January 1st, 2019
Happy New Year from Charlottesville, VA!
It’s been an up-and-down kind of year for me in 2018 – as all years are – but the extremes on those ups and downs felt a little more extreme this year. So I wanted to share a few of the ups from the past 365 days with friends and family near and far.
In early March, Lauren and I went on a writing retreat to Mallardee Farm just outside of Williamsburg, VA. We’ve been working on a play based on the life and events of Union Spy living in Richmond, VA Elizabeth Van Lew that had it’s first reading at the American Civil War Museum in August. It’s an amazing story that needs telling. Anyhow, on a walk-through-the-woods writing retreat break, I started talking funny – I was admittedly nervous – and after a while of talking funny, I got down on one knee and pulled out a diamond. Lauren said yes and the only witnesses were the trees … and Bernie the Farm Dog. The big date is set for a small gathering of family and friends weekend at Prince William Forest Park – May, 4th2019. So … a date that is hard to forget … May the 4th be with us, of course.
2018 was the year of small business and trying something new – I’m mainly referring to co-‘Pilot’-ing Lauren’s upstart business Sara Lou’s Snoballs and co-managing Richmond Rides Bicycle Tours with Catherine Illian. Of course there were other highlights as well – performing in Larry Kramer’s THE NORMAL HEART at Richmond Triangle Players, as Patrick Henry for Governor and First Lady Northam, and my always favorite The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at the 20thannual Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall. Sara Lou’s was a brave new world of an adventure – holy moly do I have respect for all the small business owners of America–and that’s coming from a part-time muscle and general fix-it man.
In October, as Lauren and I began to think of what to do in the bicycle tour and snoball-ing offseason, we both received job offers – in Charlottesville! And so we traded in our adorable Condie Cottage in RVA for a lofted apartment in CVille – much to our two outdoor/indoor cats’ chagrin. The jobs: Lauren has been working part-time as an Assistant Wedding Planner for Blue Ridge Event Production and will begin working on the Faculty of UVa as a Lecturer in the Drama Department in just a few weeks. Her strength, grace, and buoyancy never cease to amaze me.
As for me, I accepted a position with the Southern Teachers Agency as a Placement Counselor and Florida School Agent – which means it won’t be too long before I start taking off for business trips in Florida. Watch out Florida friends and family! So how did this happen you ask? How did an itinerant actor/teaching artist/bike tour guide named Joseph find himself accepting a 40-hour-a-week-desk -job? Well, I’ve been asking myself the same thing. A long story short: I applied for a job as a high school drama teacher for 2019 with Southern Teachers and they counteroffered me a chance to interview for an opening on their staff, I said ‘yes, and’ ended up commuting between Richmond and Charlottesville through the fall to finish a teaching contract with Wolftrap’s Early Learning Institute at Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool and working 32 hours a week at Southern Teachers which is right on UVa’s The Corner. Needless to say – in 2019 I’m looking forward to working in one city – and continuing to plan for our next big production – a Lauren and Joseph Woodland Wedding.
Lastly, I had the great fortune of meeting a new member of the family this year – Monty Bromfield was born on 11/11/2018 to my older brother Drew and his wife Juliet in Denver, Colorado. His full name is Montgomery Neal Butler Bromfield – which I think is just great. A name built for the ages. During my recent visit, Monty and I got some good one on one time as Drew and Juliet stepped out for a rare date night – he’s got me feeling like a very proud Uncle Jober.