Feisty Cuffs, Cosplayer and Host of Kapow! – Episode 100

Make sure to catch Feisty Cuffs at PAX Australia, November 4th to 6th, in Melbourne, Victoria!

Cosplayer and YouTube show host Feisty Cuffs has been in love with the cosplay community since her very first convention. She enjoys the creative process of constructing her own costumes and props, and picks her next cosplay projects based on whether she can learn a new technique or skill.

Feisty loves attending conventions as a cosplayer, panellist and cosplay judge, and connecting with like-minded geeks. You may even recognise her as one of the hosts and of the Kapow! Comic Book Show on YouTube.

Feisty and I have a great chat about being that friend you invite to a fancy dress party, a love of European comic books, meeting those crazy people you just click with, the awesomeness of being asked to host a cosplay competition at the Rooster Teeth Expo and her favourite comic book character of all time!

Keep listening after the chat wraps for a retrospective on the first 100 episodes of The Paid to Play Podcast!

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Scott Doucet, Podcast Coach – Episode 99

Podcast coach and host Scott Doucet loves podcasts. He loves listening to them. He loves making them and helping people make them. He loves them so much that he co-founded and continues to administer a huge community of podcasters on Facebook.

And just recently, he’s applied his experience and passion for podcasting to launch an all-new show, Podcast Bay, where he invites podcasters new and veteran to talk about the trash, the treasure and the trickery of the podcasting game!

We have a great chat about Scott’s first job in radio at 14, his discovery that podcasting isn’t just guys sitting around talking movies, finding a mentorship on a budget, and being hockey in the streets but Warhammer 40K in the sheets!

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Stephanie L H Calahan, The Business Vision Catalyst – Episode 98

Business Vision Catalyst and founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. Stephanie L H Calahan works with busy, purpose-driven entrepreneurs at the intersection of heart and head, to leverage their business and get their message out with power, ease and joy; so they can make a powerfully positive difference in the world, exponentially up-level their profits, shift their mindset towards possibility and take a no-excuses approach to boldly creating a highly successful and meaningful business built around who they are. In short, to enjoy a highly-successful and meaningful business… while working less.

After Stephanie chose to leave a successful-on-paper nine-to-five corporate life that was putting her through an emotional and physical wringer, she quickly discovered that if not approached correctly, entrepreneurship could be just as damaging. Ultimately, she stepped back and re-defined everything, and now lives a self-employed working and family life that brings her all the benefits she offers her customers.

Stephanie and I have a great chat about being a consultant from childhood, armchair travel, unlocking the golden handcuffs, a blinding flash of the obvious, giving a child the benefits of a stay-at-home mom without being one and the crippling fear of disappointing your spouse.

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Lauren Dawes: Hybrid Paranormal Romance Author – Episode 97

Hybrid paranormal romance author Lauren Dawes writes the Half Blood series, four novels of the Helheim Wolf Pack, and the Dark trilogy, tales of ancient Norse gods living and battling amongst humanity. The Dark series are published by Pan MacMillan, while Lauren self-publishes the Half Blood series.

Lauren was born in South Africa to English parents who then raised her and her brother in Sydney. She loves reading, naturally, but also travelling and, perhaps unsurprisingly given the action-packed nature of her novels, muay thai kick boxing. Her love of urban fantasy and paranormal romance sprang from reading authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, J.R. Ward and Charlaine Harris.

Lauren and I have a great chat about what Stephenie Meyer did to the vampire genre, the author’s burden of the rejection slip, juggling writing with raising a youngster while the armed forces make off with your husband, the work of world building, going from writing a novel in private to speaking at panels in conventions.

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Bajo: Actor, Author and Host of ABC TV’s Good Game – Episode 96

Television host and actor Steven O’Donnell is better known to gamers across Australia as Bajo, one of the four hosts of the ABC television show Good Game. Bajo’s prestige amongst the Australian geek community has made him a go-to guest and MC for pop culture conventions.

