What’s Up Joe?

Share

What’s Up Joe?

A recent online post asked “What do you do when you’re not busy working?”

It got me thinking about my ever growing list of everything outside of VO that I’m working on. Here’s a few:

  • Spending quality time with my wife (priority one!)
  • Blogging on Joe’s Dump
  • Learning to sing my first German aria
  • Putting together a pitch reel and show bible for Live! from E.V.I.L. (Evil Villain Island Lair)
  • Writing a crime novella
  • Dealing with home improvements
  • Caring for our elderly cat, Nez
  • Listening to a backlog of audio dramas
  • Slowly cleaning out years of stuff in the garage

Plus the usual eat, sleep, hygiene, exercise, chill things.

Hmmm… can’t imagine where my time goes!

So, What’s up with you?

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

Share

Ban Ki-moon Tune!

Share

Ban Ki-moon Tune!

Even an incomplete project can be a fertile testing grounds for growing new skills and fostering creativity. Here’s just one recent example from Joe’s Dump…

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, didn’t have a song!
I couldn’t believe nobody had made one. Seemed like a shoe-in for a viral hit 😉

So, I created one for him – a parody of Herman’s Hermits “I’m Into Something Good”:

      Ban Ki-moon Tune! (Joe J Thomas)

Sometimes my initial goal gets expanded and leads to a more complicated project.
This time, I though I’d make a music video featuring a cartoon version of Ban Ki-moon!
Ambitious considering my level as an animator and the limitations of the software.

In the end, the video never came together… but I did learn some very valuable techniques for future projects:
Continue reading

Share

The Nothing

Share

The Nothing

The Nothing” is an unusual villain from the German fantasy book “The NeverEnding Story” (a film version was made in 1984)

(*** spoilers below ***)

I use the word “villain” in a loose way, as it’s more of a force of nature. In the story, it is slowly destroying Fantasia, a land of wonder, imagination, and endless variety. In the movie version, “The Nothing” is represented by an ominous storm, and by a large black wolf:
The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story

The book is not as concrete, but much more frightening in it’s portrayal. “The Nothing” represents all of the worst of humankind. Apathy, cynicism, despair, and all the darkest aspects of our nature.

In the end, it’s a boy’s imagination and willingness to believe that saves Fantasia from “The Nothing”.

The Nothing: It’s At Work On Our World

Beyond the simple story lies a chilling truth: “The Nothing” is quite real. And it’s been growing. We feed it by giving into our greed, anger, and small-mindedness. Where is it? How can we identify it? And what can be done to stop it? I’ve provided some examples below, and I’m sure once you see it too, you’ll be able to find many more…

Continue reading

Share

Memorial Day

Share

Memorial Day

Today, at 12:01 ET, I’ll be observing a moment of silence to Honor The Fallen for Memorial Day. The “#GoSilent” campaign run by IAVA.org is one of many organizations with the aim of bringing attention to veteran’s issues. They and their families deserve our respect, and our help for all they have done and continue to do.

Although I never served, my father was in WWII. I can’t even begin to imagine how that changed him. But he was the “strong silent” type. Always there for us, and I hope we were there for him as well. Thank you, Dad. And thank you to all who’ve served to protect our country, freedoms, and way of life.

Share

Other Than Me… Joe

Share

Other Than Me… Joe

“Joe Thomas” is a fairly common name.

When I first moved to LA, I even had a producer look at my headshot and ask me “Hmmm… Joe Thomas – What’s your real name?”

So, I was wondering how many other notable Joes there are out there.

(thankfully, Google ranks my pages first for “Joe J Thomas” or “Joe Thomas Voice”)

Here’s a short list of some of the other Joes out there:
Continue reading

Share

Singing For VO

Share

Singing for Voice Over

Singing offers a lot of tangible advantages to anyone in Voice Acting.
For those of you who sing, I know I’m preaching to the choir! (rim shot)

But how long has it been since you’ve had a refresher?
And if you’re in VO and don’t sing, why not?

Although I’ve been in many musicals, sung with choral groups, and even performed musical improv, it had been a few years since I really sang.

Time for a tune-up!
I recently started taking lessons with a new teacher, and it’s given me a renewed sense of confidence in my vocal abilities.

Here are just a few of the areas singing can help with:

  • Tone:
    The pitch of your voice… high, medium, low (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone Bass)
  • Breathing:
    Proper breathing allows you to better control your sound.
  • Timing:
    Learning musical rhythm can help in setting your pace for both segments of the copy and for the overall read.
  • Vocal Placement:
    Chest voice, Head voice, Throat, etc. Placement is especially useful in creating characters and accents.
  • Core Support and Strengthening:
    A strong core is related to your breathing, and can give you more power and energy in your voice.
  • Volume Control:
    Knowing when to sing soft is just as important as being able to belt out a tune. Having a solid control of your volume takes practice.
  • Conveying Emotion:
    Even in a language you may not understand, songs can elicit a great deal of emotion. Learning how to deliver that to your audience is directly applicable to VO work.
  • Communication of Ideas:
    Clear communication is another win for any voice work. Knowing how to form your words and phrases so that they convey ideas is the core of it all.

My friend Marc Cashman even has a chapter in his book “V-Oh! Tips, Tricks, Tools and Techniques to Start and Sustain Your Voiceover Career” dedicated to the concept of “Finding the Music in Copy”. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Copy or text is musical. It has ebb and flow and different keys. It has sharps, flats, rests, words that are held, chopped off, high or low, soft or loud, all the same emphasis or wild ups and downs, with dynamics and crescendos. Copy reads (or plays) like a story/song, with a beginning, middle and end.”

(Marc’s book is available on Amazon, or click here to order an autographed copy)

Sometimes, I’ll even sing the copy just to get a different feel for the way it flows.

Do you sing? If so, how long has it been since you performed or had lessons? It might be time for a refresher to tune-up your instrument!

To close, here’s a number that I’ve been working on.
It’s called “I Won’t Send Roses” from the musical “Mack and Mabel” – Enjoy!

      I Won't Send Roses (Joe J Thomas)

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

Share

Celebrity Superpower

Share

Celebrity Superpower

In many ways, being a celebrity can be like having a superpower. It makes them larger than life. It can be used for good or for evil. People will follow them for a whole host of reasons. And, on a personal level, it can be healthy for them, or cause them harm. Or both.

It also has many parallels to the Greek Gods. They were larger versions of humans, with all the emotions, flaws and drama. Just writ bigger on the heavens.

In the end, what strikes me most about celebrity is the difficulty it must bring in leading a normal life.

Though we associate celebrity with the performing arts, many professions have celebrities. Politics, law, medicine, science, restaurants, etc.

Perhaps it’s best for us and the celebrities if we can think of them more as just human beings. They have the same needs, wants and desires. Since I’m in Los Angeles, it’s pretty common to run into a celebrity when you’re out and about. I try to respect their privacy. They deserve to have a private life… just like a secret identity.

In the wake of all the recent celebrities who have passed on, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below.

Yours,
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

Share