This week’s interview is with Jesse Oak Rise, an author and videographer I met in Pittsburgh last year when I went to Confluence during the middle of Pennsic. I was struck in our conversations about how much they have studied technical details of making videos, something I know very little about and Jesse taught me about.
Interview: Jesse Oak Rise
What is your quest?
Presently I run a blog dealing with topics surrounding the trans and non-binary community, mental health, and Crohn’s Disease. In the future I have several plans for my YouTube channel, The Knighted Nerd, which are creating video reviews of trans related media as well as video game content through a trans perspective. This would include Let’s Plays of various games. Interviews with trans and non-binary community leaders. Hopefully gain interviews with politicians and political leaders. Attend trans and mental health related conferences and, hopefully, document them.
I wouldn’t say I have success. My influences, however, are as follows: Lyndsey Sickler, educator and advocate, among other things. Created and runs TransPride Pittsburgh. The late Nancy Evelyn Gold, who inspired me in the first place to learn Adobe Premiere Pro / Final Cut. Anthony Q. Artis, author of The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide and The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic by Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, The Art of Voice Acting: The Craft and Business of Performing for Voiceover by James Alburger.
Also these YouTubers: Caleb Wojcik, creator of FIT Video Guy, DSLR Video Shooter, Lindsay Ellis, Chase Thomas, PushingUpRoses, MarzGurl, and, of course, Markiplier / Jacksepticeye
What is your favorite color?
I’m, by no means, a professional videographer, voice actor, or YouTuber. What I am is a person that has worn many hats.
No matter which of these you do or want to do the biggest lessons I’ve learned in all three are: Make sure your audio is on point. No $10 microphones. Go for a Blue Snowball or Yeti. If you want to go XLR, go for Rode Mic with a usb interface. Make sure you’re audio is shielded in some way, even if you have to build makeshift plywood walls to stick soundproofing on, it’s better than having anything under or over your voice.
Video, depending how you want to do it, look for either a quality web cam or a camcorder. If you got the bucks, look into getting a DSLR camera. Look into 3 or 4 point lighting. This will bring your video game up a notch.
If you’re going to do green screen, YouTube and your local library are your friend to learn. These are how I have learned everything I know now.
What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?
What do you mean? African or European paint brush?
The biggest challenge I have has plagued me all my life: money. I don’t have the funds to do the things I want to do the things I mentioned above, much to my dismay.
What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?
I’ve been taught all my life that I’ll never amount to anything. Over the last two and ½ decades I’ve learned that I have an innate ability to quickly learn almost any skill quickly. With this tool I know I could succeed at almost anything, if given the opportunity.
- Favorite Muppet? The mahna mahna guy
- Crunchy or Creamy? Both at once
- Favorite Sports Team? What’s a sports?
- Cake or Pie? Piecake
- Lime or Lemon? Lemon
- Favorite Chip Dip? French onion
- Wet or Dry? Yes.
- Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? Myself, Jesse Oak Rise.
- Whisky or Whiskey? Jagermister
- Favorite Superhero? Deadpool
- Steak Temperature? 650
- Favorite 1970s TV show? All in the Family
- Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall, cause every day is Halloween
- Favorite Pet? Can I own Death as a pet?
- Best Game Ever? Will it blend
- Coffee or Tea? Tea
- Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Yes
What question(s) would you like to ask me?
Have you thought about adding authentic transgender characters in your writings?
My Answer: Thought about it, yes? Done it? No, because it’s never been relevant to the story I’m telling. Given that I write hack and slash, swords and sorcery action novels, I generally focus on whether my characters are strong, smart, fast, tough, or wise because those things matter in a fight. Rarely does plumbing of any type affect the outcome of a fight or a story, so I don’t talk about it much.
If it ever matters to a story, I have no problem including transgender characters. However, I’m not going to throw one in simply to throw one in. I think that sort of thing is dishonest and disrespectful if the only reason to do so is to say, “Here, look at me, I put in a transgender character, aren’t I awesome!” If and when I put a transgender character into a story, it’s because the “transgender” part matters. Otherwise, transgender people are simply “people.”
It all boils down to what makes a good story. If a character being transgender makes a better story, I’ll make that happen in a heartbeat. If it doesn’t, I already try to strip everything I can in my writing that doesn’t push the story along.
Tell me again where we can find your stuff?
I can be found at
- Facebook The Knighted Nerd
- Twitter @theknightednerd
- And, until I get a proper channel name link m.youtube.com/channel/UC1jjM_igZJ4kbE8YO4M2eAg
And where can we find you?
Currently I only attend Confluence in Pittsburgh, PA
Do you have a creator biography?
Presently on my blog, which needs work
Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326.
If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at email@example.com.
Also, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.