brooklynmonk

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Martial Arts Odyssey: Screen Test, Cambodia

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 4:06 am

Watch it for free on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgwowswnGx0

 

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo meets a Singapore TV crew in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to film a screen test. If things go well, Antonio will get his own TV show, following the Brooklyn Monk traveling across Asia, doing crazy stuff.

 

Listen to the Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast, for free

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of six books, available on amazon.com, most notably, Warrior Odyssey and The Monk from Brooklyn. He is the host of the web TV show Martial Arts Odyssey, which has had over 160 episodes. Of late, he is starring in the world’s first 3D martial arts TV series, Brooklyn Monk.

His website is www.speakingadventure.com you can contact him through his website and sign up for his newsletter, as well as order copies of his books or the DVD Martial Arts Odyssey, Volume One http://www.lulu.com/product/dvd/martial-arts-odyssey-volume-1—kuntaw-and-bokator/11921381

Follow Brooklyn Monk on twitter http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

Join the Brooklyn Monk fan page on facebook

Watch Martial Arts Odyssey on youtube

www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklynmonk,Antonio,Graceffo,Cambodia,Bokator,screen,test,CTN,Cambodian,television,tv,network,filming,bradal,serey,muay,thai,fights,professional,commentator,announcer,announcing,commentary,english,kick,boxing,khmer,khun,kun,yuthakun,yuthakhun,Aaron,Matthe,Leverton

Advertisements

Published author in search of agent or publisher

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Antonio Graceffo

Antonio@speakingadventure.com

http://www.speakingadventure.com

I am searching for a literary agent or author to represent my “anti-travel humor” book, entitled, Brooklyn Monk in Asia. The book will be 200 pages long and will be completed in November 2010. Attached please find two sample chapters. The book has broad international readership appeal with its genesis stemming from global and personal events of the last decade.

 

The rich spend big money to fly to the poorest countries on holiday. They complain if it is uncomfortable or unfamiliar, but feel cheated if they see McDonalds and CNN. This is the travel conundrum. I am a travel author, yet one who hates travel. My new book, Brooklyn Monk in Asia, is a glimpse into my ten-year odyssey through Asia. The book is written from the perspective of an educated New Yorker, who sees the world in no-nonsense terms. We don’t have to like everything about other cultures. In fact, we probably won’t. At the same time, being immersed in other cultures for this length of time allows for a unique and objective perspective of the world I left behind and the one the readers still live in.

 

Before 9/11, I worked in the frenetic environment of the New York City financial industry. 9/11 changed my values, no – it changed my life and I heading to Asia shortly thereafter. I have been in Asia ever since, traveling from country to country studying martial arts and languages, writing magazine articles and books, and working in TV shows and movies.

 

Twice along the way I cut my hair and lived in a monastery and that is where the name Monk came from. This was also the title of my first book, The Monk from Brooklyn. My latest book, Warrior Odyssey, published by Black Belt Books, enjoyed a world release.

 

My previous books were somewhat serious, but written in a tongue-in-cheek style, decorated with a lot of humor. The new book, Brooklyn Monk in Asia, is pure humor. The book is a collection of 20 short stories, taken from various adventures and experiences while in Asia during ten years of travel. I jokingly refer to my writing as anti-travel humor, because after reading it, no one would ever want to travel. The book parallels my Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast, which will be employed as an advertising tool, to aid book sales.

 

The target audience for this book is not limited to people who love or hate travel, it was written with fellow Generation-Xers and Baby Boomers in mind. I dedicated the book to the over-forty, under-paid, over-educated, and under-appreciated people of the world. There are stories about sitting through job interviews and seminars in Asia. So, yes, we could call this travel, but the readers will relate, because they also have sat through countless boring job interviews and seminars.

 

In addition to writing books, I host a web TV show called Martial Arts Odyssey, which has over 160 episodes. I have appeared on or written for the following TV shows and web TV shows:  Human Weapon (History Channel), Digging for the Truth (History Channel), Fight Quest (Discovery Channel), The Art of Fighting (Colors Network), Wow Bangkok (Wealth TV in 3D), Kill Arman (European Cable), Inside Martial Arts (Web TV Show), Brooklyn Monk in 3D (Web TV show in 3D), Black Belt Magazine online (Destinations video series), as well as assorted Asian TV shows and movies, as well as hosting various commercial DVDs being sold in the USA.

