Creative Highlights of 2021

Published December 29, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne and Sammy

2021 was just as crazy as 2020. The pandemic neared an end, thanks to masks and vaccines, but then another strain came in and New York City is shut down again. But over here, in a small town in New Jersey, my husband and I continue to make our own magic as we navigate life’s ups and downs.

However, in due respect to our private lives, I’ve chosen to make this year end review more about creative projects (and threw in some shows we’ve seen). Of course there is much more to a year than this, but these are definitely the highlights! ENJOY!


January started off with lots of creative energy — and pretending to be a mess.

I modeled as a health care practitioner junkie for a photography contest. I collaborated with a doctor/photographer to illustrate opioid abuse in the health industry.

I also had a role in the ZOOM presentation, “The Holiday Channel Christmas Wonderthon” which aired on The Jesse Walker Show on You Tube. My character sociopath Carol was in love with the guy in the coma.

Me, in the upper left as crazy Carol


On March 14, I spoke about Women Empowerment at a local NJ venue. Here I am photographed with organizer, Carolyn M. Gourdine.

Maryanne with Carolyn Gourdine


In May I did an Over-50 model shoot for David Esposito. This was my favorite shot.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (Un-retouched photo by David Esposito)


In June, I was thrilled to have my poem, “All About Eve” included in a Black Lives Matter art show, hosted by the West Orange Arts Council. Here’s a candid shot from the event.


July was amazing because I was assistant to The Amazing Kreskin for four days in Boxwood, Massachusetts at ComicCon. It was a blast!

Maryanne and The Amazing Kreskin


September was double the modeling fun, as I got to work with two great photographers. Over 50 has never been so much fun!

Photo of Maryanne by Jeff Danze
Photo of Maryanne by Beautiful Photo Moments


My husband and I go to see so many concerts, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But The Smithereens always deliver! I was honored to meet Marshall Crenshaw for the very first time; and Smithereens guitarist, Jim Babjak 🎸

Marshall Crenshaw and Maryanne
Maryanne and Smithereens guitarist, Jim Babjak 🎸


Earlier this year I began taking art classes. By December, I got pretty good. This is a painting I did of birch trees at dawn.

Birch tree painting by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta


Earlier this year, we lost the incredible Lori Burton. I had the honor to meet her twice when I was a teenager. She was a great talent and a wonderful human being.

We also lost, rock legend photographer, Mick Rock. I was a fan of his work since I was 12. I was honored to not only review his photography show for New York’s Westsider in the 1990s, but I also had the chance to meet him.

Mick Rock, Maryanne, and Lenny Kaye, circa 1999/2000

And finally, on a very sad note, a photo tribute I did for Michael Nesmith who we lost this year. I was lucky to see him in the original Monkees tour in the 1980s and many more Monkees shows, including his own solo show; and finally with Mickey Dolenz, just a month or so before Nesmith passed. He was a great artist, and truly my favorite Monkee.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

6 comments on “Creative Highlights of 2021

  • This is Genius Maryanne,
    Everyone should do a positive review like this on themselves.
    So many people are wired to dwell on the bad.
    In life no matter who you are, everyone hits those bumps in the road of life, and some become overwhelmed with the negative.
    By reviewing the GOOD in one’s life for the past year, I think this is a great exercise to help ones self to push forward and help us get over some of those rough bumps.
    Like in the Movie it’s a Wonderful Life, we all can’t have an angel come down to show us our worth and goodness like George Baily had.
    But if we just take the time like you did, step back and look at ourselves and reflect on what was positive
    It definitely can give us some hope and helps us see that life can be good .
    Happy New Years!

  • What an incredible year! More than most people will fit in a decade! Though we did lose a lot over the last year and Betty White right at the end, the good work being done by yourself and others makes things better for the future! Have a happy new year and I can’t wait to see what amazing things 2022 brings!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! Yes, losing Betty White truly but a damper on New Year’s Eve (I wrote this particular blog before I found out). She was an animal advocate and a great talent. I loved her short-lived show “Off Their Rockers.” Wishing you a very Happy 2022! Cheers!

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