Afterparty: Hunting Party IV

Comparing our favorite grifts, meeting Alonzo for the first time, and working in podcasting full time. This is the Afterparty, where we sit down after every episode to break down our game and answer your questions about how to play at home.

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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Finale: Sarah Hopkins

- Creative Contributors: Connor McLoughlin, Heddy Hunt, Julia Schifini, Mischa Stanton

- Multitude:


[Theme music]

Amanda: Hey, hi, hello, welcome to the Afterparty. This episode was filled with grifts, which is my favorite activity, and I would love to know from each of you, which are your favorite street grifts that you have A. Participated in? B. Ran? Or C. Observed?

Brandon: Amanda, are you a cop?

Amanda: Noooooo.

[Eric laughing]

Sarah: [laughing] I just remembered a really good grift.

Amanda: Sarah, please.

Sarah: Last year I was at the Bryant Park Winter Village in the city, and I say the city cause I’m from Long Island-

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: I know, me too.

[Sarah laughing heartily]

Amanda: Small park, middle of Manhattan, they have little stalls like a holiday market, and an ice skating-

Sarah: Yeah, it was like a European holiday market. It was really cute. I was there alone because I was there to go write about the Rockettes, who are rehearsing later that day, and a woman approached me, and she had- the weirdest part was that she had another woman like following closely behind her, as though she had an apprentice.

Amanda: Oh no.

[Amanda & Eric chuckling]

Amanda: Oh no.

Sarah: The woman said “I’m a psychic, I could sense your energy from across the park. I would like to read your fortune.” And I was like, this door is open. Why don’t I walk through?

[Amanda & Eric laughing]

And I said, “Okay, how much?” And she listed off a bunch of things. It was like “I’ll read your aura for $30. I’ll do this for $20”. It got down to “I’ll read your palm for $15”. And I was like, “that one please!”

Amanda: Aw, because if you contextualize a wild price with even wilder prices, it looks...

Sarah: Well, I just wanted to see what would happen!

[Sarah giggling]

Amanda: Fair enough.

Eric: That’s $15 well spent.

Sarah: She sat me down at a table. And she told me a lot of things that had nothing to do with my life. But I wanted it to keep going, so I just said, “Yes, uh huh, yes.”

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: Yeah, yep

Sarah: She said, “Thank you so much for doing this with me”. And The weirdest thing was that the woman behind her never spoke

Amanda: Oh nooo.

Sarah: That’s my story.

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: That’s very good.

Amanda: That’s very disconcerting.

Brandon: What are the possible scenarios that this woman is doing behind her?

Eric: Observing, she was an intern.

Amanda: She’s an immersion journalist who is preparing for- or an actor who is preparing for a role, and she’s just shadowing the psychic.

Eric: Or this is an immersion English language learning program, and that woman only knows Slovenian, so she’s really trying to catch up.

Amanda: Could be.

Brandon: I think she sole swapped with you.

Sarah: Oh my god.

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: And we are talking to that psychic now.

Brandon: Today.

[Sarah continues laughing]

Eric: If Sarah is in there, please-please tell us.

Amanda: Please knock against the mic once.

Sarah: Who knows?

Brandon: Did she anything about your palm that came true? Any single thing? Any positive hit?

Sarah: Well, she said I would be more appreciated at work, and then months and months later, I went from being an intern to being an actual employee...

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: Ah, hey…

Amanda: That’s something.

Brandon: Doesn’t happen, that is an uncommon occurrence.

Sarah: That does not happen.

[Sarah giggling]

Eric: Grifts on airplanes are the best type of grift.

Brandon: No…

Sarah: What is an airplane grift?

Brandon: You’re in a controlled environment where you can’t escape. Please tell me why this is a good idea?

Eric: Because you’re pulling one over on the corporation that like to do the worst things to people.

Amanda: Oh, so like the banal corporate exploitation grifts?

Eric: Yeah, that’s the one.

Amanda: Like what?

Eric: If you make a- deduce if you can move up in seats, because there-

Amanda: Oh, the Amanda McLoughlin past time.

Eric: Exactly.

Amanda: Yeah, we board last, and sit in the open seat, and sit in the open seat which has extra leg room? Whoops.

Eric: Oh, there’s extra cocktails in this seat? I didn’t even know… I will take a whiskey ginger, thank you.

Amanda: [shyly] I’ve done it before.

[Eric laughing]

Sarah: You're brave.

Amanda: I have.

