In a past life, I was the spotty scrawny kid from Molong where my biggest claim to fame in this tiny rural town was winning second prize for Best Packet Cake at the local show.
I may have come first if maybe I’d spent more time baking instead of reading, drawing, and playing guitar.
I was never a fan of the school system, but I enjoyed acquiring new skills. As soon as I was able, I made a beeline for tertiary education and enrolled in courses that taught me web design, the basics of making electronic music, and the existence of whole new worlds of creative potential.
Very quickly, this newfound perspective made rural New South Wales begin to feel very small. It was not long before I left country living behind and moved to Sydney in order to pursue music production and performance. Upon completion of this course, I found myself drawn once more to the written word and spent the better part of 2004 writing my first as-yet-unpublished novel. It was during this time that Andy Mai Mai and I began exchanging comedy scripts via email that would eventually lead to future comedy collaborations.
After a brief stopover in Canberra for fuel and supplies, I finally settled in Melbourne at the beginning of 2006. It was the reputation of RMIT’s Screenwriting course that drew me to the Arts capital of Australia, but the only work I could get anywhere near the film industry was a totally sweet video store job that I held on to for the better half of a decade.
As doomed as the video store was destined to be, it was during my tenure as DVD slinger that I was able to put my prior learning to practice. Driven by the ongoing need to create, and experience the creativity of others, my spare time was minimal as I used every opportunity to write film reviews and seek out live events such as Rocket Clock Story Slam at the Trades Hall in Carlton, and the much-loved Deathstar Canteen comedy at Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets in Collingwood. It was these events that I would eventually take to the stage myself, but not before I started a podcast, because of course I did.
Over three turbulent years the Potato Revolution podcast with Andy Mai Mai (and Kieran Eaton too!) grew from strength to strength. Kicking off the second season with The Potato Revolution Launch Party at the legendary Horse Bazaar in the heart of Melbourne, this live event was a showcase for what would become the established staples of the podcast with standup, storytelling, live music, and our very own custom-brewed beer.
The event was a hit, and also marked the first live performance of Industrial Noise band Kollaps!
Subsequent podcast episodes featured new music from the likes of Voltera, The Nymphs, and Cilla Jane, as well as an extensive guest list of comedians and personalities including Dilruk Jayasinha, Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, and Mitch Alexander who dropped by the studio to chat.
From these recordings grew a community of friends and partnerships that continues to evolve and flourish today.
For me, the podcast served as a launching pad into other areas, so when writing and interviewing opportunities presented themselves with media such as YAWP Mag and C31 Melbourne, I jumped at the chance to be involved. Writing for both Live on Bowen and The Leak (for which I was also segment producer) was a huge learning curve and one hell of a wild ride!
The more work I did, the more I came to understand that I would need to level up if I was going to go professional. I could write okay, but fell short on the technical stuff so I returned to RMIT and enrolled in the suitably-titled Professional writing and editing program.
Perhaps the most noteworthy event to come out of my return to studying, however, was the meeting of like-minded writer and performer Beau Windon. Having previously both edited his work and seen him perform onstage at The Improv Conspiracy, I couldn’t not agree to help when he approached me with his podcast idea for The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe.
Two seasons in and, along with Beau, Indiana Kiely, and Tom Fahey, the #QuestInnPodcast has led us on an amazing journey that includes a live appearance at OzComicCon, the spin-off series Space Junk (with Charlie Sturgeon), and more laughs and fun times than I’m sure would be advised as the recommended healthy amount by medical professionals.
And if that isn’t enough, I’ve personally had the pleasure of getting to know and work with so many amazing and talented performers. This includes recording and editing the second season of Dr Karen Debbie Cradle’s podcast Why Are You Here? as well as creating audio effects and backing tracks for both Reeni Inosha’s Enlighten Me A Little and Simon Hawkings’ Kiwi Fruit – An Autobiography.
It has been, and continues to be, a most satisfying journey that promises to provide more surprises, more opportunities, but most important of all, more friendships and fun along the way.