[Thomas]: My name is Thomas Sanders and for my first trick, I will do my impression of a YouTube vlog intro! -inhales- Brezur zur ze! No, that's not right. -clears throat- Be-
[Thomas]: -zzzz... Thank you. Thank you. What is up, everybody?! So, relatable moment time. If you've ever acted or wanted to act, or watched High School Musical, you know that in order to be a part of a show, you must first partake -short inhale- in the dreaded audition process. And earlier today, I subjected myself to yet another one of those horrible judge fests. I tried to play it off, I tried to pretend like it's old hat, to go up on stage, announce my name, sing sixteen bars and be done with it, but it can never be that easy, CAN IT? In this most recent audition, uh, I don't know... It was rough. -inhales- Mistakes were made. I don't even know if I want to think about it. -Thomas stares into nothingness- You know what? Yes, I do. Logic!
[Logan]: -pops up-
[Siri from Logan’s iPhone]: "El principe es estupido."
[Logan]: "El principe es estupid-" -notices Thomas- Oh.
[Thomas]: I'm sorry.
[Logan]: You know you should uh... really give us fair warning before pulling us into one of these vlogs, Thomas.
[Thomas]: Are you learning Spanish?
[Logan]: Not really, I am trying to learn a particular phrase in a multitude of languages... And you know, it doesn't really matter. What can I do for you, Thomas?
[Thomas]: Okay, so I just recently had an audition...
[Logan]: Oh yes, for one of those stage productions for a professional make-believe.
[Thomas]: Yes. And the audition is over.
[Logan]: It would seem so.
[Thomas]: I either get the part or I don't.
[Logan]: Yes, that's how it works. Is this new information for you, or...
[Thomas]: I just want to know. Objectively, how did I do?
[Anxiety]: -pops up- You screwed up.
[Thomas]: Ah! Anxiety!
[Anxiety]: Anxiety, what are you doing here? Yes, this is exactly what you do every time I pop up. Let's just skip that part. We get it, you don't want me here, but I'm here, and this is what I do.
[Thomas]: Oh, I don't think that's all that you—
[Anxiety]: You did a bad job, Sanders!
[Logan]: Where specifically did he do a "bad job"?
[Anxiety]: Try the beginning. He choked.
[Logan]: Ugh, Thomas, how many times do I have to tell you, chew your food!
[Thomas]: No, that's too literal.
[Anxiety]: He forgot the lyrics.
[Thomas]: I forgot the song, Logan! I tripped right out of the gates.
[Logan]: Well, you should watch where you're stepping.
[Thomas]: Just focus on the forgetting the song part.
[Anxiety]: Way more work than it should be.
[Logan]: Okay. Well, would it help you to know that it is not always essential to remember one's lines?
[Thomas]: It isn't?
[Anxiety]: When is it ever okay to forget your lines?
[Logan]: In Christopher Nolan's 2008 film, the Dark Knight, when Michael Caine first saw Heath Ledger enter as the Joker in all of his makeup, it startled him so much that it caused him to forget his lines. And that take was so organic that it was used in the final cut of the film.
[Anxiety]: That is an extremely specific and random fact to call upon for the sake of feeling secure.
[Thomas]: Whatever works!
[Anxiety]: And that's a movie, where you have the benefit of picking and choosing the best out of several takes. This is theater, where you only have one shot, and he threw it away.
[Thomas]: Oh, you're using Lin-Manuel Miranda's words against me! Logic, say something!
[Logan]: I mean it was colorfully phrased, but it's not an unfair point. Why are you asking me for help? I'm not usually your source of positivity. Why not summon Roman? He's your self-confidence, your ego, and he loves the sing-y, artsy, frivolous displays.
[Thomas]: Uh... -gestures to Roman’s corner-
[Logan]: I'm confused.
[Roman]: -offscreen- I'm not camera ready!
[Thomas]: -sighs- Yeah, Princey was onstage with me the entire time today, and with the performance I gave... Let's just say my ego is a bit bruised.
[Roman]: Everything hurts!
[Logan]: Hmm. Okay, well how about Morality? That cardigan-clad clod is an unending source of delusional optimism.
[Thomas]: Hng... -Thomas pointing to Morality’s corner-
*Another awkward silence*
[Morality]: -heard from Roman's spot- Yeah, I'm taking care of Princey here, kiddos. Alright, Roman. Soup time!
[Roman]: Cream of broccoli?! I told you I hate— Mm, never mind, this is delicious.
