2014: The Year In Review

2014-new-yearAs 2014 comes to a close, I can’t help but take a little time to think back on what an awesome year it was.  I always try to be optimistic, so I’ve never looked back on a particular year and said “well, this one really blew.  Let’s hope the next one is better.”  But this year in particular was really exciting.

I had a ton of fun, I got to do a lot of cool things and meet a lot of cool people, and in general, I was just loving what I was doing…most of the time.  (I’m sure if you talked to my roommate, she’d be able to point out a few times where all I did was bitch about what I was doing.)

RIght now, I’m in Ft. Myers, Florida, having a breakfast sandwich and a hot cup of black coffee at Panera Bread, one of my favorite places to just sit and relax.  I was thinking of going through, month by month, with my Google calendar open, but that just seemed obnoxious, so I’ll just shoot from the hip.

To start, I’m a teaching artist!  At this time last year, I didn’t even know what a teaching artist was (or that I had been one without knowing it); I had heard the term thrown around a lot but thought it was someone that had a masters in education who went into schools to do special programs.  Little did I know that a teaching artist could also be someone who dropped their education major after the first day of Classroom Instruments in college (though I don’t advertise that when applying for jobs).  Fast-forward to now and I’m working as a teaching artist for Disney Theatricals, Broadway Classroom, A Class Act NY, and starting in two weeks, The New York Pops, all which happened in 2014.

At the start of the year, I took a little cruise with Jim Brochu, playing piano for his show Character Man, which took us to St. Barths, St. Maarten, Jost Van Dyke, and San Juan.

I got to photograph a ton of celebrities I adore including Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Aaron Tveit, Matthew Morrison, and Debra Messing.  And my favorite shot of the year was at The New York Pops gala honoring Scott Whitman and Marc Shaiman, when I was able to get “the three Tracys” in one photo: Ricki Lake, Nikki Blonsky, and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

With Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA, I had the privilege of singing with the chorus two more times at Carnegie Hall, once in March and once in Novemeber.  A small group of us also spent an evening with John Bucchino, singing through an arrangement of his piece Grateful that my friend Jeremy created.

For film and TV, I shot (acted in) an episode for Discovery ID and another one for The Travel Channel, I did my first voiceover work for Lucky and the Pirates, shot a short film, and recorded a little music for a web series I acted in last year, but finished up with the music this year.

And at the piano, I was a rehearsal accompanist for Broadway Backwards, musically directed Warp Speed for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, accompanied a couple cabarets, and had a blast working with Will and Anthony for several concerts.

And now?  I’ve run away and joined the circus!  I could not be more grateful for everything that’s been going on.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t take some time to be thankful for all of the blessings (and insanity) in my life!

Another reason for this list is to segue into my next post, which will be all about figuring out what my plans are for 2015.  I still want it to be wacky and exciting, but as you can see, I tend to spread myself a little thin.  I think I’m going to hone in a little and put more energy into fewer things.

What will they be?  Patience, my child.  I’m still figuring it out.

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Another murderous rampage on Discovery ID

FatalENcountersLast night my episode of Most Evil aired on Discovery ID.  I’m staying at a studio 6 in West Palm Beach, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that the cable package didn’t include the channel.  I also checked a couple of bars we had been going to, and they only subscribe to some ESPN pro package.  Apparently, no one has any class in WPB.  And yes, by class I mean watching trashy true-crime reenactment shows.

We got out of rehearsal a little early yesterday, so I decided to walk around the downtown area and not quit until I found a place to watch the show.  Finally, after two hours, I had a place-Duffy’s Sports Grill on Clematis Street.  They had dozens of TVs, all set to football, but the manager said it wouldn’t be a problem to switch one of them over to Discovery ID at 10:00.  So I had just enough time to walk the hour back to my hotel, eat dinner, and then walk the hour back to the bar.  Sure, I could’ve taken an Uber both ways, but thanks to The World of Beer down on the waterfront, I’m a little over budget and trying to keep expenses down.

So there I was, tucked away in a corner of a packed sports bar, watching myself drag a dead hooker’s body out of my car and leaving it by a dumpster; just your typical Sunday night.  And as if that wasn’t creepy enough, mom suggested that I get a picture of myself watching the show.  So there I was, drinking alone and watching true-crime TV in a sports bar, grinning like an idiot as if it’s the most thrilling movie ever made, and taking selfies of me watching me.

I haven’t uploaded them to my computer yet, but if they’re half as creepy as I’m expecting, I’ll make sure to post one here!

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Most Evil on Discovery ID

Most_evil_logoI just got word that my episode of Most Evil is going to air on Discovery ID on Sunday, 12/21 at 10:00 PM.  It’s my first episode of the show, but my fourth on the network.  My first was when I had the privilege of playing Charles Yukl on Fatal Encounters; to this day, it’s one of my favorite experiences!

Second and third was On The Case with Paula Zahn.  I was hired for one episode, and when I got there and we started shooting, I was asked if I’d mind stepping in for the previous episode.  I don’t know if an actor didn’t show up or if the production ran out of time, but they needed to film the boyfriend of the victim.  Clearly, I had no problem saying yes.

And now, Most Evil!  All I have to do now is find a way to watch it.  I’m pretty sure the hotel I’ll be staying in won’t have that channel, since I’m staying at the same chain where I’m currently settled in, and they only have the basic channels.  Maybe I’ll be able to find a bar nearby that wouldn’t mind switching one of their sets to ID.  I’m sure they’ve had stranger requests…I hope.

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Third Time’s A Charm

Screen shot 2013-06-14 at 10.14Looks like my dreams of becoming a reenactment TV star are coming true!  I was just offered a role for a show that will be shooting at the end of August, and it’ll be my third show for this network!  I mean, let’s be honest, the title of reenactment TV star doesn’t really exist, but in my twisted world, this is the stuff of dreams!  I mean, what’s more fun than spending a couple days playing a lunatic who actually lived, and acting out all the weird things that garnered him a spot on true crime television?

I don’t want to send off any Google alerts for the network or producers, so I won’t say more until it films and I’ve made sure I know what exactly is kosher to share, as far as the social media clause.  And I know that secret and vague announcements like this generally mean something huge is about to happen, like naming the next actor to take on the role of Batman, but rest assured, dear reader, this isn’t to distract you from anything bigger and better.  It’s just me, a little too enthused to have convinced another casting director that I can play disturbed and creepy pretty well.

According to the casting notice, this guy is a dedicated drug addict, father of six, and because of his addiction, he can’t provide a home for his family; they live in tents and cars.  And they chose me!  At first I was thinking I should probably be offended for someone thinking I look old enough to have six kids, but then I saw that the notice also said “very thin frame,” so I’ll forgive the initial offense and go with flattery! (Is it weird that the fact that I could pass as a dedicated drug addict didn’t even register on the personal offense scale?)

Oh, and the scary photo at the top of this page?  That’s me playing a murderer as he was being interrogated.

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