Rollerblade® has opened the team archives and wondered… “What are they up to now?” In the Flashback series of interviews, we catch up with former Rollerblade® team riders and creative minds that helped grow the brand. We talk about the past, present, and future. And now we Flashback with Cory Miller.
Cory you have been part of the Rollerblade® family since the early 90’s. Please tell us how your relationship with Rollerblade started?
Yes, I was into roller skating and skateboarding for the most part of the 80s’ and picked up a pair of Inline skates (Blades) after renting them at the beach on a brief family vacation trip to Southern California in 1990. I picked it up fast, and soon was jumping stairs and doing backflips. I moved down to Los Angeles to get into the entertainment business when I graduated high school in 1992. Later that year Rollerblade® held an audition for a “Team Rollerblade®” skater to perform in dance/stunt shows around the world to promote the brand. I was offered my first contract from Rollerblade® in late 1992/1993.
At first you were a team rider and later you also became the team manager for Rollerblade®, USA. What was your strategy for selecting and managing the team?
As the industry grew and the team changed in the mid 90’s with the birth of the XGames, I found that there was a disconnect between what was happening in the office and what was happening on the street with the skaters. So I started communicating and being a mediator between the two. This was prior to any type of social media and digital cameras, so when we traveled for competitions and demos I would look for skaters who were talented athletes with good personalities who seem to get along with other guys on the team. We would also look for skaters who were interested in other parts of the sport, including marketing ideas and skate designs.
What is your best memory as a skater/team manager?
One of my favorite memories is when Rollerblade® created the Coyotes off road inline skates. They had asked Mike Budnik, Chris Edwards, and myself to take a trip to Moab, Utah to test them out and make a film about them. It was the first time I was able to take skating to a place I never thought imaginable.
Do you still skate?
Yes, I still skate a lot. I primarily use them for three different things. I use them to skate in the skatepark with my son who rides a scooter /skateboard so he doesn't get killed by a biker. I also love to skate for transportation and exercise near my house. I try to skate once a week to my local coffee shop to read, work, and enjoy a good cappuccino. I’ve also been blessed to use my skating as a stunt skater on movies like Jupiter Ascending. I’ve also found it’s very useful in Hollywood to be a steady cam operator and skate with a movie camera for recent movies like Point Break, and another movie called Alita Battle Angel due out next year.
Do you still follow the skate scene? What impresses you the most about the sport today?
Unfortunately I haven’t followed the skate scene much the past few years, but what has impressed me when I do catch it, is how smooth and artistic skating has become with some of the older skaters especially for a sport that has been difficult to make look good with style and lines.
As a creative professional you must have a lot of inspiration. Does you background in skating help inspire you?
Yes. I found myself always looking at the world as a skatepark. Haha. No, but seriously, being involved in two decades of inline skating that encompasses progression, creativity, product development, performance, art, competition, marketing, sales, community, and culture has given me a good balance of inspiration for both family and business.
The Millers family is very active in the entertainment industry. Can you explain THE SPACE?
THE SPACE was started for us to have an office and creative space to express the things we liked to do and make a living doing them. For example, it offers us a place to dance, do photography, video, acting, fitness, etc. Although there is no mini ramp at the space, it’s pretty fun to skate to and from, and I do, on occasion, use my skates to film dance with. The studio offers a place to create dance videos, we offer homeschool classes for acting, dance workshops, and social media programs as well as a place to work on creating media for different companies.
In the near future the Miller family will tour Europe. What can you tell us about your tour? Will skating be involved?
The tour does not involve much skating at this time other than an occasional skating with a camera in a dance studio, but it has always been a part of my outlook on style, lines, and transportation.