Birthday thoughts…

Today is a milestone birthday. Only birthdays ending in zeros or fives seem to be milestones when your age is in the double digits. But when you get to the triple digits, every birthday is a milestone again, like the first ten years of your life.  I still have a ways to go before I get to the triple digits, though.

I’m fifty-five today. In ten years, I can retire. Ha! Seems unlikely with my current finances. But never say never…

My wife, Deb, threw a surprise birthday for me at the end of December. I was surprised. And it was perfectly timed because instead of celebrating today, I’ll be heading to the US to help say goodbye to a childhood friend. It makes me more introspective this year.

So what happened in the past year or so?

We put on my play The Lost Years for the Hamilton Fringe. It involved a lot more preparation than the previous shows I’ve done because I wanted to incorporate some of the lessons I had learned in my previous Fringe outings, like getting a good poster, rewriting, and focusing on my marketing. And it was the first time that Deb and I had performed on stage together in 30 years! It was especially gratifying that it was so well received and we even won “Best of Bring-Your-Own-Venue”. But the best part was definitely playing on stage with Deb.

Deb and I went to France for a couple of weeks. It was the first “long” trip I’d been on in over a decade. And we didn’t even go into Paris. It was such a pleasure to experience so much of the French countryside and see family that we don’t get to see too often.

We moved to Hamilton. It’s hard saying goodbye to friends and neighbors when you’ve lived in the same place for over twenty-three years; however, we moved because we wanted to. Deb and I spend so much of our non-work time participating in Community Theatre in Hamilton and the surrounding area that we had talked about moving for years. We love being so close to things and discovering aspects of our new home and neighborhood.

I took another Clown workshop with Helen Donnelly (Foo) and worked on a “turn” with a clown friend. I even performed a short turn a couple of times in front of an audience. I’ve always loved Clown and it was one of my great disappointments that I didn’t explore it more. I’m a bit long in the tooth to be a “baby Clown”, but I’m happy to play around with it and see what develops.

So what does the coming year hold?

I’m working on the next draft of my play Out to the Folks. I started working on it more than 5 years ago. It’s had a couple of workshops at Theatre Aquarius, but it hasn’t been performed on stage yet. Hopefully, I can get it to a point where it can be staged. It’s pretty funny, I think.

I’m doing a Gallery show at this year’s Hamilton Fringe. Gallery shows are short pieces; usually 15 to 20 minutes long. I’m hoping to put on a Clown show: Zingo does something… (Zingo is my clown’s name.) Yeah, I’m still working on it.

Deb and I are hoping to remount The Lost Years. We’re hoping to bring it to Ottawa and Montreal for a single evening, so that friends and family that don’t get to see us perform can actually see one of our shows. But it involves a lot of planning, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m also trying to cultivate better writing habits so that I’m getting the work done to help me develop more pieces. And I’d like to write more blog posts. Hopefully, I can get in a minimum of a post a month, this year.

And let’s not forget about trying to get more healthy.  It’s so important and so easy to neglect.

No matter how long life is, it’s almost always too short.

© 2018 Peter Gruner

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