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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 53: ‘Deja Vu’

October 4, 2018

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Back when I did the Big Words Radio podcast, many references were made to the ‘Big Words Poltergeist’.  It was the big bad wolf I could blame for mistakes, mistapings, lost audio material, etc.  Well, you could say that the Big Words Poltergeist struck again last month and it struck more than once.  Or you could just chalk it up to bad luck, or a series of unfortunate events.  During the sound check, my producer accidently did not hit record for the show taping.  I wish I could say it was the first time it’s happened (see also: ‘Mulligan’, my Season 2 episode with Public Editor Geoff Kelly).  Regardless, it’s a testament to guest Shawn Essler and perennial co-host Jason John Beebe’s professionalism that, when we were informed, their knee-jerk response (without a beat or any hesitation) was: Let’s shoot it again.  So we did.  The exact same episode remixed with some questions I didn’t ask the first time and some different responses with a little more foresight.

Was the first taping better or was the second better because we all knew each other better?  You will never know.  And to top things off, all of the outtake publicity photos were purged.  In the aftermath, I thought the entire situation was a shit show.  But you move on and look at the end result.  Shit happens.  Watch it yourself:

Thanks are in order to director, writer and producer Shawn Essler for trekking out from Rochester and going into overtime with us, and to Jason John Beebe as well for becoming a truly solid co-host who made the show better by being a part of it.  I should also thank Richard Wicka for the four years of the podcast that he recorded perfectly, and the five years of this video show that he’s endured with a near-perfect batting average.  So that’s about all I have to say about this one.  I hope the episode was entertaining because it was hell on me to go through it.

#BigWordsVideo shall return,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 52: ‘Luminosity’

September 6, 2018

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The nice thing about having a room full of comedians is that I don’t need to be funny.  I’m not even sure if I was on this episode, but Guest Don Johnson and returning Co Host Jesse Winterhalter Jr. brought their A game.  Between the two, they’ve been entertaining Buffalo audiences no less than three times a week for no less than two years at their open mics, featured gigs, headlining gigs, special engagements, and so on and so forth.  The sense I got researching Don Johnson as well as talking to him is that he’s not only a comedian, he’s also one of the biggest boosters for the scene around.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Don, Jesse and of course to producer Richard Wicka for tying a bow around it.  These are two guys to keep an eye on because they keep getting better and they’re not going anywhere.  Here’s the part where I ask you to SUBSCRIBE to the show.  So do that.

The show goes on,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 51: ‘Intelligentsia’

August 14, 2018

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This episode marks the ten year anniversary (give or take a few days) that a) I walked into producer Richard Wicka’s Home Of The Future for the first time (for an interview on Susan Marie’s ‘This Is Not The Apple’ podcast) and b) that Richard and I have been great friends.  In all that time, he’s been many things to me: a friend, a mentor, a creative, an intellectual, and someone who I look up to.  So it was only a matter of time before I had him on the show.  He was a lot more open and at ease in the Guest chair than I expected.  And his pal Julia D (whose last name I wouldn’t even try to spell) helped to take the pressure off of the studio environment we thrive in for the show.  See for yourself:

 

Thanks to Richard for the show and for ten fascinating years with Think Twice Radio as a podcaster and in the Home Of The Future for our discussions, meals, bonfires and video shows.  Thanks to Julia for bringing her West Coast sensibilities to the room.  I’ve still got some catching up to do on this site, so we’ll talk soon.

Tom

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Big Words Video 51.1: Richard Wicka-‘Notes From The Ground Floor’

August 9, 2018

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I’ve been a very bad blogger.  It’s been some time since a new show and an update of any kind on the site, so this is me catching up.  While this show and Bonus clip were originally posted two months ago, if this is the first time you’re reading about it, it’s new to you!  Below you will find a quick link to Richard Wicka’s very personal, funny and insightful take on the Bonus clip, ‘Notes From The Ground Floor’.  We came up with the title after a discussion regarding the actual translation for the book ‘Notes From The Underground’.  Check it out.  More to come soon.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 50: ‘Licentious’

June 7, 2018

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Before I say anything else, it needs to be said that the above crotch grab was real.  I didn’t think that guest Rick Matthews was really going to go for it during pictures, but it actually happened.  In addition to everything else about the comedian, he is committed to his craft.  He’s in it to win it.

