Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 In Questions

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I am full on stealing an idea from the ever creative and inspiring, Bonnie Gillespie. Every year, this casting director answers the same batch of questions, and I’d like to start that tradition for myself (traditions are glorious!) I journal all the time, but I have never answered these kinds of questions for myself, and it’s high time I did.

So, without further ado, here is a recap of my year...

What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I moved into my first New York apartment... solo. I have lived alone before, but not in NYC and certainly not with this price tag. It’s also the first apartment I chose without anyone else’s opinion. I saw the apartment by myself, and made the decision by myself. Very grown up -- very gratifying.

I know, I know. I like color.
Did you keep your 2010 resolutions? Will you make resolutions for 2011?
I always have the same resolution - “This will be the best year of my life.” I came up with this on New Year’s Eve 2000/2001 (holy crap- 10 years ago.) I had listened to the old song, “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams, and there’s a refrain that says, “Those were the best years of my life.” I realized that I couldn’t claim this -- I had no “best years” and, by god, I wanted to create some. The years since have been pretty frickin’ incredible.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend Dean’s wife (Adele) gave birth to the most gorgeous baby girl, Sophia. I am hoping to meet her in a month or two.

Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, thank goodness, but a few people I was acquainted with. What is so sad (and, truth be told, terrifying) is that these deaths were sudden. No signs of illness, and these dear souls were taken away from us. It’s frightening, and humbling, and I feel so, so lucky that I have my health.

What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
February 14- The date of the break up of my 4.5 year relationship. Luckily, we’re still very, very good friends. See?
Tom & me on my birthday. What goofy face?
What countries did you visit?
Sadly, none other than the US. But I did spend last Christmas on a cruise to/from Mexico, so I felt like I had already gotten my travel on.

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Higher paying work as an actor. I was lucky to be involved in the development process of several wonderful projects, but these projects have not yet yielded dividends. I would like to have a few well-paying acting jobs to balance out the budget a little more.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
• On October 14, I was asked to be a last minute replacement on a play that has already opened. On October 22, a mere 8 days later, I had mastered the script, developed a meaningful character, and somehow managed a new British dialect. I proved to myself, once and for all, that I am an actor - a real actor. Not someone who got lucky. Not someone who’s simply got more stamina and heart than other people. A real actor who deserves her shot, and finally believes in her ability.

• Some runners up: My company was featured in TimeOut NY, I was asked to be a panelist at Backstage’s Actorfest, and I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal. That rocked ass.

My feature in Time Out New York
What was your biggest failure?
I might say the break up, since it was a failure of the relationship, but the break up was also the success of release. It’s a gift to be able to release yourself and your partner back into the world to find love. And it helps that I adore my ex, just as a friend nowadays.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, thank goodness. I watched some of my friends deal with some scary stuff, though.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I won’t be naming names, but I have been really shocked by the lack of professionalism by a handful of actors this year -- those who have no idea what it means to have integrity and stand by their word. Producing is hard, and it depends on so many small but important elements coming together. I have explained the importance of being accountable time and time again, and still some actors choose to bow out last minute or throw tantrums. I am all for standing up for one’s self, but there is a limit and these folks tried my patience.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
• My NY best friends Candice & Lee - they put up with a lot of changes in me over the year, and never made me feel like a crazy person. They celebrated with me my growing pains and successes, and downplayed my abject failures.

I heart Candice!
I heart Lee!
• I also want to salute all of my students -- taking control of one’s career through coaching is daunting and can seem a gamble. I honor their commitment to their dreams, and am thrilled that they have asked me to be a stand for their success.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Yikes - I have, arguably, one of the more amazing deals for an apartment of my size, but I am paying 50% more to live here than I did in the place I shared with Tom (my ex.)

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I think I did the biggest happy dance when I found out my application was accepted for my apartment. It was an amazing relief. Wait... Nope -- I’m wrong. My first kiss (and subsequent makeout session) several months after my break up was the best moment. I’m not gonna lie, it was very, very exciting.

What song will always remind you of 2010?
Strangely, I think it is “Empire State of Mind” - it plays over and over at the karaoke bar I spend time at, and it seems iconic for the kind of year I’ve lead: “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York...”

Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Much much happier. Oh man, I feel pretty great.
thinner or fatter? I think I am about the same. I fluctuate about 5 lbs every few months, but I stay in the same neighborhood of weight.
richer or poorer? Poorer, for sure.

Who did you miss?
My dad. Every single day I miss him. I miss Jessa, my dear friend who left NY a few years ago for San Francisco.
Me and my Pappy, RIP
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise. I find all kind of excuses to not be active, and none of them make that nagging feeling or worthlessness subside.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Um, my students -- cover your eyes.... Procrastinating. It’s easy to do when everyone around you sees your success and hard work paying off. You can hide behind the success and not reach your fullest potential. I’m infinitely lazy with spurts of genius. Imagine what I could do if I managed my time better?

How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas with my mom, who came to NYC with her friend Pam. We had lots of fun sampling the city’s food, drink & nightlife! And for the first time in my life, I got her to sing karaoke. Twice.

What was your favorite TV program?
Still on the air: Fringe. Please watch it - it’s in danger of being cancelled. Off the air, and I’m pissed: Flash Forward.

