TURNING 30

8 Aug

I turn 30 on Tuesday.

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Getting older is my biggest fear.

I will be drunk for a while.

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I planned a trip to Hawaii for this milestone.  I will be blogging about. It will be the best vacation of my life. I can tell. My future vacations just won’t be as good.

Here are SOME of my greatest accomplishments in the last 30 years: ( if I missed any… then i missed some. That’s how that works)

30. Almost becoming a Kardashian.

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Was at the #1 spot for weeks. Ended in #2 for an Eonline contest to “Become An Honorary Kardashian”. I’m as proud of this as I am ashamed and disgusted.

29. Dancing

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Any time I have to dance for any reason. If I do it… it’s an accomplishment.

28. My Bitstrips & Draw Somethings
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27. My 2009 Kate Austin Halloween costume.

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26.My LOST Series Finale party
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25. Getting Through Halloween 2011

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READ HERE

24. Conquering the Corporate World

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I had worked in the restaurant business for most of my life and then got a job in financial printing for the SEC. Now I work for a company that helps rebuild homes after natural disasters. Oh, I also cured cancer for a while with a bio- pharmaceutical company.

23. Trip Planning and Execution

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Any time I have to organize a trip for more than 2 people. The Play Club Hamptons Trip, Hawaii, the 2013 Outrageous Fortune trip to MA – That drive home was the worst drive of my life. In a storm. In a van. Responsible for the lives of 7 other people.

22. Playing Audrey in Little shop of Horrors
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There was a lot accomplished with this. Not only winning the role against some unbelievably talented people (my older sister included), but also performing it in front of Ellen Greene (The original Audrey & actress from the film). I was 16 years old and it was terrifying and thrilling.

21. Not Being Pregnant

No explanation or photo needed.

20. Playing Guitar

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Learning guitar and playing it in front of an audience is 100% out of my comfort zone. In 2013 I did it in front of audiences. It was a huge step for me. I was nervous as shit.

19. Editing

I’ve made several little videos and promos, acting reels and odd commercials on iMovie and edited my 2004 student film WIGFIELD on Final Cut. Learning this equipment and spending time working on it has been such a fun hobby.

18. The Midnight Move
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Our Williamsburg apartment was literally falling apart. It was raining inside the apartment. We were technically squatters. Our landlord threatened to put our stuff on the street if we didn’t pay rent. We found a new place and moved within 48 hours and did it all after midnight so our landlord wouldn’t find out. It. Was. Stressful. Haha, god that place was such a piece of shit. But it was our first NYC home 🙂

17.My Celebrity Encounters

PAUL RUDD
Jeff Goldblum hitting on me outside of Pillowman on Broadway. “Your freckles are incredible.”
George Clooney and Sam Rockwell chatting screenplays with me at the Q&A talk back of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”.
Howie from the Backstreet Boys waving to me and my friends as we were in the “Do Not Cross” Section of Madison Square Garden during their 1998 concert.
Meeting Bob Dylan and not getting it.
Performing as AUDREY for Ellen Greene.
and of course…
SINGING WITH SARA BAREILLES

16. I Spit On Your Podcast

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Love every minute of this. Except maybe being in charge of the sound editing. It can get EXTREMELY tedious  to turn a 2 hour episode/interview into a 30 minute one.

15.Surviving 2006 and 2008.

2006 was a dark time for me. There was a lot of wasting money, heavy drinking, closing out bars till 4am, rinse & repeat. I was definitely “going through” something. Things were looking up in 2007. Then… 2008 hit and it was arguably one of the worst years of my life. I was getting over the worst break up of my life, creatively stumped and was fired from my job. Definitely leaned towards the subway tracks a couple times. Got through it. Stronger because of it.

14. Surviving JRA

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I’ve had a lot of complicated relationships in my life. This one takes the cake. I learned so much about myself from the heartbreak here. I have a ton of regrets, a lot of terrible memories, but a lot of incredible memories too. It shook me up and molded me for sure.

13. Writing and Producing Theatre in NYC

It’s one of the most stressful things you can do as an artist anywhere. Especially in NYC. Things are more expensive, people are more difficult and there are thousands of people doing the exact same thing as you. It can be so discouraging. Getting through it and deciding to do it again and again takes a thick skin.

