(Sunday Paper, Year III, Issue 52)
In what has become tradition - or, more accurately, routine…because you know how I love my routine - at the end of the year I like to reflect a bit on the goals I set for the past year and look ahead to what I’d like to accomplish in the new year.
I do this kind of to hold myself accountable…but while on the one hand I tell you about a big goal that I think is attainable and I need to work for…I also have small goals that I’m not sure are attainable (because I don’t fully control the decision being made or some other reason).
And this year I hit pretty much all of my goals that I remember. (I don’t hold myself too accountable for the small goals since I don’t go public with them.)
So I’m excited about this post because not only do I feel really good about how I did with my big goal, but the timing of this post as well as the achieving of that goal mesh well together.
As you probably noticed, that right there is not the usual Sunday Paper banner. It’s a subtle little advertisement for my show a week from Saturday at Exhibit ‘A’ Brewery in Framingham. It’s also an illustration of me achieving my big goal for 2018 - which you can refresh your memory on here - but I’ll tell you here: It was to start my own show.
Technically, that show isn’t starting until 2019 - but all the hard work for it happened in 2018, so I’m chalking it up as a 2018 goal met.
You may remember, when I recapped Framingham Comedy Weekend over the summer, that there was a last-minute venue change and other slight problems, but overall that’s what led to this point - putting together that weekend of shows was the stepping-stone to a monthly show at Exhibit ‘A’. And I’m extremely grateful to my friend Ellen who nudged me into putting together the shows, Kelsey at Exhibit ‘A’ who was supportive of the show from day one, Amazing Things Arts Center and their support of me for years, and Sofa Cafe for stepping up at the last-minute. One of the good things to come out of the late venue change was the fact that I discovered other venues in Framingham that could possibly host a show and if there is demand for something else on another night I’m ready to do another show…but for now I’d like to do one monthly show really well before biting off more than I can chew with multiple shows.
So that’s big goal number one for 2019 - don’t screw up the show. Which I’m pretty confident will go great. I have learned a bunch by watching shows these past five years about how to do it right and it’s helpful to have a place that is on the same page as far as what makes a successful show. And my worst fears never come to fruition. Like I mentioned this summer, I always fear I’m going to ask someone to do my show and they’re going to tell me no…but of course they’re not going to do that. if they’re like me they’re thrilled to be asked. And that’s a fun thing to be a part of - making someone’s day by asking them to do my show.
Another goal for 2019 involves this: I thought I was getting on-stage in 2018 as much as I did in 2017, but the numbers tell me otherwise. I think this is for two reasons - number one: I did really well in 2017. But number two is the quality of show I did in 2018 was better than 2017, and I’m comfortable with that. Partly because of family obligations and partly just because I’m not driving an hour just to hang out at a show or do three minutes of stage time or whatever. I am a bit more selective with how I spend my time in comedy and that’s OK. I think in 2019 I’d like to approach the 2017 numbers more than I did in 2018, but I’m OK with not meeting them.
I have other goals, one involving writing - I want to increase the writing output this year. One of my unspoken 2018 goals, though I have mentioned this in the Sunday Paper before, was to write every day in 2018. And I did that. I have a document that by Tuesday will have 365 separate pieces of writing. I don’t know if any of that will turn into anything - I have yet to revisit any of that writing to re-read it - but at the very least what that did was get me in the habit of writing every day. So I’ll continue that in 2019 and I have a couple of story ideas bouncing around in my head so I want to find the time to get those words out and increase my creative output. I also hope to do more submitting to magazines and such in 2019 - I hardly did that at all in 2018.
I think the last thing I want to mention here is that I want to use the Facebook page better. I mentioned this off-handedly last year and I didn’t really follow through with it. At the very least I should use the Facebook page to tell you where I’m performing each week, but I want to put out more stuff on there. And I did OK with that this year - I loved doing the 40 Of My Favorite Things Countdown to my birthday and the 25 Days Until Christmas videos - but even with those two things and, say, 50 Sunday Papers, that’s only about a third of the year I’m using to post there. I would like to do more, without that becoming my sole focus. We’ll see if that’s even possible.
One way I’m hoping to increase my creativity in 2019 is by cutting down on my podcast listening. I tend to throw on a podcast when I have a quiet moment or two and I think instead of doing that I’m going to sit with my own thoughts more often. I will still listen to something on long car rides and such, but as often as possible I’m going to try to just be in my own head.
I think that’s it. If you have any goals for the year you want to share publicly, go ahead and do it in the comments below or on the Facebook page. Happy New Year - here’s to continued growth in the new year!
*A couple of quick show reminders - first of all, the calendar is filling up pretty good for the first quarter of 2019, and you can keep tabs on the shows at the ‘Comedy Shows’ link above. And it kicks off with a show at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham on New Year’s Eve (which I just learned today is sold out, so that’s pretty cool), followed by 100 First Jokes at Improv Boston on New Year’s Day, and then The Comedy Studio on Wednesday. It just keeps rolling after that - including the Exhibit ‘A’ show - so keep checking the link.
*For what it’s worth, performing on New Year’s Eve this year was one of my smaller goals that I didn’t tell anyone other than Kathy. I’m happy it happened - last year I decided I really wanted to work on New Year’s Eve and this year it feels less important to me but I’m growing and my priorities are shifting and this year I have different side goals. And if I’m performing on New Year’s Eve 2019, great…but if I’m not that’s OK too because I hope to be celebrating other successes of the year that day. (One of my small side goals for the new year is an exercise goal. Maybe we’ll get into it some time, I don’t know. It just seems worth mentioning today as I come off a holiday where I ate ridiculous amounts of food and haven’t exercised at all.)
*There’s some fun artwork that’s going to go along with the Exhibit ‘A’ shows, part of which is that banner above. You may have seen the full poster in the elf video or hanging at the brewery itself. I’ll tell you more about that probably next week, but I did want to draw your attention to it and the nice mix between Exhibit ‘A’ (highlighting the beers) and the show happening the second Saturday of every month.
*This week, in case you missed it with the holiday and all, not only did the elf videos wrap up (which was unexpectedly a little emotional) but we posted some outtakes. My daughters and I had a lot of fun making those videos - check them out if you haven’t already. They're at the Facebook page, which you can like if you don’t already. And you can follow me on Twitter too - maybe another 2019 goal is to be more consistent on Twitter, though I think I do a better job there than on Facebook.
*Remember about a month ago when I told you about my favorite Christmas decoration? I found a cool solution to that along the lines of what we discussed in the comment section that day - I’ll have to remember to share that somehow - maybe I’ll post it in the comments on the Facebook page if people are interested. Let me know!