2016 may have been a dumpster fire of a year that we all can’t wait to see sail away to Hades, but there were a few notable moments I would like to acknowledge. Listing them may seem to be a bit boastful, but these are accomplishments that I am extremely proud of and I’d like to at least end the year remembering the high notes.
In 2016 I was the assistant and co-director of four live sketch productions for Highwire Comedy. It all started when I helped successfully produce our first pop up sketch show, A Farce Awakens, opening weekend of Star Wars: A Force Awakens. The show was such a success, the founder of Highwire decided he wanted a monthly sketch show. He then asked me to be his assistant director for the February show, Happy Valentine’s Day Mr. President. The requests snowballed from then on out, when the director for the April show, April Showers, asked me to co-direct that month’s production with him. In September 2016, Highwire Comedy got a new home and theater, it was decided that the monthly sketch shows would have a run of four weekends instead of just one day. I was asked to assistant to direct the first show in our new home, the October Halloween show. While in the middle of the Halloween run, the director for the Holiday show, Lost Without Yule, also asked me to assist her for the last (and longest) show of the year as well. Each show and director was a unique and fantastic learning experience. I can’t wait to do more with the live productions in the upcoming years.
Also in 2016, I produced and / or directed five video shorts. I had two under my belt from 2015 and continued to roll with it. Most of the shorts I decided to shoot were sketches I wrote that were too complicated to perform live. Each shoot came with its set of challenges, but I managed to overcome them and create a funny product. From trying to find a large enough locker room that would allow me to film, to losing my director of photography (twice) at the last minute, to (literally) shooting Disney princesses in public, in cold winter weather, each obstacle was conquered with the help of my resourceful cast and crew, with whom I wouldn’t have been able to make wonderful and weird art!
One of my most cherished accomplishments of 2016 is being invited to perform in the most exclusive and prestigious shows in the Atlanta creative scene. The first of these terrifying moments was when Nicholas Tekosky asked if I was interested in competing in Write Club, a well-respected and well-attended monthly literary competition. I didn’t win my bout but performance was memorable enough that people came up to me months after the show to tell me they enjoyed my piece. After Write Club, I was asked to perform in Scene Missing, a monthly literary show based on favorite film and television genres. I gathered a couple of friends and wrote a puppet show based off of the 80’s fantasy film, Willow. Bleux Stockings Society is a women’s literary show which hosts both public and closed shows. When I was asked to perform for the last closed show, a safe space for women, gay, transgendered, and other non-binary persons, of the season, I felt nervous and unworthy. I chose to write a deeply personal piece infused with humor. The fear and self-doubt were worth it when, upon conclusion, I was greeted with applause, laughter, tears, and hugs.
In perspective, it would seem 2016 certainly had more bad than good, but I will cling to these good 2016 memories and carry them into a more prosperous and brilliant 2017.