That's right folks! Time for the 2nd installment in my ongoing series (it won't just be this week) 'Where Are They Now?' This time I'm catching up with USL co-hostess Jessica Harper (aka IguanaGrrl of DDRFreak fame) So hit the jump to check out my interview with her!
So tell us about yourself. What are you up to these days?
I'm working full time as Data Processing Manager at a political polling firm and on Saturday nights, you can find me with Travis over on Under Sedation LIVE!
Favorite BEMANI game?
Ever since I first played Beatmania IIDX, it became my fast favorite and stayed that way.
Favorite mix from said series?
6th style holds a lot of memories for me
Favorite song/artist? (doesn't have to be from your favorite game/series)
'Sync' by Outphase always stuck with me as a big fave, though I do like the Echo Image stuff! [DDR Ultramix 2 on original XBOX]
Any tournament memories you want to share? (also, PA or Freestyle?)
I am still the only person who has a 100% win average in Freestyle! :)
On a whim, I decided to be a part of the Worst Freestyle EVER tournament and during a knee drop, I managed to smack my knee hard enough to cause a nice gash. I started to bleed down the front of my leg and they used the DDR Spot t-shirt prize to mop up my leg - since nobody wanted my blood, I won the tourney.
Later on, I decided I really wanted to show everyone that I can, in fact, dance well and teamed up with Mr. Wendell to work on a routine. We had a total of one day to choreograph the routine and then practiced 3 times the night prior to the tourney and still managed to come away with 1st place.
Winning that tourney with Mr. Wendell was probably a major highlight of my DDR career.
Any memories from OLR [or USL] you'd like to share?
I have so many fond memories of hiding out in Travis's man cave, smoking far too many cloves, grossing him out with my philly rolls from Sushi Ya, beating Rob with microphones, the billion sex quizzes... need I continue? :) classic.undersedationlive.org is full of them!
Do you still play DDR/IIDX/etc. nowadays?
I haven't in quite a long time. I sold off all of my Bemani collection during difficult financial times a few years back and other than a random visit to RVGL to play IIDX last year, I haven't played.
If you've seen what DDR is like now, do you feel it's 'jumped the shark'? Share your thoughts on that.
I think that the loss of Konami arcade versions really sank the ship. A major part of why DDR became so popular was the camaraderie so many felt through arcade play and tournaments and such. Sure, console play is easier to implement and more profitable nowadays and you go where the money is, but the only reason why it got that initial burst was because people saw the game in the arcade and went 'oooh, what's that???'
Obligatory 'your first time playing DDR' story
Mine would be the same as Rob's, heheh. We were at the 25th anniversary of Rocky Horror in Las Vegas back in 2000 and saw DDR in the arcade at Circus Circus... we had an 'oooh, what's that???' moment and just HAD to try it. The rest is history!
It's so hard to believe that USL and OLR are 10 and 9 years old respectively. Whodathunk that we'd still be around after all this time? Thank you, listening audience... we love you! --
I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with Ms. Harper... tomorrow I'm featuring a very special 'I Love That Song!' (to celebrate the release of a game I'd been excited about since its announcement almost two years ago) EDIT: okay the ver2 interview will still be happening on Thursday, but I just heard back from our very own Intern Drew!!!! So in addition to I Love That Song, I'll also have his interview for you tomorrow!! So watch for it right here on OLR.