I’m very late in posting this (having just wrapped Episode 51), but I’d been hearing about standup comic Rick Matthews since the first season of the show.  He’s a Comedian’s Comedian: dirty at times, painfully honest and very, very funny.  Having never met him before, I wasn’t sure how he’d interview, and this was one of the shows where the Guest and Co-Host (Kevin Thomas Jr.) took the baton and ran away from me with it.  I didn’t keep up that well, but it doesn’t matter, because it was a great show in spite of the host.  Judge for yourself:

Thanks to Matthews, Kevin Thomas Jr for circling back around to Co Host and, as always, Richard Wicka for housing us, editing and producing the show.  We ran out of time before I got to talk to Rick about his time onstage with Dave Attell (one of my all time favorite comics), but that’s no big deal.  There is no Bonus clip for this episode because one wasn’t supplied.  That’s been a dangerous trend for Season Four, so we’re going to have to work on that.  There’s another show coming up as soon as it posts, so I’ll talk to you all real soon.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 49: ‘Scoville’

March 31, 2018

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Wing King Drew Cerza was originally on the boards all the way back in 2014.  There was a massive scheduling issue though, as Drew had a press conference the same day.  So we finally got around to making it happen this month and Cerza did not disappoint.  The founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival was a real sport with my line of questioning, he was charming and he was genuinely as interested in chicken wings as I am.  As someone who’s had chicken wings every single week since I was 17, Drew’s Festival is right up my alley.  Co Host Matt Sampson also saved the day by filling the Hot Seat on short notice, so it turned into a pretty damned entertaining episode.  And for those who don’t know, ‘Scoville’ is the official heat scale for spicy foods and peppers named after the man who researched it.  Here it is:

Thanks to Drew, Sampson, and of course producer Richard Wicka for holding it all together.  #BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, so have a Happy Easter and we’ll see you in May!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 49.1: WingFest Promo Teaser

March 30, 2018

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This Bonus clip is really just a glorified ad, but it’s a really tantalizing montage for WingFest.  I’m not really sure what else to say about it.  I’ve gone, I’ve eaten and I’ve had a great time.  If you want a sampler platter of WingFest or if you’ve never been, this should answer all of your burning questions:

Henry Gale was originally cast to Co Host for this episode, and we had a really neat idea, but things fell through and thankfully Matt Sampson came through in the interim.  Some day we might still try that idea, although I’m not sure how it would work with a different guest.  At any rate, KINDLY SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel for bonus clips, every single episode in the order it was intended for and other bonus content.

#BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, but we’ll see you at the beginning of May.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 48: ‘Certified’

March 3, 2018

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Up until the show, Frank Pusateri was someone I’d travelled in the same circles with (even rubbed elbows with), but never officially met.  During my time writing bar reviews for Night Life Magazine (2000-2009), I’d been to more than my share of Night Life Music & Club Awards.  Simply put, it’s the biggest night in Buffalo for the local music community.  Everybody who’s anybody is under one roof.  This year it’s at The Cove on Thursday, March 8th.

Having just released a book (‘Only Gambling’) about a lucky streak on casino slot machines, Frank popped up on my radar again, so I took the opportunity to book him.  On top of that, he won an Emmy Award and he’s received 25 different Buffalo Music Awards including Top Pop Bassist three times in a row along with an induction into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame.  Frank’s written what happens to be a really entertaing read, and I told him as much.

This episode also marks the fourth time Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck has been on the show.  As I told Ed, he’s always welcome.  Between his plugs and Frank’s plugs, we had a tough time fitting them all in and even left some on the table (literally).  Check it out HERE:

Thanks to Frank, Ed and as always, producer Richard Wicka for housing my three ring circus.  Frank whipped up some great Bonus clips, so check those out further down this page.

