Dec. 9, 2021

Tom Reed, Musician, Teacher, Actor

Tom Reed, Musician, Teacher, Actor
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Have you ever felt like staying in your tiny home town just wasnt for you? Ever wondered what musicians think when you say "Play something"? Find out as we continue the month of merriment with musician Tom Reed as he joins me in studio. 

Make friends with Tom on Facebook 

Visit Tom's website or FB Page to learn how to play and sing (he really is great!) 

Take a listen to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Soundtrack (Apple Music) 


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I'm tall and lanky like Gumby and I wear like tight jeans, man. I'm not an opera singer.

Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I'm your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in, downloading the episode. I really appreciate that. Also wanna thank Charles for buying me a coffee at That makes doing this so much easier in these late night edit sessions. I am really excited about this month. It's the musical month of December, the month of merriment, and so every episode.

We're gonna have a little music and one of my favorite people and musicians in town I have sitting across me right now. Please welcome Tom Reed. Thank you. That was really nice. That was really sweet. I mean it. I mean it man. I, uh, Tom and I met, uh, doing, uh, Putnam County spelling bee. I wore the shirt thinking about it. Wore the cast shirt. Thank you so much. Um, yeah, we, we met at Putnam County spelling bee, uh, with the river.

front theater company in North Augusta. You obviously had been playing and singing and things like that prior to that. I mostly did musical theater type stuff, you know, as well as working on radio stuff like that. But it was such a cool experience, first of all, because that cast was stacked. It was probably as perfect of a cast you could probably have gotten.

It was just really good. It was just so much fun. And of course, I mean, it has a special place in my heart because that was one of those bucket list roles for me to be a barfay. I remember you saying that, like the first day of read throughs, you're like, man, this is a role I really wanted to do. Yeah, yeah, it was just one of those ones I felt like I could relate to, you know? Well, you know. But Tom, you were Leaf Coneyberry in the production. Yeah, yeah.

That was a role I could very much identify with. And if you're listening, you've never listened to the soundtrack to Putnam, 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I'll put a link in the show notes or whatever. It won't be us singing, but you can get an idea of the show. It's great. It's great because we were all 20 plus year old people, some of us into their 40s and me playing. I mean, they weren't even high school kids. They were like middle school kids. Yeah. It was so much fun.

And of course, with Richard Justice directing. Oh my gosh, that was that may be the most powerful takeaway I have from that experience was just meeting Richard and being around him, because I have never been. Well, that's not true. I've had encounters like that. But just having somebody who the first time you interact with them, they just are like making you giggle, making you feel very warm and welcome.

and also making you feel like, I don't know what the word to say, just like.

like not called out, but if he told you something, you were sort of like, oh, I guess that's probably the right way to do it. Right, right. I would say almost inadequate. You know, he had a great way of guiding his actors to the vision that he had and to be able to, you know, get notes from Richard. You know, you were getting notes that meant something. You know, it was always about.

You know, maybe some nuance that you hadn't thought of because you're just, you know, when you first start, you're just reading words off a page. You're trying to find yourself in the character and all. And he just had a, just a great way of pulling out character. People. Yeah. History has a, has a really, really funny way of making you look back on things like that and go, I knew in the moment that this was special. And this would be something I would remember. I didn't realize.

how special it would be. Yeah. Yeah. Especially looking back and, you know, we lost Richard last year and to, you know, it's one of those things it's like, sometimes you have last moments with people that you never realized they were last moments. Oh my gosh. What a, yeah. What a way to say that. There, there've been a bunch of people

in Augusta that we've lost over the years, who meant more to more people than I think the individual could ever really know. And I know that many of the people, there are people who know Richard and others like him a lot better than I do, but that doesn't take away like what,

he meant to me in those moments, you know? And, you know, that is, just like you said, you never know when that last moment will be. And it's a poetic thing to think about, but at the same time, it's a very...

human thing to think about because like we live and thrive off these interactions with people just on a daily basis. And I know that there are people that we cherish in the moment, but I think the overarching theme for people is that we never know how much we are affected by someone until they are no longer able to affect us.

Yeah. Yeah. 100%. 100%. I have, yeah, a bunch of people who have lost their parents have said that and I'm really thankful for my dad and that sort of respect, because I just try to spend as much time with my dad as I can. And, because you never know, man. You just never know. I think it's one of those things where in life you just have to live every minute.

That's hard though, you know, yeah it is because you know things go on and you you you worried about you know Paying a bill or you've got a pain in your back or whatever, you know Where somebody cut you off while you drive it home and it puts you in this mood You know, but stop stop reading my thoughts, man But still just trying to be you know present in the moment enjoying Whatever it is. That's the hardest thing about living. Yeah. Yeah there That I

Well, you know, like I just heard a commercial on the way over here. It may have been earlier today, but it was about these glasses or sunglasses that are able to like take photos. Right. And their pitch line or their tag on whatever was like, you know, watch being be in the moment instead of like looking at it through a six inch screen. And I'm like, that's really smart. You still don't need to take a photo of it.

Right. Right. Cause if you're truly in the moment, it's gonna burn a memory. Yeah, that's, you know. It's like in the office when Pam and Jim get married and they do the little like mental pictures and they keep doing that. My girlfriend does that a lot where she'll look at me cause I will be doing something incredibly stupid and she'll just be like, click, I'm gonna remember that.

