Saturday, December 31, 2016

2006 to 2016

 2016 is now coming to an end. But, instead of reflecting on the past year, I'm going to reflect on where I was 10 years ago. 2006 was a formative year for J-Dubb'sTheatre. I would often browse through blogs. Many times, I would come across blogs which had been started, had a good run for about a week, or maybe a few months, only to be abandoned by the author, and hang in limbo forever, as the author went about their lives forgetting that they had once started a blog. Then, I would find blogs which had been active for years. 2006 is the year that made the difference between J-Dubbs Theatre dying and hanging in limbo, or living on to grow into a video series which would gain an audience and make new friends and acquaintances for myself.

In October of 2005, I began this blog. All I knew was that I wanted a website, either to talk about self improvement, spirituality, or just humor and entertainment. I ended up starting a blog on blogger. When I began, I wrote snarky humor in the tone of a DJ named Tim Savage.  I also included weekly pictures of arbitrary famous people and animals as the "Superstar of the Week" and "Animal of the Week" just as a random humor bit.

I had fun blogging almost daily in the first month. But then, the blog dwindled. Into the next year, I stopped doing Superstar of the Week, and for the most part, the only reason the blog was used, was for updates on a web comic I was publishing. By April, I had stopped posting all together. That was the point where the blog almost died and became a limbo blog. But, I didn't want it to become a limbo blog.

In July, I did something which would shape the face of J-Dubb's Theatre from then on out. "J-Dubb's Theatre" was sort of an ironic name. It was a parody of sophistication when, in the beginning, it was more about collegian level humor. I took the joke the next step. I made a "sophisticated" image of myself, with a pipe and a leather-bound book. I Photoshopped the picture of myself into a leather chair, which I then Photoshopped into a room with a fireplace. I then edited the "Masterpiece Theatre" logo, to say "J-Dubb's Theatre". I turned this into a banner for the header of the blog. I uploaded a post discussing the new banner. It's because of this banner that I eventually made a pipe logo for the blog. It's because of the pipe logo that my videos begin and end with a pipe. At this moment, J-Dubb's Theatre began to take a recognizable shape.

 After this, J-Dubb's Theatre gained a second wind. I began posting regularly again. At this point, it had a slightly different feel than it did in the beginning. I was no longer trying to emulate Tim Savage. Nor, did I see my content as anti-sophistication humor. I had fun writing posts, some of which were written in a list of images format, which Buzzfeed totally copied from me. I also brought back Superstar of the Week, and created "J-Dubb's Moral of the Week". It was this year in which I developed the tone of this blog.

It was also this year in which I became acquainted with YouTube. I was introduced to The WineKone, Barats and Beretta, and Smosh. Eventually, I began toying with the idea of expanding J-Dubb's Theatre into a video series.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dawson Creek Park

Since last year, I've been reflecting a lot on "what was I doing ten years ago." While looking at old blog posts from 2006, on this old blog which I use about once a year, anymore, something occurred to me. As of this past August, it's been ten years since I first visited Dawson Creek Park. Over the years, it's a place where I have gone frequently to walk, or reflect, and a majority of my photography has come from there. I have a lot of history with that park.

When I first moved into the area, I would drive by this park on the way to work. I had heard it was a wetlands area, and had walking trails. The little bit I could see from the road looked nice. I had always meant to stop there sometime, and look around. The apartment I lived in previously, had a nice lake area behind it, with a walking path. This lake, like Dawson Creek, also served as a habitat to migrating Canada Geese. (I just found out a few months ago that the lake has been totally destroyed. But that's another story.) I thought Dawson Creek could make a nice replacement for that lake. It took a couple years for me to finally do it, though.

 There was a vacant building next to the park. My dad used to muse that he would like to live in it. After a while, however, his dreams were shattered, when it became the Hillsboro Public Library.

In 2006, I was taking Summer classes, and experiencing a lot of anxiety. A couple of times, I had begun to drive to my Statistics class, when the anxiety would build up. So I ended up detouring, and taking a drive, rather than going to class. One day, amidst one of these drives, I decided to finally visit Dawson Creek. Seeing it for the first time, I thought it was the most beautiful thing. There were lakes surrounded by reeds, and teeming with water foul. There were walkways lined with trees, and wooden footbridges, and tunnels. There was a marshy area, covered with lily pads, and a fountain area behind the building that would become the library. Dawson Creek became a regular place for me to go to unwind, or clear my head.

