We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua Sterling Bragg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joshua Sterling, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my show Haunting Season is authenticity. Anyone can come up with a ghost story to tell, but not everyone can make it feel real. I do that not only by being authentic in my writing and performance, but by stitching my stories together with truth, and then designing a 360 degree soundscape to fully immerse the listener.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Just like taste is drastically weakened without smell, good video can only go so far without excellent sound. Our show started out on YouTube in 2013, and from the beginning I’ve always had a very high standard for the audio aspect of the show. I tell scary stories, and part of that is making sure the story itself is scary, but then taking that two-dimensional world of the written story and adding a surround-sound experience really takes things to the next level. It’s not just about adding music and sound effects, but designing exactly what it would sound like to hear something over your right shoulder, or off in the distance, or in a hallway. You have to think about is the window to the room open, are the curtains blowing in the wind, are there crickets outside, how close is the nearest road and do the trees have leaves on them? Every single detail matters in building out an environment that feels real for the listener. This isn’t an easy or quick task either. As a weekly show, we often have just 4 days to go from recording to finished product and that take a lot of coordination between myself and the editor. At the end of every week there comes a “pencils down” moment where you have to accept where you ended up for the week and move on to the next.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In LA, especially during the pandemic, I’d have to be really particular about where to go. But brushing that aside for the moment, I’m a huge fan of the Forest Lawn grave yard here in Glendale, and the Forever Cemetery in LA. Those are an absolute must! For food, we’d have to do a chicken sando at Howlin’ Rays (medium spice with fries) but we’d also have to hit my favorite spots in Glendale Buko Sushi, and Wild Oaks Cafe. For longer day excursions we could travel up the Angeles Crest Highway through the Mountains, head out to Vasquez Rocks for some desert views with throwbacks to Star Trek and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and then of course a trip into wine country. We personally like SLO.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are several people what have made Haunting Season a possibility over the years. Matt Gielen of Little Monster is my original partner and remains on the show as an executive producer to this day, but most recently it has taken the team at Believe Limited to bring the show back in such a strong way. Ryan Gielen and Patrick James Lynch as EPs, Greg Holdsman, Jessica Lauren Richmond as producers, Mel Forrest helps me with the writing of the stories, Colbie Crow is our editor, North Innsbruck created the music, and of course my co-host Cody Dugan who helps craft the episodes and hosts the show with me.