After finagling my way into the VIP section at a loud, crowded Pax East after-party in April, a stranger shouted at me from the non-VIP section.
“Are you a streamer??” I paused and replied,
“No, but I'm going to be!”
After all, it was my new year's resolution to stream regularly. Up until that point, I didn't make any effort. I would turn on my stream for a few minutes here and there at random.
I just assumed that streaming was easy and as soon as I found the right time I would just.... start. I consider myself “the comedian,” I love to make people laugh and I also love games. Twitch was made for people like me. I live to love and entertain. But I kept putting it off and making excuses.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into a couple months and I realized that I still haven’t started my stream. The girl from Pax East would replay in my head. Between my timeline being spammed by “Going Live” tweets, Twitch News and Channel Shares, eventually, I wore down and on a random Sunday in July I decided to turn on my stream.
I started my first stream with a goal to stream over an hour. Easy right? I chose Fortnite because that's what all the cool kids are playing, smart move. I brushed my hair, checked my setup and went live. Needless to say... it was AWFUL. I was nervous and had no plan. I constantly asked my viewers, “What should I do??” which is a question I should have asked myself before I hit Go Live. My gameplay was disastrous, I didn't know how to properly engage my audience and I was lost keeping up with my chat. It was a nightmare.
But over the past two weeks, my stream changed so much.
As a Black woman streaming I was very anxious to find my groove. How do I fit in into a gaming-comedy community dominated by White males? The trolls came of course. That's a given with all parts of the internet. But it was easy for me to get over the racist comments in my inbox and chats. Though, despite my sudden enthusiasm, I was still directionless for the first week of streaming until I realized that being MYSELF is all I needed to do in order to grow my audience. I did not need to pretend to be myself pretending to be a Twitch streamer.
As of today, I am a Twitch Affiliate and it took me twelve days to achieve this. My idea of what I want to do has become more focused. How I plan to present myself to Twitch has morphed. As my audience and views grew I became more confident. I realized that if my viewership plateaus or I don’t have many people in my chat that it's okay because I am doing what I love: playing video games, making friends, and sharing comedy with the community.
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