A Year in Review: Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

I'm supposed to be going out right away but then I remembered I promised myself I would come here and say a little something to mark the end of 2016 before I did, so here I am, wet hair, pre-makeup (because I'll probably cry, let's be honest, and redoing makeup sucks), ready to review 2016!

2016 started out a bit rough. January brought a little less work than I'd had the previous Fall, so I spent the first part of the year adjusting to this new financial drawback. With less work came more performance opportunities, however, and I found myself in rehearsals for the February Brahms concert at the NAC as well as A Chorus Line with Orpheus Musical Theatre, which was due to run in March. Jenn Cecil and Angela Burns-Crowley and I also began brainstorming and planning our cabaret concert, Songs and Sass!, a one-night-only show at the end of April. One of the biggest and most challenging projects, though, came in the form of The Who's Tommy, another OMTS production in June where I took on the role as Apprentice Musical Director. It was through this process that I would discern the need to move back to the Edmonton area after having spent two years integrating myself in the church, musical theatre, and music communities in Ottawa. Before leaving Ottawa, however, I had a few more contracts to finish up, and travels to pursue. I had the pleasure of running three performance camps with The Acting Company and Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences over the course of July and August, with just enough time for a trip down to Washington, D.C. in July and another to the Maritimes in August. September brought one more road trip, this time with my brother as we drove across Canada and the United States over the course of five days to move me back home. Two days after I arrived back I began work at Crescendo Music Studios in Sherwood Park and The Speech Studio in Edmonton, rounding out my contracts with acting classes through the Town of Beaumont. There were performances, concerts, last classes for the term. Christmas came and went and here we now are on New Year's Eve, celebrating another trip around the Sun.

I always find it fascinating to look back on the year and see where I started and where I'm ending up. It's definitely not where I thought I'd be, but I'm finding I'm pretty content where I am right now. I'm also just really thankful for this past year, all the wonderful people I've met and worked with, all the opportunities I received, and the faith people had in my gifts and abilities, the trust they put in me helping them with their various needs. That's the biggest lesson I've learned this year: you really can't do anything 100% yourself and rather than something to be ashamed of, it's actually a true blessing. I will never stop thanking all the people who have helped me get to where I am, who've believed in me, who have listening to me bitch and complain when the end of the world seemed imminent. You all know who you are and I can't thank you enough.

Now, onto 2017! I'm so excited to see what this year brings and I only pray that we can all move forward together with grace, a positive spirit, and the willingness to live our dreams.

Praise be to JC and Happy New Year!

Joyanne <3