Political Opinions

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Political Opinions

In a recent Facebook post, people were debating the merits and issues with stating your political views on a public forum. The primary concern seemed to be how it might affect their business. Here is my posted reply:

Now is not the time to remain silent. No job, paycheck or client is worth giving up our freedoms. And that’s what’s at stake. Everyone must do what they’re comfortable with, but I will not stand idly by while the underpinnings of our nation are eroded. If anyone, including a client, doesn’t like my stance on issues of this importance then I wouldn’t want them anyway. So far, I’ve only lost one connection here, and he went way off the deep end. My two cents. Your mileage may vary.

After all, what good is having the right to freedom of speech if you never exercise it?

The Role of the Jester
Although I do speak my mind plainly at times, I also often use humor to convey messages. Like the King’s Jester, some truths are easier to deliver with a bit of comedy. The laughter (or lack thereof) can tell you a lot about the audience. And make no mistake – I’ve mocked both sides of the political aisle (but one side is usually a lot more of a comedy gold mine 😉 )

Here are my latest set of short historical propaganda films – Enjoy!

Join The Republican Party: The Party of THE FUTURE!

Dead Presidents on Trump (5 short videos)
What would dead presidents have to say about Donald J. Trump?
Wonder no more!
Here’s 10-15 seconds each of alternative history for you!




Copyright 2017 Joe’s Dump
www.JoesDump.com
Not a Quinn-Martin Production

 

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

 

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Talent, Effort, and Desire

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Talent, Effort, and Desire

A successful business in the arts requires all three. But how much of each? And how can you tell if you’re on the right path to succeed?

Let’s start with an analogy: Imagine your career is a car.
The engine is your talent.
The fuel is your effort.
And the steering wheel is your desire.

Talent: Your Career’s Engine

The engine of your career is your raw talent. We’re each born with a certain amount, but that can be improved some through training. Just as the engine moves the car forward, so does your talent help move your career. Some may move faster, some may be stronger, and others able to shift better. Knowing the capabilities and the limitations of your own talent can help you to better utilize it to its fullest potential.

Effort: Your Career’s Fuel

Talent alone isn’t enough, though. Just as a car needs fuel to run, your career needs effort to succeed. In some cases, effort can even augment other qualities you may lack. Persistence and hard work can accomplish a lot on their own. However, it is equally important to know when your effort isn’t paying off. More fuel won’t make the car go faster, or run better. Pause. Take a step back occasionally to assess how your doing, and if you’re working way too hard.

Desire: Your Career’s Steering

The final ingredient needed for the car is a way to steer it in the direction you’d like to go. Knowing what you want at each stage of your career, and being honest about your desires, will assure you’re headed down the right road. Without the steering, you may end up somewhere, or you might just land in the ditch.

Talent, effort, and desire: to succeed, you’ll need all three. The combination is unique to each of us, and finding the best balance is often a difficult challenge.

Good luck!

 

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

 

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Creativity Farm

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Creativity Farm

Animation, music, business, poetry and utter nonsense…

How do I come up with a new Joe’s Dump post most every Monday?

I use a Creativity Farm!
Joe's Dump Creativity Farm!

Whenever I have an idea for Joe’s Dump, I jot down a short title and a few notes in a Google doc. These are the “Seeds” on my farm.

I use a Google doc because it lets me edit my ideas on my phone, tablet or computer. When the muse inspires, I’m ready.

Next, I cultivate the Seeds by choosing a promising one and giving it my time and focus. This is like sunlight and water. The promising Seeds then grow into mature Plants, ready for posting to the blog!

Of course, along the way, some weeding must also be done. Not all ideas will bear fruit.

Once I’ve posted the finished crop, it’s moved to another Google doc for archive.

Here are just a few samples from my current batch of Seeds (who knows which will grow?):

  • A rap song about Jimmy Durante
  • Fake movie trailers
  • A noir novella set in Cleveland
  • Poetry for pets
  • Designs for a personal hovercraft
  • Learning Tuvan throat-singing

If you’ve got the time and inclination, maybe you can start your own Creativity Farm!

