Looking Back at 2014

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

I originally meant to write this post a couple of weeks ago, but a Christmas cold grabbed hold of me and refused to let go. Although the cold is still lingering, I figured I better get this post done before January ended.

Of course, thinking about Santayana’s words above, I probably wouldn’t mind repeating a few things from last year. Although there were ups and downs in 2014, it was actually a great year because I crossed a few things off my bucket list.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the good things when you have a couple of not-so-good things staring you in the face. Setbacks tend to carry more weight than accomplishments, so I think it is important to celebrate your accomplishments. Hopefully, you learn from the setbacks, but don’t dwell on them.

Getting back to my bucket list, here are the things that I crossed off:

  • Have a play of mine workshopped (#106 on my list). My play Out to the Folks had two workshops at Theatre Aquarius in 2014! The first was a one day workshop in January and the second was a two day workshop in December.  The icing on the cake was a public reading and it was awesome listening to the audience react to the play.
  • Receive a Theatre Creators Reserve grant (#105 on my list). The Ontario Arts Council gave me my first grant to write. The money was to work on my play Out to the Folks.
  • Win a playwriting contest (#88 on my list). My play Mommy’s Mask won the 2014 Hamilton Fringe Playwriting Contest. First prize was getting a free berth at the Fringe, so I was able to put on the play, as well.
  • Have a book published (#25 on my list). I published Laund-o-mat at the End of the World (a collection of three of my one act plays) and actually sold a bunch of them. You can buy it on Amazon or order it from me.
  • Have a collection of plays (#26 on my list). See above.
  • Work with a dramaturg (#108 on my list). Lisa O’Connell from Pat the Dog Play Development was the dramaturg at the second workshop. Although I’ve had some great dramaturgical questions in the past, it was very enlightening to work with Lisa and see how much more is involved with moving my writing to the next level. Time for a rewrite…

Another important activity during 2014 was participating in the ITP program. ITP stands for Independent Television Producer and it is part of a government program to help people start their own businesses. I officially started my company Renurg Productions in February 2014. It was through Renurg Productions that I produced Mommy’s Mask for the Hamilton Fringe and that I published Laund-o-mat…

I directed two plays in 2014. The Uninvited at Village Theatre, which I co-directed with Elaine Hale. And Mommy’s Mask for the Hamilton Fringe, which I directed solo. Because Elaine and I had been discussing and working on The Uninvited from June 2013 until it closed in February 2014 and then shortly after that I had to start work on Mommy’s Mask, it felt like I was working on shows non-stop for a year. Exhausting! I definitely prefer playwriting to directing!!

My reading is still down since I stopped working in an office and take the GO train regularly (although I did read a lot of plays because I was on the Dundas Little Theatre play reading committee). I hope to increase the number of books that I read in 2015:

  1. Elephant Bucks by Sheldon Bull.
  2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
  3. Rewrite by Paul Chitlik.
  4. On Writing by Stephen King.
  5. Good to Great by Jim Collins.
  6. A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams.
  7. Running Until You’re 100 by Jeff Galloway.
  8. Phantom by Jo Nesbo.

Well, that’s 2014 in a nutshell. Now, it’s time to look forward to 2015!

 

© 2015 Peter Gruner

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