2018: A Roller Coaster Ride of a Year
I had intended to publish a few more blog posts before the year was out, but my work had me crazy occupied. I seemed to be outrunning myself, and becoming extremely exhausted. Here’s a few of my highs and lows of 2018, in chronological order:
The sound board crashed before one of my performances of my solo show, Dreadlocks, Rock ‘n Roll & Human Rights, delaying the show for 45 minutes, causing me to lose a lot of momentum, and not hitting the highest energy level I could.
I became education manager at a major performing arts center. We rolled out a number of excellent programs focusing on the voice and agency of middle school students. A lot of transformation occurred amongst the students, and we continue to build those relationships at the sites with which we collaborate.
Several fellow faculty with whom I worked closely at the University of Baltimore where I teach were either downsized or resigned. The Counseling Center and Spotlight UB, a decades long running theater program were terminated.
Another old close friend, Darryl Wharton-Rigby, released his film Stay, winning several awards at film festivals across the globe. It was exciting reconnecting with him, and attending one of his screenings.
I served as adjudicator at the 7th annual Charm City Fringe Festival. I judged 20 out of 21 excellent and compelling performances. Much love and respect to Michael, Zach and Krys who have been building this community-based theater festival with their blood, sweat and tears.
I lost one of my oldest and closest friends in the world, Chris Shiver, whom I had known for 30 years. He died of a heart attack. His death broke my heart, and could not have come at a worst time. We were both excited and getting set to collaborate on his music project, Lust Metropolis.
Obviously I cannot predict what will happen in 2019. I thought about New Year’s resolutions – writing more consistently, getting back to performing on a regular basis, finishing my next book, and taking better care of myself.
What I really need to resolve to do is being more honest, more accountable, and more interrogative with myself. The more internal work that I do, the more I realize I have much more work to do, which means I need a bigger shovel, and more bags to dig out my stuff.