2011 Year in Review

Another year has come and gone.  This year I was so focused on moving forward, looking to what’s new and next, that when I look back now I’m shocked at how much I accomplished.  I guess that’s always the case though. Time is one of those intangible elements that seems to rush, or creep forward depending on your perception.  But, it always moves forward and as they say in the Business, “the show must go on.”

This year, like any other, has had its share of highs:  I understudied a lead in a musical at the Arden, performed at the Chicago Improv Festival with Mayor Karen, got quoted by Forbes and had a few articles and a video picked up by Philebrity.  One of the most surreal encounters was having a conversation with Gus Van Sant at UCLA before meeting John Waters.  This year also had its lows, which I haven’t forgotten, but are best saved for my tell all memoir in my sixties.

Oh yeah, I also got a full-time job. WHAT?! Yeah, I’m a Senior Associate at ChatterBlast Media where I write blogs, tweet, and make videos for the social media marketing and management company.  It’s been an adjustment from the bohemian life I’d been living, but it was time for me to grow up.

If there’s been one theme of 2011, it’s maturity.  The defining moment of 2011 was the Occupy Movement.  I went to Occupy Philly at its inception and I went back a few months later when there were tents, a library, a health center, and media contact booths at Dilworth Plaza.  I also visited Occupy Wall Street at its nadir in November when SWAT teams outnumbered the protestors in Zuccotti Park.

What I learned, in addition to the country’s economic inequality and its health care policies, was that lurking beneath the protests and fierce demands, was a group of twenty-somethings who felt disenfranchised by the political and economic system of the country.  They’d been raised to believe that they could be anything they wanted: famous architects, reality TV stars, and stand-up comedians and they were slowly coming to realize that they weren’t able to make a living fulfilling their dream.

I learned this year that there are real things that must be attended to: rent, utility bills, health insurance, and retirement plans. Riding roughshod over these essentials because you’re focused on “higher things,” is not being optimistic, but foolish.  That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of levity – this is America after all, not Soviet Russia!  So I look forward to laughs, growth, and exciting adventures as time marches forward into 2012.

Check out my top picks of the year:

Favorite Movie of 2011:






Bill Cunningham New York. This 82 year-old New York Times fashion photographer still rides a bike, lives in squalor, and photographs the beautiful people on the streets of New York City. Fabulous insight into a peculiar and fascinating man.

Favorite Album of 2011:







Holy Ghost!’s self titled album is electro-pop perfection. The line, “And I guess I feel lately…” from the track “Wait and See” was seared into my brain after the first listen. The other standout is the bouncy fun track “Jam For Jerry.” Holy Ghost! combines 80s Duran Duran with the futuristic sounds of Cut Copy . My only regret is that I missed them at the TLA in Philly over Thanksgiving.

Favorite Book of 2011:








Tina Fey’s Bossypants was pure fun.  The Upper Darby girl talks about growing up Greek, her start at the Second City, and training for improv like she was an Olympic athlete.  Her book was hilarious and an inspiration for any aspiring comedian.

Favorite Blog of 2011:








So Gawker isn’t new. But I couldn’t turn away from the trash talking multi-headed hydra that was Gawker this year. They cover everything I love and never fail to disappoint. I’m addicted to the Blind Items, I have a blog crush on Brian Moylan, and the Top 50 Worst States in America was so bad it was good.  I feel the need to take a shower after reading some of their pieces (see here), but I always want more.

Favorite Pop Culture Moment of 2011:








Nope! Just Chuck Testa had no right to be as funny as it was.  The original commercial video from California in September spawned memes, t-shirts, and the catchphrase, “Nope! Just Chuck Testa.”  It is still funny.  Take that Rebecca Black’s Friday!


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