Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 6: Comedy that Makes You Think

In the beginning of 2014, the big question on my mind was: "What am I doing"? The streak, which I had been on at the end of 2013, had taken aside to training a new puppy. Wanting to be back on that streak, I tried to upload videos as much as I could. I uploaded a video, featuring a character named, Professor Glenn Robbins, whom I felt was inspired by Carrie Brownstein of "Portlandia", which I had been watching on Netflix at the time.

But, after that, things were a bit downhill. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to go full time with J-Dubb's Theatre. I wanted to eventually create an enterprise of some sort, like Phillip DeFranco had done. But I didn't know how to market J-Dubb's Theatre. I was getting next to no new subscribers, my audience wasn't growing at all, and it was very frustrating. I still had fewer subscribers than I had before the subscriber purge of 2012. I knew how to market things, and I was pretty good at coming up with marketing ideas for other people's product, but I just couldn't figure out how to market J-Dubb's Theatre. I thought about different niches that I could try. I wondered if I should do something other than comedy or if I should start a new channel and retire J-Dubb's Theatre. I wondered if I should continue YouTube at all, or focus on something else. I wanted to progress somehow at something.

Meanwhile, there was just so much I wanted to do. I had all this passion bottled up and about to explode. I wanted to do...  EVERYTHING!! I wanted to try every restaurant, travel everywhere, visit every house I drove by, meet the people who lived there and see what it was like inside, I wanted to landscape, I wanted to study everything and learn everything, and the list goes on.

In the Summer, I made a video in which I requested help for growing my audience, and voicied my frustration. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing, but I decided it was time to put it out there. Many people were surprised to learn that my audience wasn't growing. I decided to really have fun with this video, and I did. It was the first time, since the beginning of the year, that I really felt like I had put out a fun video. At the end, I stated a specific subscriber goal that I wanted to meet.

Later, as I was editing this video, I noticed Spenser chewing on something. He had been chewing for a while, and I hadn't really thought about it. But, at that moment, I looked over, and realized that he had gotten a hold of the J-Dubb's Theatre pipe. The iconic pipe, which had represented J-Dubb's Theatre for so many years, was now ragged with unfinished wood showing through the chew marks. I wasn't sure what to do: just leave it as is, go to a pipe-shop and look for a similar one, or maybe discontinue using it, as J-Dubb's Theatre was a changing thing, anyway. In the end, I decided to make a video about repairing it, in which I travel to Japan to recover the necessary items, and then sand and stain it. Now, the pipe is a little shinier, and the patterns on it are a little different. Some of the chew marks were worked into the preexisting pattern.

VidCon was coming up. I had decided on two things. Number one: the previous year, I had regretted not being social enough, and felt I had missed out on some things, such as meals with other YouTubers. Number two: I was gonna promote the hell out of J-Dubb's Theatre.  I filmed a video about how to bring back the dinosaurs. Much like "The Network Series", years previously, this was another failed promotional attempt. I had planned to set this as the featured video on my channel, and then print up fliers about, "how you may see dinosaurs in your lifetime" which I would leave around VidCon, directing people to my channel.

I didn't get any of these fliers printed out on time. Goal number two was a bust, but number one was not. As soon as I got there, I ran into LaneVids, and met some new people including BusVlogger and TheWackyChels. We met up with a group of people, and had lunch together. I had barely gotten there, hadn't even checked into my hotel yet, and I was already having the social experience that I wanted. I then proceeded to make the best VidCon video ever made, in which I am on a wildlife safari, documenting YouTubers. I also spent time exploring Annaheim and the Downtown Disney area, and taking Instagram pics.

Towards the end of the year, something began to...  click. It began when I posted a video lamenting about the end of Summer, in which I declare war on the Fall. I had done a similar video the previous year, while I was on my streak. Revisiting this seemed to put me back into that same mindset. I was back on that streak, cranking out videos, and having a lot of fun with it. I was once again making videos that I felt good about. I began to hone in on a sort of formula, which allowed me to make simple videos, but still put in the effort and creativity which I enjoyed.

This streak continued into the next year, and that's when things started to come together. One thing I considered was: did it really matter if I did J-Dubb's Theatre full time? I wanted to continue making videos for the same reason  in which I had began in the first place. I enjoyed being a part of the YouTube community. I didn't have to be a full time vlogger to do this. I already was this, and had been for quite some time. It would still be nice, but it doesn't have to be my only option.

At that time, I began to find my niche. One thing I've often seen in the comments of my videos, is: "that made me think." I'm in my head a lot. Sometime's in the past, I had found it difficult to concentrate on a comedy idea, because I was working something in my mind that I just couldn't veer away from.

I didn't have any desire to "be a comedian" or to "do comedy." There were other things I wanted to focus on. I wanted to inspire. I wanted to provoke thought. I liked studying psychology, philosophy, science, and history. I wanted to explore things such as conceptualization, and human consciousness. But I enjoyed using comedy. It's not me, if I don't involve comedy, and a bit of snark. I realized that this is my niche.

Almost as soon as I had this realization, I started gaining subscribers again. Finally, after three years, I made my way back up to my subscriber count from the beginning of 2012, and it's continued rising. As I write this, I'm only 15 away from the goal I stated in 2014. Soon, I will need a loftier goal.