Eric: That’s a good grift. What’s the worst thing that happen? They tell you to move. They’re just going to be like,

Eric (as flight attendant): [high-pitched, older woman] Heyyy, Heyy, stop that.

Eric: And then you’re just going to go back to the seat you actually have.

Amanda: Oh, how embarrassing… I mixed up 10 and 40.

Eric: Exactly.

Sarah: I’m so dumb-

Eric: Ohhh, beans.

Sarah: Goodbye.

Brandon: Instead of going back to your seat, you go back to the bathroom. So, they just think you’re like extra dumb, and you’re like is this where I’m supposed to go? To the-

Eric: And they’re like, “oh child”, and they give you 3 blankets.

Brandon: Right, and then you go to the captain’s cockpit.

Sarah: Don’t do that!!!

Amanda: No, don’t do that.

Sarah: Don’t do that!!

Eric: And then you get to ride up front.

[Amanda & Sarah laughing]

Eric: So, I’m going to make a hard cut. I’m going to make a hard-

Brandon: No! I need to know Amanda’s grifts!

Amanda: Obviously I do a lot of airplane grifts. I really do. I really self-upgrade my seat whenever possible. Not into first class, because they check your tickets there. Or business. But like Economy Plus? Fuck you. I’m not paying for Economy Plus. I’m going to sit in that seat, I’m 6 feet tall. Let my knees not get bruised every time I take a flight.

But I really like the grift where the monks will give you a prayer card or bead or something, and then just give it to you, and you’re like oh thanks, and then you start walking away, and they run after you and like yell the price. Every time I see a tourist and that happened to them and say- “DON’T TAKE IT”. And I feel like I’m doing something very wrong, but indeed I’m just helping save them from being grifted.

Brandon: Same thing with those CDs.

Eric: Oh god, that happened to me.

Amanda: CDs, or packs of tissues on the subway. Like, people do all kinds of-

Sarah: You took a CD?

Amanda: ...Stuff.

Eric: I was like 14...

Sarah: Mistake.

Eric: Yeah, I know, I was like “Oh”, and they were like “Donation?” And I’m like “What?”

Sarah: I have no money, I’m 14!

Amanda: I feel too dumb for these grifts sometimes.

Eric: One time I did it, and I paid $20 because I was an idiot. And I tried to put it in my computer, and there was nothing on it.

Amanda: Aww, that’s so sad.

Brandon: Wow!! You paid $20 for a blank CD-R??

Eric: Yeah, and then I put a mix on it.

Amanda: Yikes.

Brandon: I hope it was a fire mix.

Eric: It was hot flames.

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: Can we have your hard pivot now?

Eric: Here’s my hard pivot. So, this conversation went off the rails, just like our game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Amanda: Tell us-

[Brandon slow clapping]

Amanda: What was that idea, what was the plan?

[Brandon slow clapping]

Eric: Was that a good, a good hard pivot, was it a good segway?

Brandon: That was a good segway.

Eric: Well honestly, I’ve been trying to embrace the randomness of my players For Hunting Party, if-

Amanda: Sounds like you’re reaching acceptance which is a good phase.

Eric: Yeah, I feel like I have a different DMing ethos with each arch.

In the first ones, I was just trying to get my feet wet. In Political Party I was trying to like, set some ground work for the larger story. And pool party l was like, let’s see what happens! And Bachelorette Party was very much like a bottle episode, like I wanted to see what would happen if I kept you in one space and really have you ping off of other characters.

Amanda: Uh, Spoiler: Murder.

Eric: Haha, yep, bad things happened. With Labor Party it was-felt more like a campaign, like video campaign, a little more on the rails, there’s no problem with putting things on the rails honestly. I’m really trying to embrace whatever ridiculousness my players get into. And I prepped more for this session than I think I’ve prepped in a very very long time. I had like 4 pages of notes.

I gotta say, the plan, wheeling Tracey through the loading dock, was pretty inspired.

[Eric chuckling]

Sarah: It was so brilliant.

Brandon: What the listening audience didn’t see, I don’t know if anyone noticed, it was during an exposition part or I think maybe you were having a conversation with Inara and I looked up and went, “aha…”

[Everyone laughing]

Eric: Make sure to isolate that when you’re going through, just remember that.

Amanda: That's very good

Eric: I will say that there were 2 different elevators, there was 1 main one on the floor where Inara was, and there was another like freight elevator which you guys ended up going to through the back, which I love. I had to put that together pretty quickly. But again, who cares?