Did you fall in love in 2010?
Yes- with myself. It’s about time.

I love myself, warts and all...
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No- there are very few people I have ever hated in my life, and no one achieved that level this year. :)

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t have any, sadly - I am way, way behind on knowing current music. Anyone want to help me?

What did you want and get?
I wanted my emotional freedom, a place to live, and to build a strong network of friends I could rely upon. I worked very hard on all three and am so thrilled to that that I got them! I also got a new coffeepot for Christmas- and my students are thrilled.

What did you want and not get?
• The iPhone 4 - still saving money to buy the one I want.

• I gave up a new relationship with one particular boy I was falling for. I cut it off early when I realized I wouldn’t get what I wanted from him. Standing up for my needs is a new commitment of mine, and one of the harder things I’ve ever had to do.

• I also did not hear from my sister all year -- she has chosen to remove herself from our family, and despite my efforts to reconnect (and the fact that her quarrel is not with me, but with my mother) she has not responded to me. It’s been almost 3 years since she left, and it still hurts.

What kept you sane?
Oh dear, my friends. Candice, Lee, Carolann, Anita, Christine, Marissa. Twitter -- and the social networks in general. I have met some incredible people through the power of the internet, and I definitely think that has kept me sane (in particular, because I tend toward introversion, and the social networks give me a link to the outside world when I feel like I can’t see people.) Top Tunes Karaoke, The Salon open mic, The Seeing Place Theater, Nab-A-Date and my own producing efforts have kept my artistic self sane.

We're singing "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" at The Salon open mic. I'm on the left.

What was the best book you read?
I really enjoyed the autobiography of Ellen Burstyn: Lessons in Becoming Myself. The fact that I have been reading at all is a coup. I have been working really hard to round out my cultural obsessions between films, TV, theater, music, photography, dance & reading.)

What was your favorite film of this year?
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” - what a fun, unexpected little film!

What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?
This year, I turned 26-33 age range. (You never ask an actor her age!) I gathered with a group of my friends at a pub in the West Village. It was mellow but fun.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I had had some friends from out of town come to stay with me. Maybe I need to send out an invite to them - what a neat idea! :)

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I am a big fan of the mix and match, and being an avid thrift store shopper I can do this with ease. I love skinny jeans with cute dresses over them, topped with a funky sweater or blazer. Then top it off with high heels or boots, and fun jewelry. I’m all about being the girl next door with a funky edge.

In my friend, Dean's military helicopter helmet.  I look damned hot.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t really think of celebs that way. Isn’t that sad? What’s wrong with me?

What political issue stirred you the most?
Proposition 8 in California. I felt powerless to help.

What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2010?
That I absolutely have to open myself to hurt if I want the possibility of greatness. I have been protecting myself for so long, and I didn’t realize that it was keeping me small. Now I know that it’s safer to experience the little hurts along the path of success rather than steeling myself against everything that’s possible and making larger mistakes in the long run. That said, I have experienced a year with far more drama than I ever thought possible -- more tears, more triumphs, more disappointments, and more happy dances. :)

Who was the best new person you’ve met?
Oh my, there have been a few. It was awesome to meet Marissa through Twitter, and now we co-host the official NYActorsTweetup. We have also become good friends. :) It has been really fun hanging out with Steve Englebrecht at karaoke (he makes me laugh hysterically, and encourages my dirty mouth.)

Me and Marissa. And a pizza coming out of my head.
What song lyrics sum up your year?
“Me” by Paula Cole

I am not the person who is singing
I am the silent one inside
I am not the one who laughs at people’s jokes
I just pacify their egos

I am not my house, my car, my songs
They are only stops along my way
I am like the winter
I’m a dark, cold female
With a golden ring of wisdom in my cave

And it’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence

I am carrying my voice
I am carrying my heart
I am carrying my rhythm
I am carrying my prayers

But you can’t kill my spirit
It’s soaring and it’s strong
Like a mountain
I’ll go on and on

And when my wings are folded
The brightly colored moth
Blends into the dirt
Into the ground

And it’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence

And it’s me who’s too weak
And it’s me who’s too shy
To ask for the things I love
And it’s me who’s too weak
And it’s me who’s too shy
To ask for the things I love

That I love
That I love...

I am walking on the bridge
I am over the water
And I’m scared as hell
But I know there’s something better
Yes I know there’s something better
Yes I know, I know
That I love...

And... here's a look back at 2009...

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit


  1. Loved reading this! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Hey Erin,

    I LOVED reading this. I think I'll have to steal this tradition from you now and incorporate into my end of year rituals!

    Anyhow, I just wanted you to know I've updated and included your blog in my actor blog list: and I've also included your business blog in the industry section as well.

    Take a look when you get a chance and hopefully you'll be inspired by some of the other bloggers out there who are right along with you on this crazy actor journey.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Erin -

    This is a wonderful post, I think I may "borrow" it as well. I've been in hiding for too long and getting ready to update my blog, and maybe this is a good way to do it...

    Glad you've found a lot of positives to move through 2011 with! =D

  4. Thanks, Isabelle. Let me know when you post yours- I want to see it! :)


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