Don’t adjust your set,

Tom

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Big Words Video 48.1: ‘Only Gambling’ & 48.2: ‘Leaf In A Storm’

March 2, 2018

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I normally ask an upcoming guest for ONE video clip to supplement the show.  Poor Frank got propositioned for two.  He’s promoting his new book ‘Only Gambling’, but I didn’t want to ignore his rich history on the Buffalo music scene.  So there you have it.  Frank’s homework was more complicated than guesting on the show!  He came through with flying colors, though.  Big Words Video 48.1 is a quick forward to Pusateri’s book complete with fancy graphics and a ticker-tape banner along the bottom read by the author.  You can get a taste for the stream-of-consciousness writing style in the book right HERE:

The flip side of the coin is an original song written & performed by Frank’s band Only Humen.  Check that one out right HERE:

A sincere thanks goes out to Only Frank for putting the time in to create two great clips.  A sincere thanks goes out to YOU when you FREE SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel.  I may have said this before, but if you’re not subscribed, you’re missing more than half of what the show has to offer.  Find out what you’re missing by seeing the show in the order it was intended for, bonus clips and other additional SECRET content.

#BigWordsVideo returns in March!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 47: ‘Maquette’

February 15, 2018

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It’s better to have too many questions and not get to all of them than not enough and too much time left on the show clock.  That’s exactly what happened with this episode.  During show prep, I usually don’t feel ‘comfortable’ going into the studio until I have roughly three pages of questions in a 14 point font including the intro paragraph and the outro plug (which, by the way, I haven’t used for quite a few seasons).  With practical Special Effects producer, writer, actor, director and Craft Services point man John Renna, I’m not sure if we even got through ten questions.

The man was larger than life both in stature and excitability.  I can see why he’s an excellent pitch man for investors and movie distribution companies.  I had to pick my spots to interject and jump in on the conversation, which is just fine by me.  This was former guest Michael O’Hear’s 3rd time in the Co Host Hot Seat, and I found him to be confusingly cordial with me whereas he was a bit prickly and grumpy last time on.  That could have had more to do with a full day on set over the summer, but whatever the case, I still find him fascinating.  See how it all shook out right HERE:

Thanks to Renna, O’Hear, and the ever-ready Richard Wicka for producing the show.   Due to last-minute licensing logistics, there is no Big Words Video Bonus clip to accompany this episode, and that’s all I’ll say on that matter.  What I WILL say is that you should SUBSCRIBE to my Channel (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) to show your free support for the show and to check out all of the other cool bonus content.

#BigWordsVideo shall return this month with author and Emmy-award-winning musician Frank Pusateri along with the Honorable Ed Honeck as Co Pilot.

Don’t you touch that Internet Dial!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 46: ‘Impresario’

January 1, 2018

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One of the most difficult parts of the job as a host with a guest like Sabrina Pena Young is wondering which parts of her varied career to touch down on.  Maybe I’m a little too OCD with my research, but as a mixed media artist (films, music and books), there was a lot of ground to cover.  So we started with her ‘New Genre’ award-winning virtual opera ‘Libertaria’ and worked our way out from there.  Perennial Co Host Terry Kimmel made a great addition, not to mention the fact that both of them are part of the Buffalo Movie and Video Makers (BMVM) together.  We had a lot of laughs and touched a nerve when it came to ‘Trolls’ while we were at it.  Check it out:

Thanks to Sabrina, Terry and, as always, producer Richard Wicka for producing and encouraging.  For all the knocks I give Terry, he’s been incremental to the show, and his help and advisement about the Buffalo film community (in which he’s very active on all fronts) has been monumental.

