01/01/2020 -- Happy New Year to Friends and Family Near and Far!!!
Well, we did it.
2019 for me will go down as the year that we tied the knot. Literally tied the knot, as Lauren and I incorporated a Celtic hand-fasting ritual into our wedding in the woods. The high point for me in 2019 will always be the first glimpse of my bride-to-be as she made her way down the winding woodland path to the ceremony ring surrounded by a small gathering of family and friends. That was May the 4th, 2019 at Camp Orenda in Prince William Forest Park near Quantico, Virginia. Of course there are all kinds of festivities and highlights baked into the preparation for and celebration of that weekend: Bachelor and Bachelorette parties in rural Virginia, a food-truck rehearsal dinner on a sultry Wedding Day’s Eve, our first dance to ‘Gold’ from the musical Once followed by lightsaber dancefloor duels (we did get married on May the Fourth after all), and even a weekend Mini-Moon to take in some culture in NYC in June. Since that trip, we’ve been saving up for our great Greecian Honeymoon in May 2020. Advice and travel tips welcome! Perhaps the understatement of the decade, I’ve been a lucky, grateful fella this past year.
Other Highlights from the Year of our Nuptials (also known as the Year of the Hoos here in Charlottesville, VA with the Men’s Basketball Team winning the national championship in early April. Go Hoos Go!!!).
Lauren returned to the stage playing Annelle in Heritage Theatre Festival’s Steel Magnolias over the summer. She also began cultivating her directorial skills as she assistant directed Follies at Live Arts this fall. As for myself, I spent more than a few nights and weekends in RVA in 2019: leading bike tours with Richmond Rides, portraying Patrick Henry in Liberty or Death and The Parson’s Cause, returning to Agecroft Hall for the 21st Annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and tackling Duke Vincentio in Quill Theatre’s Bootleg Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure.
As the first half of the year saw personal milestones for Lauren and me, the second half of the year has seen some professional milestones to celebrate. Lauren has continued her design and production work for Blue Ridge Event Production. She designed their brand new website for starters! I’ve continued growing as a placement counselor and school agent with the Southern Teachers Agency. While working for Southern Teachers, they have fully supported me as I’ve continued to pursue my desire to step into the classroom full time. This past October I interviewed for a position teaching Theater and English at Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA) in Nashville, TN. To explore the idea of both of us picking up and moving to Nashville next year, Lauren travelled with me for the trip. On a rainy Monday in early October, I taught sample lessons on Hamlet’s ‘Alas poor Yorick’ speech for a 12th Grade Shakespeare Seminar as well as a 7th-8th grade general theater course. After a whirlwind visit meeting faculty, students, and administrators, I was offered and accepted a position to join the faculty at MBA for the 2020-21 academic year!!!
Though bittersweet for all of our Virginia friends and family, Lauren and I will return from our Great Greece adventure this summer, pack up our little loft apartment on the outskirts of Charlottesville, and start the decade by heading to the ‘Athens of the South’ for our next chapter starting in August 2020.