If I had known there'd be a badge to earn for making my GoodReads goal, maybe I'd have worked a little harder. I set the goal to read 52 books in 2011, and I fell pitifully short at only 32. But when I set that goal, I hadn't exactly planned on Oklahoma, Joseph, Willy Wonka Jr., Into the Woods, I Wanna Be on Broadway, and The Dickens Festival.
Still, I don't like not reaching my goals, and I hate knowing that I could have earned a badge.
Yes, I fell 20 books short of my goal. But in looking back, I easily jotted down a quick list of 20 real-life friends I've made through theater this year. 20 people who will be a part of my 2012, not just a part of the list of books I read in 2011. And the best part is that this list could have been at least 40 people longer if I included all those whose company I enjoyed, whose talents I learned from, and whose selves I sat across from during after-show parties. I'm hoping I don't offend by not including those 40, but here is my self-awarded badge: 20 new people who enriched my life beyond the theater in 2011. Thanks for a great year!
(Listed in alphabetical order)
Adam, whose level-headedness got me through many a backstage freakout, and to whom I was conversing when I missed my first entrance ever.
Arlee, "Ellen" to my "Vivienne", date to every show Kirk doesn't want to see, and awesome example of how to be true to oneself.
Arvid Bryce, who forgave me for thinking he was two different people, who somehow gets away with calling me "woman," and part of the new Killer Bunnies gang.
Curtis, the first guy to drop me this year and a great friend to turn to on FaceBook if I can't sleep. And if he ever has $50...
Evan, my 15-year old boyfriend. "Hey, you know what the best thing is about twenty-nine year old girlfriends? There's twenty of them."
Jamie, who I knew, but didn't know, who has the guts to say the stuff I think in my head, and whose belt I'll idolize until my dying day. Affectionately known by another name I won't write on my blog. :)
Jeremy, who helped me transition back into theater by sitting next to me at the first Oklahoma rehearsal and who seems to be able to sense when I'm feeling lonely and hits me up with a "Hey, beautiful," text.
Jonathan, who can quote RocketMan and who made Into the Woods the experience of a lifetime. Little girl Andrea and little boy Jonathan would definitely have been best friends.
Luke, whose friendship prompted my husband to tease me incessantly about being a teenage girl and with whom I shared the experience of four straight shows.
Mariah, who I occasionally passed in the hallways of The Empress and now get to pass in the hallways of my home.
Matt & Torri, who I met when they were Matt. And Torri. But whom I hope will become a part of my personal life forevermore to be referred to as Matt AND Torri.
Megan, whose blog entertains me nearly as much as the in-the-flesh Megan did during Into the Woods and whose talent and passion for theater will continue to awe and inspire me.
Nanny, who had decided years ago not to like me but finally gave up this year, who brought me a keychain from France, and who is also affectionately known by a non-blog-appropriate nickname. :)
Rosie, who I've known since 4th grade but who reentered my life when I saw her name on an audition form for Joseph, and with whom I intend to maintain a face-to-face friendship henceforth.
Perry, whose presence extends from cast-mate to student to babysitter to Killer Bunnies gang to friend and whose nickname, "SecrePerry," will likely never fade.
Sarah, whose family jumped off the computer screen and into real life when her girls auditioned for the Dickens Festival and with whom I'm hoping to be able to have a "real" friendship.
Sasha, without whom I'd never have gotten kicked out of my own neighborhood park and whom I figure will remain a constant part of my theatrical landscape.
Shawna, who went from "lady at the front desk" at work to a real live person through our Dickens Festival interactions and whose friendship I can consider the first I've made at work.
Skyler, who I've started referring to as "my pet Skyler," because it's just hard to explain, with whom I can discuss music theory, and who innately gets me, a pretty tough thing to do.
Am I still a bit sad about the badge? You bet. But I wouldn't trade these 20 for books any day.
But my book goal for 2012? I think I'll go with a more reasonable 40 books so I have plenty of time to spend with my friends.
3 months ago