It should also be noted that Facebook has labeled this clip as ‘Unsafe’, so the link has been erased from their algorithm.  Going forward, I will no longer be able to promote the show on FB that way that I used to, so please do the show a favor and SUBSCRIBE (Richard Wicka’s account) to it on YouTube along with subscribing to my personal account on YouTube (Big Words I Know By Heart) for the compendium clips.  No one involved with the show makes any money off of it and it’s going to stay that way.  I made a conscious decision not to run ads for the bonus clips because it annoys me personally when I’m watching videos on YouTube.  So please SUBSCRIBE for free and show your support for the show.  We do it for the artists and the Views.

Thanks for watching and we’ll see you in a month!

Tom

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Big Words Video 46.1: ‘Behind The Scenes’ and 46.2: ‘Spiritus’

December 31, 2017

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I’ll say this about filmmaker, composer and author Sabrina Pena Young.  She came prepared.  Not only did she have two professional Bonus clips to round out the show episode, but she chose to share an exclusive sneak peek at her upcoming virtual opera ‘Spiritus’ with my viewers.  I continue to be surprised and amazed by the variety and the quality of the show’s compendium clips.

Young’s first clip, ‘Behind The Scenes’ is a riveting retrospective of her work with voiceover narration.  It can be seen HERE:

Sabrina’s second clip is the standalone teaser trailer for ‘Spiritus’.  That’s right HERE:

Thanks to Sabrina for putting the time and the work in.  She’s got a very impressive body of work between her films, music and companion novels and she did an awesome job of summarizing all of it in her retrospective.

#BigWordsVideo shall return in January!

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 45: ‘Verisimilitude’

December 2, 2017

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As soon as I saw Arnold Palmer in Rhonda Parker’s uproariously funny speed-dating film gone horribly wrong ‘Lonely Bananas’, I knew I had to get actor Brad Spiotta on the show.  He brought the character to life with his own wardrobe choices, mannerisms and speech patterns, and the results were a riot.  Spiotta was a solid interview: humble, charming and quick with his responses.  I got a little frustrated wth Brad and Rhonda because my usual pop culture references weren’t catching with them, but it still made for a great episode.  Decide for yourself:

Thanks to Spiotta, Parker and of course Richard Wicka for supporting and enduring my nonsense.  We’ve got another stellar line-up for December, so don’t you touch that internet dial!

Tom

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Big Words Video 45.1: Brad Spiotta-‘Past Hauntings’

December 2, 2017

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Maybe I hammer too hard sometimes on the importance and choice involved with each guest selecting a Bonus clip, but actor Brad Spiotta provided a really good one, and the timing couldn’t have been any better.  With a half hour to shoot each episode, there’s barely enough time for the interview, let alone the time to set a clip up, roll it and then react to it.  Hence the Bonus clips.  Compendiums to each episode where the guest can do whatever they wish.  Hot on the heels of his ‘Best Actor’ win at the Halloween Short Film Festival, Spiotta decided to share the short film that earned him the gold.  Here it is:

Solid cinematography, good pacing, great acting.  Thanks to Brad for taking it seriously.  Oh yeah, and would you mind FREE SUBSCRIBING to my Channel already?      100 clips on the Playlist and a few more Followers would sure put a spring in my step.

I’ll see you all in a month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 44: ‘Tenacity’

October 30, 2017

F9F6E594-4A40-47BD-80F8-952ED04C6DD4As former guest Emil Novak said, author Gary Earl Ross is the real deal.  His bibliography is gigantic and varied, from murder mysteries to courtroom dramas to anthologies to poems to historical ‘speculative fiction’, if he hasn’t done it all, he will by the time he’s done.  While I don’t think we ever officially crossed paths in the last twenty years, we certainly travelled in a lot of the same circles, so it was really nice to finally sit down, meet the man and get into his career in depth.  Here are the results:

Thanks as usual to producer Richard Wicka for putting a bow around it, Gary for coming on and Co Host Lori Lume for making time for us.  Contrarily, I’ve known Lori since the notorious Buffalo Small Press Book Fair of ‘08 (where we got into very real and serious trouble for excessive use of a bike horn).

Hey, do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for updates on new shows, bonus clips and other miscellany.  It’s the other red button on the YouTube dashboard.

