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!
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!
It’s interesting how things tuned out: The recording order of my chat with Sharna, owner and operator of and performer in Ever After Parties, comes out twelve months after she started the company!
Ever After Parties specialises in making make-believe a little more real by bringing beloved characters from animated movies to children’s parties. It’s cosplay in one of its purer forms; it’s no coincidence that Sharna was a cosplayer before she got into performing at kids’ parties.
We chat about Sharna’s love of anime and Disney, going from a princess party company employee to staring her own company at just sixteen years of age (while still at high school) and the support you can get from the most unlikely quarters as long as you stand by your paid play!
If you’ve listened to my last chat with Terry for Episode 2, you’ll know (if you didn’t already) that he’s a verteran of Australian stage and screen. Shit Creek is the first web series he’s been involved in, and I’m glad to do my bit to promote its campaign to secure further funding.
As of this posting, the campaign is just under five grand short of hitting its funding goal of $8,000 with 22 days to go, so please open your wallets and chuck these fine folks some of your hard-earned!
If you need a little more selling on the idea, then please listen in for an entertaining chat with a great entertainer. Be warned: This chat is NSFW (not safe for work) and definitely not safe for kids either!
Deji Adiatu is another one of those people who makes the rest of us look bad. He migrated from Nigeria to Australia a few years ago and has been working almost non-stop since, not just as an actor who got his break as an extra on no less than The Great Gatsby (yes, that The Great Gatsby) but also with charity organisations like the UN High Commission for Refugees and employment agencies seeking to place people looking for work.
And in the midst of all that he’s been looking after his young son.
Deji is very much a humanist who believes in helping everyone be the best they can. I’m very lucky to have had him as a guest on the podcast!
Have you ever had that thing that you discovered that you both love doing and you’re good at? You know, that thing you told yourself would never work, so you put it aside in favour of learning a skill that you could employ in the nine-to-five?
Matt A. has: Acting. But after trying the nine-to-five for a while as a marketer, he decided to give his vocation a shot, heading to New York to train in film and television, then to the UK to build himself an acting career in Europe.
Now that he’s back in Australia’s fair shores, I caught up with him on Skype to talk about how he returned to his vocation and the work he’s done since – including becoming a gun-toting military badass in a short science fiction action film!
Content Warning: This episode of the Paid to Play Podcast contains high levels of Star-Struck Gushing.
See, the gent whom I had the privilege of interviewing for the second episode is Terry Serio, the hardest-working performer in Australia today. He’s been acting and making music since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and I ask him just how he sustains his career in getting paid to play.
He also happens to be my second cousin, from the Perth branch of the family!
The answers turned into a half-hour long conversation, so grab yourself a cuppa and settle in for a great chat!