HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!
October was a bit of a blur for me because there really was so much going on that I felt like I was running from one event to the next. The first two weekends of the month were dedicated to the ending of the Off Broadway show I was fortunate enough to be a part of (Angry Young Women in Low rise Jeans with High Class Issues). The show closed on a really good note for me leaving me wanting more of the stage to be honest. I have to say thank you to the lot of you who were able to come out and not only support me but also laugh along at the rather unusual roles I had taken on. It meant quite a bit to see so many familiar faces after the show especially knowing that the last weekend of its run was the exact same weekend as the Guiding Light Fan Club weekend. We all had so much going on that I’m sure everyone was pretty zonked at the conclusion of it. Following the Fan Club weekend was the October “Find Your Light” event. This event coincided with “NY Cares Day” which for those of you who aren’t aware of this day, it is a day where volunteers band together and tackle various projects throughout the city in an attempt to beautify the Big Apple. This year, I believe the total number of volunteers that came out throughout the entire city was somewhere over 8,000! It was a great day overall and we (the Guiding Light crew) really had a fantastic time again with our work and all of the fans who came out to work alongside side us. The only downside to the day I will say was getting ambushed by Frank Dicopolous and his daughter Olivia with paint. By the way, never let paint dry on your skin ESPECIALLY if you’re a guy with hairy arms and legs. I was in the shower for over 30 minutes when I got home trying to scrub that crap off and I ended up ripping more hair out than the water washed off. I had patchy arms and legs of missing hair for the next month….thanks FRANK!
Anyways, to wrap up October we decided to throw a Halloween party. We decided throwing a Halloween bash instead of paying to party at some club where people would be pushing and shoving in a small room with no air and tons of costumes and makeup coming off everywhere would be a smarter idea. So once we decided on a theme for the party we got to work on piecing it all together. With spider webs hung, creepy crawlies all over the room, red lights and green creating an eerie glow, a witch’s cauldron with skeleton hands climbing out of a smoking punch (bought dry ice) with waterproof orange lights illuminating it, food galore cooking and or baking, specialty cocktails ready to be enjoyed, and Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein playing, how could a great night not be had. As for the costume this year, I went as a Robin Hood character. It was actually a pretty fun choice. Light weight, easy to move in and giving me a kind of Errol Flynn demeanor (yes, you may laugh at that), I was ready for the guests. The night turned out to be a great success amongst our friends and we in turn got to see some pretty creative costumes ourselves. So what I am alluding to by telling you all this is that I’d love to hear some of your Halloween stories and costume ideas if you are so bold. Can be a quick note or a longwinded response like mine are always, LOL!
Moving now into November, work slowed down for me which was a nice change but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t anything for me to do. I was asked to carry the “Outstanding Drama” Emmy to Salt Lake City, Utah to surprise a lucky fan in our traveling Emmy contest. This trip had to be one of the most random trips for me to be honest. Not because of the reason for it or meeting the woman who won, Marjan, and her wonderful family. It was random because of the scenery, my two office friends Pablo and Jay who went with me, the brand new Hummer we were given (HOLLA), the exclusive dining club we ate at the night we arrived which cost like $7 dollars to join, the wild radio songs we were rocking out to in the car, and the intense in-flight trivia game that we played both on the way out and back. This was such a fun excursion that took place over just two days and so memorable that every time Pablo, Jay and I hang out at work we always laugh about the trip.
The only other big event in November was Thanksgiving for me. I was down in Richmond this year and again was way too glutinous at the dinner table. If I keep eating that same way I’m pretty sure that I will be the Turkey next year.
