(Yeah okay that's not the exact lyric but it's better for the PATHOS and PROFUNDITY I'm going for here.)
2019 has been a motherfucker, in the best and worst ways. It's been spent in self-imposed comedy exile, mostly on airplanes, traveling more for my day job than I ever have before (about 180,000 miles. Just typing that gave me motion sickness.)
It's also been spent in therapy, in lingering trips to the park with my dog Pearl, in long afternoon depression naps, in writing sessions where I do more staring at the computer waiting for something to fall out of my brain than actually writing,
It's not been spent on stage. It's not been spent on set, or posting all my Big Accomplishments and Opportunities. There hasn't been much creation, partially because I've been so exhausted from taking 4 flights a week and partially because my depression tends to numb my brain like a foot that's fallen asleep from sitting on it too long.
But I know I needed a break. I needed to repair some shit and ditch some old habits and build newer, healthier ones. And I needed to learn how to see value in myself outside of the comedy I create, something I haven't done since I was 18. Sometimes I think I was inexplicably sent on so much travel this year because I needed to learn how to look outward again and stop obsessing about looking inward (I say as I write yet another navel-gazing emo-blog).
I auditioned for a handful of commercials. I got called back once! Momma's still got it! I also took a writing class I mostly couldn't be at because of work travel, but I still gleaned some great things. And I recently finished an acting intensive and hated every goddamn minute of it even though I had a great teacher and great classmates and I know it was helping me (let's face it, I probably hated it because it WAS helping me, which meant I needed help, which meant I wasn't perfect, which meant it was a bullseye in the center of all my issues).
In one of the most surprising developments for my lazy, idle, video-game-addicted ass, I started CrossFit and somehow don't hate it! Sometimes I'm very bad at it and sometimes I am good at it and I am also learning (slowly, it's hard and I am dummm) to stop evaluating my experience of something by whether I'm Good At It or Bad At It.
I also just finished shooting a small role in an upcoming, super-fabulous web series that I will be posting more about soon.
But perhaps the most exciting development is, I'm creating again. I've started an improvised podcast that is launching in January (oh so many more details coming soon!). I've recorded 7 episodes already and found a scheme that makes recording as stress-free as possible, so I can do it despite being out of town half of each month. And best of all, it's just fucking FUN, which I sort of forgot how to have.
I'm also quietly working on a new season of John Loos: Too Big For This World (more info coming soon!), which has been both a delight and a steep climb. It turns out your sketch comedy brain is like any muscle and needs to be worked out to stay #swole, and after a couple years of idling, I've basically had to put it through sketch comedy CrossFit again. But I'm getting there! And I'm excited about what's being created. And perhaps for the first time, I genuinely don't care if it Rockets Me To The Top. I care that it's good, and fun and that the people involved have a great time creating it. As much as I'm dying to have something to post to Facebook about getting Hired or Cast in a Big Time TV Show or Movie, and get those 650-700 Likes and have a day and a half of checking people's lovely comments, it's okay if that doesn't happen. Traditional routes of success elude me, but I'm learning to see that more as a neat-o challenge rather than a discouragement.
Overall, 2020 is looking promising. New things are growing, old grudges and insecurities are dying (some are sticking around, because fuck me therapy is HARD), and even though I'm still sad most of the time, I understand why much more than I ever have. So that's something.
I can't wait to share what I've been working on, and I can't wait to start new things, and re-engage with the comedy world in a way that's healthier and less self-destructive.
For example: I'm doing a photo shoot in drag on Thursday. So already, the new year is going to be glam-fucking-tacular and I just remembered I have to go buy a new wig so if you'll excuse me, I'm returning to my natural habit of perusing drag queen stores.
It's going (Hugh) down(s) in 2020! In 2020, I am gonna go Ba(rbara)lls to the Wal(ters)l!
See you there.