MEET THE TEAM
amy hogan | Host
I’m Amy and I’m a Puff! (This is where you all say ‘hi’ back and wave… We’ll work on that.) I was introduced to Harry at the ripe young age of 9 when my aunt gifted me the Sorcerer’s Stone DVD for Christmas. She gave my sister the first four books, which I promptly snagged off her bookshelf to read for myself. The rest is history. Growing up in the back hills of New York with dial-up internet, I set MuggleNet.com as my browser homepage. Who knew that all these years later I would be Creative Team Manager for the site and even host a podcast? In my Muggle life, I am a proud graduate of Oswego State (Go Lakers!) where I earned my degree in Broadcasting and Mass Communications. I’m putting that diploma to use right now as a television reporter. Oh, and I’ve met April the Giraffe in person. That is all.
Ariel Taranski | Host
Ariel is an avid reader and writer since childhood, and has loved Harry Potter for more than half of her life. When she’s not doing Creative Social Media for MuggleNet, she works on her own fictional tales with hopes of becoming an author one day. As a hatstall, somewhere between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, she simply can’t decide between the two amazing houses and is proudly a Ravenpuff. A former mermaid who gained her legs for love, it’s only natural that she’s now hosting a podcast about Fantastic Beasts. Despite modeling for the SpeakBeasty logo in her formerly finned days, she is now just a voice in front of a microphone, but oh so happy about it.
aurelia lieb | Host
My name is Aurelia, but I usually go with Aureo, because that is just easier to pronounce. At Hogwarts I am a proud Gryffindor, even thoughI am a German, currently living near Düsseldorf, but originally from the Stuttgart area. I had also the opportunity to live in New Zealand for 6 months, which resulted in my mad love with that country. In Muggle life, I have a bachelor’s degree in business and event management and am currently in the process of getting my MBA. For MuggleNet I am also a content editor and in Muggle life I work in marketing. In my free time I play basketball for a German team, write (mostly fanfiction) and love to travel. I am also a massive Doctor Who and Sherlock fan and generally in love with all things British.
Eleanor Harrison | Host
I’m a journalism student in Sydney, Australia. My first exposure to Harry was when I was about eight – after that, my obsession rapidly took off: I had Harry Potter parties where I forced my Mum and Dad into playing McGonagall and Snape, ruthlessly beat all my babysitters at Harry Potter trivia (yup, I was always a Slytherin), and wrote in to the newspaper telling them their Harry Potter quiz wasn’t hard enough (but I still framed the certificate I got from acing it). Otherwise my pastimes include drinking coffee, learning Mandarin, and searching the sky for a glimpse of an Antipodean Opaleye.
hALEY lEWIS | Host
My name is Haley Lewis and I am a proud Gryffindor and Thunderbird. I’m a Creative Writer and Content Editor over on MuggleNet.com. I also make magic at my muggle job, as a Cast Member at Magic Kingdom, which means I go to the Wizarding World at Universal as much as possible. I am also working on getting my bachelors degree with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in English. I’m so excited to be on SpeakBeasty, being a fan first and becoming a host after.
Lizzie Sudlow | Host
My name is Lizzie and I live in Bellmore, NY (a 45 minute train from Manhattan). I have a bachelors degree in Media Communications with minors in English and Journalism from SUNY Oneonta (we’re the real Red Dragons) and work in Manhattan as an account coordinator for a brand packaging and design company. I’m the mix of a Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, and am also a host on MuggleNet’s Fantastic Beasts podcast, SpeakBeasty! In college, I helped found a Potter club and served as President for two years. I can be found in the muggle (er, no-maj) world cooking, singing Hamilton, and reading on my bed. A fun fact is that I was introduced onstage at LeakyCon 2012 by Evanna Lynch, and she’s a huge sweetheart.