I finally printed out business cards for VidCon. I decided to include the tagline, "comedy that makes you think". As I began to formulate this idea, I began describing J-Dubb's Theatre as "educational", but I decided to veer away from that. There are some channels which focus purely on teaching facts. My videos include educational facts, but they are more about interpretation. My channel is more about exploring ideas.

Looking at my videos from the end of 2014, through 2015, there have been times when I've been on a streak, and times when I had to, well... take some time. But, every video I've posted during this time period makes me think , "that was a fun one." I did not jump the shark. I grew to the next level. I just needed to take the time to figure out what that meant.

In 2005, I was a student studying Psychology, because I wanted to explore the things which create what we experience. I started a blog. I dropped my psych major. My blog became a YouTube channel. In 2015, I make YouTube videos about exploring the things which create what we experience.

See you next time. J-Dubb out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 5: VidCon

The Beginning of 2012: I was a YouTube partner. I had adjusted to my work schedule, and resumed uploading videos on a regular basis. The old blog which was the origin of J-Dubb's Theatre, however, sat unused. The things I would have blogged about in the past, went to Facebook or Twitter, if not the topic of a video. I focused largely on video responses. My favorite videos to create had always been video responses. They gave me an avenue with which to engage with the YouTube community, hearkening back to an older time when a "vlog" was typically a part of a conversation with other YouTubers, and not just a self-contained web-show. Plus, it was a way to get recognition from other YouTubers and expand my audience.

On that note, my audience was expanding very slowly, if at all. The subscriber boom I experienced in 2010 had ended in the Fall of that year, just as suddenly and mysteriously as it had begun. I had come to see the Summer as prime time for engaging and growing an audience, and the Fall as "too late". This is a large reason for my later disdain of the Fall. Then, the first "subscriber purge" happened. YouTube introduced an algorithm to clear out subscribers whose accounts had been inactive for a certain amount of time. Since my subscriber base went back five years, a lot of old accounts were purged, and my count dropped significantly. This was a bit discouraging.

When I began seeing advertisements for VidCon 2012, something occurred to me. For many years, ever since the beginning of my involvement with YouTube, I had wanted to go to a YouTube gathering, and meet other YouTubers face to face. In the past, I had seen this as an impossibility because I was either a broke student, or a struggling freelancer. I now had a steady stream of income. I could do this.

That Summer, I attended my first VidCon. The first day, I spent most of the time going to panels. I saw YouTubers such as Phillip DeFranco, Shay Carl, and Kassem G. in person for the first time. It was surreal, but I wasn't really meeting or hanging out with anyone like I had wanted to do for so long, so I went to bed feeling a little ho-hum about the whole thing.

The next day, however, was one of the highlights of my life. That morning, I just decided to go out there, be J-Dubb of J-Dubb's Theatre, and have fun reporting on the whole thing. Energized, I ran into Sean Klitzner... only I had never heard of him, and mistook him for Toby Turner. Then, my friend, Peter of Journey of Life Vlogs showed up. We met in person for the first time, then went and hung out in the expo hall. That's when I began running into people left and right. I met Cory "Mr. Saftey" and Katers17, Greg Benson, Lamar Wilson, and Tay Zonday. And, I met some new people, such as Epoddle and Cullen and Katie.

The highest point, was having Greg Benson of Mediocre Films, Husband of Kim Evey who produces the "The Guild" and "Geek and Sundry", and works with Felicia Day and Will Wheaton, who have played characters in several TV shows, act just as starstruck to meet the guy from J-Dubb's Theatre.

Having been to a YouTube event, I felt legitimized. I was now becoming a recognizable face beyond my videos. I felt so proud to add my VidCon video to J-Dubb's Theatre history. All those blog posts and videos from so many years, and now this was a part of it. This is when it occurred to me that maybe I could do J-Dubb's Theatre professionally. Actually, it had occurred to me years before, when I was a blogger involved with Portland Media. But now, I decided that maybe I could be a professional YouTuber... except... I had no idea how to make that happen... 

I began focusing exclusively on video responses. Each of my videos were as elaborate as possible, and two of them took several weeks to finish. But, most of the YouTubers I responded to didn't even notice. I didn't know how to grow my audience, and I was struggling to get my videos out in time.

In December, either through Twitter, or Cort Webber's Facebook page, I saw an announcement that the Cort and Fatboy show was ending. This was advertised with a poster which read "Cort and Fatboy is Dead." They broadcast their final show from the Baghdad Theatre. Since Cort and Fatboy had played such a big part in J-Dubb's Theatre history, I decided it would only be fitting to blog about this. As I wrote my article, I came to a decision: since The Cort and Fatboy Show was so intertwined with this blog...  even the very creation of this blog... and since I no longer used this blog, I decided that the end of the Cort and Fatboy Show would signify the closing of the blogging era of J-Dubb's Theatre.

By the end of 2012, I had a lot on my mind. Just a few months ago, I'd had all this ambition. But, I wasn't really sure who I was on YouTube anymore. I wasn't the same person who started making videos almost six years ago. I didn't have the desire to make the same sort of content that I did as a 20-something. Would people still find me entertaining, or would I alienate my audience who subscribed for "the old J-Dubb"?

In 2013, I continued to struggle to post a weekly video, as all my ideas seemed to be extravagant.  I created a music video called El Pollito J-Dubb Here, which took over a month to produce. While it was fun, I couldn't expect to post such involved videos on a weekly basis. I uploaded a Draw My Life video, at the end of which, I announced that I would be doing simple vlogs from then on, no more video responses, and only occasionally a full cinematic work. In the beginning, this was a relief, and felt like a return to the 2010 boom. But I wasn't really putting together videos that I felt were fun or enjoyable.

