There Is Nothing New Under The Sun

Same Ol' Same Ol'

Stormtrooper, Star Wars, Lego, Storm, Trooper, Parade

Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.

 

It's A Whole Different Batch Of Same

Stormtrooper, Star Wars, Lego, Storm, Trooper, Parade

Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.

 

What does it take to be different in this world today?  I am going to go with "being a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest,"  Because whenever I think of different, I think of one-legged men.  But I am sure you do the same.

But take Hollywood, for example.  I have long ago renounced hope that Hollywood will provide me any kind of scintillating newness, or in any manner lead me to an enriched meaning of life.  And The National Enquirer, while once a reputable news source...*cue incredulous laughter*

For me, the line in the sand came the moment they remade Beaches.  I just knew it was all over.  I love Beaches.  I am not crying.  You are crying.  You do not mess with my Bette.  Sacrilege!  And they did it time and time again. Here is a list of movies, spinoffs, reboots and rehashes that Hollywood has shamelessly remade in a belligerent attempt to mess with my personal childhood and extract more gold from the mine of cash cows and easy money.

Movies:

TV Shows:

I am positive this list is in some grandiose way abridged. And it will continue to grow: it will only be a matter of time before they remake The Greatest American Hero, at which point I will be leaving for Jupiter because NO.

Seriously - the Hollywood powers that be have not made much effort to churn out much new material over the past few decades, because they have instead banked heavily on cash cows rather than risk.  Some movies are heavily bloated embellishments of a much simpler story in order to extract as much coin from us as possible.  I am looking at you, Peter Jackson and The Hobbit Trilogy with your sick, twisted sacrilege of Dwarf-Elf romance.

 

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

 

What dark sorcery is this?  (I am not talking about Ecclesiastes, which is from The Bible and which is not reported to be a book on dark sorcery.)  Ultimately, creativity has fallen by the wayside in favor of safe bets, bankable trilogies and comic book blather.  Now, I appreciate being caught in a good Spider-Man web just like the rest of you.  But that is exactly my point.  In the forthcoming Spider-Man installment, which is a multi-verse adaptation, we now know that previous actors who portrayed villains have reenlisted to reprise their roles.  And there are even rumors of all three Spider-Man actors appearing in the same movie: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland.  Together.  All of them.  Together.  Spider-MAN that's a lot of arachnid-people sauntering around!  Sounds like a sticky situation: I am not confident they will sling me to the theater, though it wield such immense star power.  Far too many men in revealing Spandex for my tastes.  But there goes Hollywood, retreading un-carefully, yet again.

Heck, they are even resurrecting The Matrix.  For now, I will take the yellow pill and put a kibosh on all this recycling.  At least until they decide to fuse The Matrix with Beaches, and have Bette Midler kill everyone with a flying crane kick set to Wind Beneath My Wings.  We vote with our wallet, no?  I would rather watch the original Matrix, except of course The Matrix Revolutions, which made me wonder for two hours and nine minutes what I did that was so wrong.

Granted, the geek in me screamed for joy in the theater when the preview for the first Transformers movie appeared.  But since that time, Michael Bay has destroyed everything: all cities, all robots, all things, people, everything, the universe, God, everything everywhere.  That seems to always be how it ends with these robotic reboots: destruction.

 

The Difference Is In Our Sameness

Stormtrooper, Bohemian, Rhapsody, Queen, Lego, Star

Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.

 

Look around you and you will see that we are all human.  Except for that one guy wearing the bra on his head; he is from Uranus.  *cue junior highers everywhere snickering*  Everyone else, though, is human.  We are all essentially the same, and we all put our pants on the same way.  Except for bra-head-guy of course.

  • We celebrate birthdays
  • We hug our moms
  • We take vacations
  • We need to get our beauty sleep
  • We love our dogs or cats.  Or our ant colony.
  • We appreciate a good movie
  • We get a little tipsy around glass #3
  • We gather around the dinner table
  • We open gifts during the holidays
  • We have bacteria crawling all over us because we are inherently revolting

We truly are all the same.  Yet, within the similarity spectrum, there are branching arteries of deviation.  Some of us are creatives; others for whatever ridiculous reason enjoy trigonometry.  Some of us are altruistic to a fault; others penny-pinch out of IDD (impending disaster dread; aka anxiety).  Some of us are gifted in engineering; others prefer chaos.  Those of us who are of higher intellect enjoy the opera; all other sub-creatures listen to Michael Bolton.

Same, but different.

sadstormtrooper

Bra-head-guy over there likes his spaghetti with crushed Oreos in it.  Joe Smith way up in the stands likes to eat his pizza with anchovies.  Jane Doe across from him would not touch anchovies with a 10-meter cattle prod.

I am an easygoing guy.  I can roll with the punches.  (Please use kid gloves and promise to shadowbox.)  "Reboot away, Hollywood!" I will cry.  As I mentioned in last week's blogthe only constant is change.  It is truly the truest truth.

But when "same" is marketed as "change", "new" or "fresh", I think we are every one of us smart enough to see through the ruse, and detect when a charlatan is offering us oceanfront property in Utah.

Except for bra-head-guy of course.

 

Strike a Pose

Lego, Stormtroopers, Toys

Used by permission from RhodaB via Pixabay

 

"Vague, Vague...let your potty move to the tooting."  My favorite song by Moderna!

I jest. It's actually "Vogue. Vogue. Let your body move to the music" by Madonna.  A great song.  One of the refrains repeated over and over again is "Strike a pose."  And that is my question to you, O Distinguished Voice Talent.  A question that comes from within a statement.  A Questatement.

What pose will you strike?

