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!
It’s my pleasure to kick Season 4 of the Podcast off with this chat with Jeff Saamanen, one of the two minds behind an animated sci-fi epic called Lost Hope. Jeff and his co-creator Natalie Harvey are currently running a Kickstarter to fund the first four episodes of this fusion of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Archer, and it’s my pleasure to help promote their campaign!
It was great fun to have a virtual sit-down with Geoff and geek out about science fiction, animation, independent projects and games in general! Please listen and enjoy!
On Facebook, I promised that once a hundred people liked The Paid to Play Podcast’s page, I’d read something out. Well, thanks to the work of the people who love listening to the podcast, I hit the one hundred likes mark a couple of days ago (as of this writing, 103 people like the page)!
So, of the three requests to read stuff out, here are two. Be warned, I’ve not attempted to do any voices or recreate any performances here; I’ve just read them fairly cold and tried to give them emotion close enough to what’s on the page.
Firstly, Franki Andersen’s request that I read Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s first ever Captain’s Log from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
And secondly, here, per Paul Cockrem’s request, is (most of) Henry V’s “Saint Crispin’s Day” speech from William Shakespeare’s Henry V.
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!
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
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!