 

 

To find out more about me, you could check these links:

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

 

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

 

website

http://www.speakingadventure.com

 

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

 

Brooklynmonk1 Youtube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

 

Amazon author’s page

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=antonio+graceffo&x=0&y=0

 

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

Antonio Graceffo

 

Adventures in Vietnam Banking

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 10:39 am

Tough Regulations and Terrible Advice Abound

By Antonio Graceffo

The benefit of being around the ex-pat community in any country is, ostensibly, that we all have to overcome the same hurdles such as visas and work permits. When you are confronted with a problem, you probably aren’t the first person to face it. And, you can get good advice from people who have already overcome the same problems as you.

Often, however, the advice you get is downright stupid. It makes you wonder how these people survived over here, or somewhere else for that matter.

Recently, I received email from a guy who was planning to go to Cambodia and put an ad in the paper advertising himself as a bodyguard. This incredibly stupid suggestion was given to him by his friend who had been living in Phnom Penh for years and years, and should have know better. First off, if you don’t speak Khmer, how could you possibly understand or work for your Khmer employer? Next, foreigners are not allowed to carry or possess weapons in Cambodia. So, how could you protect your principle? Another point is the role of the bodyguard. In Cambodia, nearly all bodyguards are licensed police officers. Their role is to work as leg-breaking thugs, enforcers for their bosses. Or, if they are high ranking police, they are there to keep the other cops off your back and to make sure the pay-offs make into the right hands.

Once again, a foreigner couldn’t do any of this, particularly one who doesn’t speak Khmer or know anything about Cambodia. If a foreigner moved to Cambodia, and hung-out a shingle, advertising himself as a bodyguard, he would probably be dead or in jail in a week.

That was one of the worst pieces of advice I had ever heard of. When I shot down this guys dream of being the first foreign bodyguard in Cambodia, he wrote back saying he would apply for a job in a hotel. And this was, once again, on the recommendation of his other friend who had been in Cambodia for five years.

Hotel jobs in Cambodia pay $120 a month. And the odds of them hiring a foreigner are less than zero.

I don’t know where this terribly misinformed advice comes from, but it is not limited to Cambodia. It goes all over Southeast Asia. This week, I was involved in two really stupid pieces of advice, related to banking in Vietnam.

When you have a bank account in Vietnam you can’t just deposit money or receive money from anywhere. You have to basically register your employer with the bank, tell the bank who you are working for, and give them a copy of the employment contract, so they know where the money is coming from. Most companies include bank account forms in the stack of paperwork you fill out when you start working for them.

Mail is not terribly safe in Vietnam, so banks ask you to come in and collect your ATM card and other important information. When I went in to get my ATM card, I asked if it could be used internationally. And of course, it couldn’t. So, I had to fill out more papers, so I could receive a separate card for travel. After years of living in Asia, I learned you always have to ask about the international card.

There was a young American couple also picking up their ATM cards, so I went over to warn them. “If you want to be able to use your card outside of Vietnam, you have to get a separate card.” I said.

The guy gave me a dirty look and smarted off.  “We looked into that card, and they charge 6% for withdrawals outside of Vietnam. We don’t need it.”

I backed off, none of my business. I’m a New Yorker and I don’t want to get involved.  BUT, let’s analyze this logic for a minute. Nearly everyone who works in Vietnam, or in Asia in general, is here because they want to see the world. And, on average, they will travel to another country at least twice per year. If you don’t have an international ATM card, that means, before your holiday, you have to calculate the exact amount of money you need for your trip. Then you need to go buy that quantity of dollars on the black market, at a crap rate. Then, fly with all of your cash to your vacation country. Then you have to buy vacation country currency, and pay commissions. Then, during your entire holiday, you have to keep this amount of cash under your pillow.

Isn’t this sounding like a fun vacation? I love going to dinner and leaving $2,500 of cash in my room or on a blanket on the beach. In fact, I don’t even see how this strategy could lead to disaster.

And, without the international ATM card, if your money gets lost, stolen, or you just over-spend, you have no way of drawing on your account in Vietnam.

Finally, when you fly back to Vietnam, you have to convert your leftover holiday money back into dollars or Vietnam Dong, and pay commissions.

Yes, this strategy is much better than just paying 6% to draw the money out while you are in a foreign country.

After fourteen years of living outside of the US, I have obviously learned nothing. This young couple, on their first overseas stint clearly knew something I didn’t.

Along the same theme of not being able to deposit cash in a Vietnam bank account, a lot of people come to Vietnam and get a full time job, with a contract and a bank account and possibly a work-permit. But then they get a part time job, which pays cash, and pays about 30% more than a regular job. For most people, they just use the cash as pocket money and it allows them to leave most of their salary in the bank. But, I have known people who wound up with three part time jobs, which paid so well, they quit their full time job.

