Persistence

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Persistence by Joe's Dump

Persistence:
We Aspire to it in Ourselves,
Admire it in Our Friends,
and Abhor it in Our Foes.

But when is it appropriate?

As the saying goes, nothing feels better than when you stop banging your head against the wall.

Sometimes, knowing when to quit can be just as important as knowing when to push on in spite of the odds.

Only you can make the decision on if you should persevere or throw in the towel. Take the advice of trusted loved ones, friends and mentors into account. If they’re all saying the same thing, maybe it’s time to listen.

If you’re stubborn like me, that can be the hardest part.

Besides, that wall will always be there. Maybe just a bit of a break to clear your head…

Adapt, Adopt and Improve,
Joe

 

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

 

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The Path of the (Yodeling) Pickle

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The Path of the (Yodeling) Pickle

Yodelling Pickle by Archie McPhee

      Joe's Yodel (Joe J Thomas)

How did learning to yodel lead to Weird Al, George Takei, The Today Show and Gorillaz?

It all began in 2006, with a contest by the Seattle novelty company Archie McPhee.

They were searching for a yodel.

I was a singer, but had never yodeled. So I consulted the internet and found YodelCourse.org

After some free lessons, I submitted my contest entry and forgot about it.

… until 100 rubber chickens showed up on my doorstep!
Archie McPhee - Deluxe Rubber Chicken

I’d won the contest, and the prize was 100 rubber chickens, plus my yodel in a toy.

Now, the first toy (Feb, 2007) was not the Yodeling Pickle, but instead was the “Remote Control Hopping Yodeling Lederhosen” (with a knockwurst remote, of course):
Remote Control, Hopping, Yodeling Lederhosen

Then in April of 2007 came the now famous “Yodeling Pickle”:
Yodelling Pickle by Archie McPhee

In December of 2008, the Today Show with Cathy Lee and Hoda reviewed the pickle:
Yodeling Pickle - Kathy Lee Gifford
Kathy Lee Gifford sang with it and said “Nothin’ beats the Singin’ Pickle!”

Sales of the Yodeling Pickle were great, and soon they came out with other yodeling products (more on those below).

On December 26, 2010, the Grammy winning band “Gorillaz” album “The Fall” featured the yodel on track 15: “Seattle Yodel”:
Gorillaz - The Fall - Front Cover

You can download the whole album for free at: Gorillaz – The Fall (at Archive.Org)

      Gorillaz - Seattle Yodel

 
On August 5, 2011, Archie McPhee released their own video of the track:

On March 26, 2013: Archie McPhee announced “International Yodeling Pickle Day“!!!

On May 22, 2013: George Takei posted his comedic review of the Yodeling Pickle on Amazon:

My latest Wednsday Weview. This item was NOT what I thought it was. At all. http://amzn.to/14Rz5aU

Posted by George Takei on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yodeling Pickle - George Takei + Weird Al Reviews

And on June 17, 2015: Weird Al Yankovic tweeted this (along with a review on Amazon)
“You can have my electronic yodeling pickle WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD FINGERS.”
Yodeling Pickle - Weird Al Yankovic

On June 2, 2017: Gizmodo posted an article on Gorillaz and the Seattle Yodel Track:

On July 16, 2017, George Takei included the Yodeling Pickle in a video review from Knowable:

Weird Products From Amazon

Because who couldn't use a yodeling pickle? via Knowable

Posted by George Takei on Sunday, July 16, 2017

 
My friends still report in when the Yodeling Pickle is on the local news… Expect more yodel in the future!

Other Yodeling products from Archie McPhee:

Gerkin for a living,
Joe “Yodelling Pickle” Thomas

 

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

 

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 3)

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 3)

Afternoon Tea Adventures presents a brand new Doctor Who audio drama in 3 parts.

Chapter Three: Marching as to War
Welcott prepares to march his undead army to 1950’s England, to wage war against the Establishment. VTI Security Forces have been ordered to destroy The Space, and all the colonists living there. Julia Shahid is losing her mind. And the Doctor is finally opening her eyes to what’s going on.

Doctor Who - Widen Your Gaze - chapter 3

Listen to part two here:

Also available on iTunes (click here)

And on YouTube:

(did you miss part one or two? here they are 😉

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 1)

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 2)

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze – a science fiction ghost story.

“The mind is its own place, and in its self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
–John Milton, Paradise Lost.

Palestine 1975: The Doctor’s companion, under surveillance by CIA agents, writes a letter to her younger sister in New York City.

