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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


"War of the Worlds"

Today is Halloween, so, I thought it appropriate to offer a little fright of my own. Join me now in listening to the classic radio play, "War of the Worlds" as presented by LA Theatre Works, and preformed by a stellar cast of Star Trek stars. Lending their voices are John de Lancie, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, and Wil Wheaton. John de Lancie, a LATW regular, directs.

The production was originally aired Saturday night on KPCC in Los Angeles. It's available online for free until November 4, after which it will be available for purchase on the LATW website.

[Listen now with RA]

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

-Jon

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Monday, October 30, 2006


"How I Became an Actor"

Today I took a much-needed day off from work, and spent most of it engaged in one of my favorite hobbies -- Star Trek CCG. In short, it's a popular (and painstakingly strategic) Star Trek customizable card game that first hit the market back in 1994. I've been a fan ever since.

In the mid-to-late 90's (when I was still in high school), I had a best friend with whom I would often get together, and he and I would challenge each other under the rules of the game. Usually he won, but it was immense fun nonetheless, and provided me with much inspiration. Years later, I still play, only now it's morphed into a solitary strategy game in which I tend to set up realistic recreations of various "events" or periods within the Star Trek universe, play out the random nature of the game, and see what happens.

Today I recreated the entirety of seasons 1-3 of the the television show, Deep Space Nine, based solely upon the cards in my collection. (Yeah, I know, I'm a "geek" -- but proud of it!).

Sure, the game ended up playing out contrary to the original television spisodes, but, it goes to show a unique part of my personality. Not only am I a dedicated Star Trek fan with an active imagination, but I absolutely love strategy games that require great patience and can end up creating historical "what-if's". I love the opportunity to dream up alternate realities that could result if certain events had happened differently. I long to be a storyteller.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Throughout life, I've also taken an interest in roleplaying, such as with a group of friends back in college (Star Trek and Star Wars universes), I enjoy board game and computer-based Civil War strategy games, I love realistic MLB baseball recreations, I'm a huge fan of games such as Axis and Allies, and empire-building simulations. I've also been known to draw detailed maps of far-off worlds, and use my drawing skills to dream up entirely new starship designs. I even run a popular online Star Trek roleplaying game!

In short, I've developed an addiction to exploring history ever since I was young, and I've found ways to use my creativity and imagination to dream up new ways to play within that history. Heck, I was even a serious Civil War reenactor for ten years of my life. I portrayed the field musician (aka, "little drummer boy"), and later as I grew older, I even carried a live rifle. And if that's not enough, I was also a first-person interpreter at a "historic village", as well as at a National Historic Fort.

Yes, I admit it, I have a passion for history, and finding ways -- in my free time -- to learn more by recreating it. But, that's only part of how I became an actor...

Back in grade school (K-8), after I had already been a Civil War reenactor for a number of years, I discovered the stage. I had a few small roles here and there, nothing stellar. But then my family moved from small town Wisconsin up to big city Minnesota. I finished the last year and a half of grade school, and started high school. During my sophomore year, I gave up playing JV baseball, and instead focused all my extra-cirricular attention on theatre. I increased my roles and started to improve my acting interests. I found a new home for my imagination.

Then came college, and by choice, more theatrical training -- this time on a professional scale. I found myself acting in a few Hollywood films. I took an interest in local/regional film and theatre. I graduated with a degree in Creativity (art), and four years of study in acting. Then I entered the "real world". Now I actually make a living exploring my imagination and playing pretend. And, more often than not, my time goes toward entertaining others, and inspiring them to be creative.

So, what have I learned from all this?

It is -- without a doubt -- who you are, and where you come from, that determines you will become. Even the little things can shape your future.

All of this -- my intense love of history and playing pretend -- started because of a simple childhood interest in learning more about the past... an interest that eventually blossomed into a full-scale hobby of reenacting it in real life. A simple love for watching a favorite science fiction television show, blossomed into a passion to learn more about that fictional environment, and in turn, the real-life production that went into filming it.

Who would have known fifteen years ago, that that ten-year-old kid who loved reading about the American Civil War, or dreaming about the Star Trek universe, would one day see his face up on the big screen in a movie theatre, or have his name advertised on a playbill for a professional theatre show he would be in?

It's amazing really. We all start out so small in life, yet with passion and determination, anything we dream of can become a reality. Never give up on that dream, no matter how unusual it may seem. Grab it, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride!

Then, someday, maybe you'll be the one looking back and saying, "Yep. This is how I became who I am. This is where my passions led me."