At the end of the first month, they are faced with the problem of what to do with a couple of thousand dollars in cash. If they aren’t complete degenerate drinkers, they save a thousand dollars or more per month. By the end of the year, they could have twelve or more thousand dollars worth of cash, in Vietnam Dong.

Now what can they do? They have a crate full of Vietnam Dong which they can’t convert to dollars and which they can’t deposit in a bank. The answers that most people came up with were to buy a safe for their room, to store the money. Then change it on the black market over a period of weeks. But this didn’t seam very safe to me. It wouldn’t seem advisable to let anyone know, or even suspect that you have tens of thousands of dollars worth of cash in your room. And if you keep going to the same places to change it, someone might notice.

I was discussing this situation with a teacher who had been in Vietnam for years and believed he was giving me advice, to help me out.

“Suitcase it to Singapore.” He said. But he said it with a conspiratory, James Bond air. Like he was speaking from his years of experience as an international man of mystery.

“You mean they will convert Vietnam Dong to US dollars in Singapore?” I asked.

“Well, no…I don’t think so.” He said, suddenly less sure of himself than he was before I asked a single follow-up questions. “I think you have to convert the dollars first on the black market in Vietnam.”

OK, so you still had to change on the black market. So, that part of the problem remained the same. But apparently this guy did know something I didn’t. You could deposit the money in Singapore. That sounded better than keeping a year of savings in your room. But you still had to pay money for a flight to Singapore and possibly a hotel stay and all of that. But if it helped you keep your money safe, I guess it was worth it.

Since most people don’t have a Singapore bank account, I asked. “Are you saying that you can open a bank account in Singapore without a work permit?”

“I’m not sure about that either.” He said, looking for a door.

“So, which part of the problem did your suggestion actually solve?” I asked.

“I’m probably not the right person to talk to about this.” He answered, no longer sounding like James Bond.

“I strongly agree with you.” I answered.

Back in Brooklyn, my uncle used to tell me, “Opinions are like butt-holes. Everyone has one, and they all stink.”

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

website

www.speakingadventure.com

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

Teaching English Pronunciation to Vietnamese Students

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 2:04 am

By Antonio Graceffo

An ESL teacher in Saigon, wrote me: “As you may have worked out already, the pronunciation of Vietnamese ESL learners is not great. I am looking at ways to try and improve the pronunciation of the learners at my school.”

”As a linguist, do you have any insights into spoken English and the difficulties that syllable-timed L1s (Vietnamese  people) might have learning a stressed-timed L2 language?”

Pronunciation is always a problem for Asian students, but in my experience, having taught in a number of Asian countries, the Thais and Vietnamese seem to have the most problems with pronunciation. Chinese, Korean, or Khmer students have some consistent pronunciation problems, but they can make themselves understood. With Vietnamese, the pronunciation is often so far off that you have no idea what they are even trying to say.
When it comes to language learning, the Vietnamese are faced with several problems. At least two of which are unique to Vietnam, but the others seem to be consistent across Asia.

Let’s get the Asian consistent problems out of the way first.

Listening: I am a proponent of ALG Automatic language Growth, a listening-only method of language acquisition.

You can watch some of my ALG Videos here:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=antonio+graceffo+ALG&aq=f

Without going 100% into ALG or applying it exclusively to an ESL classroom in Vietnam, I believe, beyond any doubt, that a significant factor contributing to Vietnamese students having pronunciation issues is that they simply don’t listen enough. If you haven’t heard the sounds, you can’t reproduce them. In the commercial ESL marketplace, across Asia, parents are told that their children will be speaking English from their first day. The focus of the entire program is on speaking, rather than listening. Good foreign ESL teachers do model the target language, before asking students to produce it. But it’s not enough. When you learned English you heard phrases hundreds or even thousands of times before you spoke them. But in Asian ESL, students are asked to produce after one or two hearings.

If you look on an ESL syllabus, obviously there are always listening exercises built into the curriculum, but they generally account for less than ten percent of class time. Production counts for the bulk of class time. This needs to be reversed, fifty minutes of listening and ten minutes of production would be a better ratio.

Along with the lack of listening in the programs, there is a cultural problem with listening. For whatever reason, it just seems that across Asia, listening skills, even in the mother tongue are horrendous. It is particularly bad in Southeast Asia where, during a listening exercise, a student would think nothing of having a conversation with his neighbor or making a call on a cell phone.

Once again, if they don’t listen, they can’t learn the target language and won’t be able to reproduce it.

