By Johnny Heller



How many times have you seen social media posts that are nothing more than “Hey Look at Me” messages? They ask for our attention without telling us why we should attend, why we should care a jot… or even a whit. I’m talking about posts that say: “Just got a great job but I can’t talk about it!”

Or: “Cross your fingers for me! I’m up for a role I can’t discuss!”

Firstly, if you signed an NDA, then shut up. You signed the NDA so stop talking about whatever it is.

Secondly, try to recognize that many of the people who see your posts on any social media platform, may be hurting for work in the same field you’re in and here you are bragging about gigs so amazing you aren’t even allowed to talk about them and they can’t even get anyone to send them a note telling them they didn’t get the last gig they were up for.
Feel free to share wonderful things when they happen – that’s just fine and it’s likely that your friends want to celebrate your good news.

Social media should have been a great boon to humanity – a wonderful invention, but like Fox News, atom splitting, and gas station sushi, there are many problems. It’s a minefield of lies, nonsense, and twaddle, and you need to navigate it smartly or you will get eaten up by it.

And if you are in a bad place in your life, a dark place—if you’re actually hurting, alone, afraid – if you really need help with your emotions, your mental health – please call 988. Please talk to someone trained to deal with what you may be experiencing.  You can’t trust your life’s biggest decisions to strangers because they liked your post featuring your cat.


The Audie Awards are on March 4, 2024.
I’ve no idea if my friend Dion Graham will win all 5300 Audie Nominations he has this year. He’s great at everything he does. But I have no idea how to compare great storytelling if the storytellers are telling different stories. It’s all so subjective.  That, of course, is the nature of awards for creative arts.
I believe that you, as audiobook actors, need to know that audiobook awards are built on your work, your efforts, your experiences, whether you get nominated or not, and that without you, there would be no Audies, no trophies, and no APA. It’s that simple.
Should you attend the Audies? If you like to dress up and mingle with your fellow actors, engineers, marketing staff and producers and all the people that make our work possible, you should absolutely go and have a hell of a good time.

There are complaints that the Audies keep shrinking the categories by combining genres. I don’t understand why they do this. More categories mean more submissions which means more money.  It also means a longer event so maybe that’s the reason. I know that the SOVAS Awards have many categories and keeps expanding. Next year I am going to enter a book into the Best Mystery Narrated by Short Right-Handed Vest Wearing Wiseass Narrators.

The complaints about the Audies – too much money, too few categories, too many movie stars get nominated -they really should have a celebrity category – are many but once you get there, once you dress up and show up – does it really matter? No! Of course it doesn’t. Suit up, have a cocktail and enjoy the thing. And remember that many people worked really hard to make the evening wonderful.

We have plenty of opportunities to get annoyed in this world without adding the Audies to the list – like how movies are over 3 hours long. Why is there a Film Editing Oscar if no one is gonna edit films?

In fact, allow me to rant for a bit to close out this blog and perhaps you will be inspired to get irritated by everything too – then we can share the fact that we’re all a bunch of whiny curmudgeons and relish our bellicosity.

Here’s some annoying stuff:

– How come every time you buy something, you get an email asking you to review your purchase? The request generally comes long before you’ve got the damn thing home. I don’t know how much I like the pizza I just ordered. I haven’t even opened the box.  Also, I don’t wanna review my purchase. I bought it. If it sucks, I’ll bring it back. If it does what it’s supposed to do, why would I wax poetic about it?    “Dear Hardware Store guys, I bought a ball peen hammer last week in your store and I just wanted to let you know that it did a wonderful job hammering my ball peens. And your screwdriver? Wow! That thing really screws! And don’t get me started on the wood screws! My wood has never been screwed so thoroughly. Thank you!”

-How come when Jo Anna looks for shoes online, my social media fills up with ads from shoemakers I’ve never heard of? I don’t know Jimmy Choo from Manolo Blahnik. Like all my peers, I wear standard middle age white guy gym shoes from New Balance because that’s what we do and that’s who we are and we’re fine with it.
– And listen, when you’re driving and you need to make a call or look something up, you pull over so you don’t impede your fellow drivers, right? So how come when you’re on a crowded sidewalk, you just stop short to look at your phone. You can’t just stop in mid-stride! People can lose an eye out there! Pull over! We’re walkin’ here!
-And as long as I’m on a crabfest, how come so many British actors keep getting cast to play Americans in movies and on TV, but if one American plays a Brit, we risk war with the UK? And while I’m on the topic of film casting, I still can’t get over making a movie called the Irishman and casting DeNiro in the lead. I don’t know if any Irish actors were even in the thing. I didn’t see any. And that movie is way too long. If the lead characters in a movie get into a car and drive somewhere, just have them get in and start filming them again when they get there. I don’t need a drive from New York to Philly in real-time. And I don’t care if it’s Scorcese or Scorseesee – tell me a story in 90 minutes or hush up!
-Oh! Oh! –  if you find yourself in the gym – like you promised you were gonna do in January – and you use a machine, clean your sweat up off the machine when you’re done! There are towels everywhere! Use one.
-And for God’s sake – stop having loud phone chats about personal stuff in public. I don’t need to know about who gave you the STD. I don’t know you. I shouldn’t know you even have an STD. Although, I suppose the heads up is always appreciated in case things get heated, but still…
And turn your damn ringer off. The phone will buzz when someone calls, and we all know you’re gonna take the call even though you’re actually talking to someone who’s with you when the thing rings. You know you have voicemail, right?
I could bang on, but I shall save my ire for future blogs! I hope my rant has given you pleasure — it’s only given me high blood pressure. Until next time!

Comments (4)

  • Ann Richardson Reply

    Love all of this, Johnny. I especially cringe when people who were lucky enough to get one of the limited number of tickets to the mixer say “I get so overwhelmed I think I’ll go sit in the lobby in a corner”, when there are people begging, clamoring for any ticket they might purchase, agonizing on the waiting list, etc… Always appreciate your humor. HOpe to see you and JoAnna soon.

    February 29, 2024 at 2:24 pm
  • Ray Conley Reply

    Whew! Damn, son, you was on a roll. Go have yourself a large bourbon to wind down. And about those guys putting ice cubes in their single malts…

    February 29, 2024 at 6:29 pm
  • Petrea Burchard Reply

    I love this, Johnny. Your writing is as good as your narrating, and thats saying something.

    February 29, 2024 at 10:27 pm
  • Melissa Kay Benson Reply

    Thanks for risking your arterial elasticity for the sake of our laughter. Your humor is life giving. Every chuckle and guffaw extends our lives by a millisecond or so. My life span thanks you.

    March 2, 2024 at 9:02 am

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