2010 in Questions

(See also 2009 in Questions, 2008 in Questions, 2007 in Questions, 2006 in Questions, 2005 in Questions, and 2004 in Questions.)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Cast a zombie webseries that would receive 5,000,000 hits in less than one month. Spend most of the last quarter of the year sick in bed. Launch a web distribution channel. Defriend 4600+ people at the Facebook. Turn 40.

2. Did you keep your 2010 resolutions? Will you make resolutions for 2011?

I don’t make resolutions; I invite things into my life. Looking over last year’s list, I definitely got quite a few of the invited “things” in 2010. Some more than others. For 2011, I would like to take my body back (see below for details on the 2010 slip) and receive the prosperity — specifically financially — that we’ve been building toward for years. We had the hardest year (in several ways) yet. I’m ready for the shit that “throw money at it” can solve to be solved.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Goodness. Robin and Amy both had their babies in early 2010. Michelle and Angelina each had theirs this fall. I think Jeni is due soon. Also got word that Megan and Caroline are expecting. It’s rainin’ babies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

This was a fucked up year. Andrew Koenig — who had put in a deposit to take my Self-Management for Actors seminar — killed himself. It’s part of why I have such an intense commitment to my class now. If he had just SHOWN UP for our class, maybe we could’ve made a difference. You just never know. This one hit me very hard, very early this year. My dear acting coach, Corey Allen, passed away. His impact on my life will never fade. Shortly after I got going in some very cool voiceover training, Ben Hurst — who coordinated the group and encouraged me greatly — died. Hardest of all were the two unplanned trips I had to make to Atlanta in 2010. One for the funeral of my dear Uncle Bullet Harbin, who was like a father to me. The other for the memorial for my beloved Papa Bear, Art Weaver, whose love for my mother and for me (Momma Bear and Baby Bear, respectively) knew no bounds. His love surrounded me like the huge bear hugs he would give. There was nothing harder than having this last real connection to my mother (who died ten years ago this week) taken away. I am so glad I got to spend time with my Papa Bear twice in 2010, but I am so very, very sad to never hear his laugh again. Death doesn’t usually hit me this hard, because I know the connection we have with others is on a level far deeper than *just* the physical. But this year was simply brutal.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just this fine one!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Excellent health, consistent fitness, a shitton of fucking money (yes, I said “shitton” and “fucking”), success commensurate with effort. Basically, I put in a ridiculous amount of work this year for a very low return on several projects. It’s not that my picker is broken, it’s that I’ve been building an empire for a long time. I’m ready to get impatient for the return on my investment. Everyone else banks on me. It’s my turn, dammit.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

September 17th. We had celebrated Thirsty Third Thursday with the finest people on the planet the night before. Phone rings early in the morning, after several days of calls updating me on Papa Bear’s condition. After having had a relaxing, “Jesus, I need this” night of connection with my dearest friends, raising a glass to the fight Papa Bear was having between body and spirit, I just knew that call was “the call.” It was. And I would board a plane — again — to Atlanta, for yet another memorial service. (Runner-up goes to March 4th, the day we brought Class Rules! back after a hiatus. Magical to connect with these amazing hyphenates again. Another runner-up: May 16th, the day we launched Somebody’s Basement.)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting through it alive. I swear, during those sickest days of November, I wondered who the fuck built a Bonnie Gillespie voodoo doll and held it upside down under water for so long. Not fun.

9. What was your biggest failure?

No failure. Only lessons. And gratitude for them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yup. 35 days sick in bed out of 50, toward the end of the year. I wondered if I’d ever feel like myself again. Good news: I did and I do. Yay!