Culturally there are a number of factors which adversely effect the Asian learner: Face – students don’t want to make any mistakes because they could lose face. Not wanting to stand out – in most of the cultures across the region, the culture calls for conformity and for people to fit into prescribed roles in the society or in the group. No one wants to stand out or innovate, even if it means giving the answer to a question. Students will generally wait until a number of brave souls have answered before they will answer. This is true of all societies to varying degrees. But in Asia, the goals in a group activity are consensus and harmony, not standing out or being exceptional, as say an American would try to do.

The Confucian education system, which is prevalent in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam is based on rote learning. If we take Kung Fu as an example of the ultimate expression of confusion learning; all of the Kung Fu movements which will ever exist, already exist. There will be no innovations and no additions. The best student is the one who most accurately copies his teacher and reproduces what the teacher does. In the days when people still fought with kung Fu or used it for self-defense, the logic in the training was that the teacher would think of every possible attack situation the student would face. Actually, the teacher didn’t think of it, he learned it from his teacher, who learned it from his teacher. Then the student was taught one prescribed reaction to each situation he would face. So, the best fighter was the one who memorized the largest number of attacks and counters, because he had the highest probability of winning, no matter what attack came.

This type of logic is applied to all forms of pedagogy in Asia. Students are rewarded for copying their teacher. On an essay exam, the teacher expects to see the students reproduce, verbatim, his or her words, from the lecture. In America, a students would normally receive a very low grade if he dutifully repeated the teacher’s words, rather than thinking of an answer himself or herself.

In language learning, this method is also applied, but doesn’t work. Students are conditioned to react to very specific stimuli. And if you don’t ask the question, exactly as it is written in the book, their would be cultural barriers preventing the student from answering.

One day, my schedule called for my class to watch a DVD. I had the DVD, but I needed the player. I explained this to my Vietnamese co-teacher and asked her to “go get the DVD machine.” She had no idea what I was talking about. “The DVD machine. We need the DVD machine to watch the movie.” I told her. She left, and returned with a DVD. “NO, we have the DVD already. We need the machine.” I said. Then I stopped and remembered the exact verbiage, “I need the DVD player.” I said, and then everything was fine.

Obviously, language is a living breathing thing which will not follow rules established in a classroom. Also, there are over 400 million English native speakers from countless countries, on ALL of the continents. They won’t all speak the same way. But the Vietnamese education system only prepares the students to deal with people who just stepped out of a textbook.

Now, getting to the specific issues of pronunciation for Vietnamese students: Vietnamese is a Mon Khmer language. There are only two major Mon Khmer languages (Major meaning used as a national language). They are Vietnamese and Khmer. Vietnamese is tonal, whereas Khmer is not. But apart from the tones, the linguistic rhythms are quite similar. As for pronunciation, Mon Khmer languages have a very limited number of terminal sounds. In Khmer, I think there are only 8 possible sounds that can come at the end of a word. In Vietnamese, the number is a bit higher, but still much lower than English. This is significant because if the students mother tongue does not contain a certain sound, they can’t hear it in another language. Or, the sound may even exist in the mother tongue, but never as a terminal sound. So, once again, if that sound is used as a terminal sound in English, they don’t hear it.

When you hear the student speaking with tortured pronunciation, keep in mind that he is hearing something very similar to what is coming out of his mouth, which would explain why the students often don’t understand you.

I haven’t studied Vietnamese as deeply as I have Chinese. So, I may be off here, but in Chinese, Chinese native speakers are not taught to recognize words by phonemes. They are taught to recognize words by tones. The tone is more important for conveying meaning than is the phoneme. I would have to believe that to some degree this is the case in Vietnamese. It won’t be as severe as in Chinese because Mon Khmer languages have multi-syllabic words. Chinese is composed of single syllables, so the tones are probably more important to tell them apart. With Vietnamese, because of my personal approach to study, I see that 80% of Vietnamese vocabulary is composed of single syllable compound words, derived from Chinese. But I am not certain if the Vietnamese interpret or hear their own language this way.

I think we can say that the lack of tones in English becomes a factor in listening comprehension and sound reproduction. But I am not sure to what degree this is a problem for Vietnamese students.

When you begin to learn Vietnamese language, you see the Vietnamese alphabet, Quốc-ngữ, and think, “Oh this is easy. It looks like the Roman alphabet.” But then when you read aloud, no Vietnamese person can understand you. The reason, of course, is that although the characters used in Quốc-ngữ are derived from the Roman or Latin alphabet, Quốc-ngữ is not the Roman or Latin alphabet. The pronunciation of the letters is quite different. The pronunciation of combinations of letters differs from the pronunciation of the same letters pronounced separately. The pronunciation of letters occurring at the ends of words is often different than when those same letters appear at the beginning or in the middle of a word.

