One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to look back on all of the awesome things I got up to over the past 365 days. I tend to not get anywhere near accomplishing all of my goals and resolutions, but instead of focusing on that, I celebrate all of the progress I made. And all of the things I didn’t even know I wanted on my list.
This one is incredibly exciting, because I accomplished something that has been a dream and a resolution for as long as I can remember. In August, I published my first book, Shards of Glass, which has sold over 100 copies. Half of them were free ebook sales, but that is still over a hundred people who own a copy of a book that I wrote. It boggles my mind and is so surreal.
In November, I published my second novel, Prophecy, in a different genre. Marketing and brand-wise, this was not the best idea, but I have big plans. And I’m in this for the long haul. I am currently working on the sequel to Prophecy, which is part of a trilogy, and am loving it! Goals for next year would be to win all the nanowrimos, write more and publish some stories 🙂
It was an awesome year for the Wyngaert clan. Not only did my cousin get married, she and her sister both had babies! I am the proud auntie of two absolutely adorable little boys who 100% have my heart.
In December, Arsen and I vacationed in Hawai’i. We visited Kauai, Maui and Oahu and it was fabulous! I’ll post a bit on each island, but the trip itself had us hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming in waterfalls, eating spam and having a wonderful time.
I tried to get back to Montreal at least once a month to spend time with my family, and also spent almost every Sunday with my Toronto family. I am one lucky gal who is spoiled beyond belief.
It has been a long time coming, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but I am now a full ACTRA member. My three credits were get-together, Touched and Little Bird, and I treasure each of them. I also filmed some MIPs, a short scene and gave an interview, which were all pretty cool. While most of my days on set were as background, a chunk of them were as a special skills extra, where I got to mingle with stunt coordinators and handle weapons. I even got to photo double a couple of times. This year was a blast!
I continued my involvement with TAWC this year. In addition to being on the Nell Shipman Gala committee, I spearheaded the content development sessions. I wasn’t able to attend all of them, (which sucks but I am so happy to be working consistently) but the ones I saw were phenomenal wealths of information, by some kickass women in the industry.
I brought my mom as my date to the Quebec city premiere of Deep Web. It was fun to reconnect with everyone. I’ll be in Toronto, but there is another showing on January 5th at Cinema le Clap, if anyone is interested J
I also took an acting class, which was interesting, and makes me want to get back to my training. I can’t drive to Montreal every week to train with Suzanna, so a goal for the new year is to find a class I love and train consistently.
I am someone who budgets like crazy and saved from a young age, which is how I afforded to live in Toronto for a year while making so little money that the government gave me money to thank me for not going on welfare (where I could have earned more money than actually working). This year, however, I did a lot of background work (as an ACTRA member), published some books, was a brand ambassador (at auto shows, conventions, in costumes), and continued being a standardized patient. Not to mention working for family nearly every time I went back to Montreal. All this to say that I earned enough this year to have to pay taxes. And get an HST number.
This was one of my goals; to make so much money that I would have to pay taxes…I know, be careful what you wish for. But it’s nice to make more money than you spend and get back to saving a little (instead of living off your savings).
I had plans to produce and star in a short I wrote, titled Love You Better. I wrote the script, rewrote it a million times, saw it performed at Toronto Cold Reads, started finding a crew, made my dream cast list…I was terrified, but also excited to share something so personal, about an experience I went through rather than simply imagined. Then I got a call from a friend who had questions about producing a TIP. After answering Hubert as best I could, I offered my help in whichever capacity he needed. This turned into revising the script, writing myself a role and producing Touched with him. It was a great experience where I got to work with the best people and learn so much. I can’t wait until we send it to festivals and I get to share it with everyone.
We spent the summer working on more projects we were going to produce together, but we ran out of nice weather, and had a few setbacks, so we will reconvene on that in the new year.
I would have gone back to Love You Better, only the fierce and determined co-chairs of TAWC were producing a powerful short and wanted me to be a part of it. Little Bird was full of firsts for me. I was production manager and minors coordinator, working on a script I didn’t write. I worked with talented actresses I was honored to be in the same room with. It was incredible how generously the TAWC committee members rallied to help us make the film. My scene was cut from the final version, but I am still so proud of the story and the acting and how it all came together. It has already been submitted to a festival, and I am pretty sure this one will go far.
For next year, I hope to finally make Love You Better, to produce projects I care about, with people who make me excited to create, and to send Get-Together off to all the festivals!
Being in Shape
My goal for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was to get my blue belt, but that didn’t happen. I trained and taught kids classes and summer camps, but I also had a weird fainting episode and worked a lot, which meant I wasn’t able to train consistently. Hopefully all goes well in the new year and I get some short days at work.
I did get to compete in two BJJ tournaments, which were definitely learning experiences. I got bronze medals at both, but didn’t win a single match, so I am determined to someday go back and actually deserve a medal.
-I’m very slowly working on my Armenian, but am nowhere near carrying a conversation.
-I don’t think I even attempted to edit something in 2019. I’m not as disappointed by that as the fact that I didn’t get together with friends to film things that I would have to edit.
-As mentioned, I am still working towards the blue belt.
-I published 2 books, sold more copies than I could have imagined and got reviews I am still blushing about.
-We decided to hold off on putting get-together into the festival circuit because we wanted it to be the best that it could be. Waiting a few months to get Sarah Vanderzon’s NYC recording of For You was more than worth it. The movie is now completely done and ready to be submitted, which I am incredibly excited about. And Sarah is amazing. You should definitely check out her music and fall in love with it like we did.
-I am working on replacing my credits with union ones that I am proud of. My acting career definitely took a back seat to my writing in the last 6 months, so 2020 will be an attempt to find a better balance and keep the momentum going!
-I believe I am half a credit closer to becoming a full UDA member than I was last year, so I will have to be more of a go-getter in the future.
-I am now a full ACTRA member!
What about you? How was your 2019?
“If you are at home, and you’re sitting on your couch and you’re watching this right now, all I have to say is that this is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know…it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”