In continuing on the tradition of there being never a dull moment on The Real Brian Show, YouTube comedian and emotional life coach JP Sears (and his creative muse) join Brian this week!
Comedy, in its classical conception, was designed as a means to relate humans as social beings rather than the privatization of some of life's most basic elements. By holding up a hypothetical mirror, and reflecting the perceptions of idiocy or awkwardness through the lens of culture, an almost healing awareness is drawn. It is incredibly fascinating to me that comedy's origins can be found in Aristotle, from whom we derive our notions of Western philosophy. From the same man who gave us writings on everything from physics to ethics to poetry, we also get an understanding of comedy dutifully representing man's below-average participation in the mundane life.
Mundane, of course, is a matter of perspective. But the brilliance of comedy is its ability to turn something mundane into a caricature. Where comedy is most effective is where it can imitate something naturally while drawing attention to the aspects of it which are ridiculous. Mundane can be quite funny; dry, sarcastic humor, for example. Many of my favorite sitcoms, including The Office, Parks & Recreation and The I.T. Crowd are all concerned with very mundane everyday life situations that are told in caricatures.
JP Sears falls into this category as well. While we wouldn't consider him, or his material, mundane, he deals with a lot of topics that are just everyday life sort of things. Embracing humor and incorporating that into his professional life has only increased his sense of worth and his ability to reach out and touch on very core, fundamental concepts in everyday life.
The conversation Brian and JP Sears have is such a great representation of the balance between humor and logic. Using humor to first expose some of the ridiculousnesses of life and culture, they follow it up with a real discussion about how some of these ridiculousnesses can actually hold us back from releasing our own superhero. From avoidance, which increases tension, to a lack of vulnerability, which increases avoidance, sometimes our lives don't have enough to diffuse the things that make it so serious and so seriously difficult.
How many times have we heard not to take ourselves too seriously? The advice celebrities give, when asked about how to make it to where they are, its always something like, "Don't take yourself too seriously!" It doesn't mean we can't take our dreams or goals seriously; it doesn't mean that we can't be ambitious or focused. Taking ourselves less seriously means being able to distinguish between what is common and what is ridiculous. It means being vulnerable about the hard things in order to let go of their domination over our psyche.
A popular song right now is Let It Go by James Bay. Other than it's catchy rhythm and great vocals, I'm drawn to the lyrics.
But now we're slipping at the edge
Holding something we don't need
All this delusion in our heads
Is gonna bring us to our knees
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me?
watch / listen
The song isn't necessarily about taking oneself less seriously, but it does have a lot to do with facing situations honestly. There comes a time when we realize that the way we've been living doesn't work anymore, and that lends significantly to what humor helps to alleviate. It helps us take an honest look at what life is like, take it a little less seriously, and deal with the problems at hand.
The movie-quoting, wrestling-calling, classic humor loving Jason Bryant joins The Real Brian this week to talk about how his passion and commitment to investing in his inner nerd led him to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Today I released an episode for Golden Spiral Media's Stuff I Learned Yesterday podcast about the idiom "pie in the sky". Jason's description of the journey that led him to being an announcer at the 2016 Olympics in Rio struck me as one of those things we think of being wonderful to contemplate while, at the same time, having it in the back of our minds that it is never going to happen. And that is basically what the idiom means: nice to think about, but unlikely to be realized. My purpose in discussing the idiom on Stuff I Learned Yesterday is to draw out the fact that by using idioms like pie in the sky in order to express our feelings about something, we limit ourselves from going after what we truly want.
Here at The Real Brian Show, we're all about going after what you want in spite of the odds. If your vocabulary is riddled with negative words, stop and take a hard look at your situation! What is it you really want? What obstacles stand in your way of obtaining it? How can those obstacles be broken down so that this "nice to think about" achievement can become a reality? Whatever your inner nerd is going crazy over, don't be afraid to see where that passion may lead.
In this episode of The Real Brian Show, we make it very clear that we won't discriminate one what anyone can nerd out about. Jason is all about wrestling and goes to great lengths to hone his craft. Recently he's developed a database where he can store stats and query it for information few other announcers have. In doing so, he sets himself apart from the crowd while also satisfying a curiosity he has for all things wrestling.
