Tomorrow, 2015 rolls over into 2016. So like everybody else, I guess I should be taking the time to take stock of the year. It’s kind of strange to do that, though. Some big things happened this year, but it’s not exactly like I need to look BACK on any of them. They’re still with me. I think about them all the time.
I almost died, for example. For once, this is not hyperbole. I spent 12 days in the hospital in March and April, recovering from an ailment that has clearly been afflicting me for years and, what’s more, that the doctors can’t be sure won’t happen again. So I’m always going to be a little paranoid, but I know what to look for in the hopes that IF it happens again, I can cut it off before it gets bad.
The good news is, as a result of this, I’m now healthier than I have been in years. I feel better, I move around better, I’m more flexible and agile. I walked a 5K in September. I know that doesn’t sound like much to a lot of people, but I’ve never even dreamed of doing something like that before. Hopefully it was just the first one. I know Erin and I both want to keep trying to get into better shape and do more stuff like that. She keeps talking about actually running in one of these things some day. I tell her to not get ahead of ourselves.
And if not for that change, I couldn’t have achieved one of my dreams this summer, playing Max Biyalistock in The Producers. It’s one of my favorite musicals, and it’s a role I’ve wanted to play since I first heard the music. This is one of the things I have on my theatrical bucket list. And I did it.
I was also lucky enough, this year, to revisit one of the best shows I’ve ever done in the past, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged],” this time sharing the stage with the amazing Seth Pontiff and Chance Simoncelli, and directed by Melanie Bird. It was wonderful to do it again, and I only wish I could have done it AFTER I got sick, because if I had the energy for that show that I do now… man. At any rate, I hope I get to work with both of these guys again, and if it can be in a show with this kind of wild, zany energy, all the better, because I really think we worked well together.
There was a new Star Wars movie. That was pretty awesome.
I celebrated an entire year of marriage to a wonderful woman that I love more every day, and I only wish Erin’s job allowed us a little more time together during my Christmas break. Retail, man — it’s brutal at the end of the year.
I wrote this year. I put out some stuff. I released a new book, Everything You Need to Know to Survive English Class. And I turned it into a series of YouTube “lecture” videos, which I intend to continue into 2016.
But I’m also at something of a crossroads, creatively. I know what I want to do. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to get my work out there, to put it in front of more people, to actually (and I know this is a dirty word) monetize it. Don’t misunderstand me, friends — each and every one of you reading this, I’m grateful. I’m thrilled that you care. I just wish there were MORE of you. So let me remind you guys again that the BEST way to help a creator whose work you enjoy (not just me, but anybody) is to tell other people about it. When you see a video you like, share it. When you read a book you like, write a review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both). And follow your creators on social media. Look, you can find me on Facebook, on Twitter @BlakeMP, or on Instagram @BlakeMP25.
(I’ll be honest, I’m still trying to figure out how to use Instragram. I like it, though. Facebook and Twitter turn so negative so fast. Instagram is almost always positive. “Look, here’s my kitten! Look, here’s my kid! Look, here’s my lunch!”)
The point is, I’m still working things out, guys. I know that isn’t really a satisfying conclusion to a “year in review” sort of piece, but it’s as honest a conclusion as I can give. All I know for certain is that I’m going to keep trying.
And I hope you’ll all join me for the ride.