Some of those I wish she didn't, but it's okay. Well, I didn't mean for us to get that deep all over the beginning. I was just trying to give this voice where we met and where we kind of connected and all. Tom, take the stage. What are you up to right now? What's going on? So I am, I'm about to start my last semester of college. Nice. Which is, oh man. I can't tell you. Like I- Congratulations.

the amount of money I have blown on this degree. Is this one of those you squeezed a four year degree into seven year kind of things? This would be, I'll be ending in 22. And I'm okay with saying this because there's a point to be made here. I started in 2010 and I'm finishing in 22. So I stretched a four year degree into 12. Now I will.

caveat that and say that I had five years where I was just working not going to school, but I've now come back I'm finishing my music degree and Yeah, people won't be able to tell me nothing in a few months, man. That's right. You're gonna like

get one of those little ones that's just carried around like in a landing. Oh yeah, it's gonna be in my wallet. Like, hey, oh sorry, that's my degree. You know what people don't ever talk about is the titles you get when you get your degrees, right? Cause it's bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate degree, right? So, you know, people are gonna have to refer to me as bachelor Reed. Yes. Still doesn't sound as cool. I think they give you those names just so you go, no, I need to be a master at something.

No, I need to be a doctor. I need to be a doctor. Yeah, yeah, just to keep moving you through. Yeah. But they never tell you that they pay you for that, though. Right. They never tell you that until you're already done. And they're like, oh, yeah, by the way, you could get these other degrees, and we'll pay you for those. Wait, what? Wait, what? What? That's insane. So what's the degree going to be? So my degree is a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with an emphasis in voice.

Nice. Yes, a lot of people don't know that about me. I'm a classically trained vocalist. Wow. Mm-hmm. Now what do you like classical like? It's, it is a art form of singing called bel canto, which is Italian for beautiful singing. Oh.

That's what I am trained in. I keep hitting the stupid thing. It's the one thing I told him not to do. I have really long arms. He's very emphatic with his hands. I talk with him. So you all are getting the little bitty quip clue that I'm talking with my hands. I'm just gonna sit on him. No, no, don't sit on your hands. But so I'm, it's, I tell them, I teach this same sort of thing to beginners and intermediates. And what I tell them is really the,

style of singing that this is, is all about purity of sound, breath support, being able to control that. And what I like to think of as longevity. So, you know, I teach my students that when we learn to sing a certain way, it's not to sound a certain way or to do something. It's for us to feel what is right in our

bodies and in our voice and set ourselves up so that in 20, 30, 40 years, you're still able to sing and have a really, really fun time doing it. Yeah. Cause a lot of people just sort of grip it and rip it. You know what I mean? And that works for a lot of time until it doesn't. And I'm, that's not a diss on anybody. Cause I know professionals that do that and they're great. This is just what I, what I.

got a degree in and it's really, really fulfilling I think. Yeah man, it's setting me up to do a lot of cool things because I wanna get into voice acting and that's a great degree for that to have on my resume and stuff and all kinds of really cool stuff you can do with it. It's just, you know. Yeah, we get some lessons from you or something man. Hey, I can actually do it. I just finished my last jury exam on Monday.

And that was the last voice exam class, anything that I'll have to do in my bachelor degree, which is really cool. But yeah, it's really fun. I feel like I know something, but I don't.

If people put me on the spot a lot of times, I'm like, I'm not sure, but. Hang on, I gotta think about. Let me look it up real fast. I got a book for this. Yeah, that's funny. That is really cool, because I think, me, I can't speak for everybody, but when somebody says, well, they're classically trained, voice person, my mind goes straight to opera. Because it's like, oh, well, if you said classically trained, I want you to sing something in Italian at my face right now, you know what I mean? Yeah, sure.

But that's cool to know that that's not necessarily what that means. Right. It may allow you to sing opera. That's that right there is the point that I try to tell people. Yeah. Doing this does not dictate what you can do. It doesn't dictate what you will do. It dictates what you can do. Right. Because I mean, and I have a lot of lots of singers. I have 10 year old singers and I have 20 year old singers and I've had 30 year old singers.

And every single time I like start talking about it, they always have reservations because they have the same sort of thought. They're like, I don't really want to be an opera singer. That's not really what I want to be. And I go, look at me. Do I look like an opera singer to you? I'm not, man. I'm tall and lanky like Gumby and I wear like tight jeans, man. I don't look, I'm not an opera singer. But.

Every student that I have, I feel like, has been able to unlock a different level that they hadn't been able to before. And that is truly the best part of it. That's so cool. Yeah, yeah. It really is. And it's not a brag at me, because they do the work, they do it. It's the only takeaway that I have that I would brag about is that I get to be there when it happens. And I get to see that.

I tell people all the time, like, that is the best part of this job. Yeah. It's like, when, cause I mean, if you think, if you ask any person, and I'm talking anybody in the Western world, Eastern world, in the, I would say in the modern sort of world, like first world sort of countries, if you ask anybody like, hey, who's an artist you like, man, everybody can think of something. What's a song you like?

What's the song that's affected you? What songs made you cry? Something like that. Everybody can think of it. And there is something so magical about hearing music, experiencing music for a long time, and then one day realizing that that sort of ethereal, air-like thing that you experience, you can grab it and recreate it and do it yourself. And that is...

Woo, it's pretty cool. Yeah. It's really cool. And you know, you get to have cool moments with it, but it's, nothing beats that initial moment of, oh, ooh, yeah, that's the cool part. Yeah. Absolutely. That's awesome. Yeah, that's so cool. So, I mean, so other than getting your degree, what else, what else do you have going on? I'm getting my degree, I'm playing a lot of music, just by myself around town. I'm also playing with the Bodega Cats.

They're awesome. Shout out, shout out Kitty Cats. What's going on? And in February, I'm doing another production with the players, which is, I'm really excited about. Nice. Yeah, I'll be playing guitar one for the pit for something rotten. Oh, very cool. Oh man, that show is so flipping funny. It is hilarious. It's probably one of my favorite shows.

