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This is a show about videogames, The people who play them and the people who make them. Each week, a guest on the show talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that forged connections with others and games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints!
 
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show series
 
A journey through the life and career of Steppenwolf Theater Company ensemble member James Vincent Meredith. James has appeared in nearly twenty productions with Steppenwolf. Along with work at various other Chicago theatres and nationally, he played Mafala in The Book Of Mormon second national touring company, as well as on Broadway. He has been s…
 
Chris D’Arienzo began his career in Hollywood as a PA (production assistant) at Disney Studios. That job led to more work as a PA and actor on the groundbreaking Ellen DeGeneres sitcom Ellen. A journalism major in college, his true passion was writing. He eventually began selling projects as a screenwriter, but they were not being produced. Until h…
 
Joel Zwick started with La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York in the 1960s. From there he made his way to California and began directing television. From the 1970s through 2000s he directed more than 650 television episodes. Including Laverne and Shirley, Bosom Buddies, Perfect Strangers, Mork and Mindy, Angie, Full House, Family Matters, K…
 
Ross Lehman has had a fascinating journey, from being raised by local celebrity parents in Pennsylvania, to his long career on stage. He has performed in Chicago, London, and on Broadway with Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, and Mario Cantone - to name just a few. I have had the privilege of working with him several times. He is an ge…
 
Paul Stroili’s Television acting credits include Empire, Chicago P.D., and Malcolm in the Middle. His film credits include Only Dance Can Save Us, Wake, and The Beating. Paul was nominated for an Ovation Award for Best Solo Performance and an LA Weekly Award for Paul Stroili’s Straight Up with a Twist, which enjoyed over 1000 performances nationwid…
 
In Jennifer’s own words, “What makes the art of Costume Design so thrilling is the opportunity to help tell a story and bring characters to life.” Classically trained in theatre, Jennifer May Nickel holds an MFA in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon University. She has designed extensively for Film, TV, Commercials, and Theatre. Jennifer is based …
 
Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre company has been producing extraordinary productions and extraordinary talent for over 45 years. Alan Wilder has been with Steppenwolf since 1976. He is a member of the original ensemble and has appeared in over seventy productions. In part one of our two part conversation we discuss his career and how Steppenwolf went…
 
Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre company has been producing extraordinary productions and extraordinary talent for over 45 years. Alan Wilder has been with Steppenwolf since 1976. He is a member of the original ensemble and has appeared in over seventy productions. In part one of our two part conversation we discuss his career and how Steppenwolf went…
 
In this episode I have an honest conversation with Tania Richard about racism and white supremacy, specifically in the performing arts. We also discuss her web series Mom In Real Life, her love of storytelling, and working at Steppenwolf with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Tania is an actor, writer, antiracism educator, and host of the podcast Tania’s Ta…
 
Joanna DeGeneres is one of the most sought after headshot photographers in Los Angeles. Her experience in art, acting, and casting give Joanna a unique insight into producing headshots that get actors noticed. In this conversation we discuss her life and career, along with tips for a headshot that will get results. Although primarily known as a hea…
 
Career diversification is a must for actor, singer, dancer, voiceover artist Anjali Bhimani. She has appeared on stage countless times in Chicago, LA, San Francisco, and on Broadway. Anjali is well known for recurring television roles on shows like Modern Family and The Sopranos. She also has an extensive voiceover career, including voicing charact…
 
Chicago Fire special effects makeup department head Christopher Payne is responsible for all of the blood, broken bones, and burns seen on the NBC drama. He has been a freelance makeup artist for years. What he does is amazing, how he does it is fascinating. A conversation with makeup artist Christopher Payne on this episode of The Art In Yourself.…
 
Executive Director of Writers Theatre, Kate Lipuma discusses the state of live theatre during and after Covid. She also recounts her time at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Signature Theatre in New York. Including apple pie with Arthur Miller and Hershey bars with Horton Foote. Insight into theatre management, from one of the top executives in the in…
 
