This week we are talking with Tobias McCurry, one of ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.
Airship Ambassador: Hi Tobias, great to have you here and to catch up!
Tobias McCurry: Hello! Of course, thank you for the invitation!
AA: How much fun to be on the first steampunk reality show on TV! As a brief summary, how was it for you?
TM: I had a lovely time on the whole. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to meet some of the top names in steampunk tête-à-tête. The people were why I wanted to be there, and the maker’s competition sounded entertaining. I didn’t have high hopes, but when I was drug into the fold, I was immediately pleased with the company and the tasks at hand.
AA: Sounds like a rewarding experience! How long have you been involved in the steampunk community and what brought you into it?
TM: I’ve been involved in steampunk since approximately 2009 when I decided to attend my first Steamcon (AA note, Steamcon was held in Seattle, Washington, USA, from 2009 – 2013). I had some family involved with some steampunk jewelry crafting, and having been invited, I thought I had no reason not to attend. That being said, I made a lovely decision. It also got me into Live Action Roleplaying, with a game, Rise of Aester, which kept me in the community.
AA: How long have you been building and creating things, and how did you get started?
TM: I have been making things since ’09 as well. Since then, of course, my skills have grown exponentially through the mentorship of many of my extremely talented friends. I am fortunate to be surrounded by crafty individuals who haven’t minded showing me the ropes.
AA: That’s one of the great things in our community, how we help each other learn and grow. What is it about steampunk as an aesthetic that appeals to you?
TM: The steampunk aesthetic appeals to me because it is an extremely open framework. While we take a lot of the understanding of the genre from the Victorian era, Jules Verne, Lovecraft and dozens more, it is a genre that can be interpreted into very many forms, functions and fashions. Steampunk is all encompassing, and can be applied to nearly any aspect of life.
AA: There are certainly many expressions of steampunk and in many areas since it began growing well past its literary roots. What are some designs or materials that you tend to work with the most?
TM: I enjoy working with leather and metal, but have had the most experience with EVA foam, as I have been doing a lot of live action roleplaying game oriented crafting for Dystopia Rising.
AA: What are some signature elements in your work that make it stand out as recognizably something you created?
TM: I appreciate a good gimmick. Everyone has their niche that people recognize. For example, look at my stilts and flash gun. Not everyone is wearing jumping stilts, granted, some people are. In which case, why not mount a flash-gun to your wrist? Who doesn’t like fire?
AA: Haha, fire makes everything better? What is something that you’d like to create but haven’t done so yet?
TM: As of right now, I’m looking to create several new costumes that will act as upgrades to my frequented genres. For the Renaissance Faires (to which I often end up portraying characters from the golden age of piracy, granted,) I need a new swashbuckling outfit that will be suitable for stage combat use. I also look forward to creating a very post-apocalyptic interpretation of what I can only say will be an odd mix of occult plague doctor, and grave robber, for the sake of one of my LARPs, Dystopia Rising.
AA: How has your work changed over time? What are some key lessons you’ve learned along the way?
TM: My work has changed drastically over time, much akin to anyone who starts out with something new.
Time for a quick break in chatting with Tobias.
Join us for the conclusion where he talks more about being involved with the show.
Keep up to date with Tobias’ latest news on his website.
Follow the latest news about the show on the Steampunk’d website.