I didn't audition for it though. I know it was coming around and I didn't audition for it. That was just... Well, I was going to audition for it. I was like, man, that would be a pretty funny show. Cause I've had this acting bug for years and years and years and I've not had the time, but I'll be in the pit because I don't know how many people are familiar with like the theater sort of schedule. But if you're in the show, the day you're cast from that point forward, you pretty much have rehearsals. You have...

music rehearsals or blocking rehearsals or something to that effect. But for the pit, it's a lot different because I, let's say I'll get the music into December. I'll have all the way, I'll have six or seven weeks where they don't need me. Right. And then I'll show up for the week before and we'll go through all the music and stuff. And that's a lot easier and that's a lot less pressure. Yeah. And, but I,

I wanted to do this and then they reached out to me about being in the pit and I was like, oh yeah. That's sort of like my like dream in life is I have always wanted to be in a pit. I've just never played a classical instrument, which is the funny thing. Well, I mean, and the music and stuff around it, I mean, it's got electric guitars and things like that, which is funny because it's set during Shakespearean time. You've got all those, you know, thrash and songs, you know, power and things like that. Well, I,

I mean, just like if you're researching for a role, you can probably go on YouTube and look up, like, hey, this guy's playing this role, I can hear him sing the song, or this person's doing whatever. There's the same exact things for pit people. Like, I watched one this week of a guy just going through his entire rig for something rotten, where he's showing the guitars he has and the effects he has, and it's all...

Professional Broadway stuff and it's just insane, but it gives you a great idea for for what to do. Yeah. Yeah, and I am like I want to turn people on to the idea that theater is Not just the people that you see. Oh, yeah Yeah, cuz I mean if you're at all close to it you know that because there's a lot of people who love being on stage who help with tech and stuff and

It's very underappreciated, man. There's a lot that goes into it. And yeah. I remember, I wanna say, I wanna say I did like a backstage tour of, it may have been Wicked, and it's the time when they were like in Charlotte or something. And one of my favorite parts to see is the pit and the conductor and all that stuff.

But what was cool was in that they were like, yeah, the guitar player and the drummer are the only ones that actually travel with the tour. The other 18 people, they all hire local. What? I was like, I didn't even know that was a thing. How cool would that be to be in your town? And they're like, hey, we wanna hire, of course, you know, Broadway shows that do tours. Yeah. Hey, we're gonna do three weeks, you know, at this theater.

Can we send you some music? We hire you to come play. Oh, that's sick. Right? Yeah. How cool is that? It's like, so that way you're not having to deal with the rigors of the road and doing all that, but you get that three week, just like, you know, injection. Oh yeah. Man, when my girlfriend hears that, she's gonna be like, Tom, why can't you just do that? Can't you do that? Well, unfortunately we don't get a whole lot of shows that come here for a three week engagement. We get like,

Rehearsal shows that do one night and that's it and they're gone. Yeah, they're gone. Wait didn't there was somebody I can this is a tangent And it's I'm apologized but there was there was a band who did their world tour Practice run at the Bell like a month ago. Mm-hmm Do you did you remember who that was? I don't remember who it was, but I remember it being a name that was like

Oh wow, why are they here? Yeah, like it was Beyonce or somebody. Yeah, I wanna say it was Rihanna, but I'm like, I feel like that's not right. So somebody will check me and be like, yeah, this guy doesn't know anything. That's okay, if you know who it is, you can just go to my Instagram. But that's exactly what you're talking about. Send me a message on Instagram. They come in, the tech people come in like a day or two before, set everything up. The talent comes in one day, they run the show top to bottom probably twice, and they fly out. Yep.

and they're done. Cause it's probably just significantly cheaper to rent out the bell or the civic center and you know, James Brown arena or whatever and do their show and then like I said, be done. And you know, sometimes they will, they'll sell tickets to that or whatever. Oh yeah, absolutely. Cause you know how it is being on stage, you draw energy from your audience, even if you're in a major rock show or whatever.

still can only see the front two rows. That's what anybody can always see. Oh yeah. Yeah, absolutely. But you can still feel that energy coming off the audience as you're up on stage performing. So. Well, I think it's really cool that some of those things are coming to Augusta. I've noticed in the last like five years that it seems to me, now my view may be a little skewed, but it seems to me like there's just more and more.

Cause we've, I feel like we've had a pretty steady, like country, like lineup that comes through Augusta. Yeah. But I feel like we've gotten a lot of different kinds of artists come through recently and I am just loving it. Loving it. Like the Billy Strings is doing two nights at the bell. And I've never, I have in my life not heard of a single artist doing two back to back nights.

in Augusta. Right. Like I said, we usually get those one-offs. We get that one show and then they're gone. Well, they may come back. Like the Averitt brothers are huge and they'll come back every once in a while. But like Billy Strings is ginormous right now. I have so many people who are like, oh man, we're going for both nights. And I'm like, do it, man. Do it. That's awesome. Again, I can't think of a show that's done that. But yeah, Augusta is, Augusta is a good place, man.

I think a lot of cool things are coming. Now were you born and raised in Augusta? I would, well, I consider myself, this my hometown because I've lived here for 12 years. I was originally from Lincoln County, Lincolnton, Georgia, which is, if anybody wants to know how to get to Lincolnton, you get on Washington Road, head north until it stops.

And that's it. That's, that's, then you're in Lincoln. You'll be right next to a huddle house. Nice. And then, yeah man, no French fries. Or no hashbrows, only French fries. No hashbrows, only French fries, for sure. Yeah. Lincoln County is, it's not the place that you would expect musicians to come out of because it's very, very sports oriented. But,

Any, any Lincoln County peeps who are listening to this, shout out to you because you are a rare breed. If you made it out of there and you are making art, it's to me, that's a win-win. Yeah. Not to say that LinkedIn isn't cool, cause I'm definitely going back there, cause it's home. But it's cool to see, it's cool to see people you grew up with making, making like substantial contributions to.