When a westerner learns Chinese or Thai, he has no presupposed notions of how any of the strange characters should be pronounced. So, he simply listens to the teacher (hopefully) and repeats, with no bias. But when a westerner learns Vietnamese, he has to unlearn his suppositions about the Vietnamese writing system. It takes a long time for most people to do this, and very few will do it 100%.

Obviously, for Vietnamese learning English, the same must be true. If, in his mind, he is applying Vietnamese sound values to the Roman alphabet, his reading will be unintelligible.

Generally, when I write a piece about a language, I send it to my teacher, David Long, the world’s leading expert on ALG. He will read an article like this and say words to the effect of, “Interesting article. You brought up some good points. But none of this matters.” The short answer is, if you want students to have native like pronunciation, they need to listen for 800 hours. The more the students listen, the better their pronunciation will be. It is that simple.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

website

www.speakingadventure.com

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

Brooklynmonk1 Youtube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast, episode 17, Are You Calling Me a Mook? Part 2

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 9:35 am

 

 

A lifetime of poverty makes you good at being poor. Although Antonio Graceffo desperately needs a job, he almost storms out of his orientation, when the manager tells him: “We encourage the teachers to use pair work, but what will do if you have an odd number of students?”

 

“You’re joking, right?”

 

“No, I am serious. Sometimes you will have an odd number of students. What could you possibly do in that instance?”

 

“That is a difficult problem.” Answers Antonio, “one that I have never encountered in 26 semesters of working as a school teacher. If that happened, I would probably just commit ritualistic suicide.”

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast 17: Are You Calling me a Mook?” Part 2

http://podOmatic.com/r/BrNuM

 

The manager tells Antonio, “Many of our teachers are intelligent. But some do not know how to operate a CD player. Please demonstrate that you can insert a CD in the CD player and press play.”

 

‘Insert this’ thinks Antonio.

 

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

 

Get Antonio’s books on his website

www.speakingadventure.com

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

 

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

 

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

 

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

 

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

 

 

New Media , From E-lebrity to Financial Independence

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Is it really possible?

By Antonio Graceffo

Justin Halpern made a move from Twitter to network television, when his rants, entitled “Shit My Dad Says” were picked up as a TV series.

According to a recent report out of Japan, five out of the top ten Japanese best sellers in 2007 were novels written by texting on a cell phone

“The Last Messages” a hit novel in Finland is composed exclusively of roughly 1,000 text messages.

Tila Tequila, a Vietnamese-French, from Singapore, has a MySpace page with a quarter of a billion hits. She moved from MySpace to magazines, reality TV shows, to video games and finally landed on an MTV reality show called “A shot at Love with Tila Tequila,”

Michael Buckley from the web TV show, “What’s the Buck,” is one of very few examples of someone who moved from broadcast TV, to the internet, and then to financial success and stardom.

The original plan of many bloggers, website administrators, and youtube channel owners was: to start out producing lots of free content, writing stories and making videos online, build up an online following and then cash in on it.

Five years into youtube and a bit longer into first, My Space, and now Facebook, a lot of people have invested countless hours, and often a lot of money, on their blog, or space or channel. And now they want to know, “Where’s the money?”

To list the people who are stuck in the nearly-famous category of “Dude, you’re practically a celebrity” would be too long. So, first, let’s take a look at some success stories.

The first success that I ever heard of was a TV show, called, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which started on Myspace. When the boys finally got a call from a TV network, who was interested in the show, the network asked them what it cost to produce an episode. The hosts had to make up a number on the spot because they had shot it with their mom’s video camera and a budget of zero. The network gave them more money than they had ever seen before and asked them to produce a full season of the show.

James Rolfe, AKA “The Angry Video Game Nerd”, started producing short videos doing comical reviews of old video games. Like “Always Sunny,” James started in 2004, before youtube even came into existence. He originally posted on another sharing site and later moved to youtube in 2006. Some of his earliest money-making products were DVDs of his previously released episodes. Other products included hats and I think even T-shirts. According to wikipedia, “After his fourth online review on YouTube, ScrewAttack invited him to have his own section on their website. He has since been employed by MTV Networks’ GameTrailers.com.’