I started to go through a bit of a life crisis, where I didn't really know what I was doing. I wanted to get out of my current job as soon as possible. I wanted to progress somehow, but I didn't know how. I liked the idea of being a professional YouTuber, but I didn't know how to do that. I wanted to come up with an alternate idea, but if I spent too much time on plan B, how could I put in the effort needed for plan A? I finished school for Web Design in 2008, but at that point, it had been years since I'd dabbled in CSS. It was difficult for me do make a "fun" video while in the midst of this confusion. I found my relief in photography. Going out in nature and seeing the compositions around me felt liberating. I wondered if I couldn't somehow turn this into a living.

In the beginning of the Summer, I went to a new YouTube gathering in Seattle called "Vloggerfaire". I met several new people, including my freind JakeHasAnApple, and ran into Sean Klitzner again. Then, later in the Summer, I attended my second VidCon. Walking around, I found it amazing that this thing which I had dreamed of for so many years had become a regular part of my life.

But I was still in my melancholy. I met up with my friend Peter, and met some new people. I met some of my subscribers, which was pretty exciting. I ran into Greg Benson and Aaron Yonda. But I was quiet and I needed to take a lot of introspective time. I regretted not being able to spend more time getting to know these people.

During my introspection, however, I had an epiphany from atop a high balcony. No, seriously, that actually happened. I had started out filming a video about success. Since that was the thing that was taking my attention, I figured that might as wall be the topic of my video. But as I stood at the edge of the balcony, watching the sun begin to set, and taking in the beauty around me, I thought that maybe success wasn't about being on the top, but taking in the moment and going from there. I realized that in my obsession, I was missing out on the community which I had signed up for in the first place. This whole process can be seen in my video from that year.

I began having fun again, after that. I had a good run of videos for a little while, but there was still one hitch, one thing I had yet to figure out: What was I doing?


Friday, November 06, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 4: The YouTube Boom

By the beginning of 2010, I was no longer making videos. I also found that all these podcasts were way too time-consuming. It was one thing to listen to a radio show while I worked. I could work while the music played and tune in when the show came back on. But listening to podcasts meant several hours of listening and getting nothing done. I had been out of school for a year, and was trying to make money designing websites, so I had to drop the podcasts.

After a few months, one day, I decided to reminisce by watching some old videos that I remembered from the old YouTube days. I also checked out some of the YouTubers from the old days who I was familiar with, but had never gotten around to watching. This brought back the desire to be a part of that old YouTube community. That's when I realized: if I wanted to be a part of it, I could choose to BE it, whether YouTube wanted to promote it or not. I made my comeback by joining in with the Hitler Downfall parodies which were popular at the time; the ones where you add your own subtitles over the bunker scene from the movie, "Downfall".

I had always wanted to be more a part of the Vlogging scene, so I began producing more Vlog type videos than I typically had in the past. I refer to this as the beginning of "The Modern Format". This is when I started using my common vlogging location, and began to develop my style of vlogging with jump cuts and overlays.

Although the angle has changed over the years, this is the familiar background of my vlogs, which I started using in 2010.

2010 turned out to be the most booming year I'd had on YouTube. I began posting videos once a week, which was considered a lot in those days. This was before the boom of daily Vloggers, or YouTube shows with regular schedules. I became involved and actively participated in the YouTube community like never before, making a lot of new friends and acquaintances, and my subscribers jumped up several hundred, which was the largest amount of growth I had ever had in one year.

One day that Summer, a bunch of videos began popping up from a YouTube gathering called "VidCon". I had always wanted to go to a YouTube gathering. In the beginning of 2007, I had watched videos from the first YouTube gathering, "As One", put together by Corey "Mr. Safety" Williams in San Fransisco, and after that, there were Summer gatherings once a year. I had thought about collaborating with Nalts on a gathering in Portland. But that year, this "VidCon" event turned out to be the big YouTube gathering, and I wanted to be a part of it. So I made a video about having my own VidCon in Portland.

I continued my video routine in 2011, while the blogging dwindled. At this time, I mainly used my blog to post my videos, while only occasionally writing a blog post. One thing I just had to cover, was the final demise of KUFO. It had been a while since I'd paid attention to KUFO, Portland Media, Cort and Fatboy, or anything of that ilk. One day, I turned the channel to 101.1, and heard talk radio. I did some research, and found out that KUFO had been gone for about a month. I remember KUFO from my childhood, however, Alpha Broadcasting's changes had soured its audience, and by March 2011, they had to pull the plug. There was almost no coverage of this event, in contrast to the uproar surrounding the canning of KUFO's personalities.

But the YouTubing kept going strong. One of the highlights, was my parody of Rebecca Black's "Friday", which I called Tuesday. I began a new series called the Rich Munnich Awards, in honor of my friend, well, Rich Munnich. I became a YouTube partner, and could now monetize my videos. Then, in the middle of the year, I started to do bi-weekly videos, but soon after, I got a new job, which made this impossible. In fact, it was difficult to concentrate on Youtube as I adjusted. The second VidCon came and went, and I barely noticed.

