Ode to Bertrum


Ode to Bretrum

Bendy and the Ink Machine: Bertrum Piedmont
The greatest theme park ever built
A lifelong dream for me
No, Mr Drew, you won’t succeed
My creation shall be free!

I’ll make your rides, oh, you’ll see
The mystery shall unfold
Deep in the basement’s where I hide
Dark, and dank, and cold

If you’re wondering where I’ve gone
I’m hiding in plain sight
Come fight me now! Bertie’s here!
I’ll give you such a fright…

One final turn will seal your fate
A darker end’s in store
For after spinning round and round
You all will scream for more!

*** SPOILERS!!! Bendy and the Ink Machine ***

(btw, I’m the voice of Bertrum Piedmont in “Bendy and the Ink Machine” 😉 )


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



Learning from Bad Voice Over


Learning from Bad Voice Over

There’s a lot of bad voice over on TV.

But rather than just cursing at the screen, I decided to turn my pet peeves into a learning experience.

Below are a variety of terrible voice over performances, and the lesson that each can provide:

1) The EmPHAsis on the Wrong SylLAble (or Word)
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but a lot of this problem seems to happen in medical commercials. I’ve even seen some commercials that were re-cut because the problem was so glaring… only to have some other problem in the new version.
Here’s a few examples and why they’re wrong:

  • INcreased risk (this should have an even emphasis over the entire phrase: “increased risk”)
  • Routine lab MONITORING (“Lab Monitoring” is routine. The lab is not.)
  • Upper respiratory TRACT infection (similar to the prior. You have an “Upper-Respiratory-Tract”, and it has an infection.)
  • I have ASSmah (Not sure why you’d pronounce asthma this way. Just wrong.)
  • Gr-EASY (Greasy rhymes with “Fleecy”. It’s not pronounced like “easy”.)

Lesson: Be certain of your word pronunciation and phrase emphasis.

2) Amateur Hour
For many local businesses, politicians and public service spots, “real people” record the spots themselves. I get it. Money’s tight, and professionals are expensive. But they might be “Penny Wise, and Pound Foolish” in the long run.

When “real people” (ie. Amateurs) speak on camera, they’re often not the same as in real life. The microphone and camera can be intimidating if you’re not used to them. This tends to bring out odd qualities in folks. Primarily, it’s a flatter tone, lower energy (or worse: pushed excitement).

Here’s a couple examples:

  • ENtroducing (the word is “INtroducing”)
  • I could lift mah son… high over my head… again (no need for all those odd pauses)
  • I COULD LEAVE AGAIN!!! (too much excitement. And it’s “Live” not “Leave”. Watch that accent)
  • The best smahl in mah lahhff. (Accent. Again. It’s “The best smile in my life”)
  • Even fahr guys dat don like ta cahk! (fake excitement. Should be “for guys that don’t like to cook”)

Lesson: You can actually pick up some excellent accents and regionalisms from watching “real people”… just be sure you don’t pick up their low energy or fake excitement.

3) Product Misplacement
The most important thing in most commercials is the company or product name. Yet in some, they are mispronounced. Odd how that can make it past so many approval layers, and yet… There it is.

In some cases, it may be due to having different pronunciations in different countries. Car brands Hyundai and Jaguar are prime example.

Other brands may have names that are unfamiliar or spelled in odd ways such as Xfinity or Ghirardelli.

Lesson: Take the time to research the correct pronunciations when you audition. If there are still doubts, ask your agent. And in sessions, listen carefully and defer to the client’s pronunciation.

4) Vile Vocals
It’s like fingernails on a chalk board… Vocal Fry. Bad Singing. Missing letters (“buh-uh” instead of “button”). Slurred speech. Mumbling. Over-Articulation.

Few of us get coaching when we first learn to speak. Just learning a language can be a monumental task for a child. However, when you choose to speak as a part of your career, it needs to be one of your priorities.

Lesson: Proper diction is essential to good voice over work. Consult with a speech coach and address any issues that may hamper your future success.

5) Wanna Be Voices
Cartoons were a big part of my childhood. Anime characters also have a very loyal fan base. I’d watch, laugh, memorize and imitate the voices. Lots of kids do that. It’s fun, and sometimes you can get a laugh from your friends, or when you’re older, the people at a party.

However, it’s a gigantic step from having fun imitating voices to a career in voice over.

With cheap microphones and easy access to editing software, it’s become very common for people to make their own videos for YouTube (read: YouActor), and think that that’s the way to break into Cartoons and Anime.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m definitely not talking about audio drama. I’m with several stellar groups, and there are many fine actors who contribute their time and talents to create compelling stories. But they have put in the effort to be trained on stage, or have taken classes or been coached.

