2013 Annual Review

Here we are at the end of 2013 and it’s time for a look back.

My initial, gut reactions to 2013 is that it was not a very good year.  In fact, my gut tells me that 2013 was the worst year in recent memory. And that includes 2012 where I spent most of the year with a broken arm.  There was a lot of ‘personal life’ drama this year that I choose not to discuss in a public matter (hence why it’s call personal) that really mired down 2013.  Unfortunately, some of it still lingers here at the end of the year, but there seems to be a some light cracking through the dark.  There was also a lot of work uncertainty and frustrations in trying to find a ‘real job.’

But even as I sit and look back at the bad there was a lot of really great stuff in 2013 and a lot of it in the professional realm.  So let’s take a look at it.

  • Booked several voiceover jobs via Voices.com auditions
  • Principal puppeteer for Missed U 2 music video.
  • Did my first Library performer showcase where I booked several “Mr. Grant” shows at libraries across Southern California.
  • Puppeteered on a sizzle real for a project I so wish I could make public, but I cannot.  My hope is that someday I will be able to show you guys the footage that was shot.  I’m not saying this as a, “I know and you don’t know.” type thing, it’s just that I think the project is truly funny and deserves to be seen.
  • Helped launch the FlappCast, the podcast of Flappers Comedy Club.  I produced and co-hosted the first 15 or so episodes until they decided to bring all production in house.
  • Launched Saturday Morning Theatre in April.  The show started with the series The Adventures of the Thunder Crester and then rounded out the year with the underwater western, The Tales of Deputy Guppy.  This all sort of coincided with the launching of my family friendly media focused company, Saturday Morning Media.
  • In April, I was fortunate enough to be asked to puppeteer on the final Stuffed & Unstrung tour.  Final because the show’s name went back to PuppetUp afterwards.  We played 11 shows in 7 states and despite a rocky start with scary bus trips and an unpleasant hotel, it was some of the most fun I’ve had with the show.  You can read my tour diary from the show starting HERE.  This trip also included what I consider the Best Day Of The Year, the day we unexpectedly got to go to Walt Disney World.
  • Late April I filmed a diversity video that I was commissioned to write for R.D. White Elementary School in Glendale, CA.
  • In May, I flew to Austin, TX to help stage Leslie Carrara-Rudolph’s show Wake Up Your Weird.
  • Late May I shot six episodes of Ketchup With The Hot Dogs for The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative and Nerdist.
  • Also in May I directed a video for a song about Romeo & Juliet.
  • In June I produced the B.O.R.E.D. Tour the longest running comedy music show…anywhere.
  • On August 2nd, I recorded a few voiceovers for an upcoming animated series on Comedy Central called Trip Tank.  This made me, for the first time and years of trying SAG Eligible.  Now to scrounge up $3000.  My episodes are schedule to air in the new year.
  • August saw the launch of The Uncle Interloper Show, a bi-weekly, video podcast that features a rotating bunch of segments including the flagship segment, The Cartoon Doghouse.
  • In October, I got to travel with Puppet Up again to Toronto, Canada for two weeks of shows at the Panasonic Theatre.  It was during this run that I realized that, doing this show, is my absolute favorite thing to do.  If I could perform in Puppet Up daily for the rest of my life, I would.  The fun I had with the cast and crew and the amazing crowds in Toronto, some of whom I still keep in touch with via social media, just brought that point home.  Puppet Up is my dream job.  You can read the Toronto Tour Diary HERE.
  • In November I completed my first ever NaNoWriMo novel.  From November 1 through November 30th I wrote 53082 words in a novel titled SIGN FORCE ONE.  The writing continued into December and the first draft came in at 54,192.  No idea what I’m going to do with the pile of slop right now, but something will be done with it.  Someday.
  • November also saw me taking a job at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre in Los Angeles.  I pursued this job in order to gain more experience with marionettes because previously I had none.  I figured that getting paid to learn how to do marionettes would be pretty sweet.  To go from the ultimate creative project in Puppet Up to the Bob Baker Show (a show with all prerecorded tracks) was a major gear shift and took some time to adjust to.  I’m glad I did it.  I won’t say I”m an expert with marionettes now, but I’m certainly more comfortable with them.  I performed in the Bob Baker Holiday Spectacular, right up through the end of the year.
  • On November 23rd, I had what I call my Second Best Day of 2013.  It was the day that I did a Saturday Morning Media LIVE show at Long Beach Comic & Horror Con.  I was surrounded by my favorite talented people and we put on a live recording of a Thanksgiving themed episode of Thunder Crester and a Christmas themed Deputy Guppy.  After we walked around the Comic-Con and reeked out and then, we all went out for a big barbecue dinner.  I remarked, “This is exactly how I’d want to spend my birthday.”  Even though my birthday was in May, I consider November 23, 2013, the day I celebrated it.
  • December marked the beginning of the 2013 edition of Grant’s Advent Calendar Video Podcast.  Proud to say it was a successful season and fun was had by all.  Especially me.
  • Throughout the year I performed with my comedy music act Throwing Toasters,
  • I continued to lead Adventures By Disney Tours at The Jim Henson Company
  • I was also fortunate enough to continue doing backstage and ringside interviews for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and even got paid for the first time.  I’m really a pro now!
  • In December of 2012 or January of 2013, I heard about The Magic Spreadsheet from my good friend Mur Lafferty.  Form the day I started (which was January 12th I believe, but I can’t remember for sure), with the exception of three days, I wrote every single day throughout the year.  Most days I wrote over 500 words.  These writings included my NaNoWriMo novel, scripts, blog posts on here (including this one) and some personal writing.  I have no other years to compare it to, but it’s safe to say that I’ve written more this year than any other day.  I’ve created a habit of writing and can’t lie down and rest at night until I’ve ‘done my words.’  Including this post, I’ve written 247,172 words so far.  And that doesn’t include the 500+ I’ll do later today to finish out the year.

Looking back, I’ve accomplished a lot.  A lot I should be proud of, and I am.  Would I like a bigger audience taking in the content I create?  Sure.  Do I get insanely frustrated when I see others getting bigger audiences for less creative ideas.  Yep.  Does it infuriate me when a certain New York puppeteer is constantly stealing my ideas and passing them off as his own without giving me credit?  Uh…yeah.  But with this look back, I see I’ve done a lot.  A lot of creating.  Had a lot of fun.  Overcame a lot of challenges and had a pretty good year.

A damn good year.  And I thank you for being part of it.  Enough of 2013…

Bring on 2014!


4 thoughts on “2013 Annual Review”

  1. Heh, the FlappCast review on iTunes. “The format has changed and it’s not as good as the first batch of episodes” I wonder!

    That’s a pretty epic list of things you’ve worked on this year. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings. 🙂
    I hope it’s better for you..

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen that review. I don’t know who posted it, but I like it. 🙂 They wanted to go a different way and they did. I’m fine with that. I do wish they’d take my name off the podcast feed though.

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