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband’s. Keith Johnson is an amazing human being. Sure, sometimes he’s just a big-ol’ goofball and/or jackass, but he really took care of me this year in so many ways. And I needed it. Way more than I’d like to admit. Thank you, honey. You truly are my hero.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Sadly, I have a consistent answer for this one, every year that this particular person cycles back into my life. Every time I’m sure there’s no chance for greater heartbreak at the hands of this person, I get reminded why the wall I build between us is so damn high. I’m not going to forget again. I’ve been told I’m not allowed to be in the presence of this person without Keith standing beside me ever again. And that’s not going to be good for anybody, so we’re just not going to ever see each other again, I’m pretty sure. Good.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. It’s expensive to live in Santa Monica. We really want to buy a house so we can decrease our monthly expenses (yes, really; a mortgage payment for a starter home in North Hollywood will save us hundreds each month). That said, we sure do love where we live. It’s lovely.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

As always, I’ll say Hacienda Hot Springs, because spending time there saves my sanity. It’s less expensive than therapy. Pure peace. Going off the grid with my loverman is just awesome.

15. What song will always remind you of 2010?

The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition, probably. Even though I first heard it in a soundtrack while traveling in late 2009, it was a huge part of my 2010 playlist and it always makes me smile.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Sadder, but optimistically so. Ending on a down note this year, as we’re days away from the ten-year anniversary of Mom’s death and I’m just not in a good place about LOSS right now. I’ll have an uptick. I always do. And luckily, my ups last a lot longer than my downs. Just gotta breathe past this one, which shouldn’t take much longer, now that the year’s almost over.

b) thinner or fatter?

Boo. Fatter. I would’ve been able to say “thinner” ’til the run of fucked up stuff that tested my coping mechanisms. Seems comfort eating is still the most efficient of all my various coping mechanisms. While that sucks for my waistline, I have to say I prefer that I chose comfort eating over, say, smoking or recreational heroin use. So, I’m up 15 pounds from last year. Still way, way down from my all-time high (December 2007), but definitely on a path to do better for my body in 2011.

c) richer or poorer?

Boo. Poorer. Man, no wonder I wasn’t looking forward to doing this year-end meme. Boo. We seriously ran out of money this year. It’s ugly. Not going into details, just gonna say it’s tough building an empire when your sweat equity is all you’ve got to invest. Luckily, I love doing that!

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Recover faster. We all have downs. That’s life. Recovering faster would’ve been handy. I have been so good at encouraging and supporting others this year. I really am ready for The Year of Bon to commence. I’ve worked my ass off. I’m ready for some of that support and encouragement back.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eat cheese. Seriously, I’m a mouse. Ahh… that’s my drug of choice. Goat cheese. Ridiculous.

19. How will you be spending Christmas?

Oops. Christmas is behind us now. I spent the day curled up on the sofa of my best friend’s house, next to her lovely puppy. I’m babysitting while her family is out of town for the holidays. Keith spent the day at our chiropractor’s house, entertaining two elderly kitties. We did have a few hours together, which was nice, but otherwise the day was quiet, filled with animal love, and a double-feature of 17 Again and Inception. Guess which one I liked best.

20. Did you fall in love in 2010?


21. What was your favorite TV program?

Hmm… you’ll judge me, but during one of our trips to Hacienda Hot Springs, The Real Housewives of Atlanta was on and now I can’t get enough of it. Even tried to talk AnnaVo into moving back to the ATL with me so we could do the REAL real version of that show. Hee! I mean, where else do you get quotes to live by like, “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars,” as an explanation that you HAVE TO be doing something if they’re writing about you on the Internet? Dude. That shit is deep.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t hate. I’ve got no time for that nonsense.

23. What was the best book you read?

Probably Small Screen, Big Picture by Chad Gervich. It’s on loan to me from the aforementioned AnnaVo. As I’m EPing a webseries, developing a TV series, and watching Keith prepping to deliver a pilot to AMC, it’s filled with important information, and the historical overview of the evolution of TV is just delicious to the J-School girl in me.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Loved getting into The Temper Trap (see above). Also crazy about Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over, Neon Trees’ Animal, and Phoenix’s Lisztomania. All new to me and all really good stuff for 2010. I love the Shazam app on my iPhone. It really continues to enrich my musical life.