Emotion and art. Yeah, that's somebody that comes to mind Well, I I'll say this you she's a friend Ashley Rivera's from my hometown Okay, I graduated one year after her and she's amazing. Absolutely There's I know I have some people I'm going to school with right now I will say because we share the same name Thomas Folger. Shout out to you, man. He's a cool cat I've done some productions with him

But yeah, there's the saying of it's not what you know, it's who you know, rings more and more true the more I go backwards in my life. Because it always comes back to like hometown. There's always somebody in hometown who

believes when other people don't believe or kind of give you cool inspiration when you're not feeling it. And that's, Augusta has that same feeling, but you know, Lincolnton is like, I think we have 3000 people in the whole town. Like it's very, very tiny. But yeah, came from there and moved to Augusta for college and have been here ever since, man. I've seen it.

I've heard a lot of people talk about how Augusta's on the up and up or I'll hear people say like, Oh, Augusta doesn't have much of nothing going on. And I'm like, bruh, compared to what I have seen is it's, it's amazing. Yeah. It's really, really cool. And I'm, I'm really thankful for where I came from because it's given me just an awesome perspective in life. For sure. Yeah. You know, I think that's one of those things like being able to

Now I understand it's, it's Lincoln and you're talking about coming to Augusta, but being able to travel and get outside of where you're the, you know, the quote unquote four walls of your hometown. Oh yeah. Or, you know, even short periods of time, really open up your mind to the differences that there are in the world and the other things that are out there. Oh man. Aren't aware of, you know, yeah. And this, and I think a lot of people sort of take that and roll with it and think, Oh,

And like they think of the two big like politics and religion, like those two things change. And to be real, those things will change, but there are so many other aspects of your life that you just don't think about something that I tell people is I, and this is, it's very, very weird, but it's very, very specific. Like I, I'm a cisgender white dude coming from a very country-fied town and

Like I didn't really know like how racism worked because I didn't really encounter it too much where I came from. And when I remember getting to college and people were talking about how people address them and talk to them and treated them. And I was just like, oh my goodness, how is this a thing? And, you know, good and bad, your point of view gets changed. But I think there are some people who

And I'm not thinking of anybody specifically when I say this, but I think there are people who leave those four walls and go, oh, this is scary. I can't do this. They come back and they go, this is safe. I like this. And to be honest, I don't think anything is wrong with that per se, but I also think the opposite is true for a lot of people too. They leave and they go, all of this was here? Right. And then they're like.

I never wanna go back there. And I find myself right smack dab in the middle of that. Yeah, I was gonna say, I think you have to have a balance, just like with anything in life. Oh yeah. Figuring out that balance, being able to, you know, being able to take the good things from your travels, being able to take the good things from your home, to be able to understand and grow your perspective on things, because then that puts you in such a unique place to be able to speak to this group of people from the small town,

this group of people from a different town or a larger town or people that traveled, things like that. I think that makes you so much better as a person as a whole, you become a more whole person. Because there is, as creatures, as we go through life, always evolving, always changing, every interaction has some sort of effect on you. And being able to decipher and again, push, put away the.

bad things and take on the good things, you know, and to be able to refine who you are as a person through that stuff, through that lens. Yeah, absolutely. That's something that my dad actually told me when I was really young, and I remember it, because when he told it to me, it sounded so flippin' easy. Right? Right? So is mom and dad, they still...

In Lincoln, they're still in Lincoln. Any plans for like the holidays and stuff like that? So we typically do Thanksgiving with my family and my family is not super big on holidays. OK. So we typically like I don't think I have open presents on Christmas Day since I was like 10. Oh, wow. Yeah.

So we, our tradition is to always open presents on Christmas Eve. Okay. Yeah. So we'll head up there for Christmas Eve, do Christmas with my family, and then we'll be driving to Rock Hill to be with Kristen's family on, I guess that's Saturday. And then on Sunday, I get to.

go to a Falcons game. So that's nice. Yeah, I'll have about six or 700 miles of driving in three days, which will be fun. So I mean, so any other like, do you have a big family? Is it something big? I know I only have one brother and the parents and my one side of my grandparents has passed away. The other side is still with us and just kicking man. Yeah. And

So we'll get to see them, but we don't, again, we're not super big on holidays because my family lives so close, I see them like once a week, right? And my like girlfriends family, they're like ginormous. It's a very, very large family. And yeah, it's, I would say hers is bigger than mine, but mine,

just a little less involved probably is the best way to say. Less involved. Yeah, we just kind of show up and it's whatever. But when we go for her family, it's like we have to be here at this time, here at this time, we do lunch here, we got to hit this and this, and then we have dinner. Oh wow. So it's like a whole, whole day. Mine's like, hey, we're meeting for lunch. And then whatever happens, happens. No, it's very, we're regimented in the sense of, hey, we're eating at noon.

Noon 30 by two 30. We're all, we're all asleep. Just taking naps. Everybody pass out. The itis has hit everybody. That's awesome. Yeah, man. Any, any other like holiday traditions? Any, I mean, how did you kind of got your, you know, you got your own little family. You got your own little traditions or anything? For you guys? Not currently. Now we'll say we had the discussion earlier this week. In fact,

I was told verbatim that we will have a Christmas tree in our home. Because I don't have one now, because I live in a very small little cottage and my girlfriend's always like, we should get a Christmas tree. And I go, I don't want a Christmas tree. That's so much work. And she's like, that's fine, but I want you to know. Right. We're gonna have a Christmas tree. There will be Christmas trees in your future. It will be jolly. Yeah.

But you know, I mean, maybe get one, get like a little live tree, and put it on the front porch or something. Oh yeah. Throw some lights on it, that way you don't have to have it inside, and you can, you know. Oh man, I'm waiting to see a friend of mine who's selling trees. I just want the confirmation he's selling trees. I'm gonna go over there, and I'm just gonna be like, hey, give me the top of a tree. Just the top. Just the top. Oh, and.

