My Twitch Community Asks: Why don’t you use a facecam while you stream?

The simple answer is I just like wearing ugly PJs while I play video games.

The complicated answer is a little more in depth than that.

Views: Having a large audience is crucial to a streamer’s success. Just to even be considered to become a partner of Twitch, you need to have a audience in the triple digits range (without assistance from being hosted) and you need to have a full time schedule of streaming 3-4 times a week with those steady numbers.  Another alternative is having a YouTube channel with more than 100K subscribers.

Depending on the game and what day I stream, my viewership can range from 10-25 people in the audience. My largest spike was about 66 while I was playing Dark Souls 3 for the first time. I will never forget that boss fight, nor will I forget the exchanges that happened in chat. I digress.  I will write more about that later. For a small time streamer, those numbers aren’t bad at all. I like testing the waters to see which games garner larger audiences and which ones bring in new viewers vs. regulars.

And I fully believe that using a facecam will help boost these numbers. More on that later.

The community: I acknowledge that I am by no means a big time streamer. And I also acknowledge that there are a crapton of streamers out there that no one else knows either. I like finding those people, and if I enjoy their streams, I try to support them as well. I also study and observe a variety of streamers who use a facecam and who do not use a facecam. I try to learn what works for them and what doesn’t. I make notes starting from the title of the stream being used to how they interact with chat to whether or not a facecam is even beneficial for them. Of course, some streamers don’t need any help at all when it comes to marketing themselves because they’ve already made such a name for their brand(s), they can just hit “broadcast” and they get a large audience. But for the smaller names, I pay extra attention to both their successes and their downfalls.

One note that is repeatedly jotted down is that female streamers will definitely benefit more by using a facecam.

How I stream: I think two of the reasons why people enjoy my stream are because I interact with the chat and I am a bit of a theatrical personality. I will occasionally acknowledge the chat at the expense of the progress I’ve made in a game. It makes for funny moments, and I would rather have those than ignore the people who ask questions or want to have conversations. I also get scared and enraged easily. Horror games are the worst for me and the best for my viewers.

When I first started streaming regularly on Twitch, I immediately decided on no facecam. It added a level of stress and paranoia that I did not want to deal with, especially since I wanted to learn about the culture of streaming first. It takes a lot of energy to focus on the game, focus on the chat, AND be entertaining for the chat. Worrying about a facecam was just a different level of multi-tasking I did not want to tackle out of the gate.

In case a reader may not understand this concept, everything I write and will write is my opinion only and my opinion is based off of what I have experienced and/or learned from what other streamers have experienced.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…

These are the reasons why I don’t currently use a face cam:

  1. I’m not great at make up
  2. I hate having to worry about what to wear
  3. I hate having to make sure that camera angles are “just right” and “the most flattering”
  4. I do not want to deal with comments about what I look like
  5. I do not want to be compared to other streamers as far as physical appearance
  6. Honestly, it’s pretty funny when people ask me if I’m a boy or a girl. I call those people Professor Oak. The feature image makes sense now, doesn’t it?

These may seem like very trivial things, but let me break this down for you. Female streamers already get a bad rep because a lot of people seem to focus on the negativity of “cam girls”. There is already a stigma attached to female streamers regardless of the type of streamer they really are. The type of streamers people complain about are the women who wear the lowest cut shirts showing off their best and biggest physical assets, stream gameplay that is previously recorded and focus on everything else besides streaming a video game.  That is what I and many other female streamers are compared to off the bat.

In my Dark Souls 3 stream, the one where I had about 66 viewers in the chat, one viewer started off with “you mean there’s a girl gamer out there that isn’t a whore? Awesome.” That’s not a compliment. And it was even worse when he started bringing all that negative stuff of the aforementioned type of streamer into the chat even after mods asked him to tone it down. The whole debate of cam girls existing is something that is currently plaguing the community, and the fact that I stream, means that I am now automatically part of that regardless of my intention to be or not be involved with it..

