Daily Dojo

Daily Dojo Is Three Years Old! Happy Birthday With The Dojo’s Greatest Hits!

The Daily Dojo turns three years old this week!

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It’s true, I’ve been blogging for three years.

Holy shit.

When I started this adventure, I didn’t really know what the hell a blog was, to tell the truth. My then-agent’s assistant suggested I start one, and as that I was in the process of getting a website up, I thought, “why not?”

Thus was born The Daily Dojo.

I had no idea how much fun it could be, nor how much it would improve my craft.

When I began, I didn’t know anyone who had blogs, nor did I even read blogs myself, which makes sense since I didn’t know what a blog was. It was all new and shiny.

I decided to use it as a word gymnasium, a chance to practice my craft online, and the basic P & A sorta stuff.

A few months after I began, I read an article in the New York Times about John August and his blog, one of the first screenwriter blogs. August wrote GO and CHARLIE’S ANGELS and BIG FISH, among others.

It was awesome. A treasure trove of information for screenwriters. Plus you can ask questions and get answers, right there on his site.

There were a few links, which I followed, to other writer blogs. Then I began interacting and thus became part of an international community, all from my computer. I met other playwrights, directors, producers, actors . . . all online.

There are a lot more than a few writer blogs out there now, in fact, there are thousands of blogs on every subject under the sun and some that aren’t. What began as goof for many of us, for me at least, has changed and impacted almost all of our lives, I think.

The blogosphere has exploded since I began the Dojo, I have to say. When I began I didn’t even read blogs, as I mentioned, and I knew few others who did.

Now almost all the people I know read blogs and many maintain their own. Many of us know each other very well, even though we have never met in person, and many such folks have had an impact on my work (you know who you are) in a positive fashion.

Blogs have become a part of our lives, when you think about it. I don’t watch the news, I read it online. Everyone I know does the same.

Most people get their information and news from blogs.

I love this and I’m proud to be a part of it for the past three years.

In fact, I’ll go one step further.

As a writer, blogs are one of the best things to happen to us.

It’s absolutely improved my writing.
BadAssBunny

And my social skills, heh-heh.

Not only do you hear directly from the authors, you can dialogue with them.

You can hear right from the mouths of those who know . . . I can’t tell you how much this has changed my world for the better.

Through the internet, I can and have had conversations with NY Times Best Selling authors, Tony-winning playwrights, Oscar-nominated screenwriters and Emmy award-winning television writers and much, much more.

It’s an international Algonquin Round Table for everyone on the internet, where we can play games, joust our ideas and flame away with passion and ire on subjects dear to our hearts . . .

For a writer, it’s like getting to play pickup basketball with some of the best NBA players . . . because on the internet -
Writers Rule
- on the internet, writers rule through words and ideas, it’s our home turf and it is totally awesome.

A few words about The Daily Dojo.

I’ve resisted advertising banners here, there have definitely been inquiries and I’ve turned them down, not for any good reason other than I just like how the Dojo looks as is.

I’ve also resisted only writing about one subject, be it theatre or film or television or what have you - if I focused on one area, I could probably generate more traffic, but this really isn’t a commercial enterprise, it’s just what I do for fun and a way to share things with my friends and acquaintances, no more, no less.

But for those who understand the symbol at the top of my website know, I’m a big believer in evolution and change.

My blog has always been a curious hybrid of personal and professional, all in an oblique manner with few names or identities revealed - I don’t necessarily want to gossip here, just want to throw ideas around . . . but it’s grown to be more than that for me.

This past year marked the first year I really began writing about personal issues and events, such as this one:
Kai Grinning

And I’ve also shared my career stuff as it has happened, and been challenged by the people I’ve met in person and online.

As a writer, and as a person, I’ve come a long way in the past three years.

I’ve also become a father for the first time. That was and still is pretty damn big.

I went from being a temp worker to a professional writer.

I’ve had many productions of plays, many readings, and more importantly, I’ve made many more forays into other areas of professional writing and learned much about writing film, in addition to fiction. I learned from those who’ve been there before me and sometimes those lessons were harsh ones.

I also spent many hours composing the perfect snarky comment whilst involved in many a flame war on someone else’s blog, meticulously mapping out my argument and outrage at whatever subject I happened to be debating.

I’ve written a lot of material, some of which I wrote here just for you, my readers.

Some of it was for others.

Some days I wanted to write but didn’t have a spare second and missed the Dojo.

Some days I got up at five, wrote until it was time to go to work, came home at six and wrote until midnight. I put in many, many long hours of labor on a play or a screenplay that I wasn’t sure I could even get anyone to read.

Sometimes I couldn’t. But I kept churning them out. I kept pounding that bag.

And it paid off in the end, the hours, the toil and the joy of chopping verbal cotton.

It changed me. For the better.

That’s what I believe.

And I wonder what I’ll see when I look back three years from now at the world.

I wonder.

Here are a few of the favorite written works from The Daily Dojo, accessorized by show pics starring some friends, so peruse at your heart’s content, and at the bottom a copy of the very first post I wrote for the Dojo, written exactly three years ago.

