Day #4 of my Gratitude Challenge!

1. Justin for giving me my first performance opportunity after the move back east. It was only 2 songs but loads of fun & hopefully the first of many more to come!

Last Leaf

2. Alex & Pat for casting me as Dusty Roads in Last Leaf’s Production of “Murder at the Silver Spittoon Saloon” so many years ago. This lead to many more performance opportunities with Last Leaf over the years, including one of their Children’s Theatre Library summer tours. The experience improved my improv skills & made me a better actor overall.

3. The Muppets: What can I say? I’ve been a lifelong Muppet fan. It’s ironically fitting my collage nickname was Gonzo. Any bad mood I happen to find myself in can easily be adjusted simply by watching the Muppets. For example take a look at the clip below. How can there rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” not put a smile on your face?!?

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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Day # 3 of my Gratitude Challenge!

Seattle Space Needle

1. Seattle: This may be a little broad, however I’ve been all over the country and (in my opinion) nothing compares to the beauty of Seattle in the summer… snowcapped mountains, water & an occasional bald eagle flying over head. What’s there not to like? I’m thankful I was a able to spend 17 years of my life surrounded by such splendor.

2. I’m thankful to Ruhama for hiring me at AT&T, even though at the time I had zero web content experience. Little did I know I would be with AT&T for 3 years! I learned lot from Ruhama both professionally as well as personally.

3. The Philadelphia Eagles and to lesser extent Flyers. While on the outside it may seem frivolous being thankful to a sports team, my side of the story is it offers a relatively healthy escape. We all need our “happy place” where we leave behind the burdens of day to day existence. For some it’s a good book, others a long walk… for me it’s the Eagles. For 3 hours a week the phone get’s put away, no texting, no calls (unless there’s an emergency of course). Win or lose its 180 minutes of bliss!

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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Below day #2 of my Gratitude Challenge

405346_671475450828_805984799_n1) Acting: I’m thankful for discovering acting, although it was a bit later in life… better late than never! Many people I talk to believe acting is about emoting “feelings” or being the center of attention. However that couldn’t be further from the truth. For me acting is about connecting… either to a scene partner, situation or circumstance. Personally I believe artists (or anyone for that matter) of any persuasion simply are looking for ways to connect. If we could all stop for a moment & really consider the other side of the story this world would be a much different place indeed. Acting has given a health way of connecting to & accepting those who are different then myself.

2) Genesis (music group): My first musical love & in many ways (although I didn’t understand it as a teenager) laid the foundation to my involvement in acting. I’m thankful to Steve & Pat for our all night college Genesis listening sessions!

3) Lastly for today… Pete for teaching me how to play the guitar so many years ago. My world has NOT been the same since. Thank you!!!!

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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A Day At The Beach

Yesterday I was nominated for the Gratitude Challenge by my good friend Adam. The objective… for 7 days straight write down 3 things you’re grateful for & post them to Facebook. Being a huge believer in the power of positive thought I really had no choice but to gratefully accept (pun intended). In addition to posting to Facebook I’ll also be posting here, this makes for excellent blog content after all! Since this is day 1 I’ll start with the big 3:

1)  My Daughter: I’m grateful for the unconditional love of my daughter.  The words “I love you daddy” have always been music to my ears.   She has inspired me in ways I can’t begin to articulate in words.

2)  My Health: Every time I come across an individual who is handicapped or elderly I’m reminded how lucky I truly am.  The simple pleasure of using ones 5 senses should never be taken for granted.

3) My Family: I’m thankful that I grew up in a relatively “normal” family.  I use the word “normal” because I’ve learned over the years that “normal” is extremely subjective. However I have zero doubt that if (God forbid) something catastrophic happened; my family would be there for me.

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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For as long as I can remember I’ve been a diehard Philly sports fan. As a child my family used to go to The Vet to see the Phillies, during my collage year’s football gatherings were a Sunday ritual & to this day Ron Hextall is still my favorite Flyer. In 1997 when I moved to Seattle I understood firsthand the challenges of having a long distance relationship with my sports teams… remember at this point the internet was still in its infancy. Going online for news/scores wasn’t an option. While I loved my time in Seattle, I always remained true to my Pennsylvania roots. Fast forward 17 years…

When I made the decision to come back “home” to the east coast I wanted to write a song…. Not only as a declaration of my return but also one celebrating the Philly Faithful, the fans who remain loyal & passionate even through the lean years, a “call to arms” so to speak!

Below is a small sample of this writing effort, “Philadelphia”. The complete song can be downloaded for $0.99. Sorry I can’t give it away for free… but really it’s only a buck 🙂

Enjoy

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

Philadelphia

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Football season is finally almost here. After last year’s promising finish I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game. The Phillies were really hard to watch this year & the Flyers are still a few months away. For me the biggest concern is the defense, mostly their ability to rush the passer & constantly force turnovers. I know… they were better the second half of last year…. And I know it’s “sexy” to talk about gaudy offense stats (another reason why fantasy football is ruining the game)…. But defense is half the equation. I miss the days of the mid 2000’s & early 1990’s when the Eagles defense dictated play & changed the game on a weekly basis.