See you all soon,

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 44.1: Gary Earl Ross-‘Afterward’

October 28, 2017

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I was almost entranced watching Gary Earl Ross read for this Bonus clip.  There are authors who don’t give readings at all in public, authors like me who stammer through their work and don’t rehearse ahead of time, and then there are authors like Gary, who reads in a calm, cool and collected manner, pacing himself, reading for an audience and hammering on the right passages for dramatic impact.  I’m not sure if he picked up that talent during his years as a professor, throughout all of his years at scheduled readings, or if he’s simply at peace with himself and his finished products.  It made for a great clip, though.  Here goes:

To give the man one more plug for good measure, you can find out more about Gary’s books, plays and career at: garyearlross.net

#BigWordsVideo shall return…

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 43: ‘Exuberance’

September 30, 2017

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I stumbled onto Rochester comedienne Madelein Smith’s standup about a year ago.  After seeing her Julie Andrew’s singing Lil’ Kim bit, I knew I had to at least try to get her on the show.  She has a, well, an exuberance on stage that’s outstanding.  Her on-stage persona is strong, theatrical, charismatic and very, very funny.  This was a strong episode, and Mark McElligott is a perennial co-host who can roll with the punches no matter who the guest is.  Check it out:

Thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Madelein and McElligott for helping to make a solid show.  Thanks are also in order to musician Roger Pleasant of UpRise studios for a new show theme rendition that, unfortunately, didn’t come through on the sound boards.  We’ll try harder next time.

See you in a month!

Tom

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Big Words Video 43.1: Madelein Smith-‘Crowd Work’

September 29, 2017

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I can honestly say there’s no Bonus clip quite like this one.  While Madelein has a lot of slick, polished and professional clips from her long, varied and award-winning standup career, this one is something else.  This particular clip is any stand-up comic’s dream.  Madelein has to deal with a heckler at a small bar in Tonawanda who won’t shut up, so what does she do?  She lights the guy up.   For about seven straight minutes.  Check it out here:

 

 

Thanks to Madelein for the unique footage.

#BigWordsVideo returns in October!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 42: ‘Nepotism’

September 7, 2017

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Almost a decade ago (when I was just getting the audio podcast off the ground), I somehow hit stride on the time frame and the level of wrongness by Episode IV lacing into my Uncle Dick.  Out of over 100 shows and clips, Episode IV and V remained as fan favorites because they were brutal, unforgiving and ferocious.  You can still listen to them on the Internet Archive.  There’s also a quick link to the right of this Home Page.

Now that we’re four years into #BigWordsVideo, I’ve been taking some calculated risks with the guests and getting around to guests that I’ve wanted to have on since the planning stages.  Dick was at the top of the list.  I’m always going to be harsher on family and friends than I would ever be out of the gate with people I’ve never met before, or that I don’t have a personal relationship.  My Uncle Dick is the champ.  He didn’t flinch and I didn’t expect him to.  Diabetes Dave has a quiet intensity that lends itself well to the show too.  Feast your eyes on THIS:

HEY!  Kindly SUBSCRIBE, will ya?!

Thanks as always to producer Richard Wicka, ‘The Other Richard’ Dick Lobdell and Diabetes Dave for coming through in a pinch.  Season 4 is off to a good start.  No end in sight.  Yet.

See you at the end of the month!

Tom

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Big Words Video 42.1 & 42.2: Dick Lobdell-‘It’s Hard To Be Humble’ & ‘Angel’s Song’

September 5, 2017

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Growing up with my uncle, we got a lot of campfire concerts on demand, so it wasn’t difficult to throw a few requests out for the Bonus clips for this episode.  ‘It’s Hard To Be Humble’ by Mac Davis is just a really funny song that Dick made his own.  ‘Angel’s Song’ is an original composition of Dick’s that he prefaced with a touching story about his granddaughter’s wedding ceremony.  Check them out right here:

I WISH I could tell you there was more music, but you’d have to be a SUBSCRIBER to the #BigWordsVideo Youtube Channel to figure that out.  I still want to capture one of Dick’s bonfire concerts on video.  There’s always next year.