Be passionate. Be you. And above all, sieze the day!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Sunday, October 29, 2006


"Quote of the Day"

"Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand."
- Bruce Barton

-Jon

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Saturday, October 28, 2006


"Fall Back"

For those who live under the rule of daylight savings time -- tonight's the night to set your clocks back one hour. Remember, "Spring Forward, Fall Back."

Next year, however, it will be different:
"There's a New Day Ahead for Daylight Saving Time"
"Thanks to passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving Time will begin one month earlier in 2007 and will continue for an extra week. It's part of a phased move designed to conserve electricity and save an estimated 300,000 barrels of oil a year."

So, technically, "Standard Time" has nothing to do with time at all. It's merely an economic matter. Interesting. I've never really stopped to ponder that before.

-Jon

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"Cardinal Frustration"

How disappointing... The St. Louis Cardinals actually won the World Series this year. They even flipped the predictions and crushed the favored Detriot Tigers. [sigh]

So much for my predictions.

-Jon

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Thursday, October 26, 2006


"Six Word Thursday"

More painting. Tired. Heading to bed.

-Jon

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


"Wednesday in Review"

I spent most of day today painting another apartment. Tough work, yes, but not a bad day to do it. I didn't get much else done, but, I suppose I can live with that. It'll still get done one way or another.

Tomorrow: We finish painting this apartment, and start on another.

For now, though, time for dinner and bed. Have a great Thursday all!

Kind Regards,
-Jon

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


"Move Along. Nothing to See Here."

Slow News Day. Please proceed to Wednesday. Thank you.

-Jon

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Monday, October 23, 2006


"No More Shaggy Jon"

As of today, I now have four times less hair on my head. I had let it all grow out since May, however, today I finally asked my (cute!) stylist to cut it back down to it's normal length. As a result, I no longer have what I call, "model head". Instead, I once again look like the short-haired Jon most of you are familiar with.

So, bye, bye long hair. You were warm while it lasted. But now I suppose it's time to start thinking about wearing a scarf again. You know... to cover my newly naked neck. :)

Have a great Tuesday all, and until the morrow!

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"I Love Music Videos"

For those who enjoy combining their love of music, and their interest in the dramatic, here's a great site that features music videos. Hundreds of music videos. Just type in your favorite artist, click the search button, and enjoy!

-Jon

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Friday, October 20, 2006


"The Curse of the Crew"

As of last night, the news is official... the St. Louis Cardinals will take on the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series of baseball. I'll be rooting for the underdog Tigers. Back in 1982, the Cardinals beat my Milwaukee Brewers in the Crew's only World Series appearance. The Cardinals have lost all three of their World Series appearances since.

So, as you can imagine, seeing St. Louis lose yet another World Series would have a certain sweetness to it. Beating up my Brewers in 1982 did not make this Milwaukeean happy. Besides, Detroit is about due for a Series win. 1984 was their last big year, and until this season, they've been the losingest team in baseball.

So, here's to the Tigers, may their post-season wins continue to be spectacular, and may they hand the Cards their fourth straight World Series loss. I'd really like to see the "Curse of the Crew" continue. When my Brewers finally win the World Series (like they should have in '82), THEN, and only then, will St. Louis be released from it's string of World Series defeats. Until that point, however, and for the duration of this post-season, if I know my wildlife correctly, don't felines find chirpy little birds to be an appetizing treat? :)

Have a wonderful weekend all, and until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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"Jon Baas of Star Trek?"

So, the word is, JJ Abrams -- director of the upcoming Star Trek XI -- is already seeing actors for the major parts, and production could begin as early as late Spring 2007. Now, granted, I may not be an "A" or "B" list actor, but, for many years, I've had a strong desire to be part of a Star Trek film or television project. A very strong desire. And I do have professional acting experience. Hypothetically speaking, and inconceivable though it may be, if I made a strong enough push for even a small non-speaking role, would I get cast?

Yes, this warrents some serious pondering. With enough work, could a fan/actor fulfill a life-long dream? Could I, Jon Baas, end up as a character within the Star Trek universe? For me, it really gets the old gears turning. What do you think?

-Jon

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Thursday, October 19, 2006


"Quote of the Day"

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."
- Vincent T. Lombardi

-Jon

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"How Many of Me?"

How many people in the USA have my name? According to HowManyOfMe.com, just one -- Me. And, officially, I remain the one and only Jon Baas who has a public profile, blogs, and pursues professional careers in art and acting. ... Yep. Can I get a whoop, whoop!

