By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Wow! What a year!
The Kansas City Royals won the World Series. The Kansas City Chiefs are inching a step closer to participate in the NFL Playoffs and I had the opportunity to travel to both the East Coast and West Coast for the third time in the 2010s.
I have seen some of my favorite bands and musicians such as Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Heart, Pentatonix and Adam Lambert perform live. I will not forget the chills I felt when I heard the entire Rumours line-up of Fleetwood Mac sing “The Chain” or the rush of excitement I felt when one of my favorite music heroes, Billy Joel, sang my go-to Karaoke song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” I will also not forget hearing forces of nature Adam Lambert and Ann Wilson belt out their respective hits: “Whataya Want from Me” and “Alone” in front of sold-out crowds at the Silverstein Eye Center and the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.
I also had the opportunity to interview incredible people. My interview subjects ranged from fitness entrepreneurs to singers-songwriters and dancers to Pokemon fanatics. It was an honor to be the very first American journalist to interview both Collabro and Gerphil-Geraldine Flores. I also enjoyed having conversations with music icons Lee Greenwood and Tanya Tucker and the privilege of talking to risings stars such as Peter Hollens, Sharon Irving, Janita, Kimberly Nichole, Kevin “K.O.” Olusola and Oz Pearlman. I will also not forget the thrill of talking to people that I had admired for many years including opera superstar Barbara Padilla and dance visionaries Maks Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani.
My adventures have also taken me to numerous comedy/dance/fashion shows, comic book conventions, CBS Television City and the Warner Brothers Studios. Throughout these adventures, I managed to say “How You Doin’” to Wendy Williams; gave Allison Janney the “I’m Not Worthy” bow (and she did it back) during a taping of Mom; met childhood heroes such as Sean Astin, Austin St. John, Steve Cardenas, Jason Faunt and Garret Wong; had fanboy moments with Stephen and Robbie Amell, Bradley Cooper, Raphael Sbarge and Ming-Na Wen and was almost rendered speechless while talking to the Shaping Sound Dance Company co-founders Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, Kyle Robinson and Emmy-winning choreographer Travis Wall.
I will always remember the excitement I felt watching the cast of Dancing with the Stars film a segment for Season 20 when I was and Andrew Garfield’s wild hair attack on James Corden during a taping of The Late Late Show. I will remember the moving experience I had with my family when we visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City and reliving my childhood as I watched the cast of Disney’s Aladdin: The Musical perform showstopping musical numbers such as “Arabian Nights” and “Friend Like Me” when I saw the production at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway.
However, the defining moment of this year came when the impeccable Becky Wilson nominated me for the Small Business Influencer Award in the Journalist category. I was blown away from the amount of support from my friends, family, colleagues and voters who helped me try to get this superb award. While I was not named to the Small Business Influencers’ Top 100 winners of 2015, I am glad to know that I was voted into the Top Two of my category and received the Community Choice Award (an award given out to nominees with the most votes in their category). Your validation of my work means the world to me and I hope to continue to make you proud in 2016!
I want to give special thanks to several incredible groups! To my mentors (Don Champion, Julie Cortes, Elaina Fish, Scott Herman, Rob Low, Micah and Diana LaCerte, Drew Manning, Will Ripley, Diane Schmidt, Jason Scott, Josh Skinner, Kent Speakman, Rick Stasi and Becky Wilson), thank you for continuing to inspire me and pushing me to achieve my goals.
To my CrossFit 913 community and my coaches (Brady Mora, TJ Kiblen, Anthony Koehler, Nick Reyes and Lauren Stollman), thank you for encouraging me to continue on my fitness journey, no matter how mentally exhausted I become due to the WODS or how you joke about my admiration for the talented contestants and judges of American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The Voice. I am grateful to be a part of this group and call all of you friends.
I also want to say “Thank You!” to the staff and students of MINDDRIVE. MINDDRIVE is a Kansas City non-profit that helps at-risk high school students prepare for a career in either the automotive or communications industries when they graduate from high school. I had the privilege to get to know some amazing students, volunteer mentors and superb administrators. I am very excited to see what both my communications class and the automotive group bring to the table in the upcoming year.
I also want to say give a special shout out to all of my friends and family around the world! Your words of wisdom, encouragement and advice have helped brighten my 2015. I am always glad to have you in my life.
Next, I cannot forget the most important trio in my life. My mother, Gloria; My father, Matthew; and my brother, Aaron Elyachar. They are ultimate cheerleaders, advisors and fun seekers that ever walked the Earth. I am very grateful to call these people: “family!”
Finally, I need to say “Thank You” to you-my fantastic readers! I am very grateful that you have continued to keep reading this incredible blog and I cannot wait to share my adventures with you in 2016.
Chief Content Producer-Writer
2015 Small Business Influencer Award Nominee-Community Choice Award (Journalist)