#BigWordsVideo shall return!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 41: ‘Displacement’

August 12, 2017

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Stand-up comic Daniel McArdle is young, ambitious, eager, and yes, funny in a way that draws from his strengths, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does hosting the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s on Tuesday nights.  When I was doing my prep work for the show, every single comic I talked to had nothing but nice things to say about him, which is rare.  Former guest and Co Host Clayton Williams a.k.a. ‘The Maestro Of Comedy’ is either a natural, a savant or one of the hardest working comics on the scene, because his stand-up kills me.  Having those two in the studio together made for a really entertaining episode.  Find out for yourself:

Thanks of course to McArdle, Williams and obviously producer Richard Wicka for coordinating everything.  Comedians make perfect guests for the show because they’re fast, they’re funny, and they don’t flinch from the questions.  #BigWordsVideo blasts off into Season 4 later this month with a guest who’s been a long time coming.  Tune in to Episode 42 or Free Subscribe to the Show to find out!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 41.1: Daniel McArdle-‘Big Fat Shame’

July 31, 2017

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Helium Comedy Club’s annual ‘Buffalo’s Funniest Person’ contest is a really big deal for local standup comics.  My latest guest, Dan McArdle, did not take home the gold.  That honor was awarded to former guest and co-host Jameel Key, who’s also extremely funny.  McArdle was kind enough to provide his clip from the contest for Big Words Video.  Every comic has their own style and their own approach to the stage.  Dan’s is one part awkwardness, one part awe-shucks and another part that’s nakedly honest.  He’s a very likeable guy.  And yes, funny.  So check out the Bonus clip!:

Thanks to Daniel for providing such a professional clip to bookend the episode.  If you want to, you know you can SUBSCRIBE to the Show channel for updates on new episodes, Bonus clips and other secret content, right?

#BigWordsVideo shall return in a month,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 40: ‘Transference’

July 14, 2017

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In the midst of all my movie-related research for the past three years on the show, actor Alexander Sloan McBryde has popped up a lot.  The guy’s a natural.  I’m not an actor, so I’m not sure what techniques he employs and I don’t care.  He’s got ‘it’.  Whether it’s a bit part or a feature role, he lights up the screen every time I’ve seen him, so it was only a matter of time before I landed him on the show.  He was a great guest: animated, lively and intelligent.  We were lucky enough to get Jason John Beebe back in the Co Host Hot Seat and master thespian Michael O’Hear scored special guest status.  It made for a solid show.  See for yourself:

A big thanks goes out to Alexander, Jason and Michael for making a phenomenal episode.  And as always, thanks to producer Richard Wicka for orchestrating behind the scenes.  #BigWordsVideo returns in two weeks with comedian Daniel McArdle, so don’t touch that…internet?

Tom

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Big Words Video 40.1: Alexander Sloan McBryde-‘Inside The Actors’

July 7, 2017

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Episode 40 and the companion Bonus clip were exactly what I needed after Episode 39.  Meeting actor Alexander Sloan McBryde and seeing him riff with fellow established actors (who often share the same IMDB credits) was fantastic.  The vibe in the studio was great, the chemistry was perfect and the talent level was off the charts.  I handed over the Sony PJ340 to McBryde literally seconds after the episode was over and he kicked into high gear grilling Co Host Jason John Beebe (pronounced Bee-Bee!) and interviewing Buffalo institution Michael O’Hear.  Here were 3 men who didn’t take themselves too seriously comfortable enough with their level of talent to let that translate on the silver screen, the small screen and all parts in between.  Roll that clip!:

Season 3 of Big Words Video is drawing to a close with one more episode to shoot.  Do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for FREE on YouTube.  A few Likes and Shares wouldn’t hurt either.