How many people have your name?

-Jon

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"I'm Not A Look-A-Like"

Here's an interesting project by Canadian photographer Francois Brunelle. It's a collection of photographic portraits of North American and European look-alikes. Each photo features two different look-alikes -- who are not related -- side by side.

-Jon

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


"November takes a walk."

I'll admit, of any domestic pet, I prefer cats. They're cute, lovable, independant, and usually very curious and persistant -- as this little fellow proves. Feel free to see what I mean, and watch as cute little November takes a walk.

-Jon

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Monday, October 16, 2006


"Star Wars Tatoos"

You know you're a "Star Wars geek" when you choose to tatoo your body with images of the original Star Wars characters. It's not something I would do -- I'm not THAT big of a fan -- but I will have to admit, this tatoo art is simply stunning work!

-Jon

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Sunday, October 15, 2006


"How Sleep Works"

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives. We now know that our brains are very active during sleep. Moreover, sleep affects our daily functioning and our physical and mental health in many ways that we are just beginning to understand.

Sleep is one of those funny things about being a human being - you just have to do it. Have you ever wondered about why people have to sleep or what causes dreams? In this article, you'll find out all about sleep and what it does for you.

-Jon

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"It's Sunday already?"

Wow. Time flies when you're preoccupied with other projects. It's been five days since my last blog post... and I hadn't even realized it! Thankfully, however, for me, being busy is a good thing. So, that said, I do appologize for going AWOL most of this past week -- and leaving all of you hanging -- but now that I'm back to business as usual (to a degree anyway), let's see what else stretches the old blogging muscle, shall we?

Have a wonderful Sunday all, and until later,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


"Hand-made Stuffed Animals"

Now these are just too cute: Hand-made stuffed animals by Natasha Fadeeva.

-Jon

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Monday, October 09, 2006


"In 1492..."

...Columbus sailed the ocean blue. On October 12, his expedition made landfall in the Caribbean. And, while he originally believed he had reached Eastern Asia, he was actually setting foot in the Americas. Now, 514 years later, we celebrate the discovery of the New World by dedicating today in honor of that momentous event.

Happy Columbus Day!

-Jon

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Sunday, October 08, 2006


"Landscapes"

As an artist, one of my favorite subjects to look at -- and draw -- are landscapes. So, naturally, I found these landscape photographs to be absolutely gorgeous!

-Jon

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Friday, October 06, 2006


"It's Over. Back to Milwaukee."

Well, folks, the comeback Minnesota Twins have lost their third game to the Oakland Athletics, and have been knocked out of the Major League baseball playoffs. My short-lived fandom of their post-season has ended at five days. So, with the excitement of 2006 baseball gone for me (as I have no interest in the teams that remain in the playoffs), I now return you to your regularly-scheduled Milwaukee Brewers fan.

Here's to 2007. May the Brew Crew exceed expectations and win something! :)

Have a great weekend all. Until next time,

Your happily blogging friend,
-Jon

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


"Quote of the Day"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas Edison

-Jon

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Monday, October 02, 2006


"Bring on the Fall"

Rain, hail, and thunderstorms. Yep, it must be October. :)

-Jon

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Sunday, October 01, 2006


"Post-Season Baseball"

Well, that time of the year has finally come... the baseball season has ended, and the playoffs have been determined. Back in the spring I predicted that my beloved Milwaukee Brewers would end with a winning record, and might -- just might -- have a shot at the post-season. Alas, however, I was a little generous. My Brewers took a tumble in recent months and ended the season at 75-87. Still a great season, but twelve games under breaking even. Oh, well, better luck next year.

With my team out of contention, however, it looks like I'll be turning my attention to the west. Things have been going very well with the Minnesota Twins, and they have made it to the post-season. Since I spent my teen years living up there in Twin Cities, I think I'll switch gears to the American League, and root for the old home team. They've had a phenominal year so far, with a lot of young talent and a team full of surprises. They've also won the AL Central title. Let's see if they can make the Post-Season just as exciting!

Here's to the Twinkies. For the next month, a former fan has returned to the fold. Let's see if you can give him something to cheer about!

-Jon

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Jon Baas

Blogging Since 2002!
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Blogs That I Read:
- ProBlogger
- Seth Godin
- The Brothers Brick
- Trek Movie
- Wil Wheaton

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- USS Enterprise-D

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- Improv Everywhere


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