Last year I wrote a year-end review blog post and even though I haven’t been as active on the blog recently, I wanted to sum up what has been a very unpredictable year.
In hindsight, the way the year began should have been an omen for how crazy this year would turn out to be.
I was contacted by Sight & Sound Theatres about the possibility of filling an opening in their 2017. After a private audition with the Casting Director via Skype I waited a couple of excruciating weeks to find out that it was once again a No.
Starting in January, I began writing and filming the JUMPSTART video series. This included 12 weekly videos that were designed to help people identify what they were created to do and overcome the fear of pursuing it. In 2018, I will be reposting them on my Facebook page and will be utilizing the audio for the podcast.
Also in January, I began rehearsing for my role as Uncle Henry/Ozian Guard in Limelight Performing Arts Center’s production of the Wizard of Oz. At the same time, I took on the role of Simon Callous in Without A Cue Productions’ “Assassination Idol” at Peddler’s Village.
Finally, I had my first of what I hoped to be many real estate transactions in 2017. Every one told me that your 3rd year in Real Estate was the “breakout” year, so I was pretty excited. Well, my next deal was not until March, when my brother and his wife bought a home. During this time, my wife and I decided to explore our mortgage options to prepare for a possible home purchase in 2018, which we playfully referred to as the Year of the Desiato. I have retraced our housing journey at length on this blog several times so I won’t rehash it again here, but suffice it to say, a lot of decisions in the last 2 years were with 2018 in mind as the year that we could potentially settle into a new forever home.
We were surprised to find out that we could be pre-approved, and with housing prices going up and interest rates rising, we decided to explore the possibility of moving in 2017 instead. Something that we had not anticipated when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2017. So in the midst of my Wizard of Oz and Assassination Idol run, we began looking for a home. I also was feeling the effects of 2016 on my real estate business. Since we knew we would not end up in East Norriton, it was hard for me to invest in my community. Coupled with the fact that we had severed many ties when we switched churches in 2016, and my sphere of influence in the real estate world was shrinking.
In February, I sang in my first cabaret down in Philly, which was a rousing success.
In March, we went under contract on a new home and then had to walk away from the deal. Also that month, with only two real estate deals completed and not much else on the horizon, I accepted a part-time job at my new church in order to provide some extra income.
The Wizard of Oz opened on March 17th to rave reviews and closed April 1st.
In April, we were packing and preparing for our move to Royersford. I also auditioned for and was cast in the role of Sebastian in the Little Mermaid. “Little” did I know that I was about to enter a two-month span that tested every bit of my mental and emotional capacity. As we headed in May, I found out in back to back phone calls that one of my real estate deals fell through and that our own home purchase could also fall apart.
This all happened right as I started my new part time job on May 1st. Thankfully, our deal ultimately went through and we settled on May 8th as planned. We moved into our new home on May 20th, during the end of the school year chaos and while learning a new job and trying to stay afloat in my full-time self-employment. This amount of stress, coupled with my involvement in the Little Mermaid and other theater pursuits, and negotiating the largest real estate deal of my career, led to me feeling completely overwhelmed.
Thankfully, with God’s help and the support of my wife, I was able to navigate this incredibly tenuous time. One of the major ways I accomplished this was by focusing on the things that I could control and forgetting about the things that I can’t. I busted my butt in July to put on the best performance I could as Sebastian.
This was a turning point for me mentally. Because I had overcome the last two months of mental hurdles, I knew that I was ready to do something huge to establish myself in the community and shine a light on my real estate business. That same month, I began pre production on the biggest undertaking of my career, Discover SPRINGFORD.
In August, I began principal photography on the first few episodes, and debuted on Facebook and YouTube on September 10th. What followed was nothing short of extraordinary. Since the premiere, I have filmed 22 episodes and am wrapping up production on Season 1. I also decided to rebrand my existing podcast and relaunched as “The Acting Realtor.”
Also in September I changed real estate brokers and joined Springer Realty Group.
After The Little Mermaid, the summer time was also an interesting one acting-wise. First, I had to turn down a lead role in a play because I was not comfortable with having to kiss someone. Then I turned down a callback at my local theater because I was not too excited about the project and I wanted to pursue other opportunities. This meant that I was heading into the fall not knowing what I would be doing to further my acting career. I did, however, manage to audition at Sight & Sound for the 3rd year in a row.
A day after I declined to attend a callback I received a text from a friend of mine that I had met doing Wizard of Oz about an opportunity with Philly Senior Stage. This was completely out of the blue but it turned out to be a total Godsend, given the downturn that I experienced this year with my real estate business. I had another real estate deal in August but I was definitely not feeling very confident that real estate was going to provide for me substantially in the 4th quarter of 2017. I headed into this acting project not knowing what to expect, and it has turned out to be an incredible opportunity and truly great experience as an actor because I have gotten to perform soooooo much. We began rehearsing in August, had our first performance in September, and we’ve been off and running ever since. I only have a handful of performances left but the months of October and November included roughly 30 performances.
Given the success of the Discover SPRINGFORD TV show and Podcast, I decided to try my hand at vlogging (video blogging), and in October I began to document my “Acting Realtor” journey this way. So far I’ve produced 6 episodes of Acting Realtor TV.
In October, in the midst of my Philly Senior Stage performances, I was recruited to perform in a special event play to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 300th anniversary of Trappe Borough. I also secured a new real estate client and went under contract on a new deal.
In November, I got the dreaded Sight & Sound rejection email and auditioned at a few theatres for the 2018 season. I also supported my brother and some friends in two different theatre productions.
Finally, in December, I was offered two opportunities and decided to accept a leading role in SALT Performing Arts’ 2018 production of Titanic: The Musical. I also had another real estate settlement which allows us to breathe a little easier heading into the New Year.
I have finally begun to settle in to this new life in Royersford as The Acting Realtor and though I didn’t accomplish many (if any) of the goals I set for myself in 2017, I am excited that we accomplished some amazing things that I didn’t even envision at the start of 2017.
Let’s recap my 2017 goals: (I’ll probably keep much of these the same for 2018)
- Change the World (?)
- Impact My Community (I have definitely made an impact with Discover SPRINGFORD)
- Perform at Sight & Sound (Nope)
- Payoff all debt (HAHAHAHAHAHA)
- Donate $10,000 to my Real Person | Real Needs partners (I was only able to donate $2950)
- Publish my first printed book (I did print my own booklet called “Real Person | Real Needs.” Does that count?)
- Perform for a well-known Regional Theater (No. But I have performed more shows this year than ever before and made nearly $4000 as an actor. Not too shabby.)
- Reach my goal weight (Unfortunately as I write this I am back to my starting weight and am now 36 lbs away from my goal weight)
- Get on TV (Well, I kind of created my own TV show)
- Be featured in an article of a well-known media outlet (It’s not well-known, but the Limerick Post online did highlight one of the episodes of Discover SPRINGFORD)
- WE DID BUY A HOME, which was not originally on the 2017 goals list but we accomplished it a year earlier than anticipated.
Here’s to an equally exciting (but maybe less stressful) year in 2018!