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 39: ‘Agrarian’

June 22, 2017

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To be completely honest, this was an episode where I was relieved when it was over and done with.  It’s no fault of the band’s, but the Big Words Poltergeist reared it’s ugly head, we got off to a really rough start on the episode and the chemistry was all wrong.  The two main cameras that I rely on during the show were set on Demo Mode right out of the gate.  My co-host (who had a calm demeanor and would have been terrific paired with anyone else) didn’t really mesh with West Of The Mark.  West Of The Mark didn’t really mesh with me.  I’d rather not dissect and extrapolate what and how many things went wrong, but just about everything went wrong.  At the very least, we got some laughs in and nobody died.  See for yourself:

Thanks to West Of The Mark, Joe and producer Richard Wicka for getting me through this.  There’s a new episode rolling out next week and even by accident, it’s bound to go smoother than the one that preceded it.

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 39.1: ‘My Church’ & 39.2: ‘Wagon Wheel’ w/West Of The Mark

June 8, 2017

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After a lot of misunderstandings, miscommunications and technical difficulties, we filmed the Big Words Video Bonus clips with country supergroup West Of The Mark before the episode of the show as opposed to afterward.  The less said, the better.  They’re a great band and a great group of guys with amazing talent, so please don’t try to read between the lines here.  This is one of those cases where I feel as if the Bonus clips will hold up better over time than the episode itself, though.  Their harmonies are incredible, their timing as a band is really impressive, and to think that they’ve been playing together in one iteration or another for as long as I’ve been a professional writer is miraculous.

Their cover of ‘My Church’ was their pick.  ‘Wagon Wheel’ was a request for my son Benjamin, who loves the Darius Rucker version as well as the original recording by Old Crow Medicine Show.  I was shocked to find out that Bob Dylan co-wrote the song, and that I didn’t know that until I was crediting the clips.  You learn something new every year.  Please enjoy:

 

A big thanks goes out to West Of The Mark for lugging their equipment into the studio, lugging it out and then lugging it in again.  Thanks also to producer Richard Wicka for being patient with the show’s production in the summer when our friendship is strained and we only see each other on the way in and on the way out of each show.  Rich has a strict ‘No Drums, No Bass’ rule that I wasn’t aware of.  I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m crazy enough to shoehorn an entire band into a shoebox.

Do me a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the Channel already, will ya?  Nobody gets paid, we do this for Views.

#BigWordsVideo shall return this month….

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 38: ‘Contingent’

May 4, 2017

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Despite rumors that pop up once in awhile, I have no plans or desires to be a standup comedian.  Writing humor and hosting a comedy talk show are not the same thing.  However, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for standup comics who are good at what they do and I’m always trying to figure out how their thought process works.  Kevin Thomas Jr and Jameel Key are very, very good at what they do but they approach standup from completely different directions.  Kevin has a down-to-earth humility to his delivery and his material paired with the approachability of a college instructor.  Jameel works best when he’s working blue, and his anecdotes and his jokes are so personal that they can’t possibly be anyone else’s.  Getting both of them in the same room for the same show was a case of the stars being in alignment.  This was an episode where I sat back and let these gentleman do what they do best: riff.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Kevin and Jameel for bringing their A game.  Thanks always to producer Richard Wicka for letting us barrel into the studio and hammer out the show.  #BigWordsVideo will be back in 4 weeks with country supergroup West Of The Mark!

Tom

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Big Words Video 38.1: Kevin Thomas Jr.-‘Afterglow’

May 2, 2017

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Returning guest and Co Host Jameel Key and I shot the breeze before the episode and  I handed over the Bonus Clip camerawork to him.  We both agreed that Jameel’s clip from Season 1 was bad.  Really bad.  Back then, I had Rob Bender ask Jameel about the evolution of a joke.  It was awkward and starchy.  So I figured I’d let him decide when and how to film Kevin Thomas Jr.  He started rolling right after the episode, which is typically when we all get up, stretch and breathe a sigh of relief.  The three of us had a really good dynamic during the show and Jameel ran with that.  Here’s the result:

Thanks to Jameel for circling back, Kevin for coming on and as always, producer Richard Wicka for having us.  You know how I mention SUBSCRIBING to the channel on YouTube?  For updates, new episodes, that kind of thing?  You should do that.

