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!
Evey Dantès’ skill as a cosplayer has got her to the place that many cosplayers wish they were at: Being paid to cosplay. Evey has tried her hand at several ways of earning money from her craft, from commission shoots to children’s parties. Nowadays, Evey not only sells prints at conventions, she is also sponsored by an online video game store, a clothing label and a dentist!
I’ve been meaning to get this cosplayer on the show since before Tropicon, and I’m proud to have her episode up a day before Evey’s next appearance at Sugar City Con in Mackay! But keep listening for Evey’s next venture – helping to organise a geek convention in her own neck of the woods, south of Sydney!
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!
Beethy is a photographer based in Australia who has chosen to focus his craft on portraits of cosplayers; people who not just make costumes based on fictional characters, but also go out in public and bring life to those characters. That focus has garnered him not just a living wage but also a fantastic reputation amongst the international cosplay community.
Cosplayers around the world know that the name Beethy means eminently sale-worthy portrait prints of their craft and art, but they also know it means a fun being who brings joy to the process of making great photos. I got to sample his warm personality in this chat, during which he tells his stories of the community and how he became so well known within it.
Beethy also gives a good chunk of practical photography of business advice, including a crash course in taking good cosplay photos and the rules that Beethy built his business around. You may find his experiment into who produces the best photo prints to be a real eye ear-opener!
Oh, and there’s some random geeking out about video games and consoles at the beginning too! I love asking folks what they’re digging right now!
Diversification is a byword nowadays; building your life around one source of income is risky, even when you’re doing the nine-to-five. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, especially when your dream job simply won’t pay the bills.
Paul Abstruse has taken his love of creating comic art and built himself two income streams. The first is the one you’d expect, working for comic labels like IDW and Zenescope to produce pages for comic books.
The other is as a tattooist, where he not only creates the ink you see on folks every day; he also creates tattoos of the comic book characters we all love, even inking whole action scenes on people!
And if you’d expect a tattooist to be a very rough and ready type, you should see the art he’s created for the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book series!
Please join me as I chat with Paul about how the Australian body art industry has changed over the last decade, the convention scene in Australia and what it means when the job you love doesn’t quite love you back.
WARNING: Due to technical issues, there are a lot of audio issues in this episode that I simply couldn’t edit out. These include background hum, keyboard noise and dog panting.
Becoming a sex therapist in the cosmopolitan environment of a major city is one thing, but it’s another thing entirely to start a sexual health practice in a tropical town with canegrowing and industrial roots a good two thousand kilometres from anywhere.
Nonetheless, Isiah McKimmie has established a solid business helping the people of Queensland’s Far North and beyond with their most intimate troubles and has found that sometimes, a little distance can work to your advantage.
Though this interview was recorded in July of 2013, Isiah’s business – now rebranded from “Passionate Spirit” to simply Isiah – is still going strong, and there seems no better time to release our chat than just before the traditional celebration of love and intimacy on St. Valentine’s Day.
(UPDATE 7PM February 2nd, 2015: Isiah just told me that she’s relocated herself and her business to Sydney. I still reckon this chat has value for those looking to start a venture in a location considered out-of-the-way.)
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!
It’s one thing to talk about getting paid to play, and another to turn your play into something that others will want to buy. But getting the word about how great your thing is and how it will help / entertain people? That’s a whole different kind of challenge, especially when you’re just starting out and your marketing budget doesn’t even have a brass razoo.
That’s where Tim Reid, host of the Small Business Big Marketing podcast, comes in. Tim is a longtime marketing guru who quit working for some huge agencies seven years ago to go into business for himself. Not only is each weekly episode a fun chat with a businessperson taking an innovative approach to connecting with his or her customers, it’s also a great advertisement for Tim’s marketing consultant and speaking services!
I have to thank my old mate Marcus Herstik for hipping me to Tim, who is the kind of guy I want to be when I grow up: Confident, relaxed, gracious and great to share one of his famous fireside chats with!
When she appeared on the 2009 season of Australia’s The Biggest Loser, the red-haired, red-gloved, hooded Emazon cut straight into not only her trainees but also the audience. Emazon demanded nothing less than everything from the contestants in short, sharp sessions that took them so far out of their comfort zones that they could barely remember what comfort meant. And a lot of folks watching at home weren’t sure just what to make of this fierce being.
It’s easy to be shocked or intimidated by that sort of intensity, but it’s just as easy to forget that Emazon, known to friends and family as Emma Barbato, was putting just as much effort into drawing her contestants out of their former selves as she was into challenging their physical limits. Emma has been working to help people overcome their conflicts with themselves for twelve years now, including helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault find or rediscover their strength.
There was no way that chatting with Emma wasn’t going to be bloody interesting, and while she mightn’t sport that crimson hair colour any more, she is no less energetic and focused than when she first made us couch-potatoes sit up and take notice! We talked about Emma’s career up to now, her plans to take her STAND program to Saudi Arabia this year – and even about how our modern culture encourages us to dislike ourselves in order to get along.
So much strength in there. What happened to it? Where’d it go? My only objective was to get it back out again.
– Emazon on training a contestant, The Biggest Loser Australia Series 4
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!