December was a very slow month for me at work, I literally worked one day and had the rest of the time to prepare for Christmas. No matter how many limitations you put on the Holiday as far as gift giving, somehow we always manage to overshoot them by either a bit or a long shot! Before getting into that though I want to talk about the final “Find Your Light” event. Ricky Paul Golden, Crystal Chappell, and myself all went down to Baltimore, Maryland to help sort gifts and disperse to families in need this Christmas. It was run through the Salvation Army and I have to say that everything went without a glitch. Those in charge of organizing and maintaining constant supervision of the volunteers and sometimes the actors when needed (not naming names) really had this project air tight. We all came in knowing the importance of this particular project, that it was the last one of the year for us and that we really needed to work hard and quick. I’m not sure most people understand how difficult and overwhelming this undertaking was. There literally were huge wooden containers that resembled trash dumpsters in size that were filled with gifts that needed to be emptied. In the center of the room were rows and rows of bunk style shelving units (3 shelves high) that held about 25 packing box sized boxes sided by side. The bunk styled shelves ran the entire length of the room, about 30 rows deep. This was a huge depot and we cleared the place of all gifts, getting each box filled with at least a few gifts. As we finished the project, everyone gathered to do our customary wrap up pictures and video and at this point we were notified that despite our wonderful efforts there were still going to be families in need. In the Baltimore area, there were still1200 families that weren’t going to receive a gift box for their family and children. Now before going down on this trip I had gone out and purchased two gifts: action figures for a little boy and a “Bratz” doll for a little girl. Let me just say that those doll’s are scandalous in dress! The only reason I picked one up was because I found one that was fully clothed in winter garb. Anyways, after getting this news about the families still in need, Ricky, Crystal, and I all gave in total a little over $1000 dollars to try and help purchase last minute gifts for those in need. I know it wasn’t much but it was something to try and help with a last minute push seeing as how the boxes had to go out in the next 3 days. As we left that night, our whole group felt much better having done a really good deed especially one that was going to help bring smiles to so many families this holiday season. After returning to New York for a few days it was now time to head back down to Virginia to do time with the family. The 21st was my mom’s birthday so we went and took mom and dad out to a nice seafood place in Old Town, Alexandria. Dad and I wrestled verbally about paying the bill but I eventually won and was able to treat them (he didn’t put up that much of fight btw). After her birthday, we headed down to Richmond where it was time to wrap and assemble gifts for the little nieces and nephews. Now for all you parents out there or Uncles/Aunts, you already know what a pain in the butt assembling toys can be. We do it though because the look on the youngsters face Christmas morning is all the reward we want for our time. So there we all are, Christmas Eve, with two Power Wheels in pieces waiting to be put together with only 7 hours to do it in and manage to get some sleep before the madness of tearing wrapping paper off ensued . Well after many pinched fingers and a few obscenities the two gifts were literally ready to role and we still had 4 hours to sleep before the kids got up. That morning I was woken up by a 3year old (my niece) launching herself across the air mattress and onto my chest…MAN that feels good first thing in the morning! As we all finally collected ourselves and came into the living room, we noticed that the kids had already picked out the biggest coolest toys, the Power Wheels. That was at least something that made us all smile though looking at the time was a reminder of the lack of sleep we had. After doing Christmas Eve with my family and morning, it was time to head over to Sarah’s family’s place to do Christmas there. Everyone was very ready to go by the time we came over and obviously so were we. After a few hours of unwrapping gifts and everyone laughing and “ooooo’ing” or “awwww’ing” over each person’s gift(s), I came across a gift that was sent by heaven above! Now yes, this will be very materialistic of me and not dealing with the true meaning of the holiday itself but this was a pretty cool gift. Sarah had bought an Xbox360 for me and completely surprised me with it. This was something that I had wanted to purchase for some time now but didn’t due to other financial obligations as well as keeping my materialistic wants in check (not easy btw). I have to say that since setting it up, I’m totally in love and it’s as addicting as everyone says.
New Year’s came and went pretty quickly and quietly for us. Went to dinner with friends and was back home by about 11pm. By the time midnight came around I was already pretty tired but stayed awake for Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Celebration. I have to say that it was good to see him hosting again but he also just won’t be the same after the stroke. I think it best to keep the show’s name the same to honor him but let him retire from doing it. Anyways, by 12:30 am I was in bed and actually thankful I didn’t spend anywhere from $150 to $300 for a ticket to some packed party with nothing but finger foods, rude drunk people, and no place to sit. It was a nice way to start the 2008 but I have to be honest, I haven’t really made any resolutions. I guess I just don’t feel that they are necessary you know. Why make a promise to either do or not do something just because it’s tradition? If you really wanted to do it, shouldn’t it be done when you’re ready regardless of day?
So those were my holidays but I’d love to hear about all of yours! If you have any wild and crazy stories, please share them keeping in mind that anyone will be able to read them and even perhaps laugh or relate to your family, lol.
Happy New Year’s to you all and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.