25. What did you want and get?

Love. Lots and lots and lots of love. And not just any love… the unconditional kind. How often can you say that about the people you surround yourself with? That they provide you with unwavering, unconditional love? I am so very fortunate. Oh… also… an iPad. A really badass casting gig with a crew I’ll always treasure having worked with. Further development work with my amazing Team Cricket Feet. Our best visit ever with precious Quinn.

26. What did you want and not get?

The ability to finance our dreams and the dreams of others without stress. A paint-job for my 21.5 year-old baby car. Puppies. A House. Financial rewards that equal the effort I put in every day.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

The A-Team. I kid you not. Saw it three times in theaters in its first few weeks out. Gushed about it for Jenn Page’s Movie Review Round Table. Watched it another two or three times on my iPad. Seriously. That’s good stuff.

28. What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?

This was the first year precious Quinn was in Los Angeles on my birthday. He usually leaves just days before. This year, he was here and wanted to take me to Dan Tana’s, which I let him do. We had a lovely early dinner, shared laughs and flirtation, and welcomed in my 40s. Yes… now, I am 40.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

One of those magic buttons that you push when someone is a dick to you and they just get sucked through a big hole in the planet, never to be seen again. I’m very lucky. Not very many people treat me poorly. But one of the longest-term abusers of my good heart stepped all over me this year and I wasn’t prepared for it. Never again.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Same, same, same. Jeans, cami tops with cute little sweater thingies over ’em, occasionally a wrap or a scarf. Black boots or black sandals. Lovely mix-and-match jewelry.

31. What kept you sane?

Class. It’s why we brought it back. I realized in February — in addition to it being something that possibly could’ve made a difference in Andrew’s decision to take his own life — that it feeds ME to be around these amazing people each week, in service of fueling their dreams. So, we’re back and I’m better for it.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Zac Efron. Holy cow. Did I mention watching 17 Again? Um… he’s yummy. And, er, he’s not too young for me to say that about, right? He’s at least legal. I think. Er… nothing to see here. Move along.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Again, Prop 8. I believe I’ll keep listing this as the most-stirring of political issues ’til we get this thing fixed. Our last civil rights movement. I’m excited to say we’ll be the generation that ends this ridiculous discrimination.

34. Who did you miss?

My momma. And now Papa Bear.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Gosh… a couple. Jenn Page. She’s a mover, shaker, project-maker, all-around badass. Jarrett Lee Conaway. Phenomenal director whose revolutionary webseries (Bite Me) I was hired to cast. Watch this guy. MAGIC is happening. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. Also met a bunch of amazing actors I’d not met before, via auditions for Bite Me and Class Rules! too. So many wonderful people in this town! [22-hours later: EDIT. Are you fucking kidding me? Laurie Records! Our ladydates every six weeks in 2010 got me convinced we’d known each other much longer than just 11 months. Holy crapcakes! How lucky am I to have such a wonderful friend and colleague? Way.]

36. What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2010?


37. What song lyrics sum up your year?

Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh…
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw-huh…
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love…

Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none, huh-uh…

Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
never gonna let me win, aw-huh…
Under everything, just another human being, aw-huh…
Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
to make me bleed.

Stay with me…
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see…
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw-huh…
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh…
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave…

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see…
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean, ah-ah…

Nothing you would take…
Everything you gave.
Hold me ’til I die…
Meet you on the other side.

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  1. john-christian bateman December 27, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Thank-you for sharing that Bonnie,I’m so glad you gained your health back without that the rest is meaningless. I wrote some asperations for 2010 in a sealed note to myself in 2009. I’m looking forward to reading it again, I’m a man that forgets easily, don’t we all? I am going to write a new one first for this coming year and see where I’m at!
    Very Good health and prosperity in 2011.
    Always a pleasure

  2. Eric Loya December 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

    What a pleasure it was to read this list. You’re one of my favorite people, Bonnie, so whenever I get a chance to see how your head and feelings work, it’s always such a treat. Because of that, I won’t systematically comment on every bit, as I’ll then start dissecting the whole thing and it’ll lose some of that magic for me.

