HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’m looking forward to 2018 and starting a new chapter in my life and music. But before we get there, I’d like to share some gratitude for the beautiful moments, personal and professional, that I’ve had in 2017.
Toward the beginning of this year, I had the most gorgeous photoshoot with Bianca Jeiselle Photography. Check out her stuff here. I still can’t believe it’s me in these pictures! They look so classic.
I was super pumped to see the new Power Rangers movie that came out this year. I LOVE the Power Rangers. LOVE. I’ve actually met the original Red Ranger, Austin St. John, and he’s an incredible person. At first, I was worried about how they would portray the characters I’d grown up with, but my fears were unfounded. The movie is a beautiful testament to diversity, and I think they made the characters very accessible and human. Confession time: I saw it six times in theaters! Whoops!
Me and my friend Jeremiah waiting in line to see Power Rangers
At the last minute, I was asked to play Signe in the musical comedy Church Basement Ladies at the Legacy Theatre in Tyrone, GA. I met a wonderful group of people there (who I forced to see Power Rangers with me), and I got to explore some of Georgia. My dear friend Autumn and I toured the Margret Mitchell House. Margret Mitchell is the author of Gone with the Wind, and I love that book! We stopped at her grave and looked around at the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. We saw a lot of history at the History Center, and we even got to tour a 1920s mansion.
I felt like I was in The Great Gatsby!
Autumn and I also hiked up Kennesaw Mountain and learned about the Civil War battle that happened there. You can still see the earthworks dug by Civil War soldiers. It was moving to see butterflies and cardinals and life happening in a place that once held so much death. We had coffee at a Cat Cafe, too!
I was overwhelmed by the adorable and adoptable cats!
Atlanta is a big city for filming, and it was super fun to tour some of the places where the Walking Dead is filmed with our stage manager, Robbie. And I saw Mike’s house from Stranger Things! The cast of Church Basement Ladies even took a funny picture “morphing” like Power Rangers, and some of the original cast of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers liked it on social media! We are Power Rangers famous. Haha!
I got to be a part of my friend Abigail Cline’s debut cabaret of music she wrote with lyricist Kelly Pekar. It was a magical night! Please check out their work on their website here. You may even want to purchase their album, which was recently released.
It felt like the year of babies! Two cousins and two friends had babies, so naturally, I was crocheting away. New life brings me so much hope for the future. It makes me remember how precious it is to be here. Look at all the cute babies!!!!
This year, I released my first ever music video! If you haven’t already watched it, you can find the link to it on the home page. The song is one I wrote called “Dangerous Man”, and I got to shoot the video with two talented friends of mine, Jeremiah and Fredy. I’m really happy with how it turned out!
A rare moment Jeremiah was able to capture before I burst out laughing!
I’m a big fan of the band R5. Check them out here. Jeremiah and I went to their concert when they came around to Orlando, and it was such a great night! We danced and sang and had the time of our lives. Nights like that always remind me why I’m a performer. I want to give that joyful feeling to people, too. We stayed after the show at the stage door, and I actually got to hug Ross Lynch, the lead singer. It was really special! Everyone else seemed to want to snap their pictures and leave. I just wanted to get a chance to say thank you for an amazing night. Ross stopped to talk to me for several minutes and gave me a hug. Happy, happy Amanda.
Hanksters Hot Rods of Daytona let me stop by to do a photoshoot with their incredible selection of classic cars. I had a ball, and the photos came out great! To see more, check out the photos tab.
I had a fun Halloween with friends! We dressed up and hung out, which was just what I needed. I was Marilyn Monroe as the Pink Power Ranger, and Rosie was Elvis. Teehee!
This year, I was introduced to the band Beemo. They are a local Orlando band, and they play Americana/Bluegrass/Rock music. We teamed up for a gig at Barley and Vine, and I had a great time singing some of my songs and some of theirs with them. It was really exciting for me to hear my music backed by a band, and I have a feeling there will be lots more from us in the new year! Matt in particular has been gleefully learning some old rockabilly tunes on his mandolin, so you never know…
Part of Thanksgiving weekend was spent Christmas tree hunting with my extended family! It was just the thing to get us in the festive spirit. I love spending the holidays with my family, and I’m lucky to be so close to my cousins. Laughter is our specialty!
I know what you’re thinking, “But Amanda, aren’t you a crazy Elvis fan? Where is the info about all the Elvis stuff you did this year?” I’m glad you asked! You won’t be disappointed, because I have an entire post coming that is dedicated solely to my Elvis adventures in 2017! Stay tuned. ;)
Wishing you love and light in the New Year! Let's make it a good one full of bravery, compassion and bad-assery.
Amanda Lyn (and Rosie)