England, 1955: a grieving father obsessively searches for the ghost of his dead son.

Hyperspace, the 22nd Century: Something is threatening a community in thrall to an ancient alien technology, shrouded in myth and legend.

As all three events collide, the Doctor finds herself in a bloodied life-or-death race to piece together an inter-dimensional mystery that threatens to tear open the divide between sanity and madness and the living and the dead.

In a spectral, hostile darkness, sometimes the best thing you can do to survive is to widen your gaze.

Chapter Three: Marching as to War
Welcott prepares to march his undead army to 1950’s England, to wage war against the Establishment. VTI Security Forces have been ordered to destroy The Space, and all the colonists living there. Julia Shahid is losing her mind. And the Doctor is finally opening her eyes to what’s going on.

CAST
The Doctor … K. Woo
Julia Shahid … Valina Cutler
Welcott … Joe J. Thomas
Fair Hair/Soul … Justin Fife
Lupez … Lisa Michaud
Selina … Fazia Rizvi
Cruz … Al Gordon

Written by Vince Stadon
Doctor Who logo by John Callaghan
Art by Valina Cutler
Many thanks to freesound.org

Afternoon Tea Adventures‘ Doctor Who series is a free, not-for-profit fan production and is in no way associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was created as a celebration of the series, without intent to supersede or infringe on existing copyrights or intellectual property. Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and other registered sounds and concepts remain property of the BBC.

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Hookah Burger!!!

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Hookah Burger!!!

Ok, so where did this bit of madness come from?

There’s a tiny stand-alone restaurant in our neighborhood. It used to be some kind of “Wrap” place, then it was empty for years.

Finally, a minor burger chain bought it! Hurray! And with a college nearby, it should be a huge success, right?

Nope. New seats. Outdoor TVs. Cheap plastic barrier and fence with plastic plants. New heaters.

Nothing.

So… The owners set it up as a Hookah place instead!

Sure. That’s a natural transition.

… and … it’s dormant again.

But I can still wish for “Hookah Burger!!!”

BTW, there’s a real “Hookah Burger” restaurant in Russia.
You can visit them here (WARNING! Slightly NSFW!): Hookah Burger Russia

 

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

 

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The Power of Voice Over

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The Power of Voice Over

As voice actors, we often get caught up in the process, and forget the impact that our voices can have on a production.

Recently, I saw a car commercial from Lincoln named “Olivia’s Wish List”. It was a very cute spot featuring a girl in a car who makes wishes on a snow globe. She wishes for snow, toys, dancing. The audio track is only music (The Philadelphia Orchestra “Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: VII. Waltz No. 2”).

I wondered how much the feel of the commercial could be changed by adding a voice over track. I chose a more sinister take than the original, but everything else (video, music) is the same.

Here’s my take on the commercial: “Olivia’s Evil Wish”

… and for your reference, the original is here:

What other ways could you interpret this spot? How can your voice breath life into the productions you’re involved in?

Stay creative, my friends!
Joe

 

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

 

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 2)

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 2)

Afternoon Tea Adventures presents a brand new Doctor Who audio drama in 3 parts.

Chapter Two: The White Light Divine
As the Doctor sets a very dangerous trap, Julia finds herself in a strange empty place where madmen tell their stories, and there’s a ghost in the machine.
Doctor Who - Widen Your Gaze - chapter 2

Listen to part two here:

Also available on iTunes (click here)

And on YouTube:

(did you miss part one? here’s a link to it 😉

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 1)

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze – a science fiction ghost story.

“The mind is its own place, and in its self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
–John Milton, Paradise Lost.

Palestine 1975: The Doctor’s companion, under surveillance by CIA agents, writes a letter to her younger sister in New York City.

England, 1955: a grieving father obsessively searches for the ghost of his dead son.

Hyperspace, the 22nd Century: Something is threatening a community in thrall to an ancient alien technology, shrouded in myth and legend.

As all three events collide, the Doctor finds herself in a bloodied life-or-death race to piece together an inter-dimensional mystery that threatens to tear open the divide between sanity and madness and the living and the dead.

In a spectral, hostile darkness, sometimes the best thing you can do to survive is to widen your gaze.

Chapter Two: The White Light Divine
As the Doctor sets a very dangerous trap, Julia finds herself in a strange empty place where madmen tell their stories, and there’s a ghost in the machine.

