My parents took me to my first Dead show at age 9, and I was hooked on live music—but I didn't start getting into electronic music until college. I let a lot of my images play clean at first so people can see what they are. Then, I'll take that recognizable image and blend or manipulate it, to start making it abstract. When people realize that they're not watching a canned DVD, that I'm creating the visuals live, then they get excited. I like to layer in and manipulate a lot of live footage so that my visuals are very clearly tied to the actions people are watching.
All my VJ material is original, either stuff I've created or shots that friends have given me specifically to use for my projections—never archival footage or CG patterns (standard fare for most VJs). I'm constantly shooting footage, then I edit, loop and effect it in Final Cut Pro (and I occasionally drop stuff into Motion).
Surprisingly, most of my adventures as a VJ have been pretty normal. I find being on set directing a production is much more insane than a VJ gig. With VJing, I set up my rig, figure out where to project, then perform with whatever music comes my way. Being on set, or even working in the editing room, there are a lot more variables to go awry or sudden disasters to erupt. The largest and craziest show I've done to date was last year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami. They had 13 tents and stages set up for around 40,000 kids. I performed a nine-hour set with Armand van Helden, Benny Benassi, DJ Dan and a bunch of others. The energy of over a thousand dancing kids going nuts for 12 hours straight was really intense—a full-on rock star experience.