I'll just do Charlie Brown Tree, man. Okay. Just easy peasy. I mean, that's, you know, that's a fest, that's a, you know, that's a tradition in another city. I will say, we do have a tradition. I just thought about it. So we have been like, hardcore trying to watch a Christmas movie a day. Oh wow, okay. So, but the thing is, is, I'm just kinda not into like the kid, my childhood movies, like I want to watch.

something with a little more, maybe just more narrative or just something. And I just watched this movie and I want to tell you about and I'll tell everybody about it. It's a Mel Gibson film called Fat Man. It's so funny. Just imagine a super strong, super, super strong Santa Claus. And that's this movie. And he's pissed.

upset, super strong Santa Claus. Is it a little campy? 100%? Oh yeah. Is it still awesome? 100%. That's too funny. There's that one and there's another one. It was, I remember the genre was horror Christmas and I can, oh it was Krampus, that was it. Yeah, cause Adam Scott's in that movie and we couldn't stop calling him Ben from Parks and Rec. And we're just like.

have this habit of putting on a movie and not telling Kristen what the movie is. So she has no way to like have preconceived exp. So we start Krampus and she's watching it and she's like, what is this movie? And I'm like, just wait, just, she's like, these kids are terrible. And I'm like, just wait. That's awesome. Yeah. But halfway through that movie, she's like, wow, those kids.

got terribly injured. Yes, they did. Yes, they did. Yeah, so that's what we're cooking up right now. Well, I mean, with your music degree and all like that, is music a thing around the Reed household? Oh, man. Holidays? So yes and no. I'm very particular about my Christmas music because if I'm going to listen to Christmas music, it has to be like,

I know I said I don't like my childhood movies. However, when it comes to songs, it's like there's a playlist that I remember as a kid that is the Christmas playlist. Like if I hear these songs, I'm like, oh man, I'm in the Augusta Mall, Santa Claus is up there and he looks fat. And man, I'm ready. And yeah, I think Nat King Cole does it for me.

Like any, just hearing him say, just hearing him talk is just like, oh man, it's Christmas. Like the meme right now is Mariah Carey or Michael Buble, right? They're coming out of their winter hibernation a couple of weeks ago. But there's like, when you hear Nat King Cole's voice, well, hello everyone. Like it's just, man, it's Christmas time, man.

That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah, man, but I'm about to crank some neck and call on the way home. That sounds good. Well, you did bring your guitar with you. I'm not saying you got to play any net, but music is a part of the show for for for December here. Give you a little opportunity to to play a little something, maybe a little original something, whatever, whatever is on you, whatever you're feeling on your heart tonight.

Yes, yes, sir. This one should have played from your soul. Um.

See, this is, I've been thinking about this through this entire conversation and I'm like, man, what am I gonna sing? I didn't think about that until you were like, oh, do you bring your guitar? And I was like, oh, man.

If only I had a degree in music.

Ask me next year. Ask me in 2022. I'll have my degree then. You would think, man, you would really think that whenever someone says, hey man, play us a song, I would go, cool, absolutely. Here you go. And every time, this is what people don't know, man. And I feel like I'm peeking out because I'm angry. But musicians don't have songs.

They don't think in music. They think in words just like you. We can cut that part, right? I got a little too triggered. No, you're fine. We can cut that. No, that's staying in. So, man.

I cannot think of a song for the life of me right now. And that is- Do you know, Mary had a little lamb. We'll go with anything at this point right now. And the tape is just burning. I just need a song for the show. Oh man. I want to do Christmas, man, Christmas. I want to do a Christmas song, but I'm trying to think.

City stoplights, see the stoplights blink a bright red and green. All the children rush home with their treasure. See the snow... See, I can't remember the words. I should have got my thing. You can do this as an instrumental. Okay, I can do that. You ready? Do it!

Oh my goodness.

I feel at this point that like people that you've already booked to play at their places They're like, who is this guy? You're gonna be like, ummm Are you the Tom Reed that was on that podcast? And you're like, no, that was not No, no, that was the politician That was the other one Ah man, see this is I don't want to ruin your career as a musician No, I think I'm doing a mighty fine job myself of that No, that money's important

Uh, let's, uh, we can do something. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose And if you ever saw him, you would even say it glows All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say

Rudolph with your nose so bright won't you guide my sleigh tonight Then all the reindeer loved him then they shouted out with glee Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you'll go down in history

Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say Rudolph with your nose so bright now won't you guide my sleigh tonight Then all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you'll go down in history Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer you'll go down in history

Woo! Merry Christmas everybody. I just want everyone to know, I could very much play any song I was trying to think of a Christmas specific song. You didn't have to think of a Christmas specific song though. Literally, like play anything. It's the holiday season Rob, let me be jolly, okay? Ho, ho, ho.

All right, Tom, this is the second segment of the show where we like to dive a little bit deeper into mental health. And the question I always ask everyone is, how do you keep the dark at bay? You're gonna take in information all the time. And you have to be able to discern, just like you said, between what is valuable and what's not valuable. Now, the thing that's hard, I think that...

The part that I just described is the easy part. Saying this has value to me, this does not have value to me. I think the hard part that a lot of people, myself, definitely included in this is we do not focus on the hand that holds what's good for us. We focus on the hand that this is not good for me. And we try to reason with ourselves or make an excuse to, well, that could be good for me or that could be good for me.

might work out, you know, we give ourselves ifs or whatever. And that is the hard part. I think that's when we often get drug into. Just the darker times in our lives is when we are able to differentiate between what we need and what we don't need. But we get so focused on. Well, if I do this.

what will so-and-so think? How are people gonna look at me? How are people gonna look at us? All sorts of things like that. That's a slippery slope for me personally because as soon as I start to think of what is not going good, I will obsess over what's not going good. I have a very obsessive personality just in general. I'm not very compulsive, even though my girlfriend would

probably say otherwise, but I am very, very obsessive. Whenever I have something to do, I will focus on it until I can't think of anything else. Right? Right. I, just like I said, I have a hard time sort of focusing on where I might not have done what I wanted to do, or I may have said something that I really regretted after the fact. And instead of looking at a situation and saying, well,

you did what you did or whatever and you can't change it. So you either have to say, well, I can take this experience and be a better person going forward, or I can sit here and tell myself how bad I messed up and how, how stupid I am and how, you know, any regular quote unquote normal person would have

would have seen that come in and would have acted differently or done whatever. I will focus on that all day and all night. Like I will, I will bring up in conversation sometimes, to my girlfriend, like, Oh, do you remember so and so, so and so, and the conversation we had with them and she'll be like, yeah, that was, that was like months ago. And I'll go, yeah.

