So, 2015 came to a gloriously debauched end. I woke up on the 1st of January 2016 hungover, happy and grateful.
I had a house party. The living room was destroyed and I am 90% sure someone pissed in the sink, (but this is still being investigated).
Similar to how most people who were hosting a house party behaved on the 31st, I spent most of the day prepping the house and repeating the age-old-paranoid mantra "Will anybody come?" .
Luckilly, to my champagne induced relief, by 10.30pm I was surrounded by some of my closest friends... and tons of cheese*.
The great thing about organising your own party is that you can ensure no one you don't like or consider a wanker turns up.
Thus the group at my party was a combination of people I would be very happy and content to be trapped on a desert island with, with a turd rating of zero. They are an eclectic and weird bunch - from Fedora-wearing Alex, who I have known since I checked his coat in at a nightclub, to Will, who I met in 2010 when he was working as a chugger, to Sam, a jazz percussionist who always ends up naked at parties... and weddings... and funerals... and family lunches. At 3am fellow Gaulier student Hannah was teaching the men to tap dance and Eleanor's boyfriend seemed to be having a gloriously fun Jagerbomb induced ephiphany in the kitchen. It was all chaotic and fun. I changed hats 5 times and dresses 3.
2015 was a phenomonal year.
When asked "What was your highlight of 2015?" I can only reply with "All of It". It was fantastic. I made friends. I made shows. I made mistakes. I fell in love. I went travelling and I learnt things about myself I couldn't have any other way. Through travelling to Australia on my own, thanks to those who crowdfunded me to get there, I met clowns and comedians who led me to study at Gaulier. I made friends for life and discovered a whole new way of performing. I did the Naked Cabaret TWICE! Once in Adelaide and once in Edinburgh! I mentored with Bryony Kimmings who helped me generate material for a new show. I travelled to Berlin with Sam Dodgin and we accidentally stepped into a top floor naked penis party. In July I went canoeing in the Provence with a family who did not speak a word of English. Through writing and performing Being Barbarella around the UK and Australia I became more politically involved and discovered how important fighting for feminism and gender equality still is, even in an educated and forward thinking country like the UK we still have so much to do. From travelling to Paris in January with my friend Alex I made a whole new family of friends in France, leading me to have the confidence to eventually move there to study in the autumn.
There are so many people to thank for helping make 2015 such an interesting and emotional year - there is not enough time or space to write them all down. It was a year of risks, successes, friendships and career changes. I never stopped working and fortunately I never stopped enjoying my job.
Critically, the moments I learned from the most were the moments of complete despair and when I thought I had made a completely unfixable mistake. Dotted in between all the 'jump-for-joy' moments of elation, there were days when I cried, when I made the wrong decision and regretted it immensely, where I panicked about what I was doing, when I thought I wasn't good enough, funny enough, when doubt crept in at nightime and made me anxious for the future...
Each time you step forward with a new idea in your head, it seems only natural that the devil on your shoulder should whisper 'WHY YOU? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH?".
Thus, having so many good friends who are supportive and wise has been a godsend. When I have been my own worst enemy throughout the year, they have helped me take a deep breath, carry on and BE CONFIDENT. As one friend once said after a shit gig - "Get The Fuck On With It" and as my friend Alex always says before a big night out "NO SOFT COCKING".
I learnt from 2015 that you can't predict what is going to happen, no matter how much you plan . The best you can do is stand up straight, smile, and get on with it. The odditites of 2015 make me excited for 2016.
So now the hangover is gone and my flat is clean, I plan to keep writing, keep performing, keep experimenting, keep having fun and crucially be less afraid of failure and being shy with my ideas.
Let us see what happens.
*loads of people brought cheese. I don't know why.