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!
My wife Vickie requested that I chat with Joy Harjo right in the early days of the podcast. Joy is one of the people Vickie truly admires; a poet whose works are just as often abstract free prose as they are traditionally-formed poetry. Joy and her work have both been acclaimed for years, her first published collection hit the shelves in 1980.
Joy doesn’t define herself as a poet, though, nor a musician. She always grew up knowing that she would become an artist, and her quest to express the things beyond us all have led her not just to poetry and the saxophone, but to script writing, a memoir and travel around the world. Her work often addresses the disconnectedness and damage in all of us in these supposedly civilised times, and she draws much from her experiences as the blood of the Mvskoke native American nation, a people outside their country whilst still within their own country.
I chatted with Joy about her career as a poet and musician, the ups and downs of the Internet and the danger of others pigeonholing your work.
ALSO: Stay tuned after our chat for a quick update on… going weekly!
I’m pretty sure that I said that Matt Bond puts the rest of us to shame when I first chatted with him at the beginning of 2013. At the time, Matt had successfully overcome the ongoing pain from a pair of broken legs that had put an end to his career in the music industry by becoming a freelance photographer.
Since then, Matt’s photography business has only flourished, but he’s also got back into music, returning to his beloved guitar and becoming a studio producer for local talent. On top of those, he’s added video shooting and editing to his already well-strung bow and is paying his success forward by helping community charities and fellow artists (not to mention the odd podcaster) out wherever he can. And he does all this while being a part-time Dad! I just had to get him back on the podcast for another chat.
Ali Spagnola is one of my ultimate Career Crazies; she’s taken two things she digs – making music and making parties – and fused them into The Power Hour, an album of sixty one-minute-length sings that you drink a shot of beer in between. Rather than release the album on CD, she sells it as a USB stick – built into the bottom of a shot glass!
Not only has Ali taken the Power Hour on tour to university campuses across the United States, she’s started a YouTube show where she comes up with a new tune each week based on what was trending on Google and freelances doing sound design!
I chat with Ali about how she sustains her off-the-wall career, the pros and cons of touring and how she juggles her schedule. I also talk a little after the interview about my own progress toward getting paid to play – including some interesting possibilities for the future of the podcast!
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!
I didn’t think I’d be able to say this with only four episodes of this podcast under my belt, but I am very pleased to be able to mark my guest for episode 5 off my wish list:
Gavin Dunne, Miracle of Sound. Image sourced from the Miracle of Sound profile on Last.FM
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your listening pleasure, Gavin Dunne, the one-man band known on the Internet as the Miracle of Sound!
Gavin sat down with me over Skype on Thursday evening, Ireland time (which translated to before sparrows, Cairns time) to talk about how he went from the frontman of a band that broke up on the verge of hitting it big to a full-time, self-employed musician with a dedicated fan base that stretches across the world!
Gav was a pleasure to chat with, and had plenty of stories and insights on what it takes to become your own personal success story in the Internet age. Plus it was fun to geek out with him about games toward the end! Listen and enjoy!
If there’s one guy who’s managed to strike the ideal balance of work life, home life and getting paid to play, it’s Jeremy Judd. This former Adelaidian and now Cairnsite is an active DJ, street artist, entertainment advertising sales executive and event manager, not to mention dad and smokin’ hot fiancé (just ask his lady Kay)!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with and get to know Jeremy for the past couple of years, and after scheduling issues and a bout of laziness on my part, I finally sit down with Jeremy on Skype to ask how he got to where he is and how he does it all now.
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!