I probably shouldn't have said that. Or I probably could have done, I probably could have been better receptive to that. And she was like, why are you thinking of that now? And I don't know. But that's sort of the personality I have. I think it's one of those things, because I can get that, because it's those things that they kind of are sticky. They're like tar, they stick in your brain. And they, you know, being able to let go of those things is the difficult part in some of that stuff.

because then you do, you're like, oh, fine. And then you start overthinking it and you start wanting to go back and it's like, oh, well, do I say to them and tell them, oh, did I, I didn't really mean it this way, I meant it, but yet you still can't get the words out exactly right. And depending on what it was, you can't get the toothpaste back in the tube once it's been squeezed. Yeah, that's, yeah.

Yeah, so it's it's it's that weird place where you got to find where you can we can let that stuff go and realize that And I hate the phrase it is what it is Yeah, at some sometimes it literally it is what it is You may know your heart and what you said and what you meant if they took it some other way It's they can either have the discussion with you to say

why did you say this? And then you can try and clarify, or if they don't and they take it the wrong way or something, that's their reaction to what happened. And it's not always on you to try and fix or predict how they're taking something. Because sometimes we worry about things that someone may have taken the wrong way that they actually never did.

But we never realized. Well, see, you touched on a couple of things that I think are really powerful. One, you can't control how someone reacts to something. That's just the first rule in stand-up comedy. Like, you can't make somebody laugh, but you also, you physically can't make somebody mad. Somebody has to choose to be offended or to be mad and that sort of thing. Now, I will also say that

I have never in my life had a situation where someone thought that they did something wrong by me, came to me and said, hey, I'm really sorry that I did this. I'm really sorry that I said this. And I just want you to know that I'm sorry. I've never had someone come to me and say that and me be like, how dare you? Cause

I can't, I wouldn't be able to accept that phrase with anything other than grace, you know? Like, even if I didn't even realize it, like I would, oh my goodness. No, you're fine, everything's cool. Right, right, right. I didn't even think about that, but yeah, no, it's good. And I think that's the exact reaction that, if you flip-flopped it to where I'm the offensive person,

I think that's the reaction that most people would have if you just have the guts to just walk up to them and say, hey Rob, I'm a dumb, dumb head, I'm so sorry. Because you're probably gonna be like, Tom, I have literally not thought about that. Right, right. And that's the thing about communication.

You know in in connection with people is like, you know, I think everybody has some of that Oh, yeah within them everybody has you know common fears common, you know Anxieties coming, you know, I mean and it's like if we're just a little if we approach each other with a little bit more kindness mmm a little bit more optimism a little bit more of Positivity that it's not always

you know, going to be the worst thing ever if I talk to this person or if I, or if I try to have this conversation, uh, and do it with humility. That's like, I'm not trying to force my opinion or whatever I'm saying down your throat. This is just where I'm standing in these is this is my point of view. What's your point of view? You know what I mean? Oh, well that, that, that sort of, that sort of, um, discussion conversation, uh, is lost.

right now because we were before we started recording we were talking a lot about social media and stuff and we've gotten really really used to the sort of

hey, someone has posted something. Man, I've just thought of a sick burn for that person. Send. Burn. Two hours later, they reply. That's how we have arguments now. It's I'm gonna jab, then I'm gonna go back to my life, worry about something else, then I'm gonna get notified of it on my cellular device.

then I'm gonna look at it, reignite all of that anger that I had earlier, type something else out to argue with you, and then put my phone away and- And wait until the next response or whatever. Yeah, it's turned weird to, where you don't have the resolution in a timely manner. Oh man. Yeah. If you have a resolution. I mean, when you're in a relationship with somebody and you have an argument.

You guys have an argument. You know what I mean? And it either ends in, you know, it's a positive or negative resolution, whatever that may be, whether it's you sleeping on the couch or having to go, you know, just take a drive to clear your head or, you know, whatever that resolution is. But you're able to have it in a kind of timely manner. Sometimes I spill into the next day and,

Sometimes things get held onto to use against you in a yet to be determined argument, but it's not. Topic to be determined. Yeah, it's not something that necessarily is gonna drag out for an entire day back and forth with something. And yeah, I think you can't read tone in

a text or printed word. You can't read the tone of someone. You can't gauge their inflection. You can't see their facial features, their body language, all of those things that help to dictate what that meaning is behind what they're saying. You just, it's lost. Yeah, I have rarely ever changed my viewpoint or opinion based on a Facebook conversation. And I have a few times, because I have been shown evidence where I'm like, that makes a lot of sense. I'm gonna buy that.

However, I will say I have changed my mind or changed my opinion every single time I've had a knockdown, drag out, honest to goodness conversation or fight if you wanna call them that. Like I have come to a resolution, I felt good about the resolution and I went to sleep peacefully. That does not happen on social media. No.

I think it's a lot of gotcha stuff. Relationships can't be like that. Part like romantic, loving relationships or just friendships. You can't have a friendship where you're waiting for someone to like just burn you or you're just waiting to burn that person. You're not being a friend, man. You're being like, I don't even know.

Elementary school stuff that's so yeah, you know, it's a child you're being a child and that kind of goes back to to the what's good for you what's not good for you because I Think if if people were real honest with themselves real honest with their friends sometimes Me and my girlfriend have talked about this there are people that we consider friends and we hang out with all the time Who as soon as they're not around you they like don't care

They're going to go do whatever they want to do. And that's just how it is. And you do not need those people. Listen to this people. You do not need those people in your life. The, the best friends that I have are the friends that at 1230 in the morning, I can call them and they're going to look at the phone and go, what?

