She’s been in the news before, but three interesting things pop out about the latest interviews with Randi Miller, the woman behind the “step back, doors closing” message and other recordings heard on Metro. According to the story in George Washington University’s newspaper, the Hatchet:
1. Miller hadn’t been on the Metro in seven years.
She lives in Woodbridge, she told The Post on Wednesday afternoon, so there’s no convenient Metro station to her home. Plus, she feels strange when she is having a conversation on the Metro and her own voice pipes up in the background. “I interrupt myself. It’s terrible to launch into an announcement when you’re trying to have a perfectly normal conversation with somebody,” she said. “It’s the weirdest sensation in the universe.”
Check out the Hatchet’s chat with her as she rides Metro.
2. She had ambitions of being a celebrity but hadn’t planned on being in the spotlight for a voice recording on a transit system. Now, she gets recognized, to a point.
“I meet people all the time who will say, ‘I know you. Where have I met you before? You just seem so familiar,'” she told The Post. She asks them to close their eyes while she says “step back, doors closing,” and watches when it dawns on them just why they know her voice. “People get such a big kick out of it.”
3. Her prize in 2006 for winning Metro’s voice contest was a $10 fare card, a “Metro baseball cap and a D.C.-themed Monopoly board game,” according to the Hatchet. After Miller was chosen from more than 1,200 applicants to record Metro’s announcement, she described it to Washington Post reporter Lyndsey Layton as “the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.”
One of the hundreds of people she beat out was her own father, who wanted to be the voice of Metro so badly that he sent in 20 entries. Neither father nor daughter knew that the other had entered, Miller said Wednesday afternoon, and when she won, he was proud. “He was super happy,” she said. “He never lost an opportunity to tell somebody.”
Miller said she doesn’t mind that she has never received any royalties for her services to Metro, because the exposure launched her career as a voice actor. On her Web site, viewers can hear Miller’s voice in commercials for Dannon Light, Century 21, Game Boy and a History Channel promotion. She is hoping to have enough work soon to do voice acting full-time.
In fact, she would like to do more work for Metro for free. She would like to record the names of all the stops, or record announcements for the buses in addition to trains. “You cannot understand the drivers. When are you going to record stop announcements?” she asked of Metro. “I would love to do that. If that’s something that they would want to do, I’m all over it.”
“Consistency’s very important. You want to have one voice for everything,” Miller added. “It’s the least I can do after what they did for me.”