2012. I think I am getting to that place in life where you blink and five years have passed. I know this is a time of year when we all tend to look back and evaluate things, but this is especially so for me, since I get not only the new year, but also my birthday, which is just a few days before. In any case, here are some highlights of the year....
Wrote my most popular blog post ever, How to Not Starve as a Freelancer, or What They Don't Teach You in Music School. I'm actually working on expanding this post and would love to offer a little workshop for college kids or something. Let me know if you are interested.
Lived thru year one of long-distance with my man friend, who now has a job in NYC, while I am still officially here in beloved Houston. Not always easy, but we are making it work, hopefully growing stronger because of it. Also, lots of frequent flyer miles. ha!
Got a brand new niece of my very own: Little Shannon Olivia Faircloth conveniently made her appearance on my dad's birthday. I like this picture of her because I think she looks like a little Jedi in training. I have evil plans for her, and intend to be the best crazy aunt on the block.
Directed a beautiful new production of The Rake's Progress at Wolf Trap Opera, probably the highlight of my career so far. AND THE CRITICS AGREED. hhahahahah. But seriously, while I like to pretend the reviews don't matter, it is awfully nice when they like your work, and when they say so in the Washington Post ("a simple and elegant production") and Opera News ("highest peak of the past decade"). Learning the show, working with my designers to figure out the best way to tell this wild story, then making it all happen with a dream cast and production team.... this was definitely the highlight/biggest agony of my year.
Other career stuff:
Mainstage debut at two regional houses (the "must-see" Rigoletto at Utah Opera and "an imaginative, absorbing" Trovatore at Opera Colorado ). Returned to Tulsa to do another bel canto comedy: The Daughter of the Regiment. It was pretty great, leading to plenty of eye-rolling from my man-friend, who is getting a little sick of my "it's going to be the worst show ever seen on the stage" routine. Directed another show for Houston Grand Opera's East+West project, this one about Azerbaijan: The Bricklayer. I was really pleased with this one too, but the very best part was meeting and getting to work with a new artstic soul-mate, my lovely and talented set designer, Laura Fine Hawkes. A perfect design collaboration is one in which the other person is able to understand and materialize thoughts that you are not even sure you understand yourself, based solely on some random images you found on the internet and a few disparate phrases. Seriously, I would say the most inane things, and Laura would be able to pick that out of the air, add to it and make it concrete, on paper, only 300 times better. Plus she is fun and likes fostering kitties.
Visited Chicago for the first time, then worked on a show there, surrounded by great old pals and lovely new ones. This marked my return to assistant directing work, and I have to say, this was a wonderful way to do it.... interesting show, easy-going director, one of the best houses in America.
Worked on my house. Of course. Because that is what you do when you own a 1935 bungalow that is fairly decrepit.
Most Awesome Improvement that Makes My Life Better Every Day: a whole kitchen reno!
Most Unexpected But Also Beautiful: removed the bricks from the rear of the house and replaced with siding. This happened because one day the bricks on the rear of the house decided it was time and simply fell off. Owning a home is an adventure.
Also, signed up with Airbnb.com which has changed my life. Check out my cute listing! This is an online service wherein folks can rent my home when I am away. They get a cute place to stay and I make a little money to stuff under my mattress for when I am old.
I read some really great books this year. Got a Kindle for Christmas last year, and I must admit I really like it. In 2010 I made a point of mentioning the books I had read each month... maybe I will try that again this year.
Finally, got much more into watercoloring this year. I am determined to get my Etsy Shop up and running again! I renamed it: One Part Whimsy, now I just have to put some things inside of it. I'd love to do lots of custom work.... I think I am pretty good at houses, so if you'd like a painting of your childhood home perhaps, let me know!
LONGEST POST EVAH. ok I will wrap this up for now, but expect to see a bit more activity around here. Fresh year, fresh start. Happy new year!