Lesson: We all start somewhere. For many people, that may be imitating voices they admire. But a voice over career takes a lot more than just mimicry. Do yourselves a favor and get training in acting, improv and singing. Perform for live audiences. Get direction and coaching. If you wanna get the jobs, you gotta put in the work.

So, the next time you hear some really bad VO, step back and take the time to see why it bothers you. It may alter the way you approach your own auditions and performances.


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



Secret Plot Secrets!


Secret Plot Secrets!


Every movie.
Every TV show.
Every book, play, musical and miniseries.

They’re all exactly the same.

In every story, there’s a secret.

or something
or some group
knows it,
but for some reason
isn’t letting anyone else know.

Maybe it’s money, or love, or a super power, or weapon, or a miracle cure, or a dark past, or a buried body, or even knowledge of whatever.

Then there’s a bunch of story in the middle.

Eventually, the secret is revealed.

The end.

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


Double-Nickle Birthday!


Double Nickle Stacked 1963

Today I’m 55.

This year on my birthday, I’d like to wish “Happy Birthday!” to anyone whose birthday I missed last year… or anyone whose birthday I’ll miss next year. That should about cover it.

I do try to wish all my online friends a happy birthday on their actual birthday. Sometimes I also have time to catch up on their lives.

Admittedly, there are a lot of acquaintances. But there are quite a few who I’ve never met in person that I can truly call friends. Pretty cool for a guy who grew up without the interwebs 😉

So, Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to you! And Happy Birthday to Everyone who’s not reading this (you know who you aren’t)


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



Natural Gas Commercial


Natural Gas Commercial

Just a little experiment. I added flames to a commercial. Other than that, it’s exactly the same. See how it changes the spot below…



I’ve also experimented with adding Voice Over to alter a commercial. You can view that here:
The Power of Voice Over

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


Dotard Featherhead


Fresh from the Dr. Demento show… My new song!

“Dotard Featherhead!”
(a song about a somewhat fictional president)

Dotard: a weak-minded old person
Featherhead: a foolish scatterbrain

(parody of John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed”)
by Joe J Thomas of Joe’s Dump