And I’ve included a picture of me in the pilot seat -
In The Pilot’s Seat
- Doing what I love, pounding the keyboard.

DAILY DOJO MAKIWARI BOARD OF GREATEST HITS

Written Essays, Scenes & Fun With Words -

Ron Howard & The Big Red Pitch
New Years Resolutions I Have No Intention Of Keeping 2007
15 New Year’s Resolutions I Have No Intention Of Keeping
Nine Obvious Tells That Maybe, Just Maybe, You Watch Too Much Television
Five Obvious Tells That Your Lady May Be Using You
“Hey, are either of y’all the illegitimate sons of Geraldo Rivera?”
The Ides Of March - A DVD Deleted Scene from Julius Caesar
The One Scene New Play Challenge!
The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had

The Kiss From The Men’s Room
The Infamous Park Scene
Porn Booth Scene From The Men’s Room
Bathroom Scene from The Men’s Room

Now For Something Completely Different - Spooge
The Girl Next Door
Still The Beaver
Parade Of Angry Ex-Girlfriends
The Black Man

Poetry Drive-By . . .
Me, Ryan And The Beaver
White-Boy Black-Boy
I Love Books!
What’s On Your Desk?
To Serve - A Short Essay . . .
My best side

Personal Sh*t -
Ladies and Gentleman - KAI NAKA-JAMES!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me . . .
Gasp!: Taking Care of Business - 8 Random Facts About Joshua James
Outlaws just aren’t outlaws anymore… I’ve been tagged! » The Unknown Screenwriter
10 questions: Joshua James
From Playwright to Writer . . .
God Told Me To Tell You . . .

Chuck spread . . .
Rapping On Writing -

What Writing Be?
The One Page Screenplay Challenge
The Last Gasp
Fingers To The Bone
It’s Like A Kick To The Head . . .
And While You’re Over Here, You Mind Grabbing That End Of The Couch?
Rapping On Writing - The Dialogue Mix . . .
Rapping On Writing - Character issues . . .
Rapping On Writing - Character issues, Part Deux, The Arc of the Transformative
Don’t Tell Me, Show Me . . .
The Great Pumpkin, The Football That Won’t Hold Still, The Kite That Won’t Fly, The Red Baron & Other Wonderful Unrealized Aspirations
Lou & Clyde

Theatre Smackdown Posts -

No More Covers
No More Covers, Part Deux
Hey, What’s That Guy Doin’ In A Dress?
Hey, What’s That Guy Doin’ In A Dress? Part Deux - the Bennies
Duty and The Five Difficulties
More Indie-Theatre Ranting . . .
Let Me Explain My Concept For Your Play
Never Do This . . .
Truer words . . .
The Common Touch - The Problem With Theatre Today
Richard Nelson, Can We Clone You?
Three Things To Rule Us All . . .
Why Old Plays Bore The Sh*t Outa Me!
Playwright As An Adult Who Can Chew Bubble Gum, Walk & Do Other Things, Too
Is Theatre Corrupt Or Has Somebody Just Left Something In The Fridge Too Long?
Playwrights As The Ugly Red-Headed Stepchildren No One Wants
Plays As People -
Animal Magnatism

More work by yours truly -
Written Works by JJ
And track the shows I have running in Joshua’s plays onstage

And I couldn’t choose just one post in Political Porn as that it all comes from the soul, baby, but here are some of those highlights -

Ranting

ID Stands for Idiots . . .
Butcher’s Bill . . .
Bush Is A Lying Butt-Munch Part III
So it’s official, Bush is a lying Butt-Munch
Bush Is A Lying Butt-Munch
But One of the Many Reasons I’m Pleased I’m No Longer A Christian
Robertson, Part Duex
Pimping Long Distance In Jesus’s Name, Amen (and hatin’ gays to boot)
Here’s The Thing . . .
History Ambushes the Bush Administration
“Everyone” Thought Iraq had WMD’s, Ever Hear That One?
A Conservative Speaks & Asks Questions Directed Toward Progressives
I Never Thought I’d Agree with Dick
Exit Stage Right
Ann Coulter Is A Repugnant Person
God Told Me To Tell You . . .

First Foray

Below is the first-ever Dojo post. I had changed blog support some months into this and therefore a few months of my early blog posts are not available here on word press.

Since I have the original, I’ll repost for your perusal.

Cecilia the Band changed their name to the Veltz family. They still rock, check their site for playdates, you will not be sorry. Their base-player, Kevin Jacoby, went solo and is working on an album of his own. He rocks, too. He plays in the East Village and you must see him in action.

Here you go, friends.

Daily Dojo first article November 28th, 2004

For the longest time, while living in New York City, I didn’t even have a phone. It’s true, ask anyone who’s known me a long time. I had a voicemail service number, and that’s how anyone got in touch with me. I lived a pretty bohemian life in a way, just me, my Macintosh computer, a few books and that was that. I even slept on a mattress on the floor. In late 2000 my roommate and best buddy Gerry moved back to Ireland and he bequeathed to me his cell phone, which he had no use for any longer.

It was at that point I took my first tentative steps into the modern technical age. Soon after I was inducted into the world of the internet and email. As Neo said, “Whoa.”

