I’m kinda a month late on this, but here goes. Holy crap, 2013. You really stood out.
1. Getting Married.
I never thought I wanted to get married.. until I met Christine. We did it our own way on our 7th anniversary. Eloped at our favourite park with two witnesses. Was a crazy beautiful day out. Took 16 minutes and was beyond romantic. No stress. No tight leotards. No tiny chickens. No centerpieces. Just us and the birds. I wore a bow tie. We kissed.
2. Disney World
Christine and I jumped on a plane and headed to The Epcot Center. This place is the bees knees. We’re both super nerds so it was kinda like hanging out at a gigantic science center. Main difference between Epcot and the real world? People at Disney do not possess any emotion other than happiness. And if you’re hungry buying one grape will cost you 78 dollars. But we loved every second of it. Some of the exhibits there haven’t changed since the 80s, like Michael Jackson’s Captain EO. Also I barfed on a ride called Misson Space.
3. Leaving Kids’ CBC and Mamma Yamma
After 6 years of giving CBC my all from 2007 to 2013 with the character I created – after awards, composing music for the show and collaborating with Canadian musicians to connect with kidlets from coast to coast, I decided to leave Kids’ CBC in April 2013. I was not happy for last year I was at Kids CBC for various reasons, so really felt it was time for me to go. I feel so proud to have accomplished so much with Mamma Yamma over all these years. She/we made a mark. As many now know, I had to leave the puppet behind with the CBC when I left – and Mamma Yamma has since evolved into a second rendition of herself to maintain a brand and keep what I made going. So, while Mamma Yamma now sounds & moves quite differently, and while her soul has changed, what I’ve realized is that my original character and my success with her will always remain a part of me. Because a long time character becomes very intricate over many years of development, I also realized that the combination of my hand and her foam can only make that first, original Mamma – which artistically, is a neat thought. I feel groovy knowing that she’ll be a part of kids memories who grew up watching me play her for so long. My goal at Kids’ CBC was to try and work hard to make a difference – and I really feel like I made one.
4. Winning a YMA Award
A few weeks after I left CBC, someone in the audience at the YMA Awards let me know that a song I wrote and starred in as Mamma Yamma, (“Wowie Woah Woah”), won Kids’ CBC the award for “Best pre-school program ages 2-5.” When I heard the news that night, I was so friggin proud. I’d spent a million months working on the tune, so to have it acknowledged by the YMA felt great. Although I wasn’t mentioned at the podium I was flooded with supportive texts from peeps in the audience who know me and my work. It was a big accomplishment. Christine and I toasted together at home in our pajamas. The video was smashtacular. The song is about how learning new things is awesome.
6. Making this Website
It took me eight hundred years to get around in making this sucker. And bless the lord stevie wonder I finally have one place to compile all my stuff, instead of in a ginourmously huge pile that my cats sleep and fart on underneath my desk.
7. Working with new people
I got to travel for a few months and work with some very creative folks. New puppeteers, new producers, new writers. Beyond fantastic. These folks made me raise my own barr to kick serious ass. I like to sweat and get out of my comfort zone, so it was a super lovely match. No better feeling than collaborating on a rad team. Great vibes. Giant sense of humour. Zero ego. These guys slammed dunked it!!
8. Jays Family Jam
I play a little bird named Jay. Jay loves music more than anything. This past year, Jay (and I) jammed with some incredible Canadian Musicians. Clapping along in studio we had live studio audiences of kids and their families, learning all about music and how it works. The segment is called “Jay’s Family Jam”. Three cheers for TVO!
9. Scoring Zerby Derby
Christine and I hunkered down to write an entire score for a TV show for Breakthrough Entertainment. The show is completely hilarious. We sat in the same position for 100 millionty million hours and laughed our heads off blowing kazoos and playing in our home studio.
10. Learning how to Meditate
Practicing for 20 minutes, twice a day, has changed the way I filter the goodness and badness of the world. I will never, ever stop this practice. High fives for quite times.
Happy New year to you and I wish u good things!