Do I care about cam girls? Nope. It’s not my thing. They do what they do, and I’m going to do what I do. If people don’t like them, then my advice is to not support them. There are tons of streamers out there. People don’t have to harass each other or bully each other to make a statement. Rather than tearing people down, just use that energy to support and encourage streamers you do like.

Do I care about being compared to them? In a way, yes. Again, I’m just here to play video games and talk to people. If people avoid my channel because they assume that I am a certain type of streamer and they bolt, that’s not really the type of audience I want anyway. I want people who like what I do and genuinely enjoy my streams. If people like my stream, I’m very happy they give me a follow. If they donate to my stream, again that’s something makes me happy. Everything else beyond that is stuff I don’t care to delve into.

What does make up and clothing have to do with anything? Thanks to societal standards, a woman isn’t allowed to just be herself and in her most natural state. Most people would rather pay attention to a woman when she’s completely dolled up and dressed in the most flattering attire possible. Sure, there’s a time and place for everything, but demanding that she must be in her most perfect form for every second of the day in order for her to gain any amount of positive attention? Fuck that. Not everyone thinks this way, but enough people do where it’s an issue that should be addressed.

Can I wear make up? Yes. Do I enjoy it? Sometimes. I want to “look nice” for ME. I don’t want the reason for me looking nice to be making other people happy. I can’t tell you how many times people have commented on my appearance over the years. But I can tell you that not all of those comments were made to uplift my spirits. Some were made with the direct intention of crushing me into the ground. With the veil of anonymity on the internet, it’s that much easier for people to be cruel and mean to others. I’m a stronger person now than I was years ago, but I prefer not to deal with extra layers of stress when I just want to focus on video games. Being called an ugly bitch because I don’t wear red lipstick or wear brand name clothing isn’t grounds for a healthy conversation. Luckily, these are conversations I can now control and if I don’t want to have them, I don’t need to anymore.

Will you ever consider using a facecam? Yes. I’m actually thinking of doing a stream with a facecam when I hit 1000 followers on Twitch. Since being cam-less is the norm for  me, I figure I would do something out of the ordinary when I hit a milestone. I would also consider using a facecam when I have special guests on the stream as well. I’m not 100% against the use of a facecam. I just know that right now, I am trying to figure out who I am as a streamer, and I’m discovering what works for me and what doesn’t. I don’t want to use a facecam because it’s labeled as a requirement. Like makeup, I want to do it for me and when I feel comfortable with it. It is entirely possible that I will use a facecam on a full time basis in the future. If that happens, it will be on my terms, no one else’s.

That being said, there are many streamers out there who I enjoy watching. Doesn’t matter if the streamer is a man or a woman and it doesn’t matter to me if they use a facecam or not. If they are entertaining to me, I follow them. I know what I like and I do what I can to support them and their channels. I encourage you to do the same. Find something you like? Support it. Find something you don’t like? Walk away from it.  That’s what community building is all about, is it not?

To the GFR Guild: thanks for being here. I am a lucky lady to have such a very awesome community. ❤

Shameless plugs!

https://twitch.tv/geekyfriedrice

https://youtube.com/geekyfriedrice

 

Real Talk: Supporting People Doesn’t Always Mean You Have To Open Your Wallet

“Hey, I’m doing a thing!”

“Sorry… I don’t have the money to help you out right now.”

I’ve heard this conversation happen several times since I started paying attention to ways on how to market myself and what I want to represent. I, and many other friends, are journeying down the path of creating things for people’s enjoyment. Specifically with us, the focus is streaming and video production. I tend to pay extra attention to people who use and love Twitch and create content for YouTube and Vine. I also dive into those communities and immerse myself in those cultures to better understand how I fit into them.

Overall, it’s inspiring. And any time I need a creativity boost, I look to my peers. It’s amazing how much encouragement you can receive even if you don’t know someone personally. Their hard work, your understanding of what’s put into these projects not only fuel the desire to make more things, but you want to raise your personal goals and do better every time you release something out into the world.