I had to slow down on J-Dubb's Theatre a bit. The last thing I posted to my blog was a video to Greg Benson, where I disguise myself with a paper mustache, and try to sell him a fish tank under the guise of a time-machine. This fish tank has become an inside joke between me and Greg, and one of us brings it up whenever we see each other. I started to write an anniversary post, as I had every previous year on October 11, where I would post the same fireworks images from my first blog post, and summarize the past year. But I never finished it.

The videos slowed down, but they were far from done. Once I had adjusted, I began to put my focus back into YouTube. In 2012, I took J-Dubb's Theatre to the next level...


Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 3: Portland Media

In 2009, I had become a little disenchanted with YouTube. Things were different since Google had taken over. There was a wedge in the Community, between the "big YouTubers" whom YouTube actively promoted, and the average YouTuber, who YouTube had stopped promoting. YouTube had become less about community, and more about trying to "be a star". A lot of people from the old community disappeared around this time.

Alongside that, I found out that the music I used in my videos, including the "Network Series" which I had just put a lot of effort into, required an expensive license in order to be broadcast in a YouTube video. When I had first began using it, the TOS for the music site didn't really specify this, because YouTube wasn't really much of a thing yet. It was Royalty Free music, so I figured I could use it. When I started seeing videos and reading blogs which warned about using it, I was afraid that I might lose the majority of my work on Youtube, so, you know, I was a bit discouraged.

At one point, while stuck in traffic, I decided to listen to KUFO, just for nostalgia sake. After listening for a while, I realized that I wasn't hearing the Marconi Show, I was hearing the Cort and Fatboy Show. Marconi had been ditched, and Cort and Fatboy had taken over his old slot as the main afternoon show. I found that KUFO had seemingly grown up with me. Cort and Fatboy, despite Fatboy's ridiculous nickname (he's actually not even fat) catered less to a collegian frat-boy mentality, and more to a nerd demographic. They were essentially the anti-Marconi, and their listeners were relieved to have Marconi out of there.

I became a fan, and listened to Cort and Fatboy on a regular basis. The entire station seemed to be on the same page as me, now. The morning program was hosted by an erudite, yet funny guy, named Rick Emerson, and his crew. It turned out that Cort and Fatboy, teemed up with the Rick Emerson crew, had a lot of involvement in the Portland community. I relinked my blog to KUFO, and began following them on Twitter. I became involved in their whole social media circle, and Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts became a reader of J-Dubb's Theatre. This circle included a podcaster named, Robert Wagner, who ran a whole Portland-based podcasting network.

During this time, I became less interested in YouTube, and more interested in the Portland media scene. There was a big collaborative effort at that time to attempt to link the old media with the bloggers and podcasters of new media. I linked up on social media with some media people of both venues, and began to focus more on Portland related events. My videos dwindled to around one a month, and largely reflected my disenchantment with the new YouTube.

At this time, I retired the old banner from 2006, for a new one, which I still use in some form or another to this day, including the end cards at the end of my videos.

Then, one day in October, I logged on to Twitter to see talk of Cort and Fatboy having been fired. The next morning, It was confirmed that the Rick Emerson crew had also been let go. I found out that the majority of Portland's radio stations had been purchased by an evil corporation called, Alpha Broadcasting (now part of the merged company, Alpha Media). Apparently, Alpha Broadcasting's technical manual for what a rock station's demographic wants, didn't match up with the current programming on KUFO. So, they replaced the programming director.

The new programming director canned the talent and replaced them. To add insult to injury, they were replaced by none other than our old pal, Marconi, who once again took the main slot of the day. But he turned out to be the lesser of the evils. The station also brought on a DJ from Seattle named, Ricker, who made Marconi look like Martha Stewart, and a former Howard Stern intern named, Kidd Chris. At this time, I re-unlinked J-Dubb's Theatre from the KUFO page. These changes would lead to the demise of KUFO.

There was a lot of outrage in the Portland community. Bloggers, podcasters, and traditional media journalists expressed their disappointment. I covered this story on J-Dubb's Theatre, as well as invented a couple of Urban Dictionary definitions for KUFO. It was a lot of fun watching these definitions go viral. Both my article and my definitions were linked to in an article by Culture Pulp. This probably doesn't mean anything to you, the reader, but it was a big deal to me at the time.

Cort and Fatboy brought back "The Cort and Fatboy Show" as a podcast, and eventually began broadcasting over Robert Wagner's podcasting network. They began hosting their local events again. As well, Greg Nibler and Sarah X. Dylan, formerly of the "Rick Emerson Show", started a podcast called "Funemployment Radio." This podcast grew in popularity to an international renowned, won some web awards for top ten comedy podcasts, and is still going strong, six years later.

By the beginning of 2010, I was no longer making videos...


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 2: YouTube

In 2006, there was a forum I frequented where we would often share funny things from around the web, such as the old "Chuck Norris Facts" meme (I even Made Chuck Norris the first Superstar of the Year). This included videos from Google Videos and Metacafe, and I noticed there were a lot of videos from this new site called "YouTube". I remember thinking that this was a dumb name. There were a few videos, in particular, which I enjoyed the most. One of them came from a guy called "The WineKone". There was a sketch from a duo called "Barats and Bereta". And there were a few videos from these young guys who called themselves "Smosh". I decided to check out more videos from these people.