12. Wigfield

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Adapting this novel has been a joy in my life. Rounding up the entire Glendale Community College theatre department to film a full length movie was equally brutal and awesome. The screening for that film was one of the best nights of my life (even though I locked my keys in my car and missed an hour of the after party). The cast, the music and the words all came together and made something I am still so proud of today. Adapting the novel into a play is what I’m currently working on. And… of course… officially getting the rights 🙂

11. A Norman Rockwell Christmas With the Donners

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I was 17 years old. I wrote a play. Two of my dear friends thought it was funny. WE decided to produce it in a theatre in North Hollywood. Pretty much one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever been through. But an experience I learned oh so much about. Looking back at it now, I cringe at the material but revel in the experience. I was young and learning, but at the time “We were goin’ to BROAD- way.” The Donners was the beginning of everything.

10. Outrageous Fortune

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Writing this play meant so much to me. It’s the first time I wrote a play about a topic I found myself to be extremely passionate about. During my research for writing a play about the death penalty, I met some incredibly inspiring people. The “West Memphis Three” case and many others that I researched struck a chord inside of me and I haven’t been the same since. Organizations like the Innocence Project have been such a prominent thing in my life since I started writing this play and I have such high hopes for it. I want it to make a difference. I want it to open the eyes of people who are closed minded about our judicial system and the death penalty. Writing this play was a huge accomplishment for me and it continues to be through the revision process.

9. The Runaway Clone

We wrote this musical in 2 months and did two workshops of it within a 4 month period of time. The collaboration for this has been such a joy and it’s definitely one of the funniest things I’ve ever written. Cast members from this experience bonded in ways that I haven’t seen in the 13 years I’ve been professionally producing theatre and just a handful of performances. It’s so rewarding. I love this show. It’s so fun to do as well. Musicals are hard.

8. Right Together Left Together

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This show has been a labor of love for over 8 years. So many titles, so many workshops. I’m so proud of this piece. Everyone who sees it loves it and loves it in a way that feels particularly special to them. This is a sweet show with beautiful music and great dialogue. I am in love with it.

7. The Unknown Artists

Founding this company with my friend in 2007 was a HUGE accomlishment. We started with a play I wrote called “420” and continued with the birth of, what is now called “Right Together Left Together.” I spent so many years in NYC growing the company and making the name known on the east coast. It is now thriving on the west coast and I’m so proud. This little nugget of an idea that we were passionate about didn’t crumble or fall apart as so many theatre companies started by kids in their early 20’s do. It had its ups and downs… but it still breathes today and has a ton of dedicated members and has launched a ton of amazing projects.

6. Play Club and Ruckus Rockwell
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Play Club was started in 2011 by myself and 3 other actors/producers. 3 1/2 years later we have a successful branch in Los Angeles and a branch in New Orleans celebrating their 6 month anniversary. We have between 100-200 active members on each coast and the family grows each year. The most amazing, most wonderful part about the whole thing is when actors come to us and tell us how much Play Club has helped them in their professional lives. I love hearing about how much members value that this club exists. It was a lot of work and full of a ton of failed and winning experiments. Ruckus, started by myself in 2014 has already, in its 8 months of existence has brought me so much promise and so much talent. I’m grateful for it. The idea of helping people, through projects, do what they love is a dream come true.

5. 505 Theatre Department

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Some kids are lucky to have an adult in their life who helps mold and shape them. My high school theatre department WAS those kids. We were not a “High school For The Arts”, yet we had unbelievable talent and guidance in those years under Rod Rothacher. Most of my current best friends were a part of that department and we have gone on (10+ years later) to still create amazing art together. It was here that I learned how to write. It was here that I learned what I love. I’m so unbelievably grateful for my experiences with this group. And so are all of them. I know… because we talk about it all the time 🙂

4. Maintaining Friendships over the Years

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I am still so close to my childhood friends from Long Island, even though I moved at age 14. I’m so proud of that. It took such hard work. The important friendships I have now have years and history behind them. These friendships have taught me so much and have prepared me for any new, incredibly awesome people I meet today. My best friends are my soulmates. I have my “Person”. And I make sure to surround myself with the most talented, inspiring people out there.

3. I’ve written 46 plays,  2 1/2 musicals, 4 screenplays, 6 TV pilots, 72 sketches and 5 novels.

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2.  NY –> CA & CA –>NY

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In 1999 I left my small town on Long Island and moved to California for my sophomore year of high school. In 2005, I moved to Brooklyn from LA. Both moves took a lot of guts that I didn’t know I had in me.

1. Craig Jr.

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So I know I didn’t “accomplish” Craig Jr. But sometimes when I yell at him I say, “Look at me! Look at me, damn you! I made you!”. Pretty much just keeping him alive has been a feat. He was a stray. He found me. People marvel at his size. He has a FACEBOOK PAGE. I’m not the only writer for it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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