Looking back, looking ahead

I just realized that I went through all of December without a single blog post. Some might see that as a Christmas miracle. I see it as having little to say and less time to say it.

2010 was an exciting year for me. It marked a number of firsts, a whole bunch of ongoings, and a smattering of unfortunate lasts. It began with me playing Judge Taylor in To Kill A Mockingbird. Not my dream role, but I did enjoy it and got to work with a bunch of great people (two of whom I have since seen in TV commercials). Concurrent with that was the sad demise of the DVD project I was involved with for most of last year. It was a well-written show with enormous potential (which I hope will one day be realized, with or without me), but it ended very, very poorly.

Things got markedly brighter in April when I did some full-blown dinner theater for the first time, followed a month later by a custom show with the same group to celebrate the opening of a new attraction in Wildwood. Unfortunately my car's transmission crapped out on the way there, so I had to deal with that expense (and pain in the ass). Then there was Twelve Angry Men in the summer. I'm glad I did it, but it wasn't smooth sailing by any means (and for many reasons).

After that I kept away from the stage for a while to indulge in a new pursuit: therapy. It was a long time coming, as I have some personal issues that I had left unattended for far too long. This year I finally tackled them and made some real progress. I also indulged in my Paul Meier accent and dialect book & CD set to better learn the New York accent. I still have a long way to go there.

A quiet fall ended with me getting back into the dinner theater world. That same Riddlesbrood Touring Theater Company asked if I could learn the Scrooge role for the holiday season, as well as reprise last year's Bob Cratchit role. In four weeks. The line load was enormous, but I felt the challenge and worked hard to meet it. Some may argue this point, but I feel I did rather well with it. Performances were not without their hiccups, mind you, but on the whole they went really well.

The year ended with a couple of sad losses. My sister-in-law's beloved (and long-lived) cat died shortly after Christmas. On the day, though, we lost a dear friend. Eight years ago I met Ron Eichmann, a man roughly my parents' age with a commanding bass voice and upbeat demeanor that endeared him to all who knew him. I had the great privilege of working with him in The Music Man in 2003, where he sang as part of the quartet. We did a handful of shows together after that, through which I got to know his daughter and her husband and kids, along with her brother (who I kinda knew from high school). He was one of the best examples of a Good Man that I have ever known, and I will miss him a great deal.

As a voice artist, this has been a great year. I finally got this website off the ground, and it has helped immeasurably in moving things forward and helping me climb the proverbial ladder. I have met some great people and gotten involved in some really interesting projects. I also got my second credit on IMDB. I never realistically thought that even the first one would happen! But that's the way things went, and I couldn't be happier.

Last year I cleared some important hurdles, gained some more confidence, and began to conquer some very old demons. I feel like it helped set the stage for me to build on this year and make some more strides, both personally and professionally. It's all in my hands; I just need to make something of it. Wish me luck, folks!