The first time I clicked on a channel link, I thought I had mistakenly gone to MySpace, as the classic channel design looked like a MySpace page. After browsing around a bit, I realized I was on something called a "YouTube Channel". Upon my arrival to The WineKone's channel, I found a video featured on his page called "Internet Creepo" which involved several other people who made videos for YouTube, including Smosh. I thought it was so cool seeing Smosh appear in a WineKone video. I had never seen an internet video which addressed other people who make internet videos. I checked out the other people who were featured in that video, and found that they also would address other people who make YouTube videos, or "YouTubers". There was a whole network of people who referred to themselves as the "YouTube Community". I decided I wanted J-Dubb's Theatre to be a part of it.

I received a digital camera for Christmas that year. In February of 2007, I uploaded a welcome video to my new, J-Dubb's Theatre YouTube channel, where I recreated the scene in the banner of my blog, with the pipe and the book.

 I proceeded to upload a new video once a week, most of which were video responses to other YouTubers. Only, instead of just talking in front of a webcam, I made my responses "J-Dubb's Theatre style" which would involve a sketch comedy act. At this point, J-Dubb's Theatre was all about blogging and videos.

In the Summer, I started a series called, "The Network". This began with a fan fiction video. There was a series on Youtube called "Lonelygirl15", about a vlogger and her friends as they tried to evade a secret society called "The Order". The series was filmed as if these were real vloggers, telling the stories from their webcams. Fans of the series often made fan fiction videos. So I decided to do my own, where I get abducted by The Order. After this, I uploaded posts to my blog from the point of view of a member of the resistance, who was searching for me. After that, however, I decided to expand outside of the LG15 series, into a "bigger picture", where a secret society which runs the television networks is taking over YouTube through some sort of supernatural means, with the help of an ethereal network executive. I ended the series by posting the videos which detail my escape, and defeat of The Executive. This was also the first video to include the J-Dubb's Theatre theme tune.

In 2008, I went through some changes. I decided it was time to start thinking of myself in terms of a successful professional, rather than a young collegian type. I changed my hair and began dressing differently. I would still tune in to KUFO, on occasion, and listen to the Marconi Show. But during this time, I decided that I had outgrown a 40-something shock-jock who acts like a frat-boy. I decided to unlink from the KUFO website.

After another year's worth of videos, at the end of the Summer, I decided to continue The Network, in a series of more cinematic videos than my usual content of the time. In this series, The Executive from the previous series, named Belphegor, had taken on my form and taken over my life, and was recruiting for a new Network. This was supposed to be an interactive series to promote my channel, where Belphegor would post video responses and attempt to recruit other Youtubers. Due to high demands with school and an internship, however, it didn't pan out this way, and just became a series of videos.

In 2009, I started to become a little disenchanted with YouTube. Things were different since Google had taken over. YouTube had become less about community, and more about trying to "be a star".My interest in YouTube began to wane...


Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Anniversary part 1: The Beginning

In 2005, I was using the GI Bill to study Psychology, while working security at a call center for GM. I had plans to earn a PHD. My dream was to explore the potential of the human mental faculties. I was partially inspired by the concepts of the Mentats and the Bene Gessserit of Frank Herbert's Dune series, as well as the Buddhist monks and Yogi mystics in real life. I was intrigued by the idea that there was more to human consciousness than we were living up to.

Working security, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio. I was a younger and more macho acting me, who liked to listen to hard rock. So I gravitated between the stations, 94.7 NRK, and 101 KUFO. It didn't matter that I was in the lobby of a business; I didn't really have any sense of a civilian professional mentality at that time. As soon as I sat down, I would change the lobby radio from the family friendly K103 to one of these two rock stations. Somehow, I got away with this. It probably helped that I worked swing shift.

 Feel free to laugh at how serious I look amidst everyone else.

There was a DJ on KUFO who had a show called, "The Tim Savage Experience", which I loved listening to. So, I began listening exclusively to KUFO, so that I could catch Tim Savage. I enjoyed his snarky persona. I began listening to the entire KUFO lineup.  I would catch the end of the "Cort and Boomer Show", which later became, "The Cort and Fatboy Show." And a new show was added to the main timeslot, pushing Tim Savage later into the evening: the "Marconi Show." Marconi was an immature, wannabe shock-jock, with a frat-boy mentality, and I enjoyed it. Like I said: younger me.

On OCT. 11 2005, I logged on to Blogger, and started this very blog, which I titled...   "J-Dubb's Blog". "J-Dubb" was one of my nicknames in the Air Force. By 2005, I had been using it as a screen name for a forum that I frequented as well as a login name for different sites. So "J-Dubb" had pretty much become my online moniker. My first post was titled, Happy Anniversary. So, if you click that link, you will see the first thing ever done in the history of J-Dubb's Theatre. I couldn't decide what to focus on, so I just  made it a blog about everything.

I tried to emulate the blunt, snarky tone of Tim Savage in my blog. As I wrote, I heard his voice in my head. I linked my blog to the KUFO website. I liked to think of myself as an unofficial affiliate of KUFO.

A few days later, I decided to retitle my blog, "J-Dubb's Theatre." It was basically an ironic thing. As the style of my blog, at the time, was "anti-sophistication," I named it, J-Dubb's Theatre as a play off the title, "Masterpiece Theatre."

At the end of the year, I quit my security job so that I could concentrate on school full time. I lived off of the GI Bill, and learned what it was to be a broke college student. At this point, the blogging began to dwindle. For the first half of 2006, I blogged about once a month. I've mentioned in some of my "Fall-lamenting" videos about how J-Dubb's Theatre tends to dwindle towards the end of the year and pick back up during the Summer. This was the beginning of that trend.