Hey, man, what do you want? You know, like that's that's my dad. That's my brother That's my best friend Ryan like those those are the people that you have to have yeah and those are the people you can trust and you can Those are the people that help you grow. Mm-hmm. I'm not saying not to have Acquaintances or whatever but when you have when you have a real true friend

It's, I don't know, it's really, really, when you have someone to talk to, because you can, I think people would probably hear that and go, oh, well, that's my husband, that's my wife or something. I love my girlfriend with all of my heart, but there's just sometimes, and she'll tell you this, because she has friends that she just, she has to talk to if something goes right or wrong, right? And I'm the same way. And it will be a scenario that I have no idea about.

Like, cause how I, knowing when you can help and knowing when you can't help is a great relationship tool. And we both know that really well. And that's just part of it, man. I think the number one thing that getting back to like the sort of overall question of being in the darkness and how you,

just work in that sort of space, how to have a viable sort of life in that sort of space. Cause I know there's a lot of people that struggle with it day out, day in, there's no relief. I think the biggest thing are the relationships that you have and the ones that you choose to

The ones that you choose to water and the ones that you choose to ignore. And I'm saying this and I know there are people out there who I'm very good friends with who have texted me and I have not texted them back. And I'm just really bad at that. But I know.

I know who to call when I'm in trouble, and I know who, when they call, they're counting on me, you know what I mean? And when someone is counting on you, when you have a pet and they're counting on you, it changes the way you think about yourself, you know what I mean? And when you think, well, I need to be able to help them.

You think, well, if I'm going to do that, I need to be able to get up, get dressed, brush my teeth and all sorts of just your regular routine. Because I think...

I think a lot of people turn to faith and they turn to whether good or bad. They have vices, whether that is their faith or whether it's something else.

having something solid to land on and having something to say, hey, I am lost, I don't know what to do, I am stressed, I have anxiety, I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow and that scares the ever loving hell out of me. Having someone to call and tell that to.

whether or not they have an answer, because I can tell you right now, when people call me with that sort of thing, I don't have an answer most of the time. I may fake it, but I don't know, because I'm not in their shoes, right? But having the relationship with somebody that you can count on them is the best thing I think you could ever have. Because there's definitely been...

friends that I'm not even close with right now. Like we talked about Caleb earlier. Caleb helped me through a really hard time because he was just a friend, you know? And it's really hard to find people who may not even be looking for, you know, anything in return. They're just like, hey, you look like you just need someone to talk to. And that has helped me through more things than anything else. Also, men,

Cry. Just go ahead. Just do it, man. Nobody's watching. And if they are, who cares? Everybody's an ugly crier. Name one crier who's good looking, who's who looks good when they cry. Because I can't think of it. I feel like I look like Kim Kardashian when I cry. But having having those relationships and being able to to tell yourself that it's OK to relieve some pressure by crying.

Two biggest things that have always helped me in my life. Also have a feel good playlist. Those are my three. Feel good playlist, let your cries out gentlemen. And I say that women, you also need to cry. And that's okay. Men, let them cry. Women, let the man cry. It's okay. They'll be fun. That's a big, big thing for me. Let the men be little spoon.

Let the men cry and don't say nothing about us.

All right, Tom, this is the third segment of the show. Ooh, it's the part I've been waiting for. Oh, is it? It's time now for the fast five. Fast five. Fast five. It's the fast five. Fast five. Sorry, I don't have a theme song or anything right now. Oh no, that was really good. Don't.

I know what I'm getting you for Christmas. A theme song. Yes. No, it's a Fast Five powered by Poddex. It's an app created by my friend Travis Brown. It's created for podcasters, but it's great conversation starters. They've got physical decks, they've got an app, and it's like over 4,000 conversation starters, different type of categories and stuff like that. So if you want to get some things to help you have a conversation with folks.

Have a meeting at work and you wanna have an icebreaker? Check out Poddex. As a matter of fact, if you go to slash poddex, use the promo code chew, you can get 10% off your Dex. Nice. Yes, but here we go. It's gonna be five questions. First thing comes off top of your head, no pressure, no wrong answers, okay? I'm just gonna hit the randomizer here and here's question number one.

Oh, that was nice. Burger or hot dog? Ooh, hot dog. All right, why? So I saw a thing on History Channel about, or maybe Food Network about how ketchup doesn't belong on hot dogs. Yeah. And that changed my life. So hot dog, mustard. I prefer sauerkraut, but chili, mustard, is also good, little onion. Can't beat it, man.

Yeah, I'm a big, big fan of like a chili slaw dog. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Chili slaw dog. Yeah. Good old slaw dog. Mm-hmm. That's a good one. It's a good one. All right. Question number two. I love it. Would you rather have Morgan Freeman narrate your life out loud for everyone to hear? Yes. Or have a theme song played whenever you walk? Ooh.

Does it say what the theme song is? No, no, just whatever the theme song is. Yeah. Oh, man. Ooh, that one's hard. If Tom was thinking. If Tom was thinking, he would be thinking he would like the bare naked ladies to write a theme song about him. To have play every time he wants. Yeah, I think I would pick a theme song by the bare naked ladies. Yeah. They got some good ones. Yeah, I'm a big bare naked ladies fan. Most people are. Yeah, that's a really good one.

So, I mean, so like the theme song is like, you think it's just gonna be like when you're walking or would you want like, no matter what, it fits the mood. So it's almost like a film score. That's what I'm assuming. So that's what I would go for because I would be a little, I would be a little upset if Morgan Freeman was like, he was thinking about telling them about the snot running down their nose, but he did not.

