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Meet Javan Hamilton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Javan Hamilton.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a media producer, graphic designer and small “j” journalist—that is, I entered the world of journalism through my graphics and my videos.

My entire career began as—I don’t know if you want to call it a fluke or pure God, but it definitely wasn’t planned. I got my first camcorder at the age of 12, and I began re-creating, out of cardboard and Christmas lights, the sets of some of my favorite shows like “Press Your Luck,” “Hollywood Squares,” “I Love the ‘80s,” and “The Flip Wilson Show.” I got picked on at school a lot for it, which hurt. It did, they knew it, that’s the point. But I’m the one who’s now reaping the benefits.

Fast forward to 2007 through 2012, I hosted a vlog during the old days of YouTube. That introduced me to the public and public opinions, but I pulled it because I no longer liked doing it. I was also hanging with a not-so-good crowd during that time, doing things to fit in with people who lived contrary to how I raised. It took a car accident for me to spend a dark 2013 figuring out not only who I was, but what I wanted to do with my life. I’m a Katrina evacuee from New Orleans, and I moved to Baton Rouge in 2005 after my 16th birthday. So I would eventually take to the Baton Rouge media much like I did back home, becoming a fan of their public-access station. But one show in particular caught my attention the most: “BRCC Today” hosted by Tammy Brown, the community relations director for Baton Rouge Community College at the time.

Now we’re in late 2013. I’m working at a library, I’ve changed my major for the third time since 2007 and I’m realizing that TV is a field that I wanted to pursue again. I didn’t know how to, especially after a litany of failed attempts at getting jobs at local stations. But I was compelled to put together a graphics reel for “BRCC Today” just as a fan, which is still on YouTube to this day. In tandem, I came across a show called “MyScene TV” one night while putting my laundry away. It was a beautiful concept for a city that was on the rise, but…I knew that aesthetically, it could seriously use my help. I wrote to Kent Bloxson, the creator, asking for a job, but as I mentioned before: nothing.

January 2014, Kent wrote me back that he needed a new virtual set (green screen backdrop) for his upcoming sixth season. Thrilled with what I created, he brought me on as a freelance graphic artist. At the same time, Angela Saia, my instructor, recommended me to Tammy Brown as a student spotlight on her show. Following the spirit, I showed Ms. Tammy the graphics reel, which ultimately led to me becoming the on-campus producer for the show up until I graduated summa cum laude in 2015 with a degree in Graphic Communications and Desktop Publishing. That same year, after a huge fight with the show’s then host, I became the graphic designer, co-executive producer, co-owner, feature reporter and host of “MyScene TV,” a position I hold to this day. Then the journalism comes in due to a two-year stint holding various positions at NBC/Fox affiliate WVLA/WGMB-TV, where I was able to use the expertise of my co-workers to sharpen my skills as a presenter, producer and storyteller.

I moved to the Houston area in March of 2018, I completed a 12-part web series called “This Is Houston,” and I’m now producing “The Don Davis Real Estate Show,” both on YouTube.

That’s a lengthy backstory, but it was all a matter of faith and letting things happen on their own.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been far from smooth road. Even today, there are still more potholes, roadkill and pedestrians than I’d like. But I’m increasingly humbled as time passes. I mean, the TV aspect of all of this began with a really bad, angry day in class in which something possessed me to show Ms. Angela my website; that’s what prompted her to let Ms. Tammy know about me. Once the ball started rolling, I felt like I was on top of the world and in total control. But six years in, I’m experienced and especially aware. So while things are happening for me faster than ever, it no longer feels like it used to because now I’m aware—now I’m expecting and feeling like I ‘deserve’ for things to happen. Then there’s this nagging yet waning feeling that I have something to prove to people who I feel have rejected me over the years, both personally and professionally. Those are the struggles.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a freelance media producer, so I specialize in video production and post-production (editing) for TV and web. But my VFX artistry aligns with that, and so does my work as a presenter, voice artist and multimedia journalist. For all intents and purposes, I’m a one-man show: the guy with the drone, the microphones, the fancy camera and what have you, who then edits everything down, jumping in front of the camera and voicing copy when needed. It’s introduced me to some really amazing people here in the Space City.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There’s no doubt that I wouldn’t be here without the support and motivation of my parents and the rest of family. They’re not my rock—more like my *planet.* Then there was a lot of mentorship from Ms. Angela, Ms. Tammy, Ms. Janice and Ms. Ann from school, as well as professional connections like Mr. Bloxson and Mr. Davis. But also Todd Sterling and the theatre company SeLah Productions, Inc., who I freelance for as well. I have to give a special shoutout to Detroit the Barber, though, who’s been one of the most listening of ears. You know, there are many times when I feel like I’m on this turbulent walk alone. But with God and his aforementioned army, I’m good.

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