In the Summer, I began blogging again, full-swing. I kicked things off by designing a new banner for my blog. I took the Masterpiece Theatre logo, and Photoshopped it to say "J-Dubb's Theatre". I took a picture of myself, smoking a pipe and reading a leatherbound copy of "The Illyad and the Odyssey", and Photoshopped that picture into a den. This was the beginning of the J-Dubb's Theatre pipe. I had no idea that this pipe would one day be famous, and even appear in an episode of "Leverage". Later on, I changed the little arrow thingies on the titles of my blog posts, into a pipe logo. This logo became the "Nike Swoosh" of J-Dubb's Theatre, and can be seen on the title card of all my videos.

At the end of the Summer, I switched my major to Graphic Design. I had a couple of reasons for doing this. First off, I had been dealing with some anxiety issues, which caused me to have to drop my Summer classes when it was too late to officially drop them. They were requirements for the course, and the GI Bill wouldn't finance me to take them again, so I had to do something different. The other thing, was, I noticed that a lot of my time was being devoted to designing things on the computer: for J-Dubb's Theatre, and otherwise. In fact, I had a lot of fun designing this whole elaborate thing for my final project in my Algebra class. So I decided to make this my pursuit.

Then, for Christmas that year, I got a digital camera...


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Somebody expected something that you might expect them to expect. What happened next, changed the way the post office is run and made this statue of Lenin cry milk.

"I expected something," said Lane MacLane of McFarlane county, "I mean, that's what people normally do in these sorts of situations; expect things, right?"

Lane is a typical clothes-wearing person, who speaks with the dialect of a particular region. At first glance, you wouldn't expect Lane to expect things that aren't typical for people to expect in response to a particular situation. Well, they say you can't judge a book by its cover. But in this case, you can. Lane's expectations were exactly what you would expect them to be. That is to say, the outcome which he expected from a situation was the exact outcome which you would probably be expected to expect Lane to expect.

Here is Lane's comment regarding his expectation:

In response, the Post Office has made several changes to their operating structure, as expected. Also, a bronze statue of Lenin cried milk. Nobody was expecting that.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

How to be Happy

Visit J-Dubb's Theatre on YouTube for videos that make you happy. JDubbsTheatre

Friday, December 21, 2012

Well, That's That...

This is a big day for the world. It is the last anniversary of this blog. This was a blog about everything, whether it were heady or absurd. I wrote about various categories for example: music, sports, politics, sex, spirituality, videogames, giraffes, the Snorks, the crumb sitting on the coaster in front of me right now, people with the last name: McGee, snowmen, cars, and the mysteries of life, among many other various topics that happened to pop into my head at that moment. So park'er in that desk chair you got on clearance at Office Depot and suffer through the journey of a mind which straddles the border between genius and maddness.

Ah man, do I have to end this blog? I don't want to. I remembered how much fun it was, this past week composing and writing my blog posts, like old times. Then my dad commented about how he'll miss the blog, and Peter of JolVlogs commented about how he enjoyed reading my posts. I totally thought this blog was self serving. And then I started reminiscing over my old posts.

Here's why I decided to end this blog: first, I started a new job in 2011. Adjusting to the new routine, I didn't have a lot of energy for blogging or YouTubing, so they both kind of fell a way for a little bit. But the YouTube channel came first and I picked it back up. So, October 11 last year, as I went to write the anniversary post, I didn't have a whole lot to write about. When I began this blog, it sort of revolved around my life, so reviewing the year of this blog was like reviewing a year of my life. YouTube and Facebook have absorbed a lot of that, so it just wasn't the same. And I just didn't have the energy or drive to try to come up with something.

So, that post sort of hung in limbo for a while as an unsaved draft. I didn't want to post any of my new videos or any other blog post ideas I had until I finished the anniversary post. It was an annual tradition after all. Then, after getting fired up about "going the next level" with my YouTube channel this past summer, I decided it was too much to keep up with both blogging and YouTubing. So, after over a year of nothing, I decided that this was officially a dead blog. I had toyed with the idea of doing a final post for a while.

Then, I read on Facebook about the end of the Cort and Fatboy show. I decided it would be fitting to revive the blog to write about it, seeing how I've covered their story throughout this blog. And seeing how it ended a story which seemed to be tied into this blog, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to do my final post. Then I got the brilliant idea to tie it in with the 2012 end of the Mayan calendar business.

So here is that post. It's all over now, as per Mayan prophesy. Well, it's been fun.

You know what? Screw the Mayans! They're just a bunch of dead guys/gals who used to sacrifice humans to their gods! They don't control my destiny!!

This is a big day for the world. It is another day of this blog. This is a blog about everything, whether it be heady or absurd. I will continue write about various categories for example: music, sports, politics, sex, spirituality, videogames, giraffes, the Snorks, the crumb sitting on the coaster in front of me right now, people with the last name: McGee, snowmen, cars, and the mysteries of life, among many other various topics that happen to pop into my head for the moment. So park'er in that desk chair you got on clearance at Office Depot and suffer through the journey of a mind which straddles the border between genius and maddness....
the latter being rather prevalent...