I came across this video & wanted to share. What does brotherly love mean to you? What’s it like being an Eagles fan… passion, heart break, cheers, jeers… the highs, the lows…. everything in between? Just like the first line in my song “Philadelphia”… “There’s passion on the streets tonight…”. You can check it out below:

Philadelphia

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In the mean time enjoy the video below. Be sure to leave a comment & let me all know what brotherly love means to you!

hydria entangledAnyone close to me will attest to the fact that I’m a huge fan of the progressive rock band Genesis. Although old school fans may shutter at this fact, “Invisible Touch” was my introduction to the band. However in my defense, I was only 16 at the time and had yet to understand the overall historical perspective. A few trips to the record store (actually at that time it was mostly cassette tapes) taught me the history of Genesis. What a shocking revelation to learn that Phil Collins was not only a drummer but wasn’t even an original member of the band! Determined to understand the history, the next cassette tape I purchased was “From Genesis To Revelation”. Working my way backwards it took me a year or so to get to “A Trick Of The Tail”. To this day it’s still one of my favorite Genesis albums.

This is a long winded way of introducing today’s Tim’s Show & Tell posts! A few years ago the Brazilian band Hydria recorded a cover of “Entangled”. See the video below:

I personally love the distorted guitar during the “B” part of the song (Well if we can help you we will…) It adds an interesting dynamic element while still holding true to the original intent of the song. Unfortunately since this recording the band has decided to part ways.  It’s too bad because I really enjoyed their music. Hopefully there will be solo projects coming out soon. I’ll make sure to post an update if that happens.

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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I’ve been a Muppets fan my entire life. Perhaps it’s the fond memories of a simpler time watching The Muppet Show with my mom, dad & brother. Although at the time my brother & I didn’t understand all the musical theatre songs or completely get every joke… all we knew was that “Pigs In Space” was darn funny! As an adult I watch the old shows (I currently have seasons 1 & 2 on DVD) with my daughter. Even though many of the jokes are dated, I still giggle. I’m touched by the musical theatre songs & (along with my daughter) I still think “Pigs In Space” is funny!

When I saw Kermit the Frog’s ALS ice bucket challenge I had to check it out via the link below:

Kermit the Frog’s ALS ice bucket challenge

Good memories and a great cause to boot. Now I just need to see if Tina Fay answered Kermit’s challenge!

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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victoria smith musicVictoria Smith is an independent singer/songwriter hailing from the great state of Massachusetts. We met on Twitter of all places; social media is a wonderful way to bring people together from all over the world. One of the many philosophies we share is the idea that indie artists need to support each other (Artists Supporting Artists), both in terms of encouragement as well as promotion. Basically I’ll promote your work to my fans & you do the same for me… or in other worlds scratch my back & I’ll scratch yours. Competing against the big boys is tough enough. Independent artists need to stick together.

That said – Victoria’s song “Bad Boy” was a recent finalist in the Annual Great American Song Contest (Pop category).

For more info on Victoria Smith & her music check out the link below:

victoria-smith.com
– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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Brian Dawkins is by far my favorite Philadelphia Eagle of all time. When Dawk was on the field you just knew something exciting was going to happen. Drafted in 1996 it took a few years & the arrival of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson for him to take his game to the next level. It begs the question does the player make the coach or the coach make the player? Either way it sure was fun to watch.

Below are some highlights of Brian Dawkins’ brilliant career in Philadelphia.

Who remembers the 1991 Eagles Defense? I was a junior in collage & remember the “House of Pain” Monday Night Football game against the Houston Oilers well! Without a doubt the ’91 Eagles had one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. If it wasn’t for Randall Cunningham’s season ending ACL injury in week 1 we would have made a serious Super Bowl run. Led by the likes of Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner & Reggie White they ranked #1 against the run and the pass. The tragic death of Jerome Brown in June of the following year ultimately signaled the beginning of the end. It would be another 10 years, the drafting of Brian Dawkins & arrival of Jim Johnson as defensive coordinator until the Eagles would become a defensive force once more.

Below is a video highlighting the great 1991 Eagles defense

For today’s Tim’s Show & Tell post I’m very please to introduce Melanie Dekker.

Melanie Dekker Distant StarThe story: It was June 2012. At the time I was living in Seattle WA however on this particular Sunday afternoon I was in the middle of a day trip to Port Townsend WA. On the way home we passed the Port Townsend Brewery and being a sucker for small independent breweries we decided to stop & check it out. We were surprised to learn on that day they happened to be featuring live music in there outdoor beer garden. As we sat down Melanie was just starting her set. I remember it being a perfect afternoon… gorgeous weather, good beer, great company and live original music. What more could I possibility ask for? After an hour we finished our beers & decided to head for home.

Fast forward 5 months… I’m cleaning off my desk & come across Melanie’s card that I happened to pick up at the brewery in Port Townsend. Thinking back to that summer day I remembered 1 song in particular she played I really liked… well sort of! I couldn’t quite remember the name of it. A quick visit to Melanie’s website proved inconclusive. None of the song clips listed were it. Out of desperation I sent her a quick email explaining my dilemma. To my pleasant surprise I receive a response within 30 minutes!! After several email exchanges back & forth we finally figured it out…. “Stare at The Rain”.

After asking where I could purchase a download of the song, she simply just sent me 2 copies (studio & live) then thanked me for my support.

This is one of the many reason I love supporting independent artist. There’s nothing that compares to a 1 on 1 conversation & simple “thank you”. I urge everyone to check out Melanie Dekker’s music via the link below:

melaniedekker.com

– Tim Brandt

Creatively Witty & Artistically Sweet

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