Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

Hey there!

As I record this video, summer is approaching, and with it, some time to take a break, and maybe pick up a new skill.

Mental Floss, one of my favorite online (and offline) magazines, has got just the ticket for you to learn something awesome. 50 tickets, as a matter of fact. A recent article on MF links to 50 things you can learn by watching free videos on YouTube.

Here are a dozen of what I think might be the most interesting to performers.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
another one add a video for the year of
2019 we’re doing a video every day and I
love Mental Floss I don’t know if you
read Mental Floss if you get their
emails it’s like one of the things that
I look forward to during the day you
know how sometimes you sign up for a
newsletter and you go like maybe you’ve
signed up for this newsletter and you go
but I signed up for Mental Floss a few
years ago and I’ve never failed to be
entertained informed I just love it and
you know used to be a magazine that I
got I stopped getting it after a while
but now that they have the online
version I just really love it and they
just had a an article that really struck
me as something that would be very
useful for all of us we’re always trying
to increase our special skills you know
that part of our resume where we talk
about oh I can ride a horse so I can
play tennis you know you should only put
things on there that you actually can do
by the way but they had an article that
was crazy
50 things you can learn to do on YouTube
and they don’t just give you links to go
get the video at YouTube they actually
embed each one of these videos into the
article and I’ve got the the link either
above or below this I don’t know where
you’ll find it when you wherever you’re
watching this video but it’s called 50
skills you can learn from YouTube or
something I think that’s what the title
is anyway I called the top dozen that I
think would be most effective for you to
take a look at and the first one is how
to speed read you know being able to
take in an entire script or an entire
scene all at once and not have to labor
over the reading of it is something that
can really accelerate your deal flow
when it comes to auditions when it comes
to doing the work and learning how to
speed read especially an entire script
and then go back and look for the scenes
that really you have something to do
with and that sort of thing I think
that’s really cool
how about how to say hello in nearly 50
languages you know when you’re presented
with somebody who’s from another country
and you can say gin nobody Akshay bocher
you can say hello or you can say
bon jour or whatever you you know
whatever languages you speak and by the
way I don’t speak Polish I don’t speak
German and I don’t speak French but I
can say hello in those three languages
and a bunch of others how to tie a tie
now here’s what I would say certainly if
you don’t know how to tie a tie you
should learn how to tie a necktie but if
you are in a role where you’re in a
romantic situation and you’re helping a
man or a woman put a tie on learn how to
tie a tie from the other side learn how
to tie a knot with you wearing it but
with them wearing it right how to be a
better dancer in three steps man I don’t
know how many times I’ve been in
auditions and like hey can you can you
do a little thing where it doesn’t look
like you’re a dancer but you actually
are and you know and occasionally I can
do a quick step or two that would be
cool this one I love how to juggle I
have always wanted to learn how to
juggle so when I’m done with this video
I’m gonna go watch that and see if I can
if I can figure out how to how to make
that happen another thing that is you
know I don’t want you going out and
working birthday parties unless you
really want to but how to make balloon
animals you never know when something
like that could come in very handy
you know perhaps you’re a prisoner and
you you amuse your captors in a way that
is unexpected
by making them a special balloon animal
I don’t know I’m grasping at straws at
this point how to perform a magic trick
that’s always fun I mean when you can
when you can take an item and make it
disappear it always starts a
conversation it’s something that you can
do you know in in the beginning of an
audition in the middle of an audition
I’m talking mostly on camera here but
some of these things are are applicable
to voice work as well here’s one that I
think is not for auditions and skills
but just for your own well-being and
that’s how to meditate I have learned so
many things doing this series of videos
about meditation that I did not know
before I mean I love the book ten
percent happier and I love the the apps
that are available for meditating and
finding out the truth behind meditating
what you think meditating is all about
is a really wonderful discovery for more
how to drive a stick how to drive a
manual transmission I know how to drive
a manual transmission I made myself
learn because my grandfather wanted to
give me a car my very first car was an
automatic but he also had a very cool
car that was a manual and he’s like you
can’t drive that and I’m like watch me
and I taught myself how to do it it has
come in handy at least two or three
times in my career when auditioning for
things when I auditioned for and got the
the part on lost I didn’t have to drive
a stick but they asked me if I could and
I said yeah and and the and the writer
was kind of funny he was like really
what’s the first thing you do and I said
the first thing you do is put in you
know push the clutch and put it in first
and then slowly ease out so you can
engage the gears and he goes this guy
knows how to do you go you go she knows
how to drive a stick no problem
how to moonwalk you know being able to
do that just in the middle of something
you know as an ad-lib is kind of cool I
wonder how long that will be effective
you know there’s so many other moves
like that that thing where you do the
arm thing I can’t even do it because my
shoulder is killing me that final – how
to play pool I am amazed at how many
scenes there are where you are asked to
shoot billiards and play pool and then
finally how to beatbox this is something
that has eluded me because I my
breathing is not right for it for some
reason I’d like to go watch that video
as well so I linked to the article as I
said it’s either below or above the
video and all of the videos are embedded
on that page on Mental Floss so awesome
hey what by the way what is your super
awesome special skill that nobody does I
have said this before when I’ve done
these videos my skill is a Fritz Feld
impressionists I can do Fritz Feld like
crazy follow me that’s that’s Fritz Feld
and if you don’t know if or it’s felt is
it was an awesome awesome impression of
fritz felt but what’s yours what’s your
special skill I’d love to know leave me
a comment below tell me what it’s all
about if you want to
subscribe to my channel go ahead and
click on my head there it’ll take you to
the subscription or find a subscribe
button seeing the latest video is as
easy as clicking on that frame I’m David
H Lawrence the seventeen thank you so
much for watching and I’ll talk to you

5 Responses to Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

  1. Shelley Stephen May 26, 2019 at 11:26 am #

    I don’t know if it’s a special skill, but I can do basic baton twirling. It came in handy during a local community theater production of Hello Dolly. I ended up leading the parade scene. Who would have thought that something you learned in elementary school would be useful many, many moons later?!?

  2. David Wandelt May 26, 2019 at 9:22 pm #

    I learned how to fly an airplane some years ago, and actually got my private pilot’s license. Oh, and I do voiceover and voice acting.

  3. Joe J Thomas May 27, 2019 at 6:40 am #

    I learned to yodel on the internet… and it led to one of my most interesting VO jobs.

    As for unique skills, I can impersonate a camel.

    • ed waldorph May 28, 2019 at 9:46 am #

      Joe! Was that you. Great job, man! I always wondered who Joe Camel was. ;) ;)

  4. Stephanie May 28, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    I feel confident saying I’ve got special skills for days and they have come in very handy over the years. A trained dancer, choreographer, mime, Cirque clown, face painting, balloon animals, costume designer/construction, puppet maker, bead and jewelry designer, watercolor & acrylic painter, sketch artist, and animal handler. When I don’t know something I always head over to YouTube. For tech questions, there is always a knowledgable 11-year-old ready to help with the answer. Lol. Yoga is fantastic on YouTube. Yoga With Adriene has saved my back and neck this year. Love her.

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