Douglas Adams’ A Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, and Dungeons & Dragons
Unlike many of his colleagues, Clausel’s particular fascinations are not to fight against something, so much as to fight for certain causes. To this effect, his “Oaths” (for all that he swears he’s NOT A PALADIN) are ones of loyalty and persistence. Very much like Don Quixote, he wishes to see fandom, pop culture and society uphold standards of justice, regardless of race or class. (No, we don’t mean D&D class). If there is any perceivable bias, it would be his keen awareness of his footing on various battlefields, and what’s effective. In some, he will push towards extremes, whereas in others, he will make an argument towards moderacy. This may not reflect his actual views, so much as “What would be effective here”. At the heart of his personal crusades are inclusion, given gender, identity, race, and non-crusading faiths. “I am inclusive of everyone, save for bullies of all stripes. THOSE can catch a SMITE.” (And he says he’s not a Paladin …)
Co-Founder. Producer. Veteran Performer.
“Those wanting wit affect gravity, and go by the name of solid men.” – John Dryden
The first movie young Clausel ever saw was Return of the Jedi. The notion of having one’s own lightsaber sparked his imagination– You’d never need a key again! What’s more, his treasured childhood possession was his E.T. doll. Then, there’s his background as an avid reader, starting with L. Frank Baum’s world of Oz. Of course, the pulp of fandom would soon ensnare him: comic books. Clausel can still remember his father purchasing his first issue of Ghost Rider. Following this, his uncle handed him his collection, an entire milk crate. Justice League, X-Men, The Flash, with its science facts – his fate as a nerd was sealed. It’s only natural that he’d meet the other founders of Steam-Funk growing up in Fairfield County, between Friday Night Magic at various stores, frequenting GameStop, and engaging in debates at the local comic shop. Clausel paid attention to fandom, the movers and shakers behind it, and most acutely, the trends therein. A keen insight for what’s popular, what turns-off various audiences, and why, along with observation of the human condition, are regular topics of contemplation. This would set gears in motion for future endeavors with the firm.
Prompted by gentle insistence (blackmail) by his English teacher, Clausel engaged in his High School’s drama club, where he earned several accolades and production credits. He graduated as one of Westhill High School’s class of ’97. Following this, he spent some years working, and taking night classes at Fairfield University, where he also ran a radio program and assisted with one of their sketch TV shows. As costs became prohibitive, he enlisted in the Army, motivated by the G.I. bill, serving from 1999 to 2002, followed by five years inactive service, completing his contract. He’s even worked on Wall Street from 2003 to 2004 and began concerted study for a Series 7 before the economic crash. Soon thereafter he resumed night school, now at The College of Westchester, pursuing an Associate’s Degree in business management, off and on, and graduating in 2010. Stepping lively, he transitioned to the field of Security, having won some awards and recognition with his firm Securitas.
With his study of business, fandom, and the business OF fandom, Clausel remains a tremendous asset. He’s served leadership as both advocate and gadfly, poking at policies and cautiously advising during SFS’s various incarnations. His hand has been in a fair amount of the firm’s early investments and initiatives, from financing marketing materials to curating the company’s various industry parties, including catering. His background between various day jobs, from bookseller, the banking industry, alcohol consignment, and the Armed Forces all grant a wealth of perspective. Coupled with his myriad interests as a gamer (video, TTRPG and board game), Magic: the Gathering player, and tactician, Clausel is a natural fit for his current role, co-producing SFS’ social media projects, inclusive of the eponymous company page, Sepia Riot, The Unconventional, and the now-integrated subbrand Geeks Gone Wild. He’s even helped out immensely with the firm’s first-client-turned-acquisition, Cosplay Court Case. Clausel collaborates and provides insight to the current team as a senior advisor. While he certainly celebrates all aspects of fandom, his priority will always be building new inroads and vectors for all, both in performance venues and publishing (be it online or brick-and-mortar).
As tenured leadership at Steam-Funk Studios, Clausel’s main focus is on future growth as a household name. The original performance troupe may have scattered to the winds, but the mythology they created and structures they built endure; a legacy he intends to see realized, both through this masthead as well as through The Living Multiverse. Thus, his work behind the scenes and insights at quarterly to bimonthly founders’ meetings, continue. While prior efforts concentrated on maturing the GGW brand into the inclusive, body-positive, image-attributing community it is today, he leverages his assorted expertise on the firm’s many fronts, wherever asked. A proud Black nerd, Clausel isn’t all business: deep down, he still desires that lightsaber and hellfire motorcycle.