Copyright 2018, Joe J Thomas, Joe’s Dump JoesDump.com
All rights reserved.
Not a Quinn-Martin production.

~~~ Lyrics ~~~

When I was a tiny little lad my daddy said to me
Son you can set your mind to be anything you wanna be
A rodeo clown or a fireman
You could even be president
But the worst dang one in the U S of A
Was Dotard Featherhead!

He’s 6 feet high, 2 tons wide
Dim as a concrete brick
Married 3 times to mail-order brides
Got a tiny little thing for a dick
He lies and cheats and overeats
With a belly that’s way overfed
There’s Russians and hookers and family
He’s Dotard Featherhead

He only hires the bestest folks,
They spend ‘n waste ‘n collude
He talks about the nukes and the coal
Then he holds a rally or two
The White House has a revolving door,
When he tweets off comes your head
Pretty soon the only one left
Will be Dotard Featherhead

He’s 6 feet high, 2 tons wide
Dim as a concrete brick
Married 3 times to mail-order brides
Got a tiny little thing for a dick
He lies and cheats and overeats
With a belly that’s way overfed
There’s Russians and hookers and family
He’s Dotard Featherhead


Well he loves his base and he loves the Klan,
Putin and Kim Jong Un
He bankrupt casinos, steaks and schools
Got a golden toilet too, ew!
But if you ask the CIA, FBI or the feds
That noose is getting mighty tight
Around Dotard Featherhead

He’s 6 feet high, 2 tons wide
Dim as a concrete brick
Married 3 times to mail-order brides
Got a tiny little thing for a dick
He lies and cheats and overeats
With a belly that’s way overfed
There’s Russians and hookers and family
He’s Dotard Featherhead

There’s Russians and hookers and family
He’s Dotard Featherhead!


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






A Serialized Mystery
By Habit Forming Films, LLC.
Wormwood Postcard
(this post is dedicated to the memory of Rob Grindlinger…)

Way back in 2007, I was fortunate enough to join a very talented group of audio drama professionals.
Unlike many productions, we all met – in person – to record.
It was an amazing experience, and I think the end result shows it… I hope you enjoy it!

When a strange vision of murder sends him to a small town to investigate, Dr. Xander Crowe discovers that Wormwood is far from ordinary. Secrets lurk within every resident, from the innkeeper to the town librarian to the waitress at the diner. The seemingly idyllic surface of Wormwood hides a mystery unlike anything Crowe has ever experienced — he finds himself drawn into a web of dark conspiracy, strange romance, and arcane mysticism. As Crowe begins to unravel the mystery at the heart of Wormwood, he finds that his very presence there may not be a coincidence at all…

Wormwood is a full-cast serialized mystery delivered as an MP3 podcast on our website and via the many podcatchers on the web, including iTunes. Wormwood offers a quirky ensemble drama with elements of supernatural horror and mystery. With its odd, small town setting and tragic lead character, Wormwood is designed to appeal to fans of True Blood, Twin Peaks, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the works of writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Edgar Allan Poe.

You can listen to all three seasons below, or if you prefer, they’re also on iTunes here.

Wormwood – Season 1: The Drowned Woman

Wormwood Episode 1: The Coming Storm


Wormwood Episode 2: Small Town Drama

Wormwood Episode 3: Feels Like Falling

Wormwood Episode 4: Inquisition

Wormwood Episode 5: Muck and Mire

Wormwood Episode 6: Where The Bullet Hits…

Wormwood Episode 7: The Sacrificial Lamb

Wormwood Episode 8: By Small Hands

Wormwood Episode 9: Teenage Wasteland

Wormwood Episode 10: The Funeral

Wormwood Episode 11: The Wayward

Wormwood Episode 12: Karma

Wormwood Episode 13: Questions and Rumors

Wormwood Episode 14: Place of Pain

Wormwood Episode 15: Alone At Last

Wormwood Episode 16: The Long Shadows

Wormwood Episode 17: Asunder

Wormwood Episode 18: The Hunt for Julian Calendar

Wormwood Episode 19: Necromancy and the Art of Making Friends

Wormwood Episode 20: Run

Wormwood Episode 21: Parts You Don’t Throw Away

Wormwood Episode 22: Opening Books That Can’t Be Closed

Wormwood Episode 23: Dead Beat Down

Wormwood Episode 24: Tea and Sympathy (for the Devil)

Wormwood – Season 2: Crossroads

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 1 — One Month Later…


Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 2 — The Rescue

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 3 — The Missing Month, Part One

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 4 — Thinning, Part One

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 5 — A Sentimental Nature

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 6 — Ghosthunters of Wormwood

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 7 — A Bedtime Story

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 8 — The Missing Month, Part Two

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 9 — Red Right Hand

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 10 — Thinning, Part Two

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 11 — Albatross

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 12 — The Wolves of Lyonsville

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 13 – When Chip Met Dale

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 14 — Jack Nicholson’s Nose

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 15 — Weeping Doctor, Wilted Demon

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 16 — Haitian Bleu

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 17 — The Supplanter

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 18 — Sweet Intangible You

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 19 – Something Funny in Everything

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 20 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 1

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 21 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 2

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 22 — A Farewell to (f)Arms

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 23 — Cold Satisfies the Couple

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 1: The Five Fingers of Glory

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: The Thief of Sepharvaim


Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Memento Mori

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Dead Man’s Hand

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Celery Farm

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Left

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 2: Portraits

Wormwood Portraits: The Minstrel’s Tale


Wormwood Portraits: The Queen’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Merchant’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Bishop’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Farmer’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Criminal’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Lover’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Hermit’s Tale

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 3: Revelation

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter One


Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Two

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Three

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Four