Shortly after, I brought this little "spy cam" to the park, which I had ordered from a Jonson and Smith novelty magazine for five dollars. It was my first digital camera, a tiny thing, with a little viewfinder, which also functioned as my first webcam. I took my first pictures of this park. Anyone who follows me on Facebook today, knows that this is my most common place to take pictures now.

 In 2007, I began uploading videos to my YouTube channel. This park became a common place for me to film outdoor scenes.

In 2008, I took pictures at Dawson Creek with a camera phone for the first time. My friend, Jon, had been given an iPhone, whose phone function was broken, but it still had internet access, and he was still able to text images. He enjoyed taking pictures with it and sending them to his friends. Around that time, I upgraded from a flip phone with a pullout antenna, to a new slider phone. This was my first phone with a camera, and so I joined Jon, and began taking pictures and texting them. One day, as I was taking a walk around the park, I decided to text pictures of my walk. This began a tradition of taking pictures on my phone while at the park.

One of these pictures became a scene, which I have taken a picture of once a month for the past eight years. At the end of each year, I make a slideshow.

After finishing school, I freelanced as a web designer for a couple years while looking for a full time job. Dawson Creek became a place to go, just to have a place to go, and get out of the house during the day. Sometimes I would  go in the mornings, when the park was inhabited by cheerful retired people who would greet passersby, and stay at home moms pushing strollers. Or, I would go later, when people were starting to get off work, and would look at you funny if you tried to greet them like the morning crowd. I typically avoided lunch time, because the place where I liked to park was often full during that time. When it rained, the park was braved by just a few slicker-wearing people.

There have been changes over the span of the decade. Trees have been taken down, or knocked down by storms. Small trees have grown larger. And new trees have been planted. The fauna has changed, for instance, there was a pair of African geese in 2008, that had appeared there, lived there for a while, and then disappeared. And now, there's a muscovy who appears every now and then.

In 2008, one day, I noticed that all the foot bridges were fenced up. After months, towards the end of the year, work crews finally came out to tear down the old bridges and build up new ones. When the new bridges seemed to be finished, there was a snow storm. This seemed to delay whatever the final finishing of the bridges actually was, before opening them up. I couldn't find any information on what was going on with the bridges. I took some pictures to blog about it, but before I could write the post, the fences were suddenly down.

The old bridges had metal railings, but the new one's have wood railings.

Now, the "new" bridges are aged and graying.

In 2012, I posted pictures from Dawson Creek to Instagram for the first time.

In the beginning of 2014, I began taking Spenser there for walks.

One day in 2014, I was walking across a footbridge, which had a tunnel of trees surrounding it. A large branch cracked and fell in front of my face.

Shortly after, the tree which provided the majority of the tunnel effect was taken down. Now, it's more of a tree arch.

It was kind of disappointing to lose the tree-covered bridge effect.

 Now Days, I enjoy going there with Chau-Anh. Over the years, I've rarely ever gone there with someone else; only a few times. It was sort of, my personal time. It was a time to reflect on things. Now, I enjoy bringing her into something which has been a personal part of my life throughout the last ten years.

To visit my Instagram page, go to

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

You've Been Doing Things The Wrong Way, And It May Result In Eye Irritation Or Something

According to the scientists, the way people do things is the wrong way to do things, and could hypothetically be disastrous. So, I have written this article to help you to stop doing things wrong, so that you don't end up accidentally killing an octopus, or other potential disasters.

1. Back Scratchers

When using a back scratcher, make sure you scratch in an up and down, side to side, diagonal, or circular motion. Simply tapping the itch with the back scratcher won't help the itch. 

2. Eating Things

When eating things, make sure you first: take a bite, then chew, then swallow, in that order. Attempting to eat in any other order won't really do anything.

3. Listening to the Radio

If you've been jumping up and down on your radio, as you would a trampoline, you've actually been misusing it. This may actually damage your radio. The proper function of a radio is to emit audio signals. The proper way to listen to a radio, is to turn it on and allow it to play the audio, while your ears receive the audio signals.

4. Fencing

Everybody fences, yet almost nobody does it properly. Make sure, when fencing, that you don't change a lightbulb, mow the lawn, groom your cuticles, or go for a boat ride, or your opponent will win the match.

5. Sleeping

Often times, when sleeping, people will place their shoes on the floor. You will actually take in fewer calories if you hang them on the wall, instead.

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...