Behind the Screen

My History of Gaming

When I was seven, my mom bought my siblings and I our first gaming console. It was a Super Nintendo and we spent all our time outside of schoolwork playing Super Mario World. Growing up with an older brother, my interest in shooters developed as he and I both got older. I strongly consider our N64 to be my "gateway drug" into the world of first-person shooters - after all, GoldenEye 007 is truly one of the great, classic video games of the 90s.

Enter the era of online console shooters. When the original Xbox was released in 2001, my sister and I quickly jumped on the Halo: Combat Evolved hype train. We spent hours upon hours playing Halo 2 and subsequently Halo 3 on Xbox Live throughout high school. While I was always interested in PC gaming, I never really knew how to get into it and stuck with console gaming until college.

Gaming Drought and Workaholism

Sadly, college marked a time devoid of gaming for me. I worked constantly, often multiple jobs at once, and had little to no time for gaming. While I'd still accept the occasional Halo 3 1v1 challenge from a friend or two in my dorm, I basically made no time for gaming. I was doggedly focused on The Grind, doing my best to provide for myself while attending a four-year university.

This continued past college, when I was hired to work in an office as the in-house UI/UX designer. I had studied graphic design in college and figured that my career consisted of pushing pixels and meticulously adjusting vectors for the foreseeable future.

Discovering Twitch

I was bored. My job, while steady income and easy enough, was just that - easy. It was simply not challenging me. I would ask my team leader for more work but often just wasn't given enough to do. I stumbled across Twitch in an article online while I was browsing at work (what else do you do once you've finished all your work?) and started watching streams in the background while I designed and wireframed and sketched.

From Pixel Pusher to Twitch Streamer

The more I watched Twitch streams, the more I started entertaining the idea of starting my own channel. I was enthralled by the little communities comprised of people from all over the world, coming together to bond over a video game and to share in the live experience. I started hatching my plans and gathering ideas from watching other streamers and learning what I thought made someone a Good Streamer versus a Bad Streamer (or just a streamer I didn't want to be).

When I started streaming, it was in the evening hours late when I got off work. I'd stream for only a few hours on weekdays, and then for long hours on weekends. But right away, I was hooked. It was amazing. It was exciting. It was refreshing. And I couldn't get enough.

From Hobbyist to Professional

I quickly began pouring all my free time and all my extra energy into streaming. At work, after I'd finished everything expected of me, I'd work on designs for my Twitch channel. I'd watch JonBams get blown up in Minecraft MadPack, I'd watch Lirik try to talk his way out of precarious situations in Arma 3 Life, I'd watch itmeJP's show Dropped Frames which gave me a lot of insight into the world of professional streaming from streamers who had years more experience than me.

Somehow, whether through good fortune or hard work (probably a combination of both), my channel took off right from the get-go. I was accepted into the Twitch Partner program less than two months into my streaming career. As my channel grew over the first year, I started to realize I had a real opportunity to turn my passion into a career. The problem being that my full-time job as a graphic designer was simply in the way of me really pursuing my dream of being a full-time broadcaster.

So I quit my job. It was one of the most terrifying and rewarding things I've ever done and I can say now, looking back, that it was 100% worth it. Now, I stream full-time, I attend gaming conventions both for fun and for work, and I get to travel more than I ever did before. Streaming is very hard work, despite what some people might think. It's a lot of long hours, late nights, and sometimes seemingly insurmountable stress that comes with being self-employed.

But I have never loved a job or a hobby so much as I love streaming. I look forward to streaming for many years to come.

Quick Facts

How old are you?
I'm 27 years old.

Where are you from?
Southern California (LA-area).

How long have you been streaming?
I started streaming June 3, 2014. I was partnered on July 18, 2014. I quit my job and went full-time with streaming on June 26, 2015.

What are your favorite games?
In no particular order - The Witcher 3, Overwatch, The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, Rainbow Six: Siege, and the Elder Scrolls series.

What kind of music do you listen to?
My Last.fm page will provide the most detail. I listen to a variety of music but my favorite genres are alternative metal and rock, metalcore, and classic rock. Some of my favorite bands are Deftones, Tool, Evanescence, Pink Floyd, Mastodon, Thrice, and Killswitch Engage. I'm also a huge fan of Beyoncé, mo-town, minimal piano music, and a variety of singer-songwriters of all styles.

My Tattoos

People are always asking about my tattoos on stream, so here's the rundown of my seven tattoos.

I got my first tattoo a few months after I turned 18 and it's some script text on my ribs that reads "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". The quote is from a story written by Oscar Wilde called Lady Windemere's Fan.

My half-sleeve is a custom illustration from a scene in A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov. It depicts a girl in a rowboat amidst stormy seas and the text underneath reads "Bold is the heart that steers her through the night".

I have a star on my right wrist. Growing up, my mom called my siblings and I her 'sun, moon, and star' and I was the 'star'. So my mom and I got matching star tattoos.

On my left wrist is the Jedi Order emblem with text that reads "A New Hope".

I have a tattoo on the side of my right hand that says "Windsor", which was the name of a labrador my family got when I was seven and he passed away when I was 20. I got his name tattooed on my hand the day that he passed.

On my right forearm is an Arabian horse, which my mom has always loved and wanted, and the sun, moon, and star, are emblematic of my siblings and I.

I have a simple tattoo on my left forearm of the inscription from Ciri's sword in The Witcher 3.