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Five

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Six

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Seven

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Eight

Wormwood is produced by Habit Forming Films, LLC, a dynamic film production company dedicated to producing uncompromising works of entertainment outside of the traditional Hollywood studio system.

The Habit Forming Films, LLC. Production staff includes:
Christa Nahhas (Executive Producer, Chief Financial Officer)
Dee Rogers (Associate Producer)

The Wormwood Creative Staff includes:
David Accampo (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Jeremiah Allan (Staff Writer)
Jeremy Rogers (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Lance Wolf (Illustrator)
Paul Montgomery (Staff Writer)
Rick Bata (Staff Writer)
Rob Allspaw (Staff Writer)
Tiffiny Whitney (Staff Writer)
Todd Hodges (Composer)

Andrew Ramirez (Dexter Nolen)
Anna Maganini (Lynette Bradley, Peggy Nolen)
Arthur Russell (Doctor Xander Crowe)
Ben Boodman (Mister Carrefour, Chip Drexal)
Cheyenne Bsaies (Lemora Haskell, Katrina Edison)
Chris Blaylock (Doctor Pete Meno)
Dave Johnston (Deputy Drexal, Jonathan Kitter)
Joe J. Thomas (Hank Mason, Phineas Thibert)
Joy Vanides (Sister George)
Koralee Nickarz (Deidre Frost, Emily Saunders)
Nicole Rayburn (Harmony Barrister)
Peter Dirksen (Jimmy Details, Jonesy)
Rob Grindlinger (Sheriff Bradley, Cedric Bloomington, Don Marino)
Robert W. Allen (Special Agent Voitek)
Samantha Turk (Henrietta “Henry” Howe)
Scott Olynek (Jacob Kitter)
Sonia Perozzi (Sparrow, Rachel Nolen)
Zachary Foulkes (Brent Saunders, Charles Edison)


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



America’s “Enough” Problem


Amerca’s “Enough” Problem

America's "ENOUGH" Problem (logo)

Enough. It’s counter to much of the way America operates. We’re a country of excess… and it’s literally killing us. Here’s just a few examples:

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States. It contributes to heart disease, diabetes, vascular issues, and more. Although we probably don’t get enough exercise, a large factor is the sheer amount and types of food we eat.

Processed foods. Excess salt, sugar, and fats. And the ridiculous portion sizes we’ve come to think of as normal. It doesn’t help that the cheaper food (dollar menu anyone?) is often not the best for you.

My wife and I will routinely split one (1) entree, and add a couple salads or an appetizer. That is where our “enough” is. Other things we do to avoid this food trap are cooking more at home, avoiding fast foods and overly processed foods, and of course plenty of exercise. Add in adequate water and sleep.

It’s easiest to see our lust for money in the salaries of CEO’s compared to workers… and in Wall Street… and in our worship of billionaires.

But the problem is much more pervasive. People are working multiple jobs in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Granted, some of it is a necessity due to wealth inequality. But that too is caused by others hoarding the money for themselves. Where is enough? 1 million? 10 million? 10 billion? How many cars can you drive? How many houses can you live in?

Perhaps we don’t all need a house. Or a $50,000 car to show off our status. Maybe each of us can get by with less. Maybe our kids can fund their own way through college.

There has to be a work/family balance. Otherwise, what are you working for?

Money is also way too much of a factor in our election and elected officials. The way to “enough” there is to remove the money all together. Get corporations and billionaires out of our politics. Give it back to “We The People”.

Drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, definitely play a role in our overall health. But when is it too much?

With the rise of the opioid epidemic, drug-resistant bacteria, and general over-prescription, America has a legal drug problem.

I’ve had my share of pain, for example. But some amount should be tolerable without popping a pill. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs attention. There are longer-term solutions to many of our problems, but all too often we just want a quick fix. It’s when we rely on it as a crutch that the chance of becoming addicted rises.

Some people in America like guns. Some don’t. I get it. I’ve shot guns for target practice and used them in outdoor shows. They’re fun. And for many, they use them for fun, or hunting, or feel that they need them to protect themselves and their loved ones.

But where is the line? When do we have enough? Enough guns. Enough firepower. Does anyone need a weapon that could take out a dozen people at the press of the trigger? If you live in an area where that’s needed, it’s a war-zone… and that’s a bigger problem.

Much of the “need” for the higher power guns, the semi-automatics, the illegally altered fully-automatics, the high capacity magazines… it all comes from one thing: Fear. People are afraid. Afraid of other people with guns. Afraid that the government will come and take their guns. Afraid of liberals and media and people who think differently, or look differently, of believe differently.

There are some simple paths to enough. Enforce the existing laws. Close the loopholes. Ban weapons that nobody needs for protection or hunting or target practice.

If most of America wants these things, and our representatives are not enacting them, then maybe our government isn’t much of a representative democracy.

How many things do you need? Want? Have?

In our disposable society we often tire of things before their useful life is really spent. Smartphones are a prime example. As are clothes. Accessories. Electronics.

For those with even more money it may be houses, cars, motorcycles, boats, jewelry.

Even “essentials” are not that essential in truth.

Overall, we can be very wasteful. And that leads to a lack of appreciation for the things we have. And maybe a blurring of the understanding of what should really matter to us long term.

It may be difficult, but for anything you think you need – do you really *need* it?

How may channels can you watch? How many games can you play? How many movies need to be made (most of them in a handful of derivative series)?

With the rise of social networking came the competitive response. What’s popular? I have to see it! I have to play it! I don’t want to feel left out!

Pause. Take a break. In a year, a month, or even an hour, there’ll be something else you can miss out on instead. Maybe “enough” entertainment should be determined by what you want to spend your free time on. Not what’s popular with everyone else.

And On, And On, And On
… and the “enough” list goes on and on: Diets, Fads, Commemorative Plates.

But there’s one thing I’m certain I’ve had enough of. And that’s Fools.


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



Voice 2012: Joe’s Full Presentation


Voice 2012: Joe’s Full Presentation

Agents, Demos, Marketing, Networking, VO Work, P2P, Unions…

Hear how I got into voice over, my philosophy on business, acting, much, much more!

The full 86 minute presentation is yours FREE!

(and stay for the questions at the end… very informative 😉 )

Thanks to everyone who attended, and those who asked questions at the end.

Joe J Thomas: Banana Baby


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