I started streaming in October of 2015. Before this, I was regularly creating and uploading Let’s Play videos to my YouTube channel and I loved using gaming as a tool for creating entertaining moments. Sharing these experiences with other gamers was awesome. Streaming on Twitch was something I had been considering for a while – I told myself for about a year that someday I’d look into it. I got to meet my good friend LadyDevann, who I had met through Instagram, for the first time in person at New York Comic Con that October. She told me all about Twitch and urged me to give broadcasting a try. This was the push I needed, so I went for it, and was addicted right away.
What do you enjoy most about streaming and how do you keep yourself motivated?
The live interaction that you find on Twitch is definitely my favorite thing about the platform. Knowing I can directly impact someone’s day and make it better makes me happier than all else. It’s such a community experience, like hanging out with a bunch of like-minded friends who just understand you. My regular viewers have become close and valued friends to me and I can’t imagine my life without them.
As for motivation, I’m lucky that this comes easy for me. I just think about what my community would think of something I’m working on. Would they be proud? Would they be excited about it? Would what I’m doing make at least one person smile? The answers to these questions are all the motivation I need.
How do you feel your community has impacted you/others?
I’d probably be on a very different path right now if not for my community – after all, they’re the reason I get to do what I love most full-time. I was not a very confident person throughout high school and this carried over to the time when I started streaming as well. The kind words and encouragement that I receive from my community have really helped me look at myself differently. I still have days where I question myself, like all human beings, but I am so happy to be who I am.
My community has changed my life drastically in very good ways and I will never have words to express how thankful I am for them, or how much I owe to them. I’ve been told that some people have met lifelong best friends in my channel and through our community and this brings me so much joy. In my opinion, the type of people hanging out in one’s chat is just as important as the broadcaster. My community is always saying hello to new and old viewers, making them feel welcomed and accepted. Together, we’ve built a fun and positive environment. The community-centered experience that goes on during my streams would be impossible without them.
How do you work to balance streaming with other responsibilities/relationships/jobs/etc?
At the moment, I’m still trying to figure this out. Finding and maintaining this balance has probably been the biggest struggle for me since I left school. I am so fortunate to do what I love most for a living and I have an undying passion for it, but sometimes it can be easy to get carried away and to forget to give proper attention and care to other relationships and things going on in life. I’ve been learning a lot and the advice of my wonderful friends in the industry has really helped me see the importance of unplugging sometimes. I find writing out a schedule for the day and making sure to put in blocks of time for other things really helps.
You and your community raised over $7,000 that was spent on toys for children in need. Could you tell us about that experience and what made you organize it?
Since I was young, my hopes and dreams have shifted a lot, but one that has always remained has been my hope to touch as many lives as I can in a good and positive way. I believe that we live in a world that is filled with far too much negativity, unkindness, and even just people who turn the other way when they see someone in need. As my channel grows, I’ve realized that my ability to make a difference has too. I’ve always loved Toys for Tots and what they do. I was very lucky to have so many memorable Christmases growing up, but not all children do. Toys aren’t crazy expensive and even just one toy can brighten up a child’s holiday more than you can imagine.
I knew that our community, filled with generous and loving people, could do something huge for these kids. We could’ve donated the money directly to the foundation, but I thought that by filming what we did and purchasing the toys ourselves, we could really show people how much of a difference they were making and hopefully inspire others to be kind and to give. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt as fulfilled as I did on the day we brought all of those toys to the drop-off center. We ended up being able to contribute 511 nice quality toys and made a lot of children happy during the holiday season. I’m lucky to be able to be in a position where I can help, so I want to help as much as I can.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced during your streaming career?
This question somewhat leads back to one of my previous answers about having trouble balancing work and life. It can be really easy to overdo it and become burnt out when you have an undying passion for the work you do. Keeping the right balance ultimately leads to me being the happiest I can be, and that leads to better streams, so it’s very important! Taking the steps I’ve been taking to better manage my time has helped significantly.
What are some of your current goals for your stream?
I am currently working on planning a fundraising event for the first week of May for St. Jude Play Live. I was lucky enough to be part of their summit this year, during which I got to interact with some of the patients and tour the hospital. I am so passionate about what they do and can’t wait to be a part of Play Live. I’m planning on doing 5 long streams with a lot of fun goals and rewards to help raise money for the kids, with a goal of $12,000!
If you could only play two games for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
One of my choices, without a doubt, would be Skyrim. I already have nearly a couple thousand hours in the game and find I still go back to it to play it again sometimes. No matter how much you play it, there is always more to explore and more to see. My second choice would probably be Dragon Age: Origins, because it is my single favorite game of all time and because it features so many different in-game decisions and dialogue options. You can always find new paths to take. I’ve completed the main story over ten times, but still find bits of dialogue here and there that I’ve never seen before.
Do you have any artists/streamers/celebrities that you are inspired by?
I draw inspiration from everyone and everywhere. I truly believe that every individual has something to offer in this world and that inspires and motivates me. Something that I love so much about the community on Twitch is how many hard-working, inspiring, and talented people are a part of it. I am surrounded by incredible friends who inspire me to do and be more.
When I first started streaming, I spent a bunch of time watching advice videos on YouTube, trying to gain some of the knowledge and experience that successful broadcasters were willing to share. I came across obezianka’s video and watching it caused me to feel immensely inspired and motivated. Ana still inspires me regularly and I’m very lucky to call her a friend.
I also feel really inspired whenever I tune in to Elspeth, LadyDevann, Kintinue, Littlesiha, DanieltheDemon, KayPikeFashion, Naomi, or MissKyliee’s streams. Each and every one of them brings so much energy to their broadcasts and they’ve all built extremely loving and welcoming communities. They bring creative and unique ideas to the table. Watching them not only brings smiles and laughs to my face, but brings about an urge to work harder.
Let’s say there were a 2-day power outage and you couldn’t stream or get online. What would you do for fun?
This is a tough question! So much of my time is spent online. If I were in this scenario, I think I’d find a good book to read and curl up outside in the sun!