And so, I've decided after all the hype, not to end this blog. I generally try not to be one of those people who makes a lot of hype and then changes their mind, but I guess for today I am. I don't know when the next blog post will be, but sometimes it's nice to be able to compose my thoughts/ feelings/ ideas into written form and include a fitting image. And so that's how this blog will remain; available for the next time I want to post. This blog will officially end when I have a new blog... more about that later.

So, I guess the Mayans were wrong about this blog. The sun will come out tomorrow, after all. See you next time. J-Dubb out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Superstar of All Time

Ever since day two, Superstar of the Week has been one of the defining features of this blog. Superstar of the Week would come and go, dwindling down in the beginning of the year, and then picking back up in the summer. It began as a joke; I'd arbitrarily select some random person, usually a celebrity, to feature that week as the Superstar of the Week. No explanation as to why this person had been selected, no excerpts or information about this person, just a picture.

The week of the one-year anniversary of this blog, the year of the Chuck Norris facts, I decided to feature Chuck Norris as the Superstar of the Year. Every year following this, until the last two years, I would select a Superstar of the Year and write a full post on why I had selected this person.

In 2009, I decided that the old Superstar of the Week gag had run its course, and instead decided to purposefully select a Superstar of the Week, writing a full article about this person.

I posted Superstar of the Week/ Year, on Mondays. And so, for the final Monday of this blog, I have selected a Superstar of All Time. After careful consideration, I have decided to select Richard Dean Anderson.

Richard Dean Anderson represents two inspiring characters. The first of these is the well-know, Macguyver, of the 80s television show. In modern times, the term "macguyver" has come into popular use as a verb, meaning to jury-rig, or to create from scratch with limited supplies.

Macguyver represents an attitude. Lock most people up in a supply closet, and they'll sit there wishing that they had a key, a weapon, a window, that someone would rescue them, that they weren't locked in a supply closet, that they had never come on that trip in the first place. Macguyver, on the other hand, would look around and find some way to create an explosion, a makeshift key, or a non-lethal weapon, and be out of that supply closet. There's no such thing as a lock for Macguyver. There's just different types of doorknobs.

The common attitude in life, is to wish that something were different, that something would change for you. The Macguyver attitude is to recognize what you need in your surroundings and go from there.

The second character is Col. Jack O'Niell (two Ls) from Stargate SG1. What I find inspiring about Jack O'Niell can be summarized in one quote: "I don't trust anybody who doesn't have a sense of humor." In a world on the verge of blowing a gasket, always worried about something, constantly honking their horns at the "idiot drivers" who inconvenience them in traffic, there is Jack O'Niell; totally sincere yet always playful.

One of the great questions of modern society is: "does the man serve the machine or does the machine serve the man?" The common lifestyle in this society is to spend one's life serving the machine with no real purpose; not to experience joy, or serve one's fellow human. Ultimately, not even for the paycheck, but because it's what we're "supposed to do." But if you serve the corporate structure merely for the sake of the corporate structure, then what is it's purpose?

Then there are those who live with a purpose. Joy and well-being represent the purpose of life whereas despair, anxiety, and depression indicate that something isn't right, something needs aid. Instead of arbitrarily sacrificing ones joy and well-being for no real purpose, one lives for the purpose of alleviating suffering and increasing well-being. A sense of humor is like a gauge indicating whether one's attitude would serve the well-being of life, or snuff it out.

A fictional character, such as Jack O'Niell, represents a personalized set of ideals which one can choose to identify with and align with in themselves. Do I feel playful, or righteously indignant? If the latter, then something is off-kilter.

And so, as I prepare to end this blog, I feature a character who quite possibly represents the purpose of J-Dubb's Theatre. When I was younger, J-Dubb's Theatre was instrumental at a time when I was easily tempted to take myself too seriously. Well, I'm still easily tempted to take myself too seriously... but I got better.

If playing goofy characters helps me to not take myself too seriously, then maybe I can do a better job of serving the well-being of life. If that's the case, then this blog from which J-Dubb's Theatre sprang has served a purpose.

Now, stay tuned for the final blog post, December 21...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cort and Fatboy is Dead

The End of a Chapter
It's been a while since I last posted here. The post beneath this one is a video I did over a year ago featuring a short-haired me. I'm not even entirely sure how to post anymore, as the Blogger layout has completely changed. The last post I went to write was the 2011 anniversary post, following the tradition of October 11 every preceding year since the original post. I wrote the title and uploaded the fireworks images just like I did in the original blog post and every anniversary post since. But I didn't have anything to write about. This blog, once the center hub of J-Dubb's Theatre, had become nothing more than a place to embed my YouTube videos, which people were already watching on my channel and on Facebook. This blog had diminished, and YouTube had become J-Dubb's Theatre central. So, the completion of that anniversary post became a back-burner "to do list" item for awhile, until I finally gave up the ghost.

So, I found it fitting to revive this blog once more to chronicle the end of CortandFatboy, as I find this event, in a way, to be karmically intertwined with the fate of this blog.

In October of 2005, I was a young security officer working for a call center. I would pass the time by listening to 101 KUFO at my security desk. I would catch the end of the Cort and Boomer show, and then listen to the Tim Savage show. The writing in my original blog posts was inspired by the speaking style of Tim Savage. Eventually, Boomer left the Cort and Boomer show to be replaced by some guy named Fatboy. The time slots were then changed around to make room for the Marconi show, Kufo's new main event, so I didn't hear much of the Cort and Fatboy show at that time. I read a couple of Fatboy's blog posts though, and decided the guy was funny.