[Logan]: Oh, that is not good. A cream-based broth will upset Princey's stomach.
[Thomas]: Logic, focus!
[Logan]: Apologies. So, uh, they are of no help to you whatsoever?
[Thomas]: No! Right now, I don't feel too confident or optimistic about my chances. I was hoping that you would tell me that I did good... objectively!
[Logan]: Yikes. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, Thomas. Perhaps this time, you may have to consider that you did not do particularly well.
[Anxiety]: Yeah, it was a train wreck.
[Logan]: Time out! That seemed very emotionally charged.
[Anxiety]: What are you talking about? I just said what you said, only more effectively.
[Logan]: Ah, I see the issue, Thomas.
[Thomas]: What is it?
[Logan]: I now realize there is only one persona here holding sway over your feelings, and they fall quite heavily on the negative end of the spectrum. If you allow your thinking to be influenced too much by negative emotions, then it will lead to cognitive distortions.
[Thomas]: Cong-nitis dis-portion.
[Logan]: No, cognitive distortions.
[Thomas]: Haagen-Dazs dispersion.
[Logan]: Getting further away... Cognitive distortions.
[Thomas]: -whispers- I don't know what you're saying.
[Logan]: It's when you think things are different than how they actually are.
[Thomas]: Oh, like imaginary!
[Logan]: Kind of, but bad imaginary.
[Logan]: Therefore, I must do what I can to guide you towards a more accurate outlook.
[Anxiety]: Of course, when it comes down to it, you take Princey's side.
[Logan]: I'm not taking his side; did I say I was taking his side?
[Logan]: Quite honestly, I find both you and Princey to be a little too... extra.
[Thomas]: Vocab word!
[Logan]: -holds up flashcard- Yes, I've been studying.
[Thomas]: So proud of you.
[Logan]: I cannot make you feel better with positive or comforting words, but I can work to bring a clearer vision of the entire situation that this corner of the room is obscuring.
[Anxiety]: I would write an angsty sonnet illustrating my contempt for you if I actually cared enough about what you were saying right now.
[Thomas]: Okay, well Logan, what do you propose?
[Logan]: Anxiety seems to be swaying you with his reasoning, so I will attempt to do the same in the only civil way I know how: A debate. -snaps his fingers-
*new scene; debate room*
[Thomas]: Good afternoon from the Sanders Mind Palace Center. I am Thomas Sanders, your supplier of semi-humorous Tumblr posts at three in the morning. And I welcome you to the first, and hopefully only, 2017 Emotionally Compromised Debate between Secretary of Logical Defense, Logan, and Supreme Dark Overlord of Negative Commerce... I'm afraid I'm going to need your name.
[Thomas]: Ah, worth a shot. Anxiety. This debate is sponsored by the National Essential Reasoning Department or NERD...
[Logan]: Uh, or-or we do not have to abbreviate it—
[Thomas]: ...and the Public Humiliation Foundation.
[Anxiety]: I'm a monthly donor.
[Thomas]: The format has been determined by Logan—
[Thomas]: —for one-minute segments, centering around recent personal events that trouble me greatly. Please help me. Aaaahhh—
[Logan]: Keep calm, carry on.
[Thomas]: You're right, I'm an adult. Me me big boy... Nope. Each debater will have thirty seconds to answer their question, followed by a response from their opponent, are we clear on the rules?
[Anxiety]: This is stupid.
[Thomas]: Let the debate begin. Anxiety, the first question goes to you.
[Anxiety]: Too much pressure, no!
[Thomas]: Yesterday, I was texting someone who I liked very much. They made me feel itty-bitty butterflies in my tummy and sunshine in my heart.
[Thomas]: At one point in the conversation, they suddenly stopped replying to me. My question to you is, do they hate me?
[Thomas]: Interesting, Would you care to elaborate?
[Anxiety]: I mean why else would they not reply to you; people use their phones for everything these days. Do you honestly believe there's any chance that this person didn't see your text? You were probably just annoying them the whole time, and they were replying just to be nice, and then that got boring.
[Thomas]: Logic, your response.
[Logan]: Thomas, this sounds to me like a prime example of the cognitive distortion known as "jumping to conclusions", or inference observation confusion. There could be a multitude of reasons why they didn't reply, especially when you are unaware of how they were feeling, what was going on while they were texting, their battery life—
[Anxiety]: —How much they hate you...
