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“If you think back and replay your year…if it doesn’t bring you tears (either of joy or sadness), consider your year wasted.”  This favorite line of mine (from the television show ALLY McBEAL) always comes to mind as I ponder back at the year that has passed.  Looking back at 2018, I will say that this year was definitely not “wasted”.

My journey within the last twelve months brought countless experiences that had my heart sing and sink.  Multiple moments brought tears of both sadness and joy, and there were many more moments that moved me from within.

Tears definitely flowed within me for my nephew, Thaddeus’ baptism.  Honored to be his Godfather, I held my little Godson in a service filled with light and love.  He was splashed with water that was holy and my inner being was splashed with love and joy.

Tears were shed from being inspired and affected by my fellow man.  Seeing the Parkland survivors sing on the Radio City Music Hall stage on Tony Awards night brought tears to my eyes.  I felt similarly, participating in an L.A.-based immigration march in June.  2018 also saw time spent supporting several charitable causes: the Actors Fund, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the ACLU.

Fond memories were also made while traveling around the country this year, highlighted by catching beads on New Orlean’s Bourbon Street, visiting with loved ones in New Jersey, and topped off with celebrating Halloween in Greenwich Village.  I had so much fun, I emanated joy.  I had the same sort of joy sharing special moments with legends and icons in the arts, including Charles Hollis Jones (The King of Lucite), Iris Apfel (Fashion Icon), Eva Marie Saint (Academy Award Winner) and Donald Pliner (shoe designer).

2018 also brought some new experiences.  From touring the Metropolitan Museum in New York, undergoing eyebrow threading (that stuff hurts!), riding an airboat for a swamp tour, and being mistaken for a sidewalk psychic at L.A.’s The Grove, 2018 is a year for many “firsts”.  Fun anecdotes that happened within the past twelve months include selling entertainment memorabilia to Adele, taking part in H&M’s capsule collection sale with Moschino, shopping a Burbank-based bookstore where every book was free and shooting a documentary for TruTV.

Tears of sadness also became part of my year.  It was with great sadness that I said goodbye to three friends who passed: Michael, Jack and Jeffrey.  There was a different level of sadness saying good-bye to very close friends who moved away: Reuben, Genaro and Louis.  Mid-year, I smiled, with a heavy heart, seeing a best friend who passed away honored as a character on a popular Vh1 show.

There are so many experiences in 2018 that brought joy to my heart. Watching CRAZY RICH ASIANS in the theatre touched me to tears.  Ending my boy Rocco’s minor medical treatment with a light at the end of the tunnel had me grateful.  And, chatting with my mom on the phone every night brought me peace.

As I look back on this year, I have so much gratitude for my experiences.  I’ve definitely been blessed with opportunities to FEEL tears, coming from both joy and sadness.  Every experience becomes part of who we are.  I am blessed to have so many great ones.  I shed a tear of joy for all that I’ve been able to do, am able to love, and graces from Above.