Part two of my conversation with Emmy Award winning actor Jim O'Heir. In this episode, we discuss his time on Parks and Recreation, the amazing Amy Poehler, and getting away from being lovable through his role in the independent film Middle Man.By John Lister / Jim O'Heir
 
In a special epilogue episode the tables are turned as I sit down with Violet Berlin and she interviews me about the games that shaped my own life. We talk about blind runs of Alex Kidd, Tony Hawks Pro Skater as teenage therapy, why death wouldn't stand a chance against my Science Genius Girl, why I always skip the cutscenes, how far I was willing …
 
Emmy Award winning actor Jim O’Heir was King of TV guest stars before landing his career-defining role on Parks and Recreation playing Garry, Jerry, Larry, Terry, or Barry - depending on the episode. Jim has appeared in over one hundred TV series, numerous films, and on stage throughout the country. Jim’s life and career are fascinating, from train…
 
“Why didn’t I get the part?” “Do they hate me?” “What did they say after I left the room?” Bob Mason is in a position to answer these and many other actor questions as Casting Director and Artistic Associate at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. After graduating from Northwestern University, he began his career as an actor before transitioning to the oth…
 
Actor, director, producer, writer, and entertainment executive Harry Lennix is best known for his film and television roles in The Five Heartbeats, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Ray, Man of Steel, The Blacklist, and 24. He also has an extremely successful stage career, having performed internationally as well as in Chicago, LA, and o…
 
Actor, writer, producer, comic book creator David Dastmalchian is best known for his roles in films like Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, The Dark Knight, Suicide Squad, and Dune. He has also written, co-produced, and starred in two independent films - Animals and All Creatures Here Below. The odds of becoming a successf…
 
Consoles don’t really brag about bit ratings anymore. Growing up with games, the leaps between generations felt profound From 8 Bit to 16 Bit, to 32, to Nintendo 64! It was exciting. The last consoles to even mention it in their marketing were the Dreamcast and the Playstation 2. They were the 128 bit consoles. They were the end of an era. The same…
 
My guest today Julian 'Jaz' Rignall. A formative character in my life in games during his role as the editor for magazines like Mean Machines and CVG, Julian is the first guest I've spoken to on checkpoints that I did drawings of as a child. As well as reminiscing about the UK magazine scene of the eighties and nineties, we talk about growing up in…
 
My guest today is Chris Bell, a game designer with a remarkable CV that includes thatgamecompany's Journey and the upcoming Sky, What Remains of Edith Finch, Way and 12 Minutes. As well as being an incredible designer Chris is also filled with stories. We talk growing up in Boston playing games in the Pala, that time he kicked a TV off the wall emu…
 
Today I'm joined by Gabby DaRienzo and we have an incredibly lively and upbeat chat about death and video games. Gabby is the co-founder of Laundry Bear games. creator of the wonderful Mortician's Tale, and also the host of the Play Dead podcast where she speaks with fellow developers about death in video games. We each chat quite openly about our …
 
My guest today is Johnnemann Nordhagen - the creator of the incredible Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - and he has some wonderful stories to share. We talk spelling games in Colarado on an Apple IIe, learning to program in DOS, losing years in Discworld MUDs, how soothing Burnout Paradise can be and the genius of Kentucky Route Zero. We also hit …
 
My guest today is Ian Bogost, an award winning game designer and author of several books including Persuasive Games and Play Anything. He's also a contributing editor to the Atlantic magazine, the professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and an incredibly engaging and articulate podcast guest. We talk about how geek culture has become can…
 
My guests today are Ben Myres and Cukia ‘Sugar' Kimani, co-founders of South African based game studio Nyamakop, creators of the inventive 'Clay Doh' platformer Semblance. They are also excellent, inspiring company with an infectious passion for video games. We talk about their diverse paths to game development, from childhood where Ben assumed vid…
 