[Logan]: I waited for my turn to speak. Please do not disrespect the sanctity of the rules that we just made up just now. As I was saying it is very easy for one to draw conclusions from limited data. But that is a fool's errand. The information that you have is as follows: You were conversating, humans typically socialize with other humans that they enjoy, and for some unknown reason, the conversation abruptly ended. Does this individual dislike you? That's TBD.
[Anxiety]: "Totally Believable, Dude."
[Logan]: "To Be Determined."
[Thomas]: Okay. Well, those are very important things to consider, so thank you, Logan.
[Anxiety]: My argument was more convincing.
[Thomas]: Next question, we start with Logan.
[Logan]: I am ready.
[Thomas]: Last week, I had planned to be super productive, get a whole bunch of tasks finally taken care of, and be ahead in life.
[Logan]: All thanks to my proposed efficiency plan that was voted on.
[Thomas]: Yes! However, certain tests were never gotten around to, and the plan wasn't as successfully carried out as I would have hoped. Was it all a waste?
[Logan]: No, not necessarily.
[Anxiety]: That's not a straight answer.
[Logan]: Can I- can I finish?
[Anxiety]: Well, are you going to answer a question honestly?
[Logan]: -overlapping- Can I finish my statement? I was making a statement. If you- If you let me finish my statement, I can at least—
[Anxiety]: -overlapping- Uh, like, are you going to do that? Because I'm waiting for you to give an honest, straight up answer— -undecipherable speaking-
[Thomas]: -joins the conversation making it even more impossible to hear what they are saying- Gentlemen, we are trying to carry on with this debate a little bit.
[Logan]: -arguing going on in the background- Listen, if you can't play by the rules, we cannot do this debate any further.
[Thomas]: Gentlemen, if we can get back on task...
[Anxiety]: ...it's ridiculous...
[Logan]: I was trying to make a statement.
[Thomas]: Can we bring order to this?
[Anxiety]: The plain answer to that question, Thomas, is that you did not follow through with that plan. Therefore, yes, it was a waste. See, Logan? I even used your reasoning to come to that conclusion.
[Logan]: Okay, that was your turn, now it's my turn. Thomas, did you complete all that you set out to do? No. But you're leaving out a lot of the things that you did get done. This act of ignoring the positives is called "mental filtering" and it is not healthy. Give yourself credit for the things that were accomplished.
[Thomas]: Thank you, Logan.
[Anxiety]: This is unfair. You're rooting against me, and you're the moderator.
[Logan]: Aw, what's the matter, Anxiety? Are you worried that your silver tongue will land you in the second place?
[Logan]: ...I'm sorry did he just hiss at me?
[Anxiety]: I do that when I start reaching my limit with stupid questions.
[Thomas]: Bear with me, a little longer. Anxiety, this morning, I went to go get a coffee and the barista was extremely charming.
[Anxiety]: Ugh, charming.
[Thomas]: Things were going really well, there was some witty banter, and then at the inevitable "Enjoy your coffee", I replied with "You too." Did I—
[Anxiety]: You blew it and you're a moron.
[Thomas]: Ah, that's what I thought. Moving on...
[Logan]: Wait, do I not get a turn?
[Thomas]: I don't think it's really necessary, his argument was pretty airtight.
[Logan]: N-No, no it wasn't. See, what you just did there, what Anxiety is having you do, is called "magnifying". Taking one or a couple minuscule possibly unfortunate moments and making them out to be bigger than they were. It sounds like the rest of the exchange went how an optimal courtship should be conducted.
[Thomas]: I mean, I guess.
[Anxiety]: He just wants us to ignore the important facts, the ones that matter.
[Logan]: Falsehood! That is what you are doing.
[Anxiety]: Oh, so you admit they're important.
[Logan]: Okay? You know what? -writing on flashcard-
[Anxiety]: What you doing?
[Logan]: I am writing you a prescription for a figurative -flips over flashcard- chill pill.
[Thomas]: Oh, oh ho ho!
[Logan]: Eh? Eh?
[Thomas]: Okay, let's move on.
[Anxiety]: -sarcastically- Oooh...
[Thomas]: Last issue, I will throw out for open discussion. I posted a video recently that did not do as well as a lot of my other videos. Is this the beginning of the end for me?
[Anxiety]: Well now, you can't argue with numbers. It could very well be... Time to panic and/or cry.
[Anxiety]: Your mom is preposterous.
[Logan]: I'm ignoring you. What you're doing there, Thomas, is called "overgeneralizing". You're letting one less than ideal event speak for any and all future events, and that is a pointless venture.
[Anxiety]: Your mom is pointless.
