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To be honest, since being featured in this

To be honest, since being featured in this column, my number of bookings this year has been down. And while I can't give a specific reason why, I'll be very happy when that yearly average goes back up. It could be that I've raised the bar on what roles I'll go in on or accept. Or it could be a hundred other reasons. Whatever the reason, or reasons, I have to say, this past year has been a very successful one on many levels.

With that said about my bookings, since the last update I've booked two great projects, the first being a national commercial that looks to be rolling into a digital and print campaign. The second, which I'm more excited about, is that I've booked an ensemble lead role in a moderate-budget horror film—a role that goes against what I would stereotypically be cast to play. Add to that a small guest role I did at the end of October, and maybe I'm closing the year out strong.

Besides what I did or didn't book, I feel I've made great gains both as an actor and as a writer, going in for more guest lead roles and finishing off and optioning several new scripts. Heck, just the fact that I've continued to support myself as an actor and writer is no small accomplishment, which I have been trying to appreciate more.

However, what I'm most proud of is that I've continued spending time working on improving myself in all aspects of my life. While I feel like an infant with this lifelong journey, at least I'm becoming clearer on what that journey is: a pursuit of authentic happiness, basic simplicity, and actual humility. Balancing self-promotion without boasting. Trying not to be a slave to my ego as I live in the capital city of self-indulgence in a me-driven world. Attempting to do what I believe is right, even when it's not the easiest thing to accomplish. Fighting for what's important, yet knowing sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. Keeping my head above my own personal deep waters of negativity and self-doubt. Continuing to do, achieve, learn, share, give, receive, and reach out. Realizing errors and failures are as human as success and little victories—all of which should be celebrated and are perfect as they are. Rediscovering the power of words and the power of silence, the importance of solidarity inside our unions, and continuing to ask for what I want.

Thank you to those who have followed my career these past 11 months in Back Stage West's Take Five column. Thank you to those who have read my posted blogs. Thank you to those of you who have said hello in casting offices or given me a pat on the back when I needed it most. While I applaud anyone who decides to leave this crazy business behind and pursue other, more stable avenues, I truly wish the very best to everyone who decides to start, continue, fight it out, and pursue.

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