2016, you’ve been quite the complex beast. For me personally, you’ve been rich with both extreme joys and weird, challenging lows. 2015 was a pretty fucked year for me personally, so to be honest, it wouldn’t have taken much for 2016 to be better. Overall I rate 2016 as a 6/10 maybe even a 7/10. Politically and globally it’s been beyond fucked. Likewise for some of the closest member s of my tribe; they’ve been slapped around the face by a whole lot of bullshit. So, on behalf of what they and the world as a whole have had to endure I will gladly farewell 2016 tonight and lovingly welcome 2017 and the glorious year it is already shaping up to be.
Here’s my 2016 dot-pointed audit so I can remember some of the shit that happened, and just why I’m so bloody exhausted.
- I had a blue, long haired undercut.
- I took on the part-time role of Youth and Participation Producer at La Boite Theatre Company.
- We left our heartland (again) and moved to back Brisbane.
- I finished my first ever novel.70,000 plus words of love and labor.
- I continued working for Queensland Theatre as the lead artist on the Logan Youth Ensemble, TRACTION. Our third year. I worked with over 50 young people this year. We created an original script called I love you, I love you where 47 young people on-stage and 3 off-stage performed to a sold-out audience of over 500 people. I also started FRACTION the smaller ensemble of 17 young artists who came together to produce three outcomes, Don’t Mind Us (a show about mental health performed at Anywhere Theatre Festival), Wait (a sex education show performed at FAST Festival) and we also participated in the Queensland Theatre Scene Project. My work in Logan, with these young people, continues to be some of the most heart nourishing work of my whole life. They make me a better artist and human. They have shifted my politics and my passion and I will continue to use my power and my voice to change the things in the world, and the arts sector, that I find abhorrent. I will do it for them, and I will do it because it’s the right thing to do.
- I got a bowl cut.
- My young adult novel, Beautiful Mess, won the Text Publishing Text Prize. One of the most joyous, coolest things I’ve ever experienced. You’ll get to read the book in August next year. HOLY SHIT. Here’s the post I did about it.
- I produced and co-created La Boite’s The Village. An incredible collaboration with the Multicultural Development Association, looking at the stories of refugee and asylum seekers who’ve settled in Brisbane. This project is so vital and I can’t wait for audiences to see it in full flight in 2017. Book your tickets.
- I was a judge at the Gold Coast Drama Festival, which was meant three lovely nights of watching young Gold Coast Drama kids slay.
- I continued my most favourite collaboration with my best David Burton as we continued to make Pew!Pew! content with our podcast. You can listen here.
- I worked on an amazing project with Yeronga State High School’s after school Drama group where we created two big outcomes.
- I shaved my head.
- I continued to facilitate arts workshops with teenagers all over Queensland.
- My beloved and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary and our fifth anniversary as a couple. Wanna read about our wedding? Here.
- And we’ve kept our pug, Midge, alive for a whole year, which is quite possibly my grandest achievement ever.
- I’ve written 15,000 words of a new book. A chick-lit piece about pleasure and sex.
- I got a literary agent.
- I worked in my first TV writers room.
- I’ve been invited to submit work to online publication I dig.
- I dyed my hair silver.
- I wrote an article for the Queensland Writer Magazine WQ. Here, have a read.
- I did my first paid University Lecture.
- I did my first public reading of some of my written work, a memoir piece that i’m working on called, I can’t do a cartwheel.
- I was a house parent at Queensland Theatre’s Theatre Residency Week.
- Talking to Brickwalls, a play I co-created with my dear friend Ari and a group of glorious teenagers at the Empire Theatre was published by Playlab. You can check it out here.
- Oh, and I had to have the paramedics come and see me because I accidentally took codeine, which I already knew I have a weird reaction too, because I had another weird reaction to it. I in turn, questioned my mortality because I was convinced I was going to die in an airbnb in Sydney.
- And, lastly I’ve dyed my hair lilac.
On top of all of this I’ve celebrated my best babies, eaten delicious food with delicious people, cried a lot, high-fived a lot of excellent people, been frustrated, read excellent things, wasted too many hours online, watched some amazing TV and films and been really bloody grateful about all of the good things that I get to enjoy every day.
What a bloody year. Bring it 2017. Bring it.