At the end of the year, I quit my security job to focus on school full time. In the mornings I would listen to the Adam Carolla show on Kufo, until, for whatever reason, I started listening to cds instead. At some point, I stopped listening to the Marconi show. As a grown adult wanting to be successful, I felt I had outgrown a fourty-something who still acted like a college fratboy. As I changed the J-Dubb's Theatre image from collegian to adult, I removed the Kufo link from this blog.

Some years later, I'm unsure why, I decided to tune in to Kufo. I must have been in a reminiscing mood. The Cort and Fatboy show happened to be on at the time. This was my first time really listening to their show since its inception, and I decided I was a fan. They were not douchey shock-jock fratboy wannabes like Marconi. They were funny and intelligent adults. I was delighted to learn that their show had taken over the Marconi time-slot, and Marconi was a thing of the past.

It turned out that I wasn't the only one who felt this way. They had a large fanbase of people who despised Marconi and felt refreshed by CortandFatboy's intelligent humor and discussion. Many people referred to them as the "saviors of radio" in that radio had become a poor medium for music in light of iPods and CDs, and this show was the only reason these people tuned in to the radio.  

Around that same time, still in the reminiscing mood I guess, I decided to listen to the Adam Carolla show one morning. After driving for a little bit, I realized that it wasn't Adam Carolla I was listening to. This was something different called the Rick Emerson show. This was a sophisticated, adult-oriented show. Rick Emerson was perfectly complimentary to his foil, Sarah X. Dylan. And newscaster, Tim Riley, added the perfect touch. It seemed Kufo had grown up with me.

I began following Cort and Fatboy and the Rick Emerson crew on Twitter. I learned of the many local events these guys held, including midnight movies and the "survive it and drive it" event. I began following other "Portland" related people through their retweets. It turned out these guys were a major part of the Portland community. During that time, I became less interested in YouTube and more interested in Portland media. I've lived the majority of my life in the Portland area, but never felt more connected to the Portland community than this time.

I added the Kufo link back to this blog.

Then, October 2009, as I was about to tune into the show, I saw a rumor buzzing around Twitter that Cort and Fatboy had been fired. I turned on the radio, and sure enough, they were gone. The next morning, it was confirmed that the Rick Emerson crew had also been canned. Everybody involved with Kufo up to that time had been fired and replaced by Alpha Broadcasting, the new owners of Kufo and several other Portland stations. For the next several days, the only thing the station broadcast, was a countdown in a robotic voice with intermittent "mother ship refueling." As a further slap in the face, the newly revamped station brought back the despised Marconi. I covered this incident in my post, The Day the Radio Died.

A local podcast called PDX Sucks, hosted by Portlander, Robert Wagner, left a voicemail number for people to call and leave angry voicemails about the canning of Cort and Fatboy, and played the voicemails in a podcast. I was one of those people. I also wrote a couple of definitions for Kufo on Urban Dictionary, which people seemed to enjoy.

After a few weeks of angry tweeting and blogging, the Cort and Fatboy show made a comeback in podcast form. They resumed their midnight movie showings at the Baghdad, beginning with Raising Arizona. Also, Sarah X. Dylan along with Greg Nibler, former producer of the Rick Emerson Show, began a new podcast, Funemployment Radio. Cort and Fatboy eventually moved their podcast to, a podcast network run by Robert Wagner of PDX Sucks. After a while, Rick Emerson started a show on as well.

I listened to PDX Sucks, Cort and Fatboy, and Funemployment Radio for a while, and the list began to grow. At one point, hosted a large Portland telethon. This happened uncannily simultaneous  with me posting a video about a mock fund raiser. I became irrationally concerned that people involved in the real fund raiser may have thought I was making fun of them. This is now one of many embarrassing life memories.

After a while, all the podcasts came to be too much. In the past, I could have the radio on in the background while working, and the Cort and Fatboy show would come on, and I could stop and listen. But I couldn't work while listening to a podcast. My podcast listening dwindled down to just Cort and Fatboy, and eventually,  I stopped listening to that on a regular basis, as well. In 2010, my Portland media interest diminished, and I made a comeback on YouTube.

In April of 2011, I don't remember how, but I found out that Kufo had gone off the air. After the Alpha Broadcasting revamp, ratings plummeted until the station just didn't hold up any longer. What was 101 KUFO since 1989 was replaced by talk radio. I have memories of listening to the radio in my room as a kid in the 90s and hearing the KUFO call letters. As of April 2011, that station is no more.

Around the same time, I'm unsure of the proximity or sequence, Robert Wagner sold, formerly known as He went back to being an independent blogger/ podcaster.

And now, in conclusion to the saga, the Cort and Fatboy show has ended. The final show was held live at the Baghdad Theatre. Regrettably, I wasn't able to attend because I had accepted a late shift before I knew about the show. But it's over.

And now, I have decided to follow suit and end this blog. This was chapter one of J-Dubb's Theatre. Chapter two, my YouTube channel, is going strong. But this blog has been defunct for a little over a year now. So I've decided, rather than letting it dwindle into the ether of abandoned blogs, I will give it a ceremonious ending.

And so, just as the Mayans predicted, December 21 2012 will be the end. Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Proposition for Greg Benson

A video in which Greg Benson of Mediocre Films gets a proposition from a stranger with a mustache. Watch this video to find out if it's really as bad as it sounds.

Music by Kevin MacLeod