What do you do to keep your creativity flowing?

 

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

 

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Bacon and You!

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Bacon and You!

Bacon and You! Joe's Dump

Ever wonder who you’ve worked with in the entertainment biz? If you’re on IMdB, then the Oracle of Bacon can tell you that and much more…

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
It all begins with Kevin Bacon. The idea is that everyone on the planet is somehow only six steps away from Kevin Bacon. For example, if I know Kevin Bacon, I’m one step away. If I know someone who knows Kevin Bacon, I’m two steps away… and so on. By the time you get to six steps away, that’s a lot of people – maybe even everyone on Earth!

The Oracle of Bacon
The Oracle of Bacon web site finds the shortest connection between any two people listed on IMdB. The default is Kevin Bacon and whoever you type in. As an example, my Bacon Number is 2. I’ve worked with someone who’s worked with Kevin Bacon. But the site has some other very useful tools…

3 Ways To Use The Oracle of Bacon

Be sure to play around with the advanced search options. They’ll let you include things like video games and TV series.

Once you’ve found your Bacon Number, be sure to post it in the comments below.

Have fun!
Joe

 

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

 

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Stapler in the High Castle?

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Stephen Root: Character Actor

Stephen Root - Milton + Abendsen

While watching season 2 of “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon, we finally got to see the man himself. Abendson is his name, but I immediately recognized him as the same actor who played Milton in “Office Space”… Whoa! Mind blown!

So, I looked him up on IMDB. This guy has an admirable career. He’s voiced Bill and Buck on “King of the Hill”, was Chode in “Tripping the Rift”, and Killer Croc and Penguin on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”. And that’s just his VO work.

He was also in “O Brother, Where Art Thou” as the Radio Station Man. Plus many many more roles…

Amazing work, and worth a look. If you don’t know Stephen Root, take a look at his IMDB page here:
IMDB: Stephen Root

 

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

 

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Pebble and Palm

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Pebble and Palm

What happens when companies disappear?
Pebble and Palm
On Dec 7, Pebble (trailblazer in smartwatches) made the announcement that they were closing shop and had been bought out by Fitbit (maker of fitness bands).

It seems they were leaving their loyal KickStarter supporters and customers out in the cold. No more Pebble watches would be sold, and all support and warranties were null and void.

Quite a slap in the face.

Don’t get me wrong – I own a Pebble Time and a Fitbit Charge. Wearing one on each wrist has always been kind of a pain. I was secretly hoping that the technologies would merge, but really didn’t expect it to happen like this. At this point it’s completely up in the air as to what Fitbit will do with the intellectual property they’ve purchased.

Although I hope for the best, it’s also good to learn from experience.

Palm was another company that I had been a loyal customer to since nearly their start. I owned their innovative PDA products, and even bought the phones when they seemed to be evolving. The last phone they made was truly an elegant thing of beauty. Small, stylish, functional.

Then Palm was bought out by HP. HP proceeded to fumble the ball for a few months before scrapping everything that was Palm. Hardware, Software – Everything. Another disappointing end to a very promising start-up.

I’m not really sure what the lesson is here, if any. But it is interesting to note that innovation by itself is not always rewarded with success. For that matter, hard work isn’t any guarantee either.

Perhaps the key is in The Round Table Club‘s motto: “Adapt, Adopt, Improve

 

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

 

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VO Workout

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VO Workout

VO Workout Banner

How staying fit can help you in your voiceover career.

When most of us hear the term “VO Workout”, we imagine a group of fellow voice actors gathering to read copy and get feedback. But there’s another kind of workout you should be adding to boost your VO career.

Keeping physically fit, mentally healthy, and getting proper nutrition all contribute to our bodies, minds and spirits working at peak levels. All of these factors can affect the sound of your voice, mood of your delivery, and how you interact with other people in the biz. Breathing, core strength, mobility, relaxation – all can come from maintaining good health. Below are some of the key factors I consider every day…
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The Nothing

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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…

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Other Than Me… Joe

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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:
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Singing For VO

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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

 

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