights from 2017:
- Getting back into theatre, auditioning and getting back to a hustle I thought I left behind. The Toronto scene has changed in 5 short years and I'm still adjusting, but it feels different to attack this scene closer to 32 than it did when I was 21.
- My Euro Trip! I was there for my first international festival (London Burlesque Festival) which was a so-so experience, but my time galavanting through Europe by myself for the first time is something that I won't soon forget. I hate to be the cliche, and it wasn't the initial intention for the trip, but I discovered as part of myself I'd long since thought had disappeared. I'm happy to have her back.
- One specific performance at this year's Toronto Burlesque Festival. That performance of One Night Only turned into something I didn't see coming until that first step on stage. It was the breakthrough to something I think had been sitting just under the surface for a years and I didn't know how to tap it until that night. I'm still overwhelmed and humbled by people's continued response to that performance. I am forever changed because of that night.
- Everything to do with High Society Cabaret this year! I can't believe this year happened! Every single person who was involved in the shows this year was integral to our success and I feel to fortunate to have collected this amazing and talented group of artists! I had lost faith in the idea that you could make a family from a work environment and these wonderful beings restored my faith with their dedication, work ethic, kindness, generosity, talent and belief in what Anna and I are creating.
- Some select individuals who really come through for me this year (whether they know it or not). I remember your kindness, and I will do all I can to repay you!
- Adam Tupper. No explanation necessary.
Goals for 2018:
- Keep growing High Society Cabaret! Anna and I (with the help of Adam Martino) have some pretty large ambitions for our little cabaret company for 2018. Be sure you're following everything we're doing as there will be some big announcements as soon as next week! I know I need the rest now, but I'm already restless to get started on this next season!
- Continue to to grow Knox Dance & Fitness. I separated my teaching/coaching from my performer life, now I gotta tend to this little sprig. I am already planning a burlesque/cabaret intensive for what is looking like the end of February/beginning of March. I will also keep working to create content and take on new clients! (Alayna we got some plans to lay through this girl!)
- Hustle more bookings and gigs. I got back into auditioning, but trying to find my footing there (combined with focussing on HSC) meant my gig hustle waned. And that wasn't a bad thing! It helped me prioritize the the kind of gigs I *want* to be doing and gave me the freedom to focus my energy to what was worth my time and say no to what wasn't. Now that that lesson is learned, I want to utilize it while I expand my bookings. On that note...
- Do more out-of-town gigs. I would like to specifically see of I can go cross-country. I've already applied to VIBF (let's hope I get in this year), and I want to see how many of the Canadian festivals I can hit up. I would also like to work more in Montreal... *hint hint*
There are a few more goals I am tempted to share in this post, but I have opted to keep them under my hat for now. I have some very large ambitions! Some of them will take years to accomplish, so 2018 is the year I continue to lay the groundwork for the progress I wish to see not only in my own development, but in the development of a community, a business and an industry. I recently have been criticized for my ambition, for making lofty goals and wanting to elevate theatre and burlesque especially to a higher standard. And to that I can finally say confidently: I don't care. These are the things I want, and the ways I want to do it. And this year I learned that most of my critics are the ones who not only aren't doing what I'm doing, but don't want to and don't know how. So who are they to say that what I'm doing won't work or isn't what should be happening? The very least I can do is try, then try again.
Happy New Year everyone! I look forward to the new adventure 2018 will bring!!! xoxo