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WCC018: Alyson Grauer (part 2)

WCC018: Alyson Grauer (part 2)


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Part 2 of our interview with actor, author, podcaster, and all around bard Alyson Grauer. You can listen to part 1 of her interview here.


Links

Episode Notes

  • Understanding the fundamentals of story structure is vital to good RPG gamemastering.
  • This can be learned through examination of the media we consume.
  • Roleplaying games offer some of the purest immersive potential. This can help creatives learn to imbue their work with the same sort of quality.
  • Tabletop roleplaying has really expanded the diversity of its core audience
  • Warda is Drew and Alyson’s current big project. It grew out of an impromptu worldbuilding conversation held while waiting in line for Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.
  • Alyson was reluctant at first but the conversation grew and blossomed and turned into the project’s foundations.
  • Two months later they ran a Fate RPG set in Warda, recording its audio. Alyson planned to take notes and write it up as a book later.
  • The book wasn’t working, and James D’Amato from One Shot asked them if they’d be interested in doing livestream gaming on their Twitch channel.
  • They decided to start a new Warda campaign for the stream. They’d been streaming Curiosities every week since.
  • It blew up in a way that they never expected.
  • The audio from the Changes has been released as a podcast.
  • Interactivity has been key to Warda’s success, and is a powerful way to shape your creative efforts and engage with your fanbase.
  • Drew and Alyson are moving to Florida, and have spent October wrapping up Warda with Glimpses, an anthology with different stories that bridge Winds of Change and Curiosities.
  • Winds of Change will be released as a podcast when the patreon reaches the $300 milestone.
  • They plan to recruit a new cast for further Warda podcasts in Florida.
  • Final message: There’s no one way, no single right way, to do anything. Give yourself permission to break out of your box.
WCC017: Alyson Grauer (part 1)

WCC017: Alyson Grauer (part 1)



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Alyson Grauer is an author, actor, podcaster, and ukulele bard who has been based out of Chicago for the last decade or so, but is soon to relocate to Orlando, Florida. Her novel, “On The Isle of Sound and Wonder” was released in 2014, she has several published short stories, and has written pieces for a handful of RPGs and online publications over the years. She is an audiobook narrator, blogger, amateur photographer, and dreamer of big dreams. Her current project is an original fantasy world-turned-live stream-turned-actual play podcast, Warda: an Edwardian fantasy world of fey races, social intrigue, and class struggles. Warda is co-created between Alyson and her husband, GM/writer/actor Drew Mierzejewski.


Links

Episode Notes

  • I reviewed Alyson’s novel On the Isle of Sound and Wonder in 2014. It’s a great piece of Shakespearean steampunk fantasy fiction.
  • She’d originally written it for National Novel Writing Month, and when the editors of an anthology she’d contributed to asked her if she had any novels to publish, she went with developing it for publication.
  • Following that she suffered through a long period of imposter syndrome where nothing has felt like something she could work on.
  • This June she broke out of that with a 45,000-word novel.
  • It’s important to cultivate a support system who will be objective and honest with their criticism.
  • Her husband Drew is an excellent supportive creative partner.
  • If you find someone who does work that you like, you will end up respecting their opinions more.
  • Managing your priorities is a vital skill, not just for creatives, but for any adult.
  • You can always go back to unfinished projects. They don’t have expiration dates.
  • Unfinished projects are not a waste of time. You learn from them.
  • Self-care is important.
  • Alyson didn’t know anyone who was into role playing games until college.
  • Her first experiences didn’t go well because the established group didn’t teach her anything about the game.
  • A few years later she tried again and had an excellent time, but she didn’t really get into it until she started dating Drew in 2014.
  • She met former guest James D’Amato of the One Shot Podcast shortly after that.
  • One of the highlights was the episode where they played Dogs in the Vineyard, a favorite of many listeners.
  • Part 2 of Alyson’s interview will air in two weeks.
Some of the above are affiliate links. Ordering through them kicks a little money my way, helping to pay for this podcast’s production and hosting. If you’d like to support it more substantially, I invite you to do so through my patreon.
WCC 008 Joe Griffin

WCC 008 Joe Griffin


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Joe Griffin’s work as a recording engineer, sound designer, and composer over the past 25 years encompasses a wide variety of media, including theatre, film, music, and advertising. He’s one of the founders of Toxic Bag Productions, which in 1996 pioneered the field of sound effects specifically designed for use in tabletop roleplaying.

Links

Show Notes

  • Joe’s company Toxic Bag has been producing audio products for use with tabletop roleplaying games since the 90s. It grew out of their desire to add an audio element to their home Call of Cthulhu campaigns.
  • Initially they intended to produce audio-enhanced scenarios, but chaosium didn’t have the budget for it.
  • They stripped away the scripting and actors and focused on sound effects.
  • They put together their first CD, the 20th century, in 1996.
  • They would sell these physical CDs at GenCon.
  • Back in 1996 mp3 formats were terrible.
  • After a few years doing sound for film and theatre, they got back into RPG sound effects but aren’t doing CDs anymore.
  • Convention sales are difficult to manage when you’re selling digital files, but the modern internet provides more distribution options. Now they sell through DriveThruRPG.
  • Toxic Bag creates their effects through foley and field recording rather than relying on commercial libraries.
  • Their podcast started out as coldly promotional, but they revamped it to provide more content, including sketches, reviews, interviews, and parodies.
  • Joe does the sound design, his partner Steve Baldwin does the writing.
  • I have appeared on the Toxic Bag podcast with my Burning Brigid Media co-producer Kat O’Connor
  • Joe’s day job is in advertising as a recording engineer. His marketing wisdom: People don’t like being sold to. Make it a conversation.
  • Promotion is okay, but if all you’re doing on twitter is marketing yourself, people will tune you out. Reveal who you are. Put yourself into it.
  • You need to have a thick skin to put your work in front of people.
  • Joe composes music for theatre and toxic bag projects.
  • He performs as part of the experimental band Donny Who Loved Bowling
  • Joe is doing sound design for John Klein’s short film Limerence. The kickstarter was successful and they’re moving into post-production.