‘On August 8, 2007, James was featured on the nationally syndicated radio show Opie and Anthony. Since then, additional videos have been played occasionally on the show.’ Rolfe went on to host a show on Opie and Anthony’s XM Satellite Radio  (now Sirius/XM) channel for their “Saturday Night Virus” block of shows.Paraphrase from wikipedia.

The Angry Video Game Nerd has appeared on various TV shows on Spike TVand he has been employed by Spike TV, doing reviews and location spots for his Cinemassacre website.’ Wikipedia.

The first examples, “Tila Tequila”, “Always Sunny” and “Angry Video Game Nerd” followed the path exactly, moving from free media to paid media. But the next two examples, Kevjumba and Ryan Higa are true Generation Y success stories, who followed a path no one had anticipated in 2006, when youtube started.

Ryan Higa, known as Nigahiga, has the single most-subscribed youtube channel of all time. He has over 2,000,000 subscribers, for his channel, where he does funny skits and song parodies. He was 16 when he started, and is 19 now. A couple of years ago, Youtube asked Ryan to become an ad partner, and he collects money from Adsense and other pay per click advertising. No one knows, at this point, how much he is actually earning, in total. But an independent researcher estimated that from simple pay-per-click advertising, he is earning $15,000 per month. In addition to this money, Ryan sells products. He also gets direct advertising revenue and has signed a three-movie deal with movie producer Derek Zemrak. He has also been invited to appear on “The Tyra Banks Show”.

Kevin Wu, aka Kev Jumba, is just 20 years old. His youtube channel has over a million subscribers and he is the number one in his category of comedy. It is estimated that just his pay-per-click advertising alone yields him well over 10,000 USD per month. He recently made the move from the tiny screen to the TV screen, when he was granted a place on “The Amazing Race.” He has also appeared on other TV shows: The CW Television Network’s Online Nation and Hooking Up from HBOLabs (the online arm of HBO)

As someone who is trying to make it in new media, and who is trying to make the jump from new media to the big screen and TV, the income numbers and the success of people like Kevjumba and Ryan Higa are depressing. My most popular video only has 55,000 hits. And my youtube channel only has a bit over 1,400 subscribers. I subscribe to Ryan Higa’s twitter. I have 72 followers. Ryan has over a quarter million.

These are examples of the leading E-lebrities. Let’s put their numbers in perspective, compared to “real” celebrities.

The Final episode of Seinfeld had 76 million viewers, which is a site more than the two million that Ryan has. “The Friends” were each being paid a million dollars an episode for their final several seasons. The money that Kev and Ryan earn for a year from all sources is probably less than what a Friend earned per episode. And remember “Friends” did 234 episodes. That means a minimum of 234 pay checks, per Friend, not counting any residuals or merchandising rights that they may have negotiated.

Before I started doing my youtube show, Martial Arts Odyssey, I approached every TV company I worked with to see if they would produce it or make a deal with me where we would share revenues. Every time I was on a TV show, I would pitch Martial Arts Odyssey to the highest person I could find. And none of them were interested. At the time, I though they were nuts. I figured that with a budget of $5,000 an episode we could probably generate $10,000 a month, for years. The numbers made sense to me. But then I began to understand real TV. Some of the shows I worked on had budgets of $60,000 an episode, but they generated millions in revenues. And of course, there were reruns, syndication, residuals, and merchandizing. The reason big TV didn’t get too involved with the internet, in the beginning, was because the money just wasn’t there.

If you read between the lines with James Rolf, Kev Jumba or Ryan Higa, it seems that TV networks are forward thinking enough to get into internet TV, but they are smart enough not to spend millions on it. They are making deals for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and are generous with giving away percentages of future income in lieu of upfront cash.

Next, the fame factor of the internet.

Ryan and Kevin are E-lebrities. At a convention for new media, people ask for their autogrpahs, but they could probably walk down most streets and not be recognized. Ryan Higa attends college in Las Vegas, where he majors in film. In a recent interview, he said that none of the students in his film class had heard of him. That’s not the case with Jerry Seinfeld. Even Joey, the Friend who has had the worst career after the show ended, probably gets mauled every time he steps out of the house.

For myself, in the last year or so, I have noticed a huge increase in people recognizing me. Nearly all of the gyms I have shot Martial Arts Odyssey in, people recognized me when I showed up. Or, when I was pitching them, asking if I could film, they stopped me and said, “We know who you are.”