Another boost in confidence is watching your audience, your community, grow. I’m going to be completely honest here. Numbers matter. Increases and decreases in numbers help creators determine if what they are doing is engaging, entertaining, and tells them if what they are doing is right or if they need to head into another direction.

I have many friends who support what I do, both in moral and monetary (Patreon) support. I am more than humbled that people who enjoy my content would actually donate their own money to help me along my adventures. I will always be grateful for them. Always. I know that many others are not in a position to do so, but that’s okay! I get support from them too. Here is a small breakdown of where my community stands on various social media platforms:

Twitter: 2,353 followers

YouTube: 608 Subscribers

Twitch: 675 followers

Vine: 389 followers / 356,979 loops

Now compared to big names, those numbers are SO SMALL. But, this is my community and it’s growing. And trust me, I’m not going to slow down any time soon. Now this next part of my blog will have some shameless plugs because this post in general is to show people how they can still support their favorite creators even if they aren’t able to support with donations.

Each of these platforms offer some level of engagement from the audience. YouTubers don’t say things like “if you enjoyed this video, give it a like and sub” just to hear their own voices. Views, likes, follows, retweets, any way to show a positive reaction and/or share a creator’s work are all things a supporter can do without diving into their finances. These things may be simple but they are absolutely necessary to a creator’s success. They almost act as guides and milestones to me. Whenever I make something, I get so happy when I see someone like a post or write a positive comment on it. I feel good about what I did, and it encourages me to do more and better.

And I do what I can to pass along news of projects that friends are currently involved in. I’m in the same boat as many others. I may not be able to afford supporting every single one of my friends; however, I can tell others about what they do and whenever they create something, I do my best to read or watch what they post and I give it a like or a share.

“Jackie, here’s five dollars. That stream was awesome.”

“Hilarious video. Thanks for the smile!”

“You’re entertaining. Followed.”

All of these things make my heart so happy. And each of them are important to me because these are coming from people who I affect in some way, and they in turn are bringing good things into my life. That’s more than what I ever thought possible. For those who are currently a part of the GeekyFriedRice Guild, thank you so much. For those just joining in, welcome and high fives all around!

TL;DR If you like what someone is creating. Share their stuff. Like their stuff. Subscribe to their stuff. Follow their stuff. You may not think it’s worth much, but it’s the world to that creator.

Shameless plugs! You can catch me here!

https://YouTube.com/geekyfriedrice

https://twitch.tv/geekyfriedrice

Twitter.com/geekyfriedrice

https://facebook.com/geekyfriedriceguild

https://patreon.com/geekyfriedrice

Not so shameless plugs! Here are some of my favorite creators. Please give them a like and a follow as well!

Lozelda – Streamer & YouTuber

https://twitch.tv/RT_lozelda

https://youtube.com/rt_lozelda

Mary McDowell – Streamer

https://twitch.tv/sailortweek

Naomi Chicoine – Arts & Crafts Queen

twitter.com/NaomiChicoine

Audrey Heffers – Author

https://www.inkshares.com/books/devils-in-the-valley

Shanna Germain – Author & Game Dev

http://www.shannagermain.com/

Raf Naps – Streamer & Graphic Designer

twitter.com/raf_naps

https://www.twitch.tv/shimmysham_gaming

 

 

 

Watching Your Community Grow is Like Witnessing a Seed Bloom Into a Garden of Awesome

I will be the first to admit that I am not always the most patient person. But I will also acknowledge that this is solely dependent on what I am waiting for. If I was waiting for someone in a store to check out and they had 50 coupons and was paying via personal check, I would just stand back and wait. However, if I were playing a video game like The Last of Us, I lose all forms of patience while waiting for a Clicker to walk by my hiding spot.

