I met Maude Garrett when I was a guest on her show Geeks Unleashed. She’s a super cool lady who, when her agent told her that she should be quiet about the geek stuff, created the site Geek Bomb! Definitely head over there. You’re going to love it! After hitting it big in her native Australia, she moved to the US and took over the geek world. She’s got some amazing podcasts, including one the Legion will love: Jedi Alliance! Check out what she has to say about getting started, taking your career into your own hands, her Star Wars podcast and more.
Legion of Leia: You have a great break in story. How did you get started at Nickelodeon? You had amazing success in Australia. What made you decide to come to the states?
Maude Garrett: I was actually in a ‘presenter (or host) search’ competition for a national music program. Think MTV. I didn’t quite land the job but had a bit of airtime on the show. I realized I loved every second of it. I also knew I didn’t want to go back to my hometown of Brisbane where a job in television would never happen. So I decided to be a bit cheeky before my flight home … in the same building were the Nickelodeon offices. So I snuck in and left a post-it note on the boss’s desk saying ‘My name is Maude Garrett and I want a job’, as well as my email address. It ended in me getting an audition and eventually hosting the entire network!
Legion of Leia: Tell us about starting Geek Bomb! We LOVE Geek Bomb!
Maude Garrett: I LOVE IT TOO! IT actually started back in July 2012. I had left a big job in radio and had a lot more free time … to play games! It was all I was posting about, to the point where my agent told me to shut it for fear of being typecast and potentially being overlooked for other hosting jobs in Australia. It’s true, Australia is a much smaller market, and has even fewer geek outlets in need of hosts. So I created Geek Bomb as a pseudo-outlet. It was a safe place to get my geek on. It was supposed to be a podcast, which turned into videos, which is the growing empire it is today! The focus is all about ‘Unleashing Your Inner Geek’ (I mean, everyone geeks out about something!) and breaking the stereotypes of what a geek is ‘supposed’ to look and act like. So far we have 4 main shows called Clone Companion (A Dr Who/Orphan Black podcast), Press A to Play (Gaming), Book Club (where sci-fi & fantasy authors come on a live stream to talk about their book) and Geeks Unleashed, where I interview an awesome guest ‘geek’ about their life and geeky passions. There are more shows to come soon! I have 12 contributors in both Australia and here in LA, and counting!
Legion of Leia: You have a Star Wars podcast called Jedi Alliance, which I just appeared on! Tell me about getting this started, the show and your Star Wars fandom.
Maude Garrett: Yes, thanks so much for being a guest! You were so insightful and wonderful, as always. Jedi Alliance is co-hosted by myself and the ‘Pit Boss’ of Schmoes Know, Ken Napzok (who is now Master Ken-Obi). It’s on the Schmoes Know Podcast YouTube page and iTunes! It’s a celebration of the greatest saga ever told. We’re not focusing on Episode 7 news, but more about indulging in all aspects. We have a segment called ‘Duel of the Fates’, where we pit two against each other to see which is more superior; whether it be characters, moments, vehicles or weapons. We also do ‘Forced On’, where we force a part of the Star Wars universe on the viewers. I’ve brought up my love for Knights of the Old Republic (video game), but we’ve also featured the Ewok specials and Legion of Leia! My favorite is the Star Wars trivia battle Ken and I have called Star Pause, which can happen any time during the show. We’ve been bouncing around the 4-20 spot on iTunes, so any rating and reviews really help!
Legion of Leia: What was the first sci-fi or fantasy character you connected to as a kid?
Maude Garrett: I fell in love with Star Wars at about 8 years of age when I first saw it. But I grew up on a healthy appetite of Transformers (Starscream was the first toy I remember having), TMNT, He-Man… you name it. But there was a lack of females that inspired me. Sure, there were the Disney Princesses and She-Ra … but it was probably Xena the Warrior Princess that made me feel that women could do anything. The series came out when I was 9 so I was old enough to realize that in a that era where men held most of the power, she held her own. AYEYEYEYE!
Legion of Leia: You’re a big gamer. Tell us about how you got into gaming and how you translated that into your Geek Speak segment and Save Point.
Maude Garrett: I’ve been gaming since I was a little kid. My father was and still is into video games in a big way! It certainly helped that I had two older brothers too. I started out gaming on the DOS system when I was about 6, playing games like Wolfenstein and Leisure Suit Larry (don’t worry, I didn’t understand a thing!). I moved on to the NES, SNES and then the N64, the console that really made me realize that I was a gamer. Helloooooo Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That is the best game in the world. I even have the Trifoce tattooed onto my finger! I played LAN (Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic) at my Dad’s work each Sunday. Once I started gaming, I never really stopped. I never ‘phased out’ like most people seem to. But in my field of work now, I try to have at least a segment where I can get my geek on and chat games. That’s when I created the ‘Geek Speak’ segment in the national radio show I hosted, and helped create Save Point, a video game based show on network TV. Being so open and honest about video game culture really does help ‘normalize’ that a lot of people play a lot of video games a lot of the time.
Legion of Leia: What does it mean to be a part of this amazing group of genre women?
Maude Garrett: The passion. Geeks bond over things/events that have shaped them. When I reminisce about the games I grew up on, and I speak with someone who’s shared that exact experience, it’s not only comforting but incredibly exciting! I may be wrong, but I feel many women were like me growing up – it was hard to connect with female friends over video games because they simply weren’t playing them. Now that I’ve made so many friends in the geek culture spectrum, I can fully let my geek flag fly and be myself. I’m also motivated and inspired by others who are completely owning who they are. It’s refreshing!
Legion of Leia: What do you have coming next? Plug away!
Maude Garrett: You can catch all my crazy celebrity interviews that I do with my radio show The Hot Hits over at thehothits.com, including my Comic Con coverage. You can watch/listen to the Jedi Alliance show on youtube.com/schmoesknowpk or search it on iTunes!
Here is where you can find Maude!