When the music stops, and we are all frozen in time, what will your pose be?  I remember in Dead Poets Society - which, mercifully, has not been remade - the late Robin Williams' character Professor Keating, O Captain My Captain, encouraged his students to sound their barbaric yawp...and then to find their own stride.  In the courtyard of the school, boys could be seen strutting with a signature style that was uniquely theirs.  It was an exercise demonstrating the dangers of conformity.

Are you conforming?  Are you trying to sound like Don Lafontaine or Sam ElliottScarlett Johansson or Russi Taylor?  Are all your reads peppered with soundalike imitation, devoid of uniqueness?

 

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

- Oscar Wilde

 

Are you a reboot?  A bloated embellishment of a much simpler story?

stormtrooperpaintball

We all compare ourselves to others.  I even inadvertently compare my children to each other sometimes.  It is not fair: yet it is an easy trap to fall into.  But to quote my colleague Jeffrey Baker in his latest blog: "The Comparison Trap is only a trap if you don't have an escape plan ready to go."  Brilliant.  I will be stealing this and making bumper stickers.

While the context of his blog is admittedly different, the base truth is the same: if you are comparing yourself to others, what do you gain by that?  If you are seeking to draw inspiration from them, to replicate them, and thus improve your own signature style based on their model, fine.  However, if you are seeking only to reproduce it exactly, you are resorting to nothing more than a cookie cutter wanna-be.  A carbon copy.  A cheap imitation. Do not do that. Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.

Be new.  Be fresh.  That is what will get you cast.  No one wants more of the same different.  They want the different same.  Chew on that for a while.

 

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

- Lao-Tzu

What pose will you strike?  How will you differentiate yourself in voiceovers?  What is your escape plan?

For goodness' sake, please take the bra off of your head.

Now, let us address something.  Why, you ask, did I pepper my blog with imagery of Stormtroopers?  Easy. They are all the same.  They all sound the same.  They are, in fact, clones.  And they are lousy shots who do not hit their targets.

Do you get it now?  Time to stand out, my friends.

Star Wars, Lego, Stormtrooper, White, Toy, Evil

Used by permission from GlauchauCity via Pixabay

 

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19 thoughts on “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun”

    1. I must admit, after I posted this I watched the trailer a few more times and I confess that one hair on my arm did in fact raise. But then I remembered Hailey Joel Osment saying, “when the little hairs on your arms raise…..that’s them.” And so I still decided on the yellow pill.

  1. I’m so uniquely busy that in my being busy uniquely, I, different from others, failed to *(correction, achieved a miss) that there is a new Matrix movie coming out. Will they be coming out? I don’t know, everything is so woke these days, you never know, LOL.

    I do compare, but never to copy – only to learn. Think of a neural network. They are given samples of before and after and they learn how to apply that to a new work never seen or handled. That’s what I like to do – learn from others what works and apply that without being a copy. HOWEVER, I would LOVE to be able to do good impressions and accents! 😀 That’s the only exception!
    I’m getting to that British accent little by little, but it’s still eeck! hahaha.

    Stay with the yellow pill, lol.

  2. Three thoughts. 1.) I miss Greatest American Hero.
    2.) If there is indeed nothing new under the sun, are we fooling ourselves to think we are unique?
    3.) “They want the different same.” I love this. The most succinct expression of what most casting people are looking for. The same voice or delivery as X commercial or Y video. If you can match their idea, you get shortlisted. If you can match their idea, but put a unique edge on it… you have a better chance of booking it.

    1. 1. More things need to include Connie Sellecca.
      2. That in and of itself constitutes a unique thought, so…no.
      3. You heard that maxim here first, folks. ” ‘They want the different same’, as originally patented by Joshua Alexander, the unique Connie Sellecca-loving VO.”

    1. Ok, I am over that shock. Although I am not over the way that movie reviewer you linked to clearly does not understand the beauty and importance and gosh-darn emotional deliciousness of the original Beaches.

      I had the soundtrack on cassette tape. That is my final word on the subject.

      Anyhoo. Throughout my life I have tried and tried and TRIED to be like other people. It has never worked and I think I’ve finally given it up. Thank goodness.

  3. Is there a support group for people who haven’t watched movies that they ought to? “Hi, my name is Theresa, and I’ve never seen Beaches or The Matrix.” 😬

    I’ve never tried to sound like/look like/be like anyone else (well, I try to be like Jesus and Buddha but I digress…) I did dye my hair entirely blonde once (which felt like red hot chili peppers on my head–actual chili peppers, not the band, the latter of which might actually feel kind of cool on my head vs. the blistering sensation of 2,200,000 Scoville units of Carolina-Reaper-like peroxide) and looked a lot like Madonna. Out in the parking lot as I left the salon, someone actually started singing “Material Girl!” I also dressed up as a fairly convincing Madonna at an 80s dance party about 15 years ago. But, in my defense, I also shaved my whole head just BEFORE Sinead did, so there’s that.

    I’ve added Beaches to my must-watch list of movies, and might have to add The Matrix too!

    1. Hiiiiiii Theresa….you are welcome here! Recite the 12 steps with us:

      1) I will watch Beaches and The Matrix while blonde or not blonde.
      2) I will never drink peroxide
      3) I will only drink peroxide if….pause….no! I will never drink peroxide
      4) I promise to stop dressing up as Madonna
      5) I will learn more about 80’s movies
      6) I promise to continue to leave fun comments on blogs while blonde or not blonde
      7) it’s step #7 and I have STILL not watched The Matrix. But I will. Just let me die my hair first.
      8) this is Step 8.
      9) is the answer I will give when asked how many Brady Bunch squares were there on the screen
      10) I am popping in my Matrix VHS as we speak
      11) I vow to update my technology to DVD soon and stop watching VHS
      12) I shall do all of this while singing, after having shaven my head, “nothing compares….noTHING compares…to Bette….”

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