    However, I will say these things. First, blech! It’s awfully unfortunate that this year is ending on a down note for you. I’m glad that you know, without a doubt, that you deserve better than that. That you’ve earned more than that. And that you’ll get it. No doubt. But still, blech.

    Secondly, on the cheese thing. I think you know this, but even so, I’ll tell you. Catherine and I, every other year, make a yearlong commitment to do without a particular something. This past year wasn’t one of those years, but 2009, we gave up restaurants. Two years before that, we gave up something I can’t remember right now (Fries, maybe?) and, you guessed it, cheese. The point of it is to pick something that you know isn’t the healthiest and best thing for you, but that you overindulge in. Cheese was such a difficult one, because it’s in so many things, and there are so many kinds of it. We slipped once accidentally, but aside from that, we did really well.

    Anyway, after the year is up, we can incorporate the thing back into our diets, but the idea is that we’ll have found other things throughout the year that are better for us that we now realize we like quite a lot and so, when presented with the opportunity to eat the thing we did without, we are likely to actually pick the better thing. For instance, when we gave up burgers for a year, we discovered that we quite like chicken sandwiches. So the next year, if we were at a restaurant and could have gotten a burger, our tastes had changed so that we were likely to make a smarter choice.

    This doesn’t always work like we would have anticipated. When we gave up restaurants, we expected that, since we’d be more in control, we’d of course lose weight in 2009. Not so. However, the long term effects were that, in 2010, when we were intentional about our goals, *and* we knew that we didn’t need restaurants, well, you know. 🙂

    Anyway, just wanted to share that with you. I know you said you don’t do resolutions really, but for us, placing that arbitrary yearlong restriction on ourselves has really helped.

    Again, loved reading this.

  3. kate rene gleason December 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    thanks, as always, bonnie. namaste.
    oh yeah, and here’s to “no jodas” in 2011. 🙂

  4. Mare December 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I just need to tell you I love you! I’ll write more via e-mail. But one of the things I have liked best about 2010 was getting back in touch with you my friend. You’re a good one.

    Hugs to you and Keith!

  5. Erin Cronican December 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I think I might steal this idea (and give credit, of course!) I love that you do the same questions every year, which allows you to see what you’ve achieved and how you’ve grown. Thanks, also, for your candor – it’s nice to read about someone in such depth!

  6. Jordan December 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    What a fabulous recap of your year, Bonnie. So well written – as usual. I can truly feel all the loss and love. Wishing you, Keith, and Quinn only love in the coming year! XOXO ad infinitum!

  7. Bonnie Gillespie January 3, 2011 at 5:20 am

    John-Christian–You’re totally right about my health. It was AWFUL being so sick for so long. So glad to have my health back. 🙂 So, how’d your list of aspirations feel to read again? Happy 2011 to you! Thanks for visiting and commenting. The encouragement helps me strengthen the blogging muscle. I’d really gotten out of it. So, thanks!

    Eric–I *love* knowing I’m one of your favorite people. Hee! That’s so cool. Yeah, my head and heart are pretty weird places. Glad you find magic in some of what they cook up. So, what are you and Catherine doing without in 2011? I like that you do it every other year. I also like that what it teaches you is what other options are out there. Brilliant. And to you as well, THANK YOU for the blogging encouragement. I hope to keep it up, now that I’m back at it!


    Mare–I love you too, girl. I’m also glad we’ve reconnected. It’s been too long. You’re a good too, girl. A good.

    Erin–No need to credit me with the meme. It’s one of those things I saw someone else doing, back in 2004 (ah… pre MySpace, pre Facebook, pre Twitter… back when we all had to blog if we wanted to share our thoughts on things using the Internet). I love looking back at each year’s responses. I grow a lot. And some patterns definitely repeat. Thanks for visiting!

    Jordan–Thank you. 🙂 Yeah, there was a lot of loss *and* love in 2010. Glad I can share it, because sharing it is how I grow from it. Thank you for the support! Cheers and love to you and the Z gang!


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