Jason's pursuit of his passion and unashamed commitment to nerd out about wrestling has opened the door to some incredible opportunities. Some of the opportunities are unexpected, but Jason never lifts his foot off the accelerator! It's such great fun to hear about his love for wrestling, the confidence it provides him, and how finding this niche gives him total freedom to embrace his inner nerd.
In April of 2016, Jason was presented with the Ed Aliverti Golden Microphone Award. The award is "given annually to honor a public address announcer who has excelled in the craft and made a major positive impact on the wrestling community."
Happy Superhero Friday! What makes a Friday "Superhero Friday"? The short answer is that, honestly, we don't really need a reason. The long answer will be discovered by listening to this first installment of The Real Brian Show's Friday edition. Tune in for more information!
Far be it from Brian to utilize an episode title that actually has something to do with what he's talking about, right? When thinking up naming conventions, for just about anything other than something programming-related, I'm always intrigued by what ultimately ends up becoming such an iconic part of that entity's identity. Friends and the convention of "The One With..." or "The One Where..."; One Tree Hill used song lyrics or song titles; The Blacklist uses the names of the individual on the Most Wanted List that Red Reddington wants the FBI to hunt down that week.
It's not just TV shows. Podcasts do it, too! RadioLab usually makes a pun out of the episode's main topic. The Golden Spiral Media podcast for Under the Dome used fake newspaper headlines (the podcast was much better than the show). The Nerdist keeps it real simple and just puts the name of the person they're chatting with in that episode as the title. But to each his own! Episode titles need to be unique to the show they represent and, if nothing else, we here at The Real Brian Show will swear to you that our episode titles will be unique. I may have even helped formulate some...
Superhero Fridays, we hope, will largely be utilized to celebrate Superhero moments. This world is so filled with negativity and the nay-sayer attitude that it felt necessary for someone to produce a podcast centered around the intrinsic opposite of that force. In these Superhero Friday installments, you won't just get a healthy dose of positivity, you'll hear about how Brian and others are enjoying life and then be encouraged to do the same. From entertainment to coffee to interesting experiences out in the real world, we hope to provide you with a well-rounded ride into the world of positivity.
Most importantly, in order to provide that well-rounded ride, we need your input. We want to know what you've seen and experienced that has impacted you. How have you seen people unleash their superhero? How have you unleashed your superhero? We are so eager to celebrate those individuals who want to make the world a better place by feeding into it, not just draining it for all it's worth. If you have an experience to share, please record an audio clip or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've all got a nerd inside us... eager to let loose. This is a safe space! No matter what is at the center of your nerdy heart, we accept you because you are you. We promise not to discriminate about your nerdy passions and, as such, ask that you show the same courtesy to us and to those who contribute! Both Brian and I are all for healthy, constructive discussions, so when you engage with us, please keep it respectful and we will do the same.
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In this installment of The Real Brian Show, we’re pleased to present an interview with actress Amy Gumenick! To learn more about Amy's roles, please check out her IMDb page!
This week’s interview with the lovely and talented Amy Gumenick will have your mouth watering from beginning to end. While the conversation starts off about sugar, and what really makes Brian's and Amy's sweet tooth ache, it develops from there and we uncover another truly remarkable gem in the sea of Hollywood actors.
I love conversations around how people approach their craft. Whether it’s discussing approaches to development with a fellow programmer, or the writing process with a fellow writer, or listening to my grandpa tell stories about how he dealt with projects while he was in the lathing trade, hearing someone talk about their passion bridges a lot of gaps between what we don’t know and what we assume we know. Few of us know, truly, what the life of an actor is like, but we can assume much. Listening to Amy describe her approach and how she uses the resources around her in order to inform the roles she lands is very illuminating.
One of the points she makes is something I think is applicable in many walks of life, at least one that I am going to consider utilizing. Amy says that when she lands a role, she spends time journaling about the character, filling in that character’s backstory and thinking through personality traits or mannerisms. Then, when she goes to work, she sets that journal aside with this background information established, but opens herself to the direction and input of the directors and writers.
I’m not an actor, as many of you may know. I’m an application developer and a writer. It might not seem immediately obvious as to how I can implement Amy’s approach, since it’s very relevant to how to embody another personality and take direction after developing that backstory, but I think it is very similar to how many companies approach goal-setting. When your manager or boss has you sit down and forecast goals, there’s an intentionality around that practice that draws awareness to the position you hold, how you are able to make meaningful contributions to the company, all while simultaneously pursuing the tasks that will bring you the most satisfaction.