[Thomas]: Let's leave the mothers out of this, all right, especially considering the fact that neither of you have a mother.
[Anxiety]: If she did exist, she'd be preposterous and pointless.
[Logan]: -voice crack- FaLsEhOoD! -clears throat- Excuse me. All I'm saying is that this is not the first time a video has underperformed. In the past, has any specific video's lack of popularity ever been indicative of a trend towards failure?
[Thomas]: I guess not.
[Logan]: Your life is proven to have its peaks and valleys, but those valleys always eventually lead to peaks again.
[Thomas]: So true.
[Anxiety]: Ugh, you know what? I've had enough of this. None of this makes any difference, you know why? Because I'm right and you're wrong, that is why.
[Thomas]: Wait, why are you complimenting him?
[Logan]: I'm saying that he's acting like an aggressive brainless savage. Oh no, is that another contemporary slang word I have to learn?
[Thomas]: -whispers- It is.
[Logan]: -writing on another flashcard- Okay, I cannot keep up with these.
[Anxiety]: Here, I'm ready to give my closing statement. This is stupid, he's stupid, I'm out.
[Logan]: Okay, he is throwing a tantrum. I do not engage with tantrum-throwers.
[Anxiety]: Scenario over. -snaps fingers-
[Logan]: That was my dream space. How dare you?
[Anxiety]: Was it really getting us anywhere?
[Thomas]: Actually I... think maybe it did.
[Thomas]: Well, when I messed up during the audition today, I thought the director immediately hated me, but that may have been me jumping to a conclusion.
[Anxiety]: Y-You forgot the song! That's the whole thing!
[Thomas]: True, but when I was given that second chance, I did pretty well. I may have been magnifying that one mistake to seem bigger than it was. I have to try not to mentally filter out the good parts of my audition. The parts I can look back on and feel proud of.
[Logan]: You learning things is the closest I will ever be to feeling love.
[Anxiety]: Great. So, you've reasoned your way through today. Well, what's going to happen if and when you find out you are not cast in this show?
[Thomas]: Well, I'll be bummed but I won't overgeneralize. One bad audition doesn't speak for everything that I have to offer. I'm capable of doing better, and I will.
[Logan]: Well done, Thomas! A+ for today.
[Thomas]: No, well done to you, sir!
[Logan]: And Anxiety...
[Anxiety]: Save your insults. I'm just going to deck out.
[Logan]: Actually, um, I was going to tell you that was a good debate today.
[Anxiety]: What...? W-what... what do you mean?
[Logan]: I mean, you did a good job.
[Anxiety]: How? I was barely trying. I hissed at you.
[Logan]: Yes, I must admit, that as a fairly uncommon debate tactic. But despite you clearly not enjoying taking part, you still participated, you offered your points, and you even reasoned in your own way, and all that is commendable.
[Thomas]: -whispers- This is so pure.
[Anxiety]: I gotta say, I... don't really know how to react to you complimenting me. Kind of thought you didn't like me. Especially after last time when you called me a defeatist.
[Logan]: Well, you are wrong about a lot of things, but I don't necessarily mind your company. The other two can bring in a whole lot of sunshine, and that can be unbearable. And I can't imagine having a debate with either one of them.
[Anxiety]: I guess I just kind of assumed that—
[Logan]: You jumped to a conclusion.
[Thomas]: -whispers- We were just talking about this, weren't we?
[Anxiety]: Touché. Thanks.
[Thomas]: Glad to see you guys working some things out.
[Anxiety]: We didn't work anything out. -sinks out-
[Logan]: He's as stubborn as ever. -sinks out-
[Thomas]: Ah, okay, moment of reprieve over as soon as it began. -to viewers- But I do think that I have more of an accurate handle on the whole situation. And I hope that for any troublesome moments that occur in your lives, you are able to remember these tips so that you don't let negative thinking cloud your perception of them. Until next time, take it easy guys gals and non-binary pals. PEACE OUT!
[Logan]: It's interesting.
[Logan]: Now that we're at a little bit of a standstill, I finally feel a sense of peace in this household.
[Anxiety]: I guess?
[Logan]: The atmosphere is calm, the air is tranquil, and it finally feels like we are at a point of higher sophisticated thinking.
[Roman]: -pops up- I'm back! Did you miss me?
[Logan]: Your mom misses you! I'm sorry. Well, that was savage. It was a little extra.
[Roman]: What did you do to him?
[Morality]: Logic! -pops up- Now, where did you learn such childish humor? -tuts-