Really good Morgan Freeman by the way. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, because I don't know. I've had the theme something. I feel like I'd be trying to like trick them. So it'd be like, it's like creeping up on stuff. Like trying to get all suspenseful and stuff like that. And then be like, it's right, da da da da da da. You know, like breaking the tap dance or something. That's too funny. Cause that, well that assumes that there is someone in real time watching your life, like the Truman show going,

Like a Foley actor, just like... Yeah, I've got like Danny Elfman, who's running the score to my life. He's like, whatever's happening. That's amazing. I love this sound. Go for it, where is it coming from? Do it, no, I want the sound. Where's the sound? The sound's coming, the sound's coming. Question number three.

All right, what is your idea of relaxing? Um, okay. So I have a two part answer to this because I have, I'm gonna, I'm gonna divide this into what I would call everyday recreational relaxation and then vacation relaxation. Okay. So I think my everyday recreational relaxation would be, um,

sitting on my couch in my comfy pants, in my comfy sweatshirt, either playing some sort of video game or watching a movie.

with just a bunch of chicken wings. Nice. You know what I'm saying? That's relaxing to me, man. Yeah. Now, vacation relaxing is very specific. Beach. Mexican style logger. Don't care what it is. Okay. Sun canopy, Rod Stewart singing the American song, book in the background. Okay. And a good book. Nice. To be determined. Okay.

Very good. Oh, yeah, that's that's relaxation right there. That sounds really relaxing both of those both of those sound good question number four

This ties into what you just said there. So, what was the last book you read? Oh. Now you're in school. So I'm gonna say, unless it's a really interesting textbook, let's not go with a textbook. No, no, no, no, no, no. Well, I'm in the process of reading Leo Fender's biography right now written by his wife, but that's not the last one I finished. The last one I finished was actually...

Arthur Smith, I believe is his name, who wrote the screenplay for Space Odyssey, wrote a book called Space Odyssey 2001, or 2001, Space Odyssey. And I finished that one a few months ago and I haven't really picked anything up since, but that is a really, really, if you're a fan of the Kubrick film, I very much would encourage you to read that book. It's very good. Very good. And what was the one you said you're reading now?

The biography of Leo Fender of Fender guitars. Ah I'm writing a I'm writing my senior paper about him doing my senior presentation about a very very cool man Cool hit me up if if you want to know more about Leo Fender. Yeah, that sounds really cool I love I love like biographies and stuff like that Autobiographies have a different feel than biographies, you know 100% but but yeah, I love reading about people like that All right, and number five

As you get older, what do you realize your parents were right about when it comes to the future?

What were my parents right about when it came to the future? Like a piece of advice they gave you and you were like, no mom, that's dumb. You know, just wanted to buck the system and now you're like. I still wanna buck the system. No, I think I'm thinking about my dad and the amount of advice that my dad has given me is, I don't know if I could count it all.

But what was he right about in the future? I don't know, man, that's a tough one. He was right that the Falcons are just a trash football team. I go to my dad's house to watch a football game and they played earlier in the week and I didn't realize it. And I go, dad, you don't have the game on? And he goes, nah, they already lost this week.

You gotta wait till next week to see it. But I think on a serious note, my dad always told me that the amount of time that you spend with your family and with the people that you love is a like direct reflection of like what it is they mean to you. And it kind of goes back to things we were talking about earlier, but

You know, we don't have a lot of time with people and spending as much time as you can with the people that you know you're going to miss. Like I've tried not cussing this entire time, but putting all bullshit aside, all of it. You know that you know you're going to miss certain people if they died tomorrow or if they just disappeared. Like you don't even get the closure of, you know. Right. And I think that's.

My dad was really, really right about that in a couple different instances, but yeah. He also told me, he got this from his parents, I'm sure, but the name that you're given came to you in a certain form, and it had a certain value to it, that your grandparents and your parents put on it.

And in the future, what that name means is totally dependent upon you, you know? And I've been fortunate enough to do cool things in my life. I've been fortunate enough to do well at things in my life and make my parents proud. And for good or for bad,

My dad was very much right in that the things that we choose to do do not reflect simply on us, but they reflect on the name that you inherited and yeah, do and it's sort of the leave it better than you found it sort of thing, you know? Right. And yeah, my dad's been right about that since

since way back when. And I think about that a lot, because even right now I'm thinking about, you know, my dad's gonna go, nah, I had much better advice than that. That was the thing. That was the thing.

No, you're supposed to not press down your burgers when you're grilling them. Right. Well, Tom, I value your name. The name Tom Reed means a lot to me as well do you. And that is our Fast Five. That's our show, buddy. Thanks. Again, I am.

I am flattered that I was asked to do this. And now on the back end of it, this has been a wonderful conversation. This is a great podcast and I think you help more people than you realize. Well, I appreciate that, buddy. And I appreciate you being here. The folks want to keep up with you. How can they find you? So if you want to follow me on Facebook, you can. You can just look up Tom Reed. You can also. I teach privately.

And if you would are at all interested in music lessons or I know that that was a long time for a song, but I promise I can teach it. But if you're interested in that, you can go to Tom Reed School of Music on Facebook or you can go to Tom dash reed.

or tom-reed-music.squaresite for booking information. I will put all those links in the show notes. So it'll make it a lot easier. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those don't necessarily fall off the tongue. Yeah, I will definitely put those links in the show notes. Also, you can find Tom's bio on the website at Again, Tom, thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Robb. This was great. If you would like to support this podcast,

I would appreciate it if you buy me a coffee for the holiday season at But until next time, I look forward to the chance we have to sit a spell and chew the fat.

Tom ReedProfile Photo

Tom Reed

Musician / Movie Lover / Dog Dad

Tom is a multi instrumentalist and vocalist from Augusta Georgia. He has performed with a variety of artists and ensembles, such as: Bodega Cat, The Augusta Players and The Riverfront Theater Company. He is currently finishing a degree at Augusta University in music.