Based on the conversation Amy has with Brian in this episode, the threefold outcome of goal setting truly seems to be how she approaches all walks of life. From surrounding herself with people who will remind her of who she is and why she’s doing what she’s doing (instead of drawing her deeper into the culture that corrupts good intentions) to working with kids in order to draw out the vivid imagination in others which she never let go of herself as a kid, Amy is a nicely well-rounded and well-adjusted actress.
In addition to being well-rounded, though, Amy fits very nicely into the nerd world. She describes growing up with a wild imagination that would create elaborate worlds with all sorts of characters, becoming so corporeal in her mind that she even now reflects on those stories and characters and wonders about them. Most “creators” (i.e. artists, writers, the like) know exactly where she’s coming from. I get to know the characters in my stories so well that sometimes I think about them like they are real. It’s a great problem to have! (As long as we can draw the line, right?)
A huge thank you to Amy for coming to chat on the show! Please, please check out her work and send your own thank-you on Twitter or Facebook (all links are below). Remember, getting a chance to chat with folks like Amy is increased every time you share the show and spread The Real Brian Show love!
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In the first interview from The Real Brian Show, we're excited to present an interview with Garrett Wang and Megan Elise!
- Working on the set of Star Trek: Voyager
- Exerting superiority can limit opportunities for others
- Relationship advice
- What do Garrett and Megan geek out over?
- Garrett and Megan talk about their inner superheroes
- Disarming others with your own personal brand of superhero
- Negative reactions have a negative effect
- How we're treated dictates how we act
- Encouragement from Garrett and Megan
- The counseling side of bullying
What better way to start off the interviews featured on The Real Brian Show than with Garrett Wang (Star Trek: Voyager) and Megan Elise! Since the day Brian met Garrett Wang at DragonCon, all I’ve heard from him is how awesome Garrett is and how down to earth Garrett is. So it is very appropriate that we kick off interviews with an actor from Brian’s favorite show (Star Trek) and an actor that embodies some of the rarest characteristics in Hollywood.
When asked, Garrett will tell you that he left Hollywood many years ago. But he’s far from left the public eye, and that is definitely to our benefit. Getting to tap his memory bank for some history and behind the scenes on Star Trek, with raw and unfiltered expositions on working with the cast and crew of the show, is something we don’t hear very often. He’s not shy about telling things the way they are, and how so much of Hollywood is dictated by behavior.
For example, we have all experienced a situation in which we were prevented from doing something we either thought we had a particular expertise in or merely had an interest in attempting because the person (or people) in charge of a project asserted their own superiority. Whether this superiority is legitimate or self-perceived is beside the point; projecting this superiority on others limits opportunity. It’s often a power play designed to maintain control, so that they do not cede any ground over which they might have expertise.
This projection of superiority has two negative side effects, one to the person projecting it and the other to the person being projected upon. When we treat others as superior, it reaffirms their own notion of superiority and feeds this behavior. It spreads, then, almost like wildfire, in its ability to consume everyone in its path.
The real and candid conversation Brian, Garrett and Megan have about this detrimental attitude both brings awareness to angles of it that aren’t really talked about, anywhere, and also dives into how we can actively counteract the behavior. One such methodology is, to paraphrase, disarming others with your own personal brand of superhero. How we are treated dictates how we act. Negative treatment produces a negative response; but negativity is a cyclical problem whose cycle can be broken!
It can be difficult to be the positive force in the midst of a sea of negativity. Personally, I resort to silence, instead of either a positive or negative reaction. While my null reaction, though, does not necessarily exacerbate negativity (it sure can, however), neither does it diffuse negativity. I am challenged to rise above my passive aggressive response and find something characteristic of me in order to be a positive force against negativity.
A huge thank-you to Garrett and Megan for their time! And for being awesome, proud geeks! Please be sure to give them a shout out on Twitter (links below) and thank them for being on the Real Brian Show.
If you enjoyed this episode of The Real Brian Show, we would be so encouraged by your willingness to share the show. Whether it’s by word of mouth to a friend, a post on Facebook or a tweet, the way we can best grow this show and talk to more and more people is by getting exposure from people like you.
Want to help Brian keep the mic on? Support the Real Brian Show on Patreon!