Megan Kelly | Host
Megan is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Creative Writing, Film, and Children’s Literature. She’s been in love with Harry since childhood, and credits him largely with her continued love of reading and writing. When she’s not recording for SpeakBeasty or fulfilling her duties as the leader of MuggleNet’s Facebook page, Megan works as an account manager for a digital marketing agency. She can also be found drinking coffee, writing stories, running rather slowly, making travel plans, watching British comedies, and trying out exotic recipes.
michael harle | Host
Michael is a Hufflepuff from Albuquerque, New Mexico (though he now lives in Austin, Texas). In addition to being a contributing host on SpeakBeasty, Michael previously managed and hosted MuggleNet Fan Fiction’s AudioFictions program, and is best known in the Harry Potter community for his many impressions of various wizarding world denizens. Beyond Potter, Michael graduated from university in 2011 with a major in Cinematic Arts and a minor in Theater. He is currently pursuing a career as a professional Youth Services Librarian. In his spare time, Michael does his best to conduct himself as similarly to Professor Lupin as he can, while also collecting Harry Potter Trading Cards in the hope that someone will someday play the game with him.
Shannen Michaelsen | Host
Shannen is a writer, filmmaker, blogger, and Ravenclaw. She is a graduate of FSU with degrees in both Creative Writing and Communications. Shannen’s been a fan of Harry Potter since before she could read, thanks to her mom and sister reading the series aloud to her. For MuggleNet, she works on the social media team and produces the news show MuggleWatch. She’s passionate about the disparity of Hogwarts houses, George Weasley and Luna Lovegood, and Augureys. When she’s not talking about Harry Potter, Shannen makes a Sherlock Holmes web series and writes (but doesn’t publish) books.
Ashley Craig | Producer
Ashley is a proud Slytherin from Texas, and has been obsessed with Harry Potter since book 2 was released. When she’s not co-producing SpeakBeasty, you can find her working on the Creative Social Media team for MuggleNet. When forced to act like a Muggle, (her father will hear about this!) Ashley enjoys cheering on her beloved Dallas Mavericks, shouting at the TV while watching various sporting events, obsessing over all things Disney and occasionally acting her age.
Elayna Darcy | Producer & Host
Elayna is first and foremost a lover of stories. From the time she first read the Harry Potter series as a child, her imagination was ignited, and she’s been passionately pursuing storytelling ever since. Thanks to pursuing a creative degree in Film & Media Arts from Temple University, she’s responsible for a number of short films, screenplays, and has led numerous social media campaigns. When not podcasting or professionally fangirling, Elayna can usually be found blogging about her experiences of writing her first novel trilogy on her website, Elayna Musings. Or tweeting. She likes tweeting.
Igor Moretto | Editor
Igor has worked with media production in the Harry Potter fandom since 2006, as part of the crew of what became – in 2010 – the biggest Potter site in Brazil. He’s just graduated Audiovisual Production and is currently working as a freelancer in audio and video editing.
LAINE MCCURIN | COMMUNITY MANAGER
Laine is a graduate of Florida State University where she studied Music and English Literature. She always figured she’d be a Hufflepuff, had Hogwarts invited her to attend, but upon learning of the existence of Ilvermorny, was pleasantly pleased to be sorted into Thunderbird. When she isn’t reading books and comics or looking up Fantastic Beasts fan art, Laine is obsessing over her pugs, wishing she could swim with sharks, or crocheting Pugsharks.
GABRIELA CASELLA | SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Gabriela is a proud Ravenclaw currently attending the Fashion Institute of Technology. Harry Potter basically took over her life when she read the first book many years ago, and she has not stopped obsessing over it since! When she is not working on social media for SpeakBeasty, she is probably reading a book, ranting about musical theater or working on her fashion blog.
KIRSTEN DELOS SANTOS | SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Kirsten is a voracious reader, a thundering Thunderbird, and a proud galavanting Gryffindor. She was first introduced to the magical world of Harry Potter on a hot September day in 1998. From that day on, a tiny little fangirl was made. When she’s not updating one of the many social media accounts she helps out with, she can be found cosplaying, doodling, reading, buying books to EVENTUALLY read, creating a world of fan fiction in her mind, brewing and consuming specialty pour-over coffee, eating massive amounts of chocolates or hiking. Kirsten is currently trying to learn French and would like to one day visit the Universal Studio Tour in London. Oh, how she dreams of the day that might happen.