#BigWordsVideo will return this month with award-winning country band

West Of The Mark!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 37: ‘Improvisation’

April 10, 2017

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Van Taylor is one of the nicest guests I’ve had on the show.  Like Ed Honeck told me, the guy’s a saint.  He’s been doing good work for the troops for over three decades, volunteering his time and talents for the Food Bank Of WNY, and he’s just a very positive human being.  Admittedly, I went easier on him when he came on than I have been with a lot of guests in the past because it would be comparable to interrogating Mother Theresa.  He’s a super nice guy.  And what’s funny is that he was originally scheduled (and agreed) to come on my audio podcast back in 2012 and…I stopped doing the audio podcast.  So it took us five years to make it work and even that took one last reschedule because he had a major surgery operation.  Van was worth the wait.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Van for being patient, the Mighty Matt Sampson for co-hosting again and the always lovely Richard Wicka for producing the show.

I’m excited to announce that ‘Buffalo’s Funniest Person’ winner Kevin Thomas will be guesting in 2 weeks with veteran comic, former guest and frequent Helium headliner Jameel Key co-piloting.

Seeya then,

Tom

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Big Words Video 37.1: Van Taylor-‘Ain’t No Thang’

April 8, 2017

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Van was kind enough to share an exclusive live performance from the ‘UB On The Green’ concert series at (obviously) the University Of Buffalo.  I told him before the show that I’m a very piano-driven person when it comes to music, and Mr. Taylor does not disappoint.  There’s a reason why he’s been a driving force in jazz music on the front lines and off around the world for over 30 years: he’s that good.  See for yourself:

If you want to see the sheer scope and variety of bonus clips for the show for the last 3 years, SUBSCRIBE to the Channel.  Oh, and you’ll get an update every time a new episode drops.

#BigWordsVideo shall return,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 36: ‘Sequence’

March 31, 2017

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I went on the hunt about a month ago to find some good writers to guest on the show.  Italian novelist Gaia B. Amman came highly recommended and made it to the top of my list.  Her writing style is sharp and colorful, she’s not afraid of the camera and she’s got a great sense of humor.  Her Italian Saga series of books have a cult-like following and she’s very positive and nurturing with her fan base.  I was tying up loose ends on my research before the show and my co-host cancelled an hour and a half before taping.  Heh.  The behind-the-scenes anecdotes for the show are almost as good as the show, but I’m not going to start dishing now.  Terry Kimmel shuffled some personal engagements around in order to co host the show at the eleventh hour.  Here’s the end result:

Big thanks go out to Gaia for jumping through all the pre-show hoops and delivering a really professional #BigWordsVideo bonus clip, and for being a truly entertaining guest.  I owe Terry a large debt of gratitude for showing up under duress and bringing his A game. And as always, thanks to Producer Richard Wicka for wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it.

Please FREE SUBSCRIBE to Richard Wicka’s YouTube as well as mine (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for updates on new episodes, bonus clips and other hidden content!

That’s all, folks.

Tom

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Big Words Video 36.1: Gaia B. Amman-‘Blame It On Nico’

March 30, 2017

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Often before the studio episode I’ll give my guests the option of shooting their own Big Words Video Bonus clip in advance to save time in post-production in the studio.  Once in a blue moon, they do just that.  Author Gaia B. Amman did a great job with her Bonus clip and I joked with her that her title credits and bumper ad at the end of the clip were more professional than anything the show has ever done, and she humbly admitted that she did everything on iMovie.  Check out her reading of Chapter 1 of An Italian Adventure HERE:

One of the many things I was impressed with about Gaia was that she seems to have her marketing, publicity and audio/visual plan all figured out, so thanks to her for prepping a clip ahead of time.

#BigWordsVideo will return NEXT WEEK with jazz great Van Taylor.

Seeya soon,

Tom

 

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