2012 Annual Review and My Plan for 2013

Immaculatize.com has been, uh, well, pretty slow, to say the least, in 2012.  The good news is that the lack of activity was due to what has been far and away the most productive year of my life.  Yes, my relationship with health and productivity continues to be of the up and down variety, but there’s no doubt that having a consistent focus on positivity continues to work it’s wonders, even if it constantly shifts from background to foreground.  I have no idea what this site will bring in 2013, but as is becoming a tradition I will set some goals for it and everything else with my 3rd Annual Annual Review.

(Here’s a link to last year’s review.)

Worth noting, it’s important to revisit your goals periodically once you’ve set them.  I didn’t look at my goals from last year until a couple days ago, which almost makes it a pointless gesture.  HOWEVER, it was uncanny looking at how many of the specific goals were accomplished in spite of that.  Which I believe is a testament to the importance of setting intentions, especially in a public forum.

Before I start, the requisite “Oh wow, another year has past, jeez, wow, that flew by”:

Oh, wow, another year past, jeez, wow, that flew by.

Step 1: Review the Previous Year

Like the year prior, I entered 2012 with a lot of optimism and momentum.  Here was my overall goal:

My theme and purpose for the upcoming year: Continuing To Build and Taking Shit To The Next Level. Like last year I aim to become self-sustained, insofar as having my own place to live.  I have no doubts that’s going to happen soon.  But more important that that, I just want to continue building on all I’ve learned to create a brand around enchantment and fun, through various media, while inspiring others to be productive and happy as well.

I am proud to say that I nailed the shit out of this goal!  First and foremost after almost 2.5 years of living under my parents roof, I finally got my own place again.  I wouldn’t trade the opportunity I had to live with my parents again for anything.  Without their support I wouldn’t be where I am at now.  That said, I still wake up every morning thanking Buddha and Jesus and Moses that I got my own damn spot.

As far as building a brand around enchantment, 2012 saw the birth of LA Encantada.  Translating to “the enchantment,” LA Encantada finally put a name to my vision, and this year we produced 3 large scale comedy and music events, several smaller ones,  and it continues to organically develop into an amazing community of artists with lots of plans for next year.

Inspiring others to be productive and happy didn’t manifest through this blog, per se, but inspiration has become such an integral part of my everyday living that I would even include it as part of my current job description.  Every day I get the opportunity to talk with artists of all backgrounds, and every interaction has become a chance to inspire and be inspired by others.

In 2012 I continued to build and grow as a person, which is all anyone can ever ask for.  So by all accounts, mission motherfucking accomplished.

My other goals and how they fared:

21012 Goal – Career:

I am continuing to build the community and the caliber of production and talent at The Lab, but I am also open to and looking for opportunities to build my own venue.  So whether I am here for another year, or building somewhere else remains to be seen.  But in either case, the goal is to be at the helm of a venue that is getting recognition for bringing innovative, fun, multimedia experiences to Los Angeles.  I also want to keep building the overall brand through podcasting, video production, and event producing, with the idea of bringing what’s being built here to the rest of the world through media and touring.  In short, by the end of 2012 I want an empire to be created.  A positive empire.  It can be a small, positive empire, but an empire nonetheless.  Fuck it.

How I fared: In March I was promoted to the position of Artistic Director of the entire Hollywood Improv.  In addition to booking and producing shows in the smaller Lab space, I was given the responsibility of booking the historic main stage as well.  Since taking over, I’ve had the chance to bring in some of my favorite acts, and some of the Lab shows found a new home on the main stage as well.  I brought more live music and variety, all while the Lab continued to thrive as an experimental comedy and variety theater.  So I guess my “goal to be at the helm of a venue that is getting recognition for bringing innovative, fun, multimedia experiences to Los Angeles” absolutely came to fruition!  As mentioned above, I also produced several large scale events, at The Improv, Echoplex, Hayworth Theater, and Comedy Central Stage, with some of my favorite artists, each of which has helped to grow the name LA Encantada and the expectation of enchantment and production value that the name stands for.

2012 Goal – Immaculata:

My goal for Immaculata is simple this year.  Reach more people through: A.) A podcast and  B.) More regular blogging.  By the end of the year I’d like the podcast to be weekly.  And I’d like to blog at least once a week.  This should help expand the audience, which will grow the Facebook group, with the net result of more people being inspired and inspiring each other.   I have a feeling that once this happens other bigger and more exciting things will start to happen as well, but in the meantime I think this is a reasonable goal.

How I fared: You can’t win ’em all.  There are dozens of pages of notes and started blog entries that never saw the light of day, but when work really started picking up it left less time for Immaculatize.  That in mind, the Facebook group had some great moments in 2012, and the name continues to grow in spite of the lack of website activity.  So, half-win?

2012 Goal – Service:

To start the year, my focus is on selling CAN-endars, and fulfilling my role as a member of Team Big Accomplishment Squad to help raise thousands and thousands of dollars for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  In addition, I am making charity work an important part of the community I am building at the theater.  And my hope is that in blogging more and doing a podcast I can help inspire others to be productive and happier.

How I fared: The biggest accomplishments were two benefit shows produced at The Hayworth Theater this year, in March and December, raising thousands of dollars for LLS and No Kid Hungry.  I do wish I’d been involved with more charity work over the year, but I am happy with what we did and think it will be a springboard for more in 2013.

