Chiming in to say that life is a beautiful thing. Keep working hard and it will be exactly what you planned it to be.
I’ve been expanding my photographical horizons. I’ve been over to friends’ homes and seen their family wall art. Some of it has been hokey while others have been very tasteful. I’ve been wanting to experiment with post-processing techniques that give a subtle “painted” texture. I found a very informative article on the Spoon Graphics website. While it still has strokes that are bit larger than I was hoping for, cutting the processing time from several hours to about a couple minutes was a huge win. You really only notice them when you’re looking up close, anyway. So now when our friends come over, I hope we’re one of the tasteful wall art families. Still, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I was recently commissioned to record an A Capella version of a metal song. I was pretty inspired by the story behind it: guy has a friend of 18 years with whom he shares the joy of metal music. They always thought it would be funny to have an up-beat, friendly version of a dark and brooding metal song. Enter: JME. The post wasn’t garnering as many responses as I was hoping. Soon, the request would be buried under a stack of new posts and recordings. I decided to jump in and offer my services, as outdated as they may be. I haven’t recorded any sort of harmonic vocal track in years. Well, it turned out better than expected. The client was overjoyed and I had a fun time re-learning the art of harmony. While there are some notes that are off, or a harmony that isn’t perfect, I’m still very proud of my achievement. I hope you enjoy it as well.
I’ve got a place in my heart of voice acting. Maybe it’s the countless hours of cartoons I watched as a kid or that my parents were goofballs and always supported the sounds I could make with my mouth.
I didn’t learn until many years later, the names behind some of my favorite voices. People like Billy West, Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, and Tress MacNeille. You might know them better as Ren & Stimpy, Yakko Warner, Leonardo, and Babs Bunny. But those are just a drop in the bucket compared to their complete work so far. Looking further into careers of voice actors, I’ve come to find that the greats don’t just stop with main characters, but get used as all sorts of one-time and recurring characters in the series. Tress did well over a hundred characters for Futurama, with Billy being in a very close second. It’s not uncommon to do several character voices in just one recording session.
As for me, I’m just diving in. My first stop was to find an online community where volunteers could show off their skills. Since nobody is commissioned, there’s a lot less stress on voicing a piece. But that doesn’t mean you don’t go all-out, though. Even after only a few days, it’s clear to see there are even some amateurs who have that unique sound that’s going to set them apart. Everybody is appreciative of the constructive criticism, because they all know everybody starts somewhere. It’s incredible to hear the range that some voice actors in this community have. Some do it full-time, while others dabble when they have some free time. One presiding sentiment is that everybody providing their voice absolutely loves doing the work. This is even one of those gigs where you may not even consider it work.
Since I’m not out looking for work or listing myself on a freelance directory, I’m able to take my time and learn at my own pace. It’s fantastic having a supportive group of people offering their input on your work and progress. It yields a great product and provides the motivation to expand your horizons. With every new line I try, I exercise my reading, pronunciation, articulation, and emphasis. It makes brand new work easier to read through on the first try and exudes confidence in the reading of the piece itself.
This is a fun new interest that I’m excited to get deeper into. Check out the Rob Paulsen podcast for some fun and inspiration in the field. Enjoy yourselves and I’ll see you on the other side of the mic!
I remember when I first graduated from CSUN and I was so gung-ho about getting started in the industry. Bear in mind, the Internet was still a pretty fresh platform. We’re talking 2003 but we had only just moved on from dial-up and ISDN. I was young and ready to get my name out there. I picked up www.justinmillerexperience.com and hit the ground running. I remember titling the site “I am Multimedia” to relay the fact that I was somebody who was into pretty much anything entertainment-related. I remember recording songs, making videos, designing websites and promoting so much of what I made. It wasn’t that I was careless in what I was showing people, it was more like I was fearless.
These days, looking back on how I was, I applaud myself for being so bold. Life happens, and with this comes great things. Not to go into too much detail but in the span of 5 years I had settled into a great job, moved into a condo, moved into a house, met my lovely wife and got married. I also noticed in that same time, I had more or less become a ghost online. I want you to know that I don’t look back and wish I had done anything different. I was aware of the direction my life was headed. It just didn’t allow for recording songs, making videos, or designing websites. I was perfectly fine with that.
One great thing about the Internet is that it has always kept chugging along. Much like time, the Internet stops for no one. Not only that, but there have been so many technological advancements with both software, user experience, and social interaction. It’s a wonderful time to be making your place on the web. This brings me to my point. I was a fearless young go-getter with no real plan other than putting my projects online for the world to see and hoping to just make something of it. Now, as I am in the early stages of my professional career, I see that those dreams are very much attainable. I just need to be smarter in how I go about portraying myself online. I’m re-building my network and Justin Miller Experience deserves to be part of that.
Welcome back to the JME.
Strange to think this all started almost a decade ago. And in that time with my residence on the web, I’ve learned quite a bit. One important thing I’ve learned is data backup (ha). While I’ve maintained copies of the several iterations of JME, they aren’t quite complete. Some have missing pages or missing photos… not really worth showing. Just know that this has always been my little repository for all things Justin Miller.