2018: A Year In Raero Review

As is my tradition, I like to look back and reflect on the past year. Without fail, every year, I have doubts when I initially sit down to start writing (“Did I accomplish anything?” “Did I waste a year?”) but once I start going through the photos and looking back through my calendar - I remember what an incredible year it was. Over the past few months, I have challenged myself to especially focus on two things: EMPATHY and GRATITUDE. These two concepts have really helped get me present, and they have guided me away from unnecessary anxiety and stress. The truth is I am so very grateful to work for and support myself, doing what I love. The fact that I get to combine traveling and performing (2 of my favorite things!) is truly remarkable and nothing I would have even dreamed possible 15 years ago. I am also grateful for my home and my family and my friends.

Things aren’t always perfect, of course. Our country is still torn apart and the news is still quite painful to read. In my personal life, I parted ways with a close friend this past year and it still stings. But, again I think of Empathy and Gratitude. I try to focus on having empathy for this friend. (Even though it hurts to not have them in my life, I know they have their own difficulties they’re going through.) And I have great gratitude for the friends I still do have, who support me through it all. Truthfully, teaching empathy in my Corporate Improv Trainings has made me focus in on my own skills. Empathizing instead of judging or trying to “fix” someone else’s emotions or reactions is a constant work in progress but I’ve come a long way and will continue to push myself and grow.

Overall: 2018 was a good one. Hard to believe we are one year away from 2020 which is LITERALLY THE FUTURE and i can’t wait to see the flying cars!!

STATS: IN 2018, I PERFORMED IN 95 SHOWS, in 4 countries!

2018 HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Heading to Europe for the North Coast UK Tour! (Plus Munich with Big Bang!)

    • Playing Margaret Thatcher in "ANYBODY” in London! 

    • Big Bang at Munich Improv Fest with Will Luera

    • Cities: London, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Munich!

  • Talk about turning lemons into lemonade: my biggest accomplishment in a while has been turning the darkest period of my life into a published piece on Amazon! My story “Identity Thief” came out on Amazon / Audible last week. The entire process was a highlight - writing the 10,000 word first draft, the editing process with Risk and Amazon, as well as recording it in the studio! More >

  • Camp-like improv fun weekends in Killington VT at SkiProv 2.0 and 3.0! 

  • The formation of my improv duo, RaeRoest, and the creation of The Generation Gap show!

    • RaeRoest’s performance at Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington!

  • Sarasota Improv Fest plus a week long Artists residency with North Coast at Florida Studio Theater!   More >

    • Show w/ the Smothers Brothers!

    • Befriending the French improvisers from Le Carpe Haute and watching the World Cup together!

  • A huge year of travels w/ Big Bang! Shows in Sarasota Improv Fest (Florida), Stumptown Improv Fest (Portland OR), Providence Improv Fest, and topping it off with Munich Improv Fest in Germany!

  • North Coast’s 9 year anniversary party at Littlefield!

  • Heading back to Providence Improv Fest for the first time in years. This time, as an instructor. I performed with both Big Bang and North Coast’s Anybody.

Coaching / Teaching Highlights: 

With the closing of Reckless last year, I wasn’t sure what the year would look like for teaching and coaching but… who needs a big theater!? I did my thang.

  • I went out on my own and taught some classes - a one-off “Coaching the Coach” as well as an 8 week Beginners Improv class!

  • Started teaching at BCC 

  • North Coast Hip Hop improv 101 classes were a true delight.

  • Regular weekly coaching with wonderful indie teams, My First Tattoo and Boots N Cats 

  • Being a guest instructor at Steelstacks Improv scene in PA 

Personal:

  • My partner, Sam, got to meet my 99 year old Grandma. She was in rare form that day - quite alert and talking to us about the importance of love and family.

  • Seeing Sam perform off-Broadway in Thicket & Thistle’s What’s Your Wish at NYMF 

  • Seeing Dr. Dog in concert (so great!)

  • Lots of Broadway! Seeing Hello Dolly with my friend, Danielle, and of course, BETTE Midler! Spongebob with Doug and Once on This Island with Sam  

  • Best day ever hiking and relaxing in the beauty of Oregon/Washington (Naked Falls) w/ North Coast and Justin Himes

See you all next year as we prepare for our car flying lessons!

[ See previous Year In Review Posts ]