CAST
The Doctor … K. Woo
Julia Shahid … Valina Cutler
Welcott … Joe J. Thomas
Fair Hair … Justin Fife
Cruz … Al Gordon
Lupez … Lisa Michaud
VTI Computer … Stan Endvico
Lawyer … Glen Bartram

Written by Vince Stadon
Doctor Who logo by John Callaghan
Art by Valina Cutler
Many thanks to freesound.org

Afternoon Tea Adventures‘ Doctor Who series is a free, not-for-profit fan production and is in no way associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was created as a celebration of the series, without intent to supersede or infringe on existing copyrights or intellectual property. Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and other registered sounds and concepts remain property of the BBC.

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Murder on the Justice League Express

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Murder on the Justice League Express

Murder on the Justice League Express - Movie Poster
Today’s post is a two-for-one Movie Review.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my wife and I went to see “Justice League” and “Murder on the Orient Express”.

Rather than review each on their own, here’s a side-by-side, blow-by-blow, step-by-step rundown of our opinions (no real spoilers, but avert your eyes if you feel the need):

(review section) Justice League Orient Express
Acting The main heroes should have been the best actors. That’s not what we got. Instead of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, we got the Cardboard Knight, Wooden Woman, and the Man of Plastic.

I will say that many of the supporting characters were much better actors, and more interesting. These included Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman. Also Martha Kent, Lois Lane and Cyborg’s father.

A very balanced cast. All very good actors in their individual roles. Nobody stood out as markedly better than anyone else, and each shone in different ways.

Overall, a wonderfully cast ensemble movie.

 Plot The plot was pretty thin, but this is more of an action movie, so I’ll let that slide.  The movie version stays kind of close to the original book. I only wish they had more character interaction and less one-on-one vignettes. Made it seem like they had problems scheduling so many stars.
 Villain(s) Uh, yeah… Way too simplistic for my tastes. Felt like a placeholder for the real villain. Or maybe just a setup for the next in the series. Plenty of villainy to go around here, with some very complicated and implausible back-stories. So, suspend some of your beliefs…
 Ending No surprises here. It ends just like you’d suspect. I could even tell you and it wouldn’t be considered a spoiler.  … and this is where the train runs completely off the rails.

Rather than stick to the ending in the book, the movie goes for an extra twist. One that, in my opinion, doesn’t fit the plot or the characters at all.

Special FX Phenomenal special effects. Well done and seamless. Makeup could have used a bit of help, though. The special effects were invisible, which for this type of film is very important. I never felt like any of it knocked me out of the film’s reality.
 Final

Judgement!

Despite the above, it was a fun action movie. Worth seeing, but not worth paying full theater pricing for.

Plus, you’ll probably need to know the plot for the next one. And the next one. And the next…

Great acting, a mostly by-the-book plot, and interesting special effects.

So… why didn’t I like this movie more? In the end, it all didn’t flow very well or hold my interest throughout.

Wait until it comes to streaming or cable. And that’s a wrap!

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

 

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 1)

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Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze (part 1)

Afternoon Tea Adventures presents a brand new Doctor Who audio drama in 3 parts.
Doctor Who - Widen Your Gaze - chapter 1

Listen to part one here:

Also available on iTunes (click here)

And on YouTube:

Doctor Who: Widen Your Gaze – a science fiction ghost story.

“The mind is its own place, and in its self
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
–John Milton, Paradise Lost.

Palestine 1975: The Doctor’s companion, under surveillance by CIA agents, writes a letter to her younger sister in New York City.

England, 1955: a grieving father obsessively searches for the ghost of his dead son.

Hyperspace, the 22nd Century: Something is threatening a community in thrall to an ancient alien technology, shrouded in myth and legend.

As all three events collide, the Doctor finds herself in a bloodied life-or-death race to piece together an inter-dimensional mystery that threatens to tear open the divide between sanity and madness and the living and the dead.

In a spectral, hostile darkness, sometimes the best thing you can do to survive is to widen your gaze.

Chapter One: The Ghost Train
The Doctor and Julia are being followed by something inexplicable and inhuman, and in a deserted station along a lonely coastal railway line a ghost train is waiting for them.

CAST
The Doctor … K. Woo
Julia Shahid … Valina Cutler
Welcott … Joe J. Thomas
Fair Hair … Justin Fife

Written by Vince Stadon
Doctor Who logo by John Callaghan
Art by Valina Cutler
Many thanks to freesound.org

Afternoon Tea Adventures‘ Doctor Who series is a free, not-for-profit fan production and is in no way associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was created as a celebration of the series, without intent to supersede or infringe on existing copyrights or intellectual property. Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and other registered sounds and concepts remain property of the BBC.

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