At the end of 2015, I wrote a post (inspired by my good mate Daniel Pavatich) to thank the people who’d had an impact on me that year. I had just moved to Los Angeles and I sat alone in a cafe in Culver City writing about all the people I'd just moved away from. As hard as it was to say goodbye, the joy that they'd brought to my life overshadowed the sadness of leaving them by far. I could have sworn I’d met the quota of amazing-people-one-single-person-is-allowed-to-encounter-in-their-lifetime but boy was I wrong. 2016 would have been incredibly difficult for me if not for the people I’d met along the way.
A few 2016 acheivements that I’m proud of:
-Lived in Los Angeles for an entire year without a car or a drivers license
-Graduated the iO West Improv Program
-Auditioned for a Harold team at iO West and was put on a DCT team with a bunch of bad ass hilarious humans
-Performed all around Los Angeles and on main stages at iO/UCB with Big Sheila (AKA 8 women I adore)
-Got hired as an Editor at Jukin
-Became an Associate Producer at Jukin
-Got an E3 visa
-Got a California Drivers License
It’s going to be tough to acknowledge and thank every individual I’ve met in 2016 but here is a start - in no particular order:
Andrew Dits for inviting me to join your improv team when I was so new I barely knew anyone in the community but you. Jacob Tasher, Sean Carrigan and Ashly Justine for welcoming me. Even though it was a short-lived flame, I had so much fun with you guys and being on the team made LA seem like so much less of a scary place. It’s such a joy to run into you guys and see you perform on your respective teams these days.
Angeline Armstrong for following your own dream and still finding time throughout the year for our check ins. I feel so lucky to have gotten to see you perform here in LA and I hope you never stop making music and beautiful art. I listen to your EP a lot and it makes me feel things. Come back soon.
Dustin McLean, Ben Martin, Jon Tomlinson and Manisha Jogia for making my internship at Mashable an awesome experience. You all taught me something and I’m so grateful.
Nichi Hoskins for being an awesome friend an co-intern. You also taught me stuff and I hope we get to work together again in the future. You’re awesome.
Alissa Kolom for our conversations, for taking me on adventures with you and for being such a good listener and all round wonderful person.
John Benavides for Fruit Juice Cocktail, for having my back and for making me laugh.
Meghan Logan for our adventures from LA to Palm Springs and from SF to LA. For all the times you encouraged me to do a thing.
The Ladies of Big Sheila - for being like a family to me. I can’t imagine what living here would be like if I’d not met you all. You’re all perfect. Thank you for all the laughter and happiness you bring to my life. But specifically:
Hannah Myers for being my alien friend. For our road trips. Whether it be from Westwood to Malibu or West Hollywood to Hollywood, they’re always a fun time. You’re a bad ass, independent lady.
Annie Cesta for being my big sister. For all the advice. For having my back and having so much love to give. You’re such a caring friend and wonderful person.
Jessica Harris for your confidence and drive. For encouraging us all to keep stepping up. You’re so strong and focused and I admire you a lot.
Katy Dennler for your wisdom, insightful perspectives and bold choices. You could tell stories for days and I’d never be bored.
Caitlin Winiarski for your punchiness. For your advice and hilarious insights. For throwing lovely get-togethers.
Jennifer Wang for your dedication to training even during the months that you couldn’t be at shows. I hope to see you on the stage with us more this year because you bring so much to the team - like our bad ass name.
Nikita Lamba for your intelligence and enthusiasm. I hope to also see you on the stage with us more frequently this year. You’re so funny and knowledgable about so many different things. Sometimes you make references that I don’t understand and I’ll pawn it off on the fact that I’m foreign but in reality it’s because you’re heaps smart.
Elise Andert for your passion, commitment and keeping us in check. For being the online voice of Big Sheila. You’re a bad ass.
Jamie Gaul for being our mom/coach/spirit guide. You’re silly and perfect and I’m so stoked we found you.
Beth Schwab for being our aunt/coach/spirit guide. You’re very wise and we all adore you.
Jason Shotts for being an awesome improv teacher, life teacher and friend.
Cat Commander for being my fellow alien pal. I'm so excited and happy that you're here in LA, too.
James O'Halloran and Jaimee Gooley for the coffee coffee catch ups. For giving me so much advice and always answering my annoying questions.
The humans of Blue Bellies - Amy Clck, Jennifer Gardner, Mike Elder, Mike Sally, Dane Troy, Kelsey Goeres, Rob O'Connor and John. Teammates by CHANCE, friends by CHOICE am I right?! I feel super lucky to have been placed on a team with eight super talented improvisers and all-round awesome people. During our first training, I didn’t know many of you but I remember looking around the room and feeling so excited to be in the presence of future friends. I am excited to grow with you all.
Celeste Pechous for being such a giving coach. I hope to work with you more in the future because I really admire you.
Bryan Odom for being an awesome boss. For hiring me and believing in me.
Chris Powers for being an awesome boss, director and friend. Whether you like it or not, you’ve become somewhat of a mentor figure to me. I value your opinion a lot so thank you for all the times you have given it to me.
Nick Cutro for being such a god damn fun-loving dude. I was having a bad week a few months ago and then we became friends and my week wasn’t so bad anymore.
Ricardo Marquez for your passion, kindness and encouragement. You’re an awesome person and I’m so stoked I get to work with you. In my life, Mondays don’t suck and you’re part of the reason for that.
Gabe Evans for being an awesome boss. For your positivity, creativity and support. You’re another factor that makes me look forward to the work week.
Other cool people from work: Cailyn Mac, Leila Work, Jessica Ping, Regie Ramas, Kate Presbury, Danielle Erves, Nikki Rose, Olivia Mowry, Leeron Cohen and heck, pretty much everyone in the office - thanks for being so awesome, friendly, passionate and fun. I’ve never had friends at work before. I used to be that person who’s so shy they can’t even muster up the courage to say hi to coworkers in the morning or goodbye at the end of the day.
Peter Lonjers and Christa Scheler for being the best roomies ever. I love our place.
Jen for being such a wonderful presence in my life. I feel lucky any minute I get to spend with you so thank you for wanting to spend time with me, too. You’re super special to me <3
These people are a huge part of the reason that Los Angeles is so appealing to me and has become my home. It’s wild to think I only met these people in 2016 and yet they’ve still had such a significant impact on myself and my happiness.
I also want to thank my friends outside of LA/from my former life:
Daniel Pavatich for being such a wonderful friend. For any piece of advice you’ve ever given me. I wish you all the best in Sydney and I know you’re going to continue to do great things. I miss you. Please move to LA.
Adam Kangas for opening a door for me that changed my life. For being so kind, driven and wise. Spending time with you and Dan in LA over summer made me so happy.
Kirsten Law and Francis Hadid aka 'Basic Snatch’, for Snatch Chat. Our group chat gives me life and guidance and I’d be lost without you. You’re both so brave and smart and funny. Please never leave my life.
Justin Porter for being my spirit guide. You’re never going to not be important to me. Deal with it.
Broni Lisle for being full of joy and positivity and kindness. For the best damn hugs.
Justin Palmieri and Angie Brown for being real pieces of work. I have so much love for you both and always will.
Laura Buskes, Mario Hannah, Andrew Watt and Alexis Watt for being such loving and wonderful friends. I’ll always look up to you guys. Thank you for finding the time to catch up with me in November.
TL;DR: People are wonderful. I don't know how I got so lucky.