I have strong memories of growing up in rural Iowa before cable television hit, how many of you remember that time? There were three main stations, ABC, NBC and CBS (four if you count PBS, but most people didn’t) and they also went off the air about three or so in the morning. So for a few hours each morning there was nothing but a pattern on the screen.

This was before VCR’s and remote controls, too, we didn’t have any of that. Actually, the kids of the house served as the remote controls. I can remember my old man calling me all the way in from the other room just to change the channel (“Hold it, wait ‘til this commercial is over, I don’t know if I want to watch this yet) from the comfort of his recliner.

Cable television came and instantly changed the outlook of my small town substantially. Through cable and MTV, we were able to see larger portions of the rest of the world (and am I the only one who weeps at how drastically MTV has lost its way from it’s once all video format? Maybe I am) and it altered our perception not only of the town we lived in, but ourselves. It was totally cool. More than that, in the words of Robert Thurman, it was a “cool revolution.”

I think the internet cyber world was another totally “cool revolution” in our lifetimes. There’s something fascinating about the ability to punch in words and find out anything you need to know about anything, to be able to send out one message to hundreds of your friends, to hang your hat at one place in the cyber world and it will be yours forever.

I have almost every program from any show of mine produced, but the first half of my career I had no pictures or notes, nothing but the programs to show that they even existed. Five years, twenty or so shows, not even counting readings. It was in keeping with my fluid lifestyle at that time, but I do wish I’d kept a more complete record, as I try to do now, of what’s going on and the really great people I’ve been able to work with on my theatre travels.

As a result I decided to hang my hat in World Wide Web and record my adventures as a playwright, scribe and whatever else happens to me along the way. A big thanks to Kevin at Bayt & Takl Design, who is responsible for much of the coolness of this site and whom I couldn’t have done it without.

So welcome to the Daily Dojo, where I’ll rant, reason and rave about what’s going on, what’s right or what’s wrong in the headlines and anything else that catches my fancy. Please feel free to visit the Dojo every day, and I welcome feedback on my site or anything else within.

That being said, I do have some recommendations for you, my kind guest. Here you go.

BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Truly fantastic, I highly recommend it. I ain’t gonna tell you anything other than that, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

RENTAL OF THE WEEK
Assault on Precinct 13
The original film, written and directed by John Carpenter, before he made Halloween. This was back when he was in killer form, as in Escape From New York form, and you should check this film out now, because someone is remaking it and we know how well that generally works out, don’t we? It’s a spare, lean thriller and very violent, one that cannot help but stay with you after being viewed.

PLAY REVIVAL NOT TO BE MISSED
Danny & The Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley
It’s running at SecondStageTheatre and I just saw it. Now admittedly, I’m already prejudiced to like this play because a good friend of mine, Adam Rothenberg, is performing in it. However, this play is a personal favorite (and influence) and I’ve seen many bad productions of this play in the past. It’s two actors alone onstage in two very complex roles full of traps and the actors either get it or they don’t. Most of the time they don’t. Not so in this case, Adam rocks the house in the part and his counterpart, Rosemarie DeWitt is his equal in every way. Shanley is the king. Check the show out while you have the chance.

NBA TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Indiana Pacers. They lost half their roster and yet, they’re still winning and winning well. This could be the best thing that happened to them, as that it’s giving bench-warmers a chance to grow confident and blossom in their game on the world stage. Once they get their best players back, an already deep team just got deeper and more dangerous. And on a personal note, I hate hearing the party line from the NBA that no matter what happens, players should never go into the stands. Bull-hockey. I’m of the position that no matter who you are, spectator, player or referee, if you are physically attacked you have the right to defend yourself, no matter where you are.

TV SHOW OF THE WEEK
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Okay, this recommendation is not likely to change from week to week, mainly because Jon Stewart is just that damn smart, funny and entertaining. Best fake news show ever. Watch it. Watch it. You should not miss. Coolest ever.

BAND OF THE WEEK
Again, this is not likely to change for quite some time, as that I am an admittedly fanatic for the music of Cecilia (www.ceciliatheband.com) so run, don’t walk, to their next show. They play Fridays at the Alphabet Lounge in NYC and catch them now before they start headlining in stadiums.

That’s it, welcome to the Daily Dojo and talk to you again soon!

Yours truly,

Joshua James

4 Responses to “ Daily Dojo Is Three Years Old! Happy Birthday With The Dojo’s Greatest Hits!”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Dude, that is SO awesome! Congratulations, man! In that photo of you doing what you love, what is that under your nose? Is that a giant handlebar mustache or something?

    -MM

  2. Joshua James Says:

    Nah, it’s my necklace with the ring on it (one ring shall bind us) . . . I have a bad habit of letting it slip into my mouth when I’m concentrating real hard and the Samurai Lady snapped a pic of me doing it just to be snarky - she’s like that, heh.

  3. David Anaxagoras Says:

    *wheeze*pant* Sorry I’m late! Did I miss the birthday party? Did you save me some cake?

    Congratulations, J. Here’s to another three years.

  4. Mac Says:

    Congratulations on 3 years, Josh!

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