I walked into a gym in the Philippines, where the manager was reading a Black Belt Magazine, with my picture in it. In Thailand I had a Russian guy come up to me, who couldn’t speak more than ten words of English. “You…video…Odyssey…good.” I had people from Sweden and from Iran ask for my autograph. And I got recognized on the alley next to my house in Saigon. BUT, with very few exceptions, I was only recognized in context. I was generally in a gym or talking to a gym about filming. In the incident on my street, we were talking about martial arts and suddenly, a Polish guy said, “You are the guy from youtube.” Once in Phnom Penh, an Italian Rastafarian, who I didn’t know, approached me, speaking Italian, asking about Kru Bah, the monk I learned Muay Thai from in Thailand. When I asked how he knew who I was, he said he had read about me in an in-flight magazine. When I asked how he knew I spoke Italian, he said it was in my bio info.

But these events happen to me once in a while. I’m sure it happens to Kevin and Ryan a hundred times more often, but the point is, being an E-lebrity is almost a niche market. You are known by young people who spend a lot of time on line.

As for me, or you, making it financially from being an E-lebrity, here are some thoughts.

First off, it may already be too late. All of the people mentioned in this story, joined youtube almost as soon as it was launched, when there was a lot less competition for viewership.

Next, Ryan Higa and Kevjumba and about 8 of the 10 highest earning internet people are Asian-Americans, who started in high school. There have been a lot of articles recently saying that new media is driven by or favored by Asian-Americans. They are even saying that Asian-American’s success online is revenge for Hollywood passing them over for so many years.

Another point, if you are in high school when you start, you automatically get your whole high school. Then those kids tell other kids at other schools. High school kids probably spend more time on line than anyone else and are probably more actively engaged in social networking with kids from other schools, sharing videos and other entertainment with each other.

When I worked on Wall Street, back when the internet was new, we were told that we shouldn’t target high school kids for marketing because they didn’t have money. And hitting them on line was problematic because they didn’t have credit cards, so they couldn’t buy anything. But neither Ryan nor Kevjumba were trying to make the bulk of their money from selling anything to their fan base. They earned their initial money from pay-per-click advertising. That advertising paid, whether the person who clicked actually had money to buy anything or not. So, they didn’t actually need to earn money from their fan base.

My latest project has been a 3D martial arts TV show, called Brooklyn Monk in 3D. It is a pay per download show, on http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/ It would be nice if the show got wildly popular and had five million views. But another rule of the internet seems to be, as soon as you charge money, even if it is a dollar, you loose more than ninety-nine percent of your fan base. So, the money still seems to be in pay-per-click advertising, but you need millions of hits to make any real money.

Perhaps the unwitting youtube success of Jack Rebney, “The Angriest Man in the World” is more indicative of the wealth and fame that E-lebrity can bring you. Long before youtube even existed, Jack Rebney was hired as an actor, in an industrial video, demonstrating the benefits and features of a new style RV. While shooting the commercial, Jack encountered every imaginable problem, from broken equipment, to a swarm of bees. He lost his cool to such a point that he was cursing and screaming up a storm. The film crew saved all of these “bloopers” and circulated them around to their fiends. Eventually, youtube came along and the video appeared on youtube, quickly becoming one of the funniest and most watched videos of all time. Jack knew nothing of the cult celebrity status he had achieved. Recently, an independent filmmaker, named  Ben Steinbauer’s tracked Jakc down and told him that he was famous. Mr. Steinbauer then made the full length documentary film, “Winnebago Man.” About Jack Rebney.

Ben and Jack appeared on Jay Leno to talk about the movie and the story behind it. Jay Leno asked Jack if he got rich off of the video and he said, words to the effect of, (paraphrase) ‘It doesn’t work like that anymore. You just get famous. But there is no money.’

I guess what I am saying is, I hope someday, even if I don’t make money from the internet, I can achieve the goal of being the Angriest Man in the World.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

website

www.speakingadventure.com

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

Subscribe to youtube

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

y.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

Martial Arts Odyssey DVD Volume One Review

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2010 at 5:58 am

Terry P Hill on Fight Times

 

“Martial Arts Odyssey” has been a web TV show for nearly three years, and 160 webisodes, spanning nine countries and countless martial arts. Now the web TV show is moving to an artfully edited DVD series edited by filmmaker, Charlie Armour and of course, starring Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo.

 

Click here to read the whole review on Fight Times

http://www.fighttimes.com/magazine/magazine.asp?article=1297

 

Get the DVD at www.speakingadventure.com

 

Episode 16: Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast 16: Are You Calling me a Mook?

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 1:23 am

 

Being broke and unemployed has the advantages of giving Antonio more time for reading, writing, and working out. But when the pressure of lack of money finally gets to him, he has to go find a job. Sitting through the orientation is one of the most demeaning experiences of his life.