But here I am on July 26, 2016, looking over numbers and stats, comments and responses on various social media platforms that I manage on my own. I have moments where I think to myself “holy crap… I interact with people A LOT.” I remember back when I was a kid, I was very shy. I didn’t play with other kids; I just kept to myself in my own corner. My dad said he would feel bad whenever he would pick me up from school because I was always alone. I was considered a strange bird by many. I remember learning about shapes. The teacher asked us to makes squares, and I made circles. I got made fun of for it. A lot of that awkward carried over into my teenage and young adult years. I always felt out of place wherever I was. I could get along with people just fine, but I never felt like most people really understood me. There were a few, but they either moved away, physically or emotionally.

In the last couple years, I really started focusing on me. I didn’t have a solid plan, but I found the beginnings of a path that was interesting to me, and I blindly went down it. My love for video games never waned, so I learned more about the industry, the people, the products, and I found that I loved video games even more. A former co-worked connected me to Randy Greenback and he was my first look into the welcoming culture of game development. He may not know it, but the few conversations we had changed my life for the better. By the way, he’s currently working on the new Friday the 13th game. You should totally check it out.

With Randy’s helpful and wise words backing me, I delved into the world of networking. I was more active on Twitter, I eventually created the blog that is currently housing the very post you are reading, and I focused on the elements of community and bringing people together. I’ve met and e-met so many different people, good and bad, it’s quite mind blowing to me. I’ve had amazing experiences and not so great ones, but I couldn’t find a better fit for my personality.

Fast forward to now. I have a small following on the internet and it’s a fascinating mix of acquaintances, friends, family, and completely strangers. While the numbers aren’t huge compared to the bigger names on these platforms, I find solace in knowing that this is MY community. I don’t have one focus either. I update Twitter primarily, but I am active on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, this blog, Vine, and a few others. I try to create an environment where there is something for everyone. That’s why I made the GeekyFriedRice Guild. Doesn’t matter if you love just anime or video games or cosplay or movies or if you love it all… you have a place here. Nerdy? Geeky? Great. You’ll fit right in! I enjoy conversing with people of different backgrounds because it helps shape and grow my own perspective of the world.

I didn’t think I would be here. I didn’t think I would be attending or volunteering for conventions and building relationships and friendships. I didn’t think that people would actually care about me or the things I love doing. I didn’t think people would come up to me and say “you don’t know me but I wanted to say hi and thank you for what you’re doing.” I didn’t think I would ever be that type of influence for people, but it’s happening, and I recognize that, and it makes me want to do better. And this isn’t all on me either. You guys help me a great deal as well. This is a two-way street here. I hope you all know how much I appreciate you.

I just recently identified my community as the GeekyFriedRice Guild. I’m not sure exactly what the future holds for it, but it warms my heart that you are here. For real. I’m being super cereal. Thank you for being my community. Less than three you!

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Giving back to one who has given so much to her community

I’m doing a thing tomorrow at 6pm-10pm Central. The thing I’m doing is streaming for the ever lovely @Audrey because she and her husband could use a helping hand. Special shoutout to @Raf and @FLYbarger for inviting me to do this with them.

Look. I know there are a lot of charities out there and a lot of people are requesting help for one reason or another, and it’s amazing how helpful and generous people in the GFR Guild and the RT Community are. Let me be one of the first to tell you that Audrey did not ask us to do this for her. We are doing this because she has done so much for this community and she has never asked for anything back. She has stayed up literally for days to make sure any charity streams she organized went smoothly. She coordinated those on her own and she helped raised thousands for other people and other charities. Now that hardships have hit her, we want to help her out however we can.

So what we are asking you guys to do is simply hang out with us tomorrow. Watch us play video games, have us on in the background while you’re doing house stuff, come join us in the chat and mingle, and show the internet why this is the best community.

Ways you can help out:

  • Donate (no amount is too small! And there are raffles to win as well!)
  • Spread the word. Hit up the RT site, the forums, Twitter, FB, anything helps!
  • If you’re a Twitch streamer, hosting the individual charity streamers would be amazeballs
  • Keep us company! Join us in chat! We love it when people stop by and say hello. Believe it or not, it helps out the streamer a lot

The entire 24 hour stream will be hosted by twitch.tv/flybarger

You can find my stream at twitch.tv/geekyfriedrice

I will be