Bajo has acted in close to 40 short films and 6 independent features and is part of a team developing a new children’s TV show for the ABC, which has just been green-lit after four years of development. If that’s not enough, Bajo and fellow Good Game host Hex have written a children’s book series called Pixel Raiders for Scholastic.

Bajo and I have a great chat about night-long Counter-Strike marathons four days a week, making children cry at Warner Bros. Movie World, the sheer amount of work involved in making multiple television shows each week, seeking out challenges that make you feel uncomfortable and how community is at the heart of any passion!

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Barry Duffield

Barry Duffield, Star of Spartacus – Episode 95

Veteran of the acting scene Barry Duffield moved from the UK to Australia with family as a youngster but found acting success after moving to New Zealand, where he studied at the South Seas Film and Television School in Auckland. This led to recurring roles the New Zealand medical drama Shortland Street.

Genre fans, though, undoubtedly know him for his portrayal of Lugo, the Germanic warrior in the Starz TV series Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned.

Listen in for a great chat about how Berry got his big break thanks to a motorbike, the unique experience that is “Option Hell,” working on Young Hercules, his (spoiler warning) epic death in Spartacus: War of the Damned, helping a young boy who had beaten cancer get to a Spartacus convention and how he’s just as big a fan as anyone else!

Huge thanks to Glenn Hodges for connecting Barry and I up, and also to Patreon backer Paul Cockrem for the awesome question!

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Jacinta Maree, Young Adult Author – Episode 94

Young adult dark romance author Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, Japan and video games. Jacinta has created three worlds with which she weaves the stories of her novels: The My Demonic Ghost series, the Immortal Gene series and the upcoming Time Collector series.

So far, the My Demonic Ghost series has become a best seller, won the  People’s Choice Award Horror of the Year 2013 from Turning the Pages and has been nominated for other multiple Young Adult and Paranormal awards.

We have a great chat about her stories, her friends in the publishing  houses that take her novels to press, the convention experience and even not letting a difficulty with spelling prevent her from writing!


Bernie Bregman, Nerds Like Us: Episode 93

Geek event organiser and cosplayer Bernie Bregman is  the man to thank for making events that aren’t just geek-friendly but outright geek-celebratory! Bernie Bregman is one of the best contest/masquerade hosts on the US cosplay circuit with over a decade of experience and several elite-level shows under his belt. Through his company Nerds Like Us, Bernie has organised midnight movie screenings, convention after-parties, meet-and-greets and even a network of nerd nightclubs!

Bernie and I have a great chat about making a career out of getting geeks together, from his introduction to geeking out and cosplay via The Rocky Horror Picture Show through first business venture organising a screening of Repo: The Genetic Opera! to the day-to-day ins-and-outs of running a geek culture event entertainment business.

Celia Berrell

Celia Berrell, Science Poet: Episode 92

Author of Science Rhymes and internationally published poet Celia Berrell has a passion for taking science concepts and presenting them to people – children in particular – as poems. Her work is regularly featured in the children’s science magazine of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Celia and I have a great chat about a lifelong love of science, the importance of a website to self-promotion, the joy of having a printed, published book, the necessity of checking your facts even when writing poetry and being caught out not being a child when writing poems for a children’s magazine. Celia also reads her poem, “Body Chemistry”!

Nolan T. Jones

Nolan T. Jones, Roll20: Episode 91

Roll20 co-creator Nolan T. Jones loved playing tabletop roleplaying games with good mates until relocating across the US almost ended his close friendships. Instead, he and his friends looked online for help with playing the games they loved – and when none of the solutions was good or easy enough to use, they built their own.

Now, Roll20 is one of the world’s largest virtual tabletop applications, and probably the most well-known.Thanks to Nolan and his mates, gamers across the world are getting together every day to play RPGs from Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder to Star Wars and Traveller.

In  addition to being part of an industry-leading tabletop gaming company, he’s worked in comics, including writing the books ‘Colonial Souls’ and ‘House of ORR.’ He has a degree in film and East Asian culture from the University of Kansas, and considers himself a qualified speaker on screenplay structure, Dragon Ball, Vince Guaraldi, and the Mighty Mutanimals.