My guest today is one of my favourite streamers of one of my favourite games, Dane McCappin AKA Dane Hearthstone. I first noticed Dane when his incredibly inventive and creative Hearthstone decks became a regular on highlight reels like Trolden. and I've become a big fan of his videos. His laconic and relaxed style of streaming has gained him a ded…
 
My guest today is Iranian video game developer Mahdi Bahrami. Annoyingly young, Mahdi already has an incredible game under his belt with the release of Engare in 2017. A unique puzzle game inspired by Islamic art which also comes with a creation mode that reminds me of soothing afternoons of my youth spent making endless patterns with a spirograph.…
 
My guest today is Dr Mark Johnson. Mark is a man of many talents, he's currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta where he mainly focuses on the intersection of money and games, particularly in relation to eSports and pro streamers. He's also the co-host of Roguelike Radio, creator of the gam…
 
I'm very excited to welcome Richard Garriott to the show. Sometimes known as Lord British, Richard is a video game trailblazer. As the creator of Ultima he helped forge a new genre in games, and with Ultima Online invented a whole new one. His latest, Shroud of the Avatar, was released just a few weeks ago and continues this storied tradition. As o…
 
Last month I recorded a special episode of Checkpoints live from the All Your Base festival in Nottingham. One of my guests was Paul Kilduff-Taylor who I ended up hanging about with a bunch over the weekend and we had a lovely time so I asked him back for a full episode. Wholesome af. Paul is one of the co-founders of mode7 games - creators of Froz…
 
One of my favourite parts of doing this show is discovering the ways people played games in countries all around the world, In this special episode of the show I speak with a listener and linguistics lecturer Andrej Bjelaković about growing up with games in Belgrade, Serbia. Part of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia has had a tumultuos half century. Du…
 
My guest today is Zach Barth, founder of Zachtronics and creator of some of the best video games ever made, including Spacechem, Infinifactory and their latest, Opus Magnum. We talk about the surprising amount of instinct and chance that goes into designing a Zachtronics game, his love of play sets and miniatures but oddly his hatred of board games…
 
My guest today is James Ryan who - as part of his PhD at US Santa Cruz - has been working on some of the coolest and most exciting projects I’ve seen in years, and this chat made me incredibly excited about the future of games and could potentially change the future of writing. This is largely due to his Talk of the Town framework, which simulates …
 
My guest today is Sarah Elmahleh. Sarah is an actor and voice over artist and has worked on a whole bunch of videogames including Gone Home, For Honor, Call of Duty, Pyre, Galak-Z and Final Fantasy 15. She was also the lead in the recent - and excellent - BBC Radio play Game Over written by Emily Short. (This is only available until the 29th of Jan…
 
My guest on today's episode is Devine Lu Linvega. How to begin describing Devine. In videogame terms he has created some wonderful games like Hivesaires, Donsol or the Proteus remix Purgateus. He currently lives with his girlfriend on a sail boat, where they run their floating studio 100rabbits. This interview was conducted while they docked in New…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest on today's episode is Jim Rossignol. Jim spen…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest today is Lisy Kane. Lisy is a speaker, curato…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest today is Erica Lahaie, a designer, illustrato…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest today is Clint 'halfcoordinated' Lexa. Despit…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest today is Jennifer Scheurle, the game design l…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest today is that rarest of unicorns, a video gam…
 
My guest today is the velvet owl Will Porter - Former PC Zone editor, freelancer, and the writer of Project Zomboid, Alien Isolation and No Man's Sky. We talk about how the PC Zone vs. PC Gamer rivalry is no joke, whether growing up on a farm puts you off farming sims for life, how it felt to be a Betamax kid in a VHS world, and how working in the …
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! Hello! So good to be back. My guest on today's episode…
 
This is a show about videogames, the people who play them and the people who make them. Each episode, a guest talks about the games that have shaped their life in one way or another. Games that have inspired them, games that have forged connections & games that have soothed wounds. Checkpoints! My guest on today's episode is the Jolie Menzel. Jolie…
 
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