2012 Goal – Spiritual:

Meditation!  Meditation!  Meditation!  Instead of setting lofty goals, this year my only goal is to meditate at least 3 minutes every single day.  That’s it.  And if it grows it grows.  And it will probably grow.  But that will take the pressure off, while still keeping me motivated to take action on it.

How I fared: You, um, can’t win ’em all.  This didn’t happen at all.

2012 Goal – Health:

Six pack abs would be nice.  And as soon as I have the money I’ll get a damn trainer.  I will!  I know it!  But until that happens, I am simplifying: 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week.   Ideally it’s 30 minutes of high impact cardio or playing sports, but if it comes down to a 30 minute walk in the morning or after work or on my lunch break, I am comfortable with that.  Exercise is key to my happiness and productivity, I know this much now, so no more of these month long streaks of phoning it in.

How I fared: You, um, I, uh… you can’t win ’em all. I actually started the year great.  2 full months of working out and eating right and no drinking…. And then that kind of devolved quickly.  There were certainly some good streaks in there, and overall I’d say my eating habits are substantially better overall.  And I joined a gym a few months ago.  But I think it’s important to actually attend the gym to see results.  I’ll give myself an 8 out of 14 on health.

Goal – Creative:

More than ever, creative goals blur the line with my professional goals, which I couldn’t be more thankful for.  So in addition to building the theater and producing and co-producing shows, I will add: Write one musical and get The Spanglers on Conan.  Not sure how that’ll be done, but there, it’s out there now.  If you know or work for Conan… email me

How I fared: I didn’t write a full musical.  BUT, Vanessa and I did write several new songs, including outlining and writing and performing some music for a musical called Queenslaire, that we performed at The Comedy Central Stage this Summer.  As for Conan, no, we didn’t get to perform on the show.  But, I do now have an email relationship with the booker on the show, so… halfway there!

Quick Summary of 2012:

The year was great.  Things rarely, if ever, pan out the way I imagine, but by staying busy, being passionate about my job and creative projects, and remaining resilient in the face of adversity, I grew a lot, I accomplished a lot of my goals, and I finish the year knowing I am still on the right path.  I am learning to regret things less, I am learning to stop giving a fuck about what other people think (the bane of my existence), I am learning to trust my instincts, and I am learning how to take the positives out of shitty situations.  In short, I continue to learn that the only way anything happens is through action.  When I have nothing going on I flail.  When I don’t have a deadline or project, I get depressed.  Getting organized and putting together a perfect schedule and having great ideas is important, but it’s all useless until I set goals and take actions to achieve them.

My biggest take-away from 2012 was that passion is crucial to success.  This year I became more passionate about what I do than ever.  It came from the discovery last year of why I do what I do (to inspire and enchant others, to see people truly enjoy themselves, to reach people and communicate through art and comedy, to create meaningful experiences for others).  It came from realizing the significance and history of the artistic platforms I currently have.  It came from a belief and confidence in myself that I believe comes with time and experience (2012 was my 10th year producing and performing), and of course a heavy dose of self-reflection.

I’ve always had some measure of passion in what I do; I believe anyone with creative goals has to have something burning inside, but now there is real substance behind it.  It’s no longer about getting attention (though I still love it), it’s about reaching people and making a difference.  With those being the stakes, I  am now more willing to fight for what I think is right, more willing to speak my mind, and more willing to put everything on the line.  It’s scary at times, but it’s made life a lot more interesting, and it’s attracted a lot of other passionate people into my life as well.

So yeah, good year.  (Smileyfaceemoticon)

Step 2: Outline Goals and Overall Focus for Next Year

My theme and purpose for the upcoming year: Continuing To Build and Taking Shit To The Next Level PART DEUX. More specifically, continue my quest to transform The Improv, continue building LA Encantada as a company and culture, and continue learning, growing, and inspiring.  Adding to that I aim to produce the best weekly comedy/variety show in LA and a show for television,  and I want to double my income.  Easy peasy fresh and squeezy!

My goals are less elaborate but a *little* more ambitious than the past couple years.  One change this year is that I will actually be printing my goals and posting them around my place so that they are always in the forefront.  Important to remind yourself of your goals, right?

Goal #1 is to make The Hollywood Improv the best comedy and variety venue in LA.  It’s got a storied history and is arguably already one of the best, but I know with continued work and artistic vision it can continue to innovate and bring something new and exciting to the ever expanding comedy landscape in LA.

Goal #2 is to continue building LA Encantada via a weekly show at The Improv, and other large scale events in LA and beyond.

Apparently, I never learn.  My goal for Immaculatize is the same as last year.  A podcast, and more frequent blog posting.

This year I want to bring more people together from the comedy community to do events and community outreach. 

Same as last year.  For the love of all things holy I vow to make meditation part of my regular daily routine.

Like last year, my goal is to exercise for 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.  And more nature.  And less drinking.

Now more than ever, there is 100% overlap between my career and creative goals, so see all of the above. (This makes me happy.)

Step 3: Make Decisions in Support of the Goals and Focus

SAME AS LAST YEAR: To keep as positive as possible while working my butt off.  I know what it takes to make things happen, so no excuses, just action.  Passionate action.  Viva 2013!

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