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast 16: Are You Calling me a Mook?”: http://podOmatic.com/r/y55G

 

 

The manager tells Antonio, “Many of our teachers are intelligent. But some do not know how to operate a CD player. Please demonstrate that you can insert a CD in the CD player and press play.”

 

‘Insert this’ thinks Antonio.

 

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

 

Get Antonio’s books on his website

www.speakingadventure.com

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

 

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

 

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

 

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

 

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

 

 

Episode 15: Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast, Episode 15: An Anti-Travel Story (Part 2)

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2010 at 1:51 am

 

http://podOmatic.com/r/qIiDX

 

The worst part about travel is leaving home.

 

At the airport in Hanoi, Antonio Graceffo is faced with a choice of paying for his overweight baggage or leave his possessions behind. He chooses instead to scream, holler, and case a scene, until he hears the sirens and the running feet.

 

 

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

 

Episode 15: Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast, Episode 15: An Anti-Travel Story (Part 2) http://podOmatic.com/r/qIiDX

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

 

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

 

website

www.speakingadventure.com

 

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

 

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

 

 

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

The world’s first martial arts 3D web TV series, available now.

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D, from Al Caudullo productions, follows the adventures of martial artist and author Antonio Graceffo, as he travels across the world, learning martial arts from various masters.

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

 

Follow this link for download purchase:

http://3dguy.tv/downloads/pay-per-download/

 

“A lot of people are familiar with my youtube show, Martial Arts Odyssey. But Brooklyn Monk in 3D is very different.” Says Antonio Graceffo. “We have a full TV crew, lights, sound, and multiple cameras.” The production qualities of Brooklyn Monk 3D far exceed those of Antonio’s other web series. Beyond that, of course, the show is in 3D.

 

Watch the free, 30 second, 3D, trailer on youtube.

 

According to Director, AL Caudullo, 3D allows people to experience TV on a level that they have never experienced before. With 3D, the action is not a flat event that we watch on the screen, it is a living participation, which pops off the screen and happens right in our own home.

 

Director, AL Caudullo points out that every major television manufacturer is producing a 3D TV which will come to market in 2011.  He believes that 3D is here to stay and that the technology will only get better and better. But, people don’t seem to be waiting to buy a 3D TV before enjoying 3D programming. “We had 100,000 downloads last week (YES one Week-free downloads).” Said Caudullo. “Also we will be doing downloads for the Panasonic 3DTV.”

 

If you want to see the Brooklyn Monk in 3D, Al has some advice about the glasses. “People can choose from a pop up list for which kind of 3D to watch it with. If they choose red/cyan anaglyph then they can go to my site, http://3dguy.tv to get free glasses sent to them.”

 

When asked what it was like working with Al Caudullo, Antonio answered. “Working with Al is always great, because he calms me down and makes me focus. He also knows what will look good on screen, and what won’t”

 

Posing the same question to Al, “What is it like working with Antonio?” he simply grunted, snorted, rolled his eyes, and then stormed out of the room without saying anything.

 

It is clearly a friendship and a production team made in Heaven.

 

The show is a first in the world because it is the first 3D martial arts series, but it is important for a number of other reasons. The web has been democratizing media for some time, giving the little guy a voice, or a chance to make a TV show. Now, the Brooklyn Monk in 3D demonstrates that the little guy can not only make a TV show, but make one, using more advanced technology and faster than network TV.

 

The first episode is running at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/ with additional episodes, shot on different locations, featuring various martial arts, coming soon.

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

 

Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of six books, available on amazon.com, most notably, Warrior Odyssey and The Monk from Brooklyn. He is the host of the web TV show Martial Arts Odyssey, which has had over 160 episodes. Of late, he is starring in the world’s first 3D martial arts TV series, Brooklyn Monk.

His website is www.speakingadventure.com you can contact him through his website and sign up for his newsletter, as well as order copies of his books or the DVD Martial Arts Odyssey, Volume One http://www.lulu.com/product/dvd/martial-arts-odyssey-volume-1—kuntaw-and-bokator/11921381

Follow Brooklyn Monk on twitter http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

Watch Martial Arts Odyssey on youtube

www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

 

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

Join the Brooklyn Monk fan page on facebook

 

Brooklynmonk,Antonio,Graceffo,Brooklyn,monk,3d,three,d,3,edguy,tv,al,caudullo,martial,arts,odyssey,warrior,series,muay,thai,kick,boxing,movie,stunt,fighting,choreography,training,explorer,world,explore,samurai,Thailand,bangkok