Tag Archives: day job

A Champion Cosplayer: Major Sam Cosplay – Episode 43

Major Sam in costume as La Carlotta with her Oz Comic Con National Cosplay Championship 2015 trophy. Photo by Dark Age Photography / Oz Comic Con.

Major Sam in costume as La Carlotta with her Oz Comic Con National Cosplay Championship 2015 trophy. Photo by Dark Age Photography / Oz Comic Con.

UPDATE: This post was originally entitled “A Touring Cosplayer”, which seemed really generic; I’m glad I get to change it since Major Sam took out the Brisbane and then the inaugural Australian National Cosplay Championship hosted by Oz Comic Con in 2015! She’ll be heading for Chicago in March 2016 to represent Australia in the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay.

Major Sam is one of the better known cosplayers on the Australian scene. Although it’s partly because she makes sure to attend at least five of the Supanova pop culture expos held across the country each year, Sam still wouldn’t have the reputation she has if she wasn’t such an exceptional craftsperson!

Though Sam’s day job in the bridal industry employs her seamstress and milliner skills, becoming a full time cosplayer is still Sam’s dream, and she’s taking steps toward her goal, selling prints of her cosplays through her online store! Not only that, but she’s also garnered the attention of Australian geek female fashion label Living Dead Clothing, for whom she models!

It was great to chat with Sam about her love of cosplay, geekdom in general and discovering where your true joys lie, even within the hobby you love!

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Keeping it About the People: Deji Adiatu, Actor and Employment Agent – Episode 32

Deji Adiatu 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!

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Resurrecting Great Games: Lukas Litzsinger, Episode 27

We talk a lot about career plans and focusing on goals when we think about where we want to be. But sometimes, you discover an opportunity that takes one of your side interests and shoves it off the pedestrian pavement and straight into your career path.

For Lukas Litzsinger, that opportunity was a job vacancy on the website of tabletop game publishers, Fantasy Flight Games. The vacancy was on the team behind his favourite game (A Game of Thrones – The Card Game), and though he’d studied journalism and copy writing in college, he pursued it – which led him to a career in game design and the chance to resurrect one of the best collectable card games of all time, Netrunner, in a new form.

Lukas took the time to sit down with me over Skype for a chat about how he came to work for Fantasy Flight Games, what designing games as a day job involves and just the recent explosion in interest in tabletop games means in this era of smartphone game apps and massive online multiplayer experiences – not to mention some mutual gushing about how awesome Android: Netrunner is!

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How Does Your Fall Back Position Help You With Your Dream Career?

At first, a fall-back position may seem an excuse to chicken out of following your passion, working a second job as a betrayal of your dream, a diversion of your valuable time.

Take George Clooney, for example. There’s something attributed to him that’s always stuck with me:

His father kept trying to tell him that he needed to stay in college so that he would have something to fall back on. George’s reply was “If I have something to fall back on, then I will”

– From a George Clooney fan web site.

It’s the sort of thing that makes me thing that I ought to be diverting as much time as possible into pursuing my own vocation.

That every second spent on finding other ways of supporting myself is a betrayal of that dream.

But as I interview people for The Paid to Play Podcast, I’m discovering something different:

A lot of creatives are using their “fall-backs” to ensure that they can give their best when they approach their passion.

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Gavin Lucan, with sword

Episode 11: Gavin Lucan, SFtv Scheduler and Blogger

Update: At the end of 2013, Foxtel closed SFtv Australia down, making Gavin redundant. He still blogs at his own domain, ShoutyBeardyThing (see the links below).

Don’t let the picture of the medieval gent with the sword fool you; Gavin Lucan is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I’ve known him since the late nineties, and was frankly a little envious when I found out he’d parlayed his experience in scheduling pay TV channels into a gig at Australia’s branch of the SciFi Channel.

Shortly afterward, I signed up for an e-mail newsletter in which Gav offers wry observations on the week’s events in genre fiction, from books to comics, movies to television, games to conventions, and now SFtv feature that newsletter as a weekly blog on their website!

Given that he’s a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, my friend Gav is definitely getting paid to play. Join me as I find out how he got there!

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Episode 10: Jesse Kuch, DJ and Entertainment Editor

Episode Ten! Ten episodes! Ten interviews! Double Digits!


It can be easy at times to dismiss regional cities as Hicksvilles with little going for them culturally. Yet Cairns, with its international airport and major tourism draws like rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef a stone’s throw away, does a damn good job of not just attracting, but also breeding artistic talent.

Jesse Kuch falls within both categories. He exercises his musical creativity as a DJ, a gig that regularly takes him across and outside the country. And as the entertainment editor for the local daily newspaper and the manager of an independent dance music record label, he has a vested interest in keeping his finger on the pulse of the local entertainment scene.

For my fourth location recording, I decided to pack my Behringer Podcastudio up and take it into work, where I interviewed Jesse in the media room. The general quality is improved on my last three location recordings (where I relied on my netbook’s built-in microphone) but there are also a few more pops and other distortions as I learn my way around using the kit on location.

Still, these don’t get in the way of a great interview with a fellow whose enthusiasm for music is almost boundless!

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Episode 8: Jared A. Sorensen, Game Designer

It was Australian gamer Steve Darlington’s describing Jared A. Sorensen as the “foetus horribilis” of the tabletop roleplaying game design set that got my attention. From there on it was all downhill as I followed Jared from the web forum RPGnet to The Forge and bought myself a copy of his game InSpectres, still the most fun tabletop roleplaying game I’ve ever played or game mastered (and would love to play or GM again regularly).

I managed to catch Jared on Facebook one Saturday and asked him about interviewing – it turned out he was available right there and then! I connected my recording kit and got a good half hour chat about his design process, his full-time job in game design and how empanadas are key to his upcoming martial takeover of New York City.

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