The Wong in Review for the Year 2012
January 2nd, 2013 → 1 Comment
Happy New Year from Miami!
Omens that the year is already off to a fantastic start:
1. I saw a couple doing it doggy style on the beach of South Beach last night.
2. A gross guy hit on me.
3. A man yelled from his car “Ride on the sidewalk you bitch!” while I was bike riding on the side of the road. (Even if it was legal to ride on the sidewalk, there was none.)
All these signs point to Hell Yes! 2013! Let’s do it!
For me, 2013 is going to be a year of major SHIFTING. Last year was supposed to be a year of major shifting away from theater and more towards a balance between that and writing/acting/ commentating/ filmmaking, but somehow I ended up on tour for six months– not a bad landing spot, sure. But this year, I’m throwing my girl balls to the walls and am really giving my life the space to make dramatic change so I can really be more balanced, healthy, and happy as a creative person.
Like any good self-help junkie, I’ve been sampling different life coaches to build a regimen of support and accountability around my goals. After looking at some long term coaching options that ran at $2500-$4500 for a few months to a year (wtf?!), I joined Michelle Ward’s “Clubhouse” at $147/year. She’s a fantastic career coach for creatives with an amazing business model herself. On her recommendation, I am doing two things: sizing up 2012 (below), and writing a letter from the year 2014 where I size up and visualize 2013 (that will be in a private google doc for nobody to see but me!).
Great stuff that Happened in 2012, by Category (Michelle says to do it by the month, but that’s too tedious right now)
Dealing with Crap: With the exception of a big freak-out at the top of the year that had me wondering if I should move to Japan and teach English, a few weirdo situations, some total teary breakdowns at a career coach’s office, and some blow-ups with friends that eventually got figured out, it was relatively drama free so far as I can remember. I still deal with things like insecurity, jealousy, anxiety– but I am also a lot more patient than I ever remember being, and better able to sit in the NOW. How did this happen? Is it the yoga? The self help tapes? Age?
End of an era: Oliver, my cat/boyfriend since 2001 (officially 2004) died in February. I wrote a play about him, so obviously the sudden loss was devastating. I do miss having him follow me around the house, but I don’t miss the pee and having to keep all fabric off the floor. His memory will live on forever in my play.
My body: I exercise so much now! Practically 5x a week! Leaving the house is so important for health! I stopped drinking for a year and my skin cleared up! My mother reports that I became a fatass this year because I am at a record high of 155 pounds. But I look fantastic, and the only thing that I feel bad about is that my mom and aunt told me I looked pregnant. Ouch! that hurt. (The only thing that got me pregs is a cheese pizza.)
Travels that weren’t for work: I got to see London in the closing ceremonies of the Paralympics! I spent a month in Edinburgh but don’t have a lot of memories there. It was just sort of a whirlwind of flyers going by me and just walking a lot and watching a lot of shows. I also was in Ireland. It was a wee bit boring but peaceful. I especially loved the Aran Islands and staying in Bed and Breakfasts in West Ireland.
Love Life: While I didn’t fall in love with anyone this year, I met far fewer douchebags than I usually do. I also have sifted more new friends from this year’s dating pool than ever before. Many who supported me by coming to my show this year! Thanks guys! And I did find myself just being much more genuine with everyone I met. This improvement comes because I have been able to be more honest with myself, set better boundaries from the get-go, love myself first, and I’m less on the defensive having finally recovered and moved on from some bad blows in the past.
Creativity: I took two levels of Improv at UCB with a bunch of 20-somethings. It was so much fun to just be in a room where I didn’t have to facilitate anything. I also made a bunch of silly videos on tour which reinvigorated my creative spirit. Sewed an obscene number of vagina puppets for my Kickstarter donors. And of course, I got to exercise some muscles reworking Going Green the Wong Way and now, CAT LADY for the stage. I also saw some great movies and shows this year! And read some great books!
Career: Yes, unfortunately, making a living off what I love seems to suck down most of my life focus. But there is a lot to celebrate.
I am incredibly proud of this Artist-in-Residence Project I did with the Bus Riders Union.
- I raised a heartstopping 18K thanks to almost 400 Kickstarter donors to get my first international tour in Scotland underway at the Edinburgh Fringe!
- I was on the road for about six months! It was tiring, but nice to be spending more time in the year doing the actual work, not waiting at home to work.
- A 4 week run of Going Green the Wong Way in LA that kicked ass!
- Raised 10K in seed money thanks to individual donors and a matching grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation to develop a new work called “The Wong Street Journal.” Super thank you to my new and returning donors! I can’t believe we pulled that off!
- Life on tour brought me to some great cities in 2012: Edinburgh; Savannah, GA; Putney, VT; Portsmouth, NH; Providence, RI; Hartford, CT; Bethlehem, PA and Miami!
- Did an amazing Artist-in-Residence theater project with the Bus Riders Union. Tri-lingual! See video above!
- Recorded some great commentaries for Marketplace, guest blogged for KCET, and wrote a few funny blogs for xoJane!
- My film version of “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” allows me to finally retire from touring that show live, and still share the message of the show with new audiences. I was present at five campuses that screened the film this year! Lots of campuses are stocking their libraries with the film and our Amazon sales aren’t half bad either!
- Started to commit to working with a part-time assistant once a week. I’ve worked with assistants on and off in the past, but I am finally COMMITTING to having someone help so I can focus on the creative work. She is a budding artist herself and it’s great to be able to feel like a mentor and realize how much I’ve grown in the last few years. And how fortunate that I can give her something to help her grow.
Money $: It was looking pretty ugly early in the year, but once the onslaught of tours hit, it felt like that scene in Indecent Proposal… just more $1 bills, than $100 bills!
My Home: Another year of equity under belt! Yes, I’m still a homeowner and an artist! And I paid off my property taxes on time (and lemme tell you, that bill ain’t cheap and gives me a good scare every time it shows up!) And after almost two years of twiddling my thumbs about how to really “own” my home, I finally threw some nails into the walls and put art up everywhere. It still has a ways to go, but now, it’s definitely MY roost and I’m proud to bring people home to it.
Some big steps I’m taking this year:
I’m going to look into a “co-working” space to get more work done.
Even if I barely am in LA, I am over working in my PJs all day. This girl needs company, to get out of the house and a focused space to write, and I need to get a lot of work done while be connected to the big city.
Use the “N” word more often. “NO.” I’m taking only tours and gigs that I feel strongly about. I’m not applying for grants for projects I’m not interested in making. I used to take shows to make me look and feel busy. Sure, it impressed people, and paid the bills. But really, all I was doing was distracting myself from really making new work and exploring new ideas and really challenging myself to be capable of even greater things.
Becoming really smarterer! By not drinking anymore! By learning everything!
I really need to learn new things and churn out new ideas, not just proliferate the old ones. So right now, my one year experiment in sobriety will extend into 2013. And I’m hyper focused on learning more about the world.
Writing a book proposal
Yes, I did at one point go to graduate school for a year to try to finish a novel (I did finish a 110 page novella that is sitting in my computer) but now I’m going to commit to finishing one kick ass book proposal for “Going Green the Wong Way.” Whatever happens after that is whatever happens. But it starts with a proposal and a sample chapter.
Being Open and Not Panicking
Fear helps nobody. My mantra is, “I’m exactly where I need to be right now, drinking in the world.”