It was very hard for me to describe 2016 in one word. But I believe that some people might describe this year as historic.
Pundits in the political arena might call 2016 “historic” as the United States had a fiery Presidential Election that divided the USA as it elected a Wall Street mogul and Reality TV icon to become the leader of the Free World over the first woman ever to become a Presidential Nominee of a major political party. Americans might have also possibly saw her final act as Secretary Clinton, might go down in the history books as one of the most influential women in modern day American History.
Sports enthusiasts might mark 2016 as the year where longtime losing organizations such as the Washington Huskies, the Colorado Buffaloes, the Chicago Cubs, and the Cleveland Indians returned to glory in their respective sports. Internationally, we saw the tale of two Olympic Swimmers play out in Rio de Janeiro. For one swimmer, it was a fall from grace that left him suspended from the sport he loves, but found quasi-redemption on Dancing with the Stars. As for the other swimmer, he retired from the sport after earning five gold medals and one silver medals at the Olympic games and will go down in history as the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time.
The entertainment industry applauded the historic efforts of Hamilton, Lemonade, and This is Us for elevating musical theater, pop music, and television to new heights. Also, we learned about “Netflix and Chill” and sought pop culture nostalgia through American Crime Story: The Trial of O.J. Simpson, Fuller House, Girl Meets World, and a film version of Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to influential music icons (David Bowie and Prince), beloved TV parents (Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke), prominent authors who changed the way we see the world (Harper Lee and Elie Wiesel), impeccable actors (Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder), the King of Boxing (Muhammad Ali), a real American hero (Senator John Glenn), and a little talent show that changed both music and television forever (American Idol).
As for me, 2016 was a historic year! I left my job at Barnes and Noble and began my dream of becoming a freelance contractor helping clients improve their research and social media strategies. I am very grateful for them and trusting me to develop their presence on the World Wide Web.
Also, I also hit a blogging milestone. Jake’s Take began its fifth-year anniversary celebration and for the first time in its five-year history, readership entered six figures! Thank you so much for coming and visiting this blog. It means the world to me. Because of you, I could cover the America’s Got Talent Producer Auditions in Kansas City, watch an episode of American Idol from its CBS Television City soundstage, meet talented performers such as Don Cheadle, Jeff Dye, Will Forte, Paul Rudd, and Eric Stonestreet, and having the opportunity to talk to music legends Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Rogers, and for the second time in my career: Dolly Parton.
I am very grateful that I met two of my heroes in person! I will never forget the rush of adrenaline I felt shaking hands with Simon Cowell at a taping of the America’s Got Talent: Season 11 Judges’ Auditions at the Pasadena Civic Center. More importantly, the sense of pride I felt when I told Stan Lee, that he inspired me to write and when I gave him my business card.
I will also never forget who entertained me this year. Whether it be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band who rocked the Sprint Center in April, Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers at Starlight Theatre in July, Gwen Stefani and EVE this past August at the Sprint Center, Cyndi Lauper at the Uptown Theatre, and Melissa Etheridge at a taping of Live with Kelly. Also, I think that having a dance off with Wendy Williams and getting a hysterical response from both Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg when I asked the veteran co-hosts my question during an audience Q&A on The View set is cool as well.
In closing, I want to give special thanks to several incredible groups! To my mentors (Don Champion, Julie Cortes, Shawn Edwards, Elaina Fish, Drew Manning, Scott Herman, Zachary Jaydon, 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, and Nick Reyes), thank you for encouraging me to continue 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 industry or multimedia productions 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 productions 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 my friends and family around the world! Your words of wisdom, encouragement, and advice have helped brighten my 2016. I am very grateful to have you in my life.
Next, I cannot forget the greatest 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 fabulous 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 2017.
Chief Content Producer-Writer