Brandon: Did you in your head, coming into the session, have like any thought of like they might do this, or they might do that.

Eric: What I usually do before a game session, I message everybody, and I’m like hey, what are you guys thinking? So, I tried to do as much prep as possible before I asked you, so I messaged all you guys, what, like 2 days ago? But I spent a lot of time working on stuff 3, 4 days ago. To see if I had like fleshed out my world enough to really stand up to players pushing it in all directions.

Amanda: I still want to rob Electroshack.

Eric: Yeah, that’s- That’s on the table.

Brandon: I assume, they want to go to a museum, they have to get into a museum, what was your thought process they might do this? Just break in, or-

Eric: Yeah, I knew you guys were going to heist. Actually, let me take a look at your notes and will read exactly the contingency plans that I put down.

I did-so for Detective Tracey. I did know that you were going to try and shake down people. So, I had a bunch of different lines that I had for other people, but I didn’t end up using them. One was,

Eric (as Line Lady #1): [valley-girl accent] I heard from my cousin’s friend’s girlfriend’s boyfriend that his mom was visited by the Midnight Mannn.

Eric: Didn’t end up using that. I also had,

Eric (as Line Lady #2): [as older woman] So I says to her, I says what’s this shadow doing in your house??

Eric: Didn’t end up using that. I did have some ideas of if you were going to go at day or night. So, if you were going to scope out the place what I assumed was going to happen was that all of you were going to bust in and then it was just going to just heist immediately. I also assumed that one of you was going to go in, case the joint, and then you guys were going to do it the next day. And then we would have had some blades in the dark, flashbacks, which I was going to integrate into-

Amanda: Oh, that sounds cool, I’m sorry.

Eric: Into the gameplay.

Brandon: Oh damn, we fucked it up.

[Amanda laughing]

Eric: But this combination of casing it and then immediately doing it was a good plan. I did not think that was going to happen.

Brandon: Interesting.

Amanda: Well, y’know, we were smart. We were crafty. We told some lies.

Sarah: I liked the part where we hit a guy on the head.

[Everyone laughing]

Amanda: It totally didn’t work.

Brandon: We?? We??

Sarah: It was a group plan.

[Amanda & Brandon laughing]

Amanda: Where did that guy come from? You messed up my perfect loading dock plan.

Eric: That’s- I needed you to roll for what happened. You were going to go on the dolly. You just rolled a 12. That is like not enough to be sneaky about it.

Amanda: True.

Brandon: What was going to happen if he kept being loud?

Eric: People were going to show up.

Brandon: We would have had to make our way through it again?

Eric: Yeah, yeah. But I,

[Eric laughing]

This freaking guy. When Amanda said I want to take 2 of the boxes, something clicked in my head. And I’m like uhh ohh, wait a second, I wanted something as banal as only being able to take one box, to like really turn the heist on its head.

Brandon: What was in the other boxes?

Sarah: Heavy stuff.

Eric: Other heads, duh.

[Eric chuckles]

Brandon: It’s just all heads?

Sarah: Heaaa-

[Eric laughing]

Eric: All robots heads, robot heads all the way down. I’m really happy with how that played out. Which is kinda why you want a 3rd person to have blood on their hands.

Amanda: Well I loved that the warehouse floor Was just a giant mousetrap and then a vault in the end, and inside the vault and inside the vault were not treasures but someone's messy den, and workroom. That was not expected, and I thought it was a cool image. But like, Alonzo man, I’m so- I’m so stressed out.

[Eric laughing]

Brandon: I have two questions about this.

Eric: [still laughing] The thing about this is that Finale has no idea how this is...

Brandon: That was my question!

Amanda: That was very good, was very good.

Sarah: [laughing] It seems like you know this guy…

Eric: She’s like, Ima stab him with my electric sword, is that chill?

Amanda: Brandon and I are like, fine...

Brandon: Just do it quietly. My second question was, What kind of fast food do we have in our world here?

Eric: Whataburger.

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: Just the golden arch, just one arch.


Eric: Listen it’s my world, and I’m going to put Whatever good regional fast food I want. It’s Whataburger and Sonic and that’s it.

Brandon: Oh, sonic is good. Raising Cane’s?

Eric: I don’t know what that is, so it’s not in my world.

Brandon: Oh no, damn it.

Eric: Sarah what did you think? I kinda through you in the mid- I know you listen to Join the Party, so you Sarah, have an idea of what’s going on. Actually, you haven’t even listened to the episode where Alonzo goes super saiyan mode.

Sarah: Right, so the last episode I listened to was probably toward the end of Labor Party, the one you just-

Eric: The second to last episode of Labor Party, The one with Ze’ol’s magical mystery tour.

Sarah: Yes.

Brandon: That’s a good name for that arc.

Eric: Dang right. That’s the alternate one. It’s actually Yellow Submarine. I cribbed the whole thing from it. So, what did you think about having like a character that has no idea what the larger machinations for the Join the Party plot is?

Sarah: I love it. I love it a lot. Watching the movie and just not caring what it’s really about.

Eric: Oh, I loved, Oh my god! What an inspired freaking move. Like, my DM heart grew 3 sizes,

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: Brandon has his thinking heart today.

Eric: That is the only time that Brandon has contributed to my story instead of taking a hard left.

[Everyone Oh’s]

Brandon: Fucking rude, okay! Let’s see what happens next game DM!

Eric: Listen, usually, Tracey’s moves always keep me on my toes. And it always gives me a chance to flex my DM muscle, but you gave me details and ideas that I hadn’t thought of before to make my story better and introduced Finale to whatever the hell is happening. You are watching artifact footage that no one has seen before. And Finale was like what the fuck is this shit? These boxing fights-

Brandon: I will say Tracey just wanted to watch a movie. Cause he wanted to kill some time.

Sarah: It was the only movie we had.

Brandon: It was not strategic. It was the only film we had, so…If we had Hercules the classic Disney film,

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon: We would have watched that instead.

Eric: Tracey puts the glad in gladiator.

Sarah: I was literally about to say a glad and gladiator joke, I don’t know, we’re on the same wavelength Eric.

[Amanda chuckling]

Eric: Yeah. So, what, how does Finale feel about what’s happening?

Sarah: Deeply confused, but she’s still you know focused on capturing Midnight Man-

Eric: Mhm.

Sarah: Even though it seems like he knows these two. She’s going to try a little harder to not kill him now.

Eric: Sure.

Sarah: Which you know.

Brandon: She has a bad track record of that though.

Sarah: Can’t make any promises.

Amanda: I did say, alive for my bounty.

Sarah: Right, I’m just going to try harder now.

Eric: Casey did say that Finale is notorious for killing her alive bounties.

[Eric laughing]

Amanda: That’s true.

Brandon: I also think it’s interesting you’ve only heard the edited versions of these episodes and dove into playing them.

Amanda: Oh-good point.

Eric: Oh, wow.

Brandon: How was it in the sessions, you know?

Amanda: How is the experience of being in a session versus being in an episode shake out for you?

Sarah: I mean it’s obviously like a lot different. I don’t know how Err-

Brandon: She’s like you’re not nearly as funny in person as you are.

Sarah: Absolutely that is not what I was going to say.

Eric: You have a lot of bad jokes and your voice is regular-

[Everyone laughing]

So weird.

Amanda: And you sneeze sometimes, that’s odd

Sarah: Yeah, that seems fake.

[Amanda & Sarah laughing]

Eric: Whyyy is Inara so sneezy?

Sarah: I don’t like these mouth sounds.

[Eric & Sarah laughing]

Sarah: I figured it would be sort of like this, like a normal episode with a lot of nonsense in between. I contributed to the nonsense like a lot.

Eric: I talked about this a few episodes when we brought Julia in, but like I think that having I feel that having this rotating cast of guests, I feel like there’s a lot more of shared nonsense.

Brandon: I think it’s fun and challenging, in a good way, to bring new voices in because we get to have a different vibe at every session. So, I don’t know. It’s been interesting.

Eric: I kinda noticed that maybe it’s just Julia and Sarah are people who are very good at threading jokes into this ethos and making sure our jokes stay in world and fit, but I don’t know that’s just the feeling I’ve had over the last 4 episodes.

Amanda: It’s a different thing to bond with a newer friend in a new way than it is to have inside jokes. We get into the same rhythms with people that you do this with all the time, so having someone here, I feel like the first laugh is like brighter. Because we are like wait, we can do this. It’s like a new person in the room, and we can still like find our groove together, and every session is different, and every person is different. So that, I really do enjoy. It’s like figuring out you can drive a new car. It’s like, oh shit, this works. Yeah. Okay. That’s how I feel every time I drive. Cause I drive like once a year.

Eric: I have to say, I was really excited, you 3 can attest how hyped I was, this episode was very action-focused and not character-focused. I feel in Labor Party I had to like build a 3D person for you to bounce off of every single one of the episodes. Like there was Vince the lion guy, there was teen who wore the hat in the first one of labor party.

Amanda: Well, I mean someone had to entice us to do these things.

Eric: Right.

Amanda: Which you know theoretically we were going to do it anyway, but If it was dumb, we would have been like, uhh, i don’t know.

Eric: Cause It was a series of one-shots so each one needed a hook.

Amanda: You had to hook us, exactly.

Eric: But this was kinda nice that it was already propelling forward, and I could have these two-dimensional NPCs like Peel and Miss Morgan and like lean into them just for you’re going to be here for 10 minutes and I’m going to be excited about you for 10 minutes and then we’re done. That makes me really happy as a DM because I really loved these 2 characters who you two interacted with and it was really nice bouncing off of the players in different ways but for a shorter amount of time.

Brandon: You are forgetting all of the literal 2D dosans. You know the-

Eric: Oh yeah, they’re literally 2 dimensions, yeah.

Brandon: The pastries?

Amanda: They’re not flat Stanley’s, why are they 2 dimensional?

Brandon: In my head they are!

Eric: RUM POM POM POM, they were very-

Amanda: Are they just one dimension short of a pack of crayons or whatever?

Brandon: Uh huh, exactly. That’s how the saying goes, yep.

Eric: I forgot about that, that was fun. I’m glad that they exist yep.

Amanda: That was terrifying.

Sarah: I liked them a lot. When you said 2 soldiers, I was like so happy. And then when Amanda said that’s really scary…

[Sarah laughing a lot]

Amanda: I just-I don’t like animated masses of things? That’s kinda creepy to me. But yes, in a different way they are like adorable. I would like to talk to a robot about Grecian pottery. That sounds great.

Eric: Uh, I have to say. Let’s get right to it. That end of the episode broke bad in a few different ways.

Amanda: Oh god.

Eric: I’m not unhappy with it. Like, however the story comes out, it comes out.  I literally thought one of you were going to grab it and run.

Amanda: I was very close to grabbing the battery and running outside. But I knew that the- that the trap would activate, and Alonzo would freaking portal in front of me or something. So, I wasn’t sure what to do. I just felt so much panic to get out of there because the lighting up of the batteries and what Tracey experienced so Inara doesn’t know about it- terrifying. And I just wanted to like, break that circuit, y’know?

Brandon: Yeah, totally. We don’t know what these batteries are exactly.

Amanda: No.

Brandon: The whole point of our mission is to get Alonzo not the battery.

Sarah: Right.

Amanda: Right.

Eric: Sure, I guess I just kind of assumed, that keeping the thing away from Alonzo that Alonzo wanted was gonna happen naturally, but I guess not.

Brandon: But we still don’t-

Sarah: I really thought we were going to catch him.

Brandon: We still don’t really know what is happening with Alonzo, you know what I mean?

Amanda: Yeah, I was really torn, I had some table-talk here, where I was saying I don’t know if it’s better to lead him along with it, either home or to somewhere in a controlled environment. Or to destroy it, like if he wants this thing, if he has some narrative in his head about like reuniting powers or like redoing The Centering, or like some grandiose- uh, plan, I want to avoid that plan going down probably.

It seems like he's trending toward chaos and not toward stability. I don’t want him to determine that. I believe that he believes he’s doing something right. And I think his dialogue was really interesting in that last scene and I will have to think about it when I listen to the episode, because in the moment I was just really swept up. I was just like, uh, I to like put everything on pause so we can think for a long time, y’know?

Eric: I think it’s honorable that Tracey and Inara are trying to talk to Alonzo...but like he’s in this super saiyan mode, I have no better way to describe it honestly. But it's a super saiyan mode where I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen unless you, so I don’t know-

Sarah: If this podcast ends with you guys killing Alonzo, I’m not listening anymore.

[Eric laughing]

Sarah: I have loved him from the beginning-

Eric: Really?!

Sarah: Like he’s such a mess.

Eric: Yeah.

Sarah: He’s so good.

Brandon: Fan theory speculation.

Eric: Oh please-

Sarah: Go ahead.

Eric: Please this never happens.

Brandon: Alonzo is possessed by something right? Like he’s possessed by the Council of Bright or at least under the Bright’s control? That’s what the bright aura is around him?

Sarah: Ohhh.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: You know?

Amanda: Yeah, I think so, or it’s Automa, or there’s some other kind of divinity in the way that Ze’ol tried to influence us to have a hand in it. But, I’ve gotta think that either the force that was plugged up when they did The Centering and we you know put all of those safeguards in place, wants to get back in through the medallion, sorta horcrux-style, it’s like chipping away at that shield through Alonzo.

Brandon: I, fan theory speculation, think that there’s an actual mechanical door, I think there’s a literal door.

Amanda: Probably.

Brandon: A literal magical mechanical door.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: And it needs an energy source, and something, obviously along the lines of the stars, but-

Amanda: Right.

Brandon: Maybe the stars like form a forcefield and once that’s gone, if you have an energy source, you can open the door-

Amanda: Yeah, like I have to believe because just cause the story is, and that’s where Alonzo was, any kind of physical door, or an artifact physically tied to this thing in the sky has to be in Fidopolis. I hope that like we get that kinda poetic justice or something of returning home to make it happen.

Brandon: Yeah.

Amanda: Stop it from happening. Or Whatever.

Brandon: Yeah. Ultimately fail, and the end of the podcast is just us losing.

Sarah: Yeah-

[Eric laughing]

Sarah: I always thought that was going to happen.

Amanda: It’s a metaphor. It’s a metaphor.

Amanda: Originally, we’d thought that Sarah would be here for 2 episodes but I’m glad we’re going to get at least one more-

Sarah: Yeahhh!

Amanda: With you. I don’t think we know what’s going to happen next episode. Besides trying to not get shot by crossbows. Again. But uh, I guess we’ll have to see.

Brandon: It’s always crossbows.

Sarah: I hope I don't die. You killed Julia!

Eric: Same. I didn’t kill Julia.

Brandon: No, she is dead, 100%.

Amanda: She’s recuperating somewhere.

Brandon: Fan theory, she’s dead.

Sarah: I know that Sarah wants to make sure Oatcake is safe. Finale does not really care.

Amanda: Thank you. Someone else does.

Brandon: Who was that directed to?!

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: Eric’s universe- that wants to take my dog away from me.

[Brandon laughing]

Well Sarah, thanks so much for coming by again. We will see you next time as we pick up this chase. Uh, but in the meantime, we have some listener questions for the hosts. So, we’ll give you a box of cookies and see you in a few minutes.

[Sarah gasping]

Sarah: For real?!?

[Sarah laughing, followed by a long pause]

Amanda: Retroactively...we gave you the cookies previously.

Sarah: Okay...I already ate the cookies.

[Sarah continues laughing]

Eric: Oh no, Sarah’s leaving, she’s going to going to look for more cookies. Bye Sarah!!

Brandon: There’s more over there.

Sarah: Steps, steps, steps, slam.

[Everyone laughing]

Amanda: Vroom, vroom

[Eric mimics car vrooming & breaking]

Eric: Hey, this is the drive-thru cookie place, can I get some bunch of cookies? Okay, here’s your cookies…

[garbled noises from Eric]

Sarah: [laughing] That was a great impression of me.

Eric: And then, click. Bo- uhhh...I just forgot all songs...

[Everyone laughing]

Sarah: [slight inflection] Boy!!!…. Uh….

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: [slurring] I said the hip hop, the hippy dip hip- Brandon put a radio voice on- the Hip hip hop you don’t stop the rocking- but like radio crackle- the bang bang boogie, a beat...

Brandon: I will for sure do that.

[Garbled singing from everyone & Eric laughing]

Brandon: This one is from off of the Discord, from Frantus: What sort of things did you have to consider before taking on JTP and podcasting full time? Was it something you always foresaw yourself once it became sustainable?

Eric: Oh man, that’s a question and a half. I mean I changed my l career to work in podcasting. I was a high school English teacher for a hot second there. I have a lot of thoughts about how the public-school system is failing people. But I felt like I could do more by making stories by leaning into it and putting my all into that rather than being in a classroom.

I’ve been slowly working my way into doing this professionally. I was working in a lot of jobs that were audio adjacent. Like kinda sorta about podcasting or kinda sorta about radio, but not really. And only now do I feel like I have full permission to work on making shows for real. I mean, we made Join the Party, me, Brandon, and Fish were all working at the same audio-adjacent job. And we’re like hey! Let’s make a better Dungeons and Dragons podcast and invite our friend who has been making a podcast for so long in the first place. I mean we wanted that, and we put in a ton of pre-production, but honestly there was that drive to make a show that we thought was better than what what’s out there.

So, consider, I don’t know? But it’s a thing that I’ve wanted for so long. And now finally, as Amanda and I have talked about, I quit my job, and we’re doing Multitude stuff full time. Which is dope as hell, and I’m happy about.

Brandon: In addition to freelancing and for other stuff like, but all audio stuff.

Amanda: Oh yeah, Multitude shows are not paying the bills for anyone full time. But we find a way to cobble together enough stuff to make it work. I’ve been making stuff for free online since I was- I had my first MacBook in early high school that I got used from someone. And used the webcam to start making YouTube videos.

It was a lot of trial and error, I made hundreds of videos, hundreds of hours of that. And point being, none of it was for money. I made more than I spent on my camera, for the first time, like 7 years into my YouTube career? I finally earned enough money that it paid for the camera I bought...7 years before?

Eric: Shout out to YouTube, Shout out monetization. Great. Thank you.

Amanda: Yeah, so none of it paid the bills. Honestly, there was a lot of fear, in like I never called myself an artist. I never identified that way. I never thought I could make a living doing creative stuff. I had to pay my college tuition and pay the rent, so I got a job working in finance. Cause that was the only paid internship I could find midway through college. Point being, I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have the opportunity or the skill, or the medium to make a living making things.

I accidentally gained this skillset of business stuff where I was working in a bank where I knew literally nothing about finance or money or business software, or how to have a business conversation, I had never worked in an office bigger than 3 people. I had no idea, that failure of being unable to make a career in YouTube or find a cool job at a magazine or a publishing house, means that I had to, I was forced to, develop the skill set instead. forward many years later, you know, that’s the stuff that allowed me to say okay. I’m going to write a business: plan, and figure out how to make the podcast that I’m making into a business. I’m going to put all the groundwork to set up banking accounts and accounting spreadsheets and start a Patreon, and use the data reporting that we get from that to fix our rewards and to tweak it and try to make a bit more money. And basically, just did that for 3 years.

Julia and I talk about this in my videos as well, we found this medium that neither of us was particularly like in love with and wanted to do from the beginning, but it worked for us. It was easy enough to do. It was close enough to our skillset to make it work. We found great creators, we found a great community and then we decided to put a lot of energy into it because some amount of it was working.

Brandon: I love what you said about, sorta failing up. I know it’s a loaded term, but in the way, I mean it is failing and then turning- having that pressure on yourself to turn whatever you still have into something meaningful to you and also like valuable to others. So, like, I did the same thing, I was going for a career in music whether that be music producer, or artist management, or whatever that is.

Through various avenues, I did every single thing in the industry. I was fine at a lot of it, but I couldn’t find a crack that I could get into. And It just was just demoralizing and depressing, so I took what I salvage from that music career, which was audio technician basically, and learn the other things along the way, which was all the business stuff , all the interpersonal stuff, how to produce people, which is a soft skill that people don’t think about and turn that into full time something that I didn’t realize I would fall in love but I did- which is podcasting.

The other side of it, as I was coming up, I was lucky- super lucky to be supported by, maybe not always my manager, maybe not always my boss, but always supported by people around me. So, whether that was at a bad job but was with Eric and Fish, rather I was at a great job with great people who- I didn’t love the job, but they helped me find and connect me to things that I did love because they liked me as a person. That was just majorly instrumental in where I've gotten to. And something I try to do to everyone who works for me now or with me whether that be freelancer in California or reporter or whatever it is. Outside of the professional setting, what can I do for these people, like these actual people, to help them get to where they want to go, whether that be in working with me still, or not, like what can I do to help them.

Amanda: Yeah, my second manager at the bank where I worked for 3 years, the first time I met her she said, “So what job do you want after this?” I was like wow, lady, just don’t fire me now!

[Brandon laughing]

That’s what I’m thinking about. Because you know, it felt like a major- like I conned my way into some kind of job. I was like don’t look at me, I’m going to be here, forever right? That’s the fiction we all tell ourselves. She was great, and realistic, and helped me say like, okay what do you want to do? What skills do you want to learn? who can I connect you to? Because I was lucky that she sort of trusted me to do a good job as I was also thinking about what came next. I’ve also been in jobs where you had to lie and say you want to do this forever.

Eric: Right.

Amanda: I think it’s important to say that none of our lives is perfect. All of us would like to a slightly different job, or need fewer hours to do it in, or have more resources or an office or more money or take less time to do parts of the job that make us more money that we don’t want to do. Like none of it is done. It would be great if I could finally figure out the recipe to have a thing that works forever, but the industry is going to change. The people that you work with are going to move, the thing you're making might go in or out of style. Your interests might change, or your time, you might have an illness or whatever. Lots of stuff might happen,and something that has been really helpful to me is to look at my jobs and my hobbies as just different tools in a toolbox. And I can take my toolbox with me, but the settings might change.

So in the bank, it wasn’t like F my life, I’m stuck here, I’m a sellout, I felt that for many years, but then I was able to say okay, well, weirdly I’m learning a few things and how can I spend my free time or talk to the people around me. Or use the resources that my corporate discount gives me to try to pick up a few things that I can take with me to the next job.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Because looking back it all makes sense, but at the time it did not feel that way. When I counsel people who ask me for career advice, which is a weird thing that happens now, to do, is to think not what job will I get next that I’ll either hate the least or that will get my closer to some kind of dream job, but what skills do I not have that I could learn that are complementary that would give me more options and that would help.

Brandon: I think that something that people always forget is that, host is not the only job in podcasting.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: You can also be a producer, you can be an editor, you can be, literally a production coordinator, you can be a manager-

Amanda: You can be a podcast lawyer or an accountant-

Brandon: You can be a lawyer, can be an accountant, you can be in ad sales. You can be in like, it’s true for-

Amanda: Technology, support. Yeah, operations.

Brandon: Yeah.

Eric: You can start a network.

Brandon: It’s true for every industry, but you don’t have to have the literal like, I don’t know how to use Pro Tools, so I’m screwed kinda thing, Like you can,

Amanda: Maybe, they’re-

Brandon: Exactly.

Eric: Also, Pro Tools sucks.

Brandon: Pro Tools is great, you bite your tongue.

Eric: Yeah, fuck Pro Tools.

[Eric & Amanda laughing]

Brandon: Avid sponsors us.

Eric: Fuck buying Pro Tools, how’s that?

Brandon: Avid please sponsor me.

Eric: Avid please make it less like, cracking open a safe to use my audio production software please.

Brandon: Yeah, I think a lot of people forget that most outwardly facing jobs of an industry are supported by quadruplicate people behind the scenes.

Amanda: Yeah, and the things that are listed in job postings on LinkedIn or whatever are not the only avenues into this field.  Like there are lots of different narratives where people get to where they are, but that is not an end goal. They are always passing through, and always about to do something different. I don’t know, maybe it’s that I have to get better at accepting the world around me? Or that just feels better as an emotion? But it’s weird to me that some people view us as like being successful because-

Brandon: Totally.

[Brandon chuckling]

Amanda: Being up at 2 in the morning like finishing the mix for this show, or posting the next episode, or like answering emails for people that I don’t want to be talking to, but that have money to pay me, so I have to. That doesn’t feel like success all the time. I think it’s important to all of us, like Brandon said, to try to be as transparent as we can about what we are doing. Because parts of it are awesome, parts of it suck. But if we can use all of this to help the people coming up next to us and behind us make fewer mistakes or make different mistakes, that’s better for everybody.

Brandon: Yep.

Amanda: I also wish that we could make a living doing this weird D&D show that pushes against a lot of the things, like we don’t choose what is easy, we just choose what we think is right. In creativity, in distribution, and how we spend our money. And how we build our community. And we’re always, each of us, trying to cobble together like, satisfaction, and our rent, and just try to make our lives full and satisfying. It’s hard. I try to think of that when I look at people I admire too, and think like ugh, they must have it easy or ugh, they must be perfect. Because y’know, regardless of what my life looks like, I still have to live it as me, so there’s you know-

Brandon: [laughing] Yeah.

Amanda: Thank you for listening to this Afterparty. Please let us know what you thought of uh- everyone’s behavior. And our answers to these questions, and of course your favorite grifts @jointhepartypod on Twitter, on Instagram. We have a Facebook group where you can chat with other listeners and share D&D memes. And closest to our heart is our patron discord, you can go to to see Eric’s excellent backstories, to join the discord, to get exclusive merch, and actual gifts in the actual mail from our actual homes. Not our like personal gifts, but like things from our bookshelf, but things that we buy for you specifically. It’s a good time. Other than that… uh who wants to sign off this episode?

Brandon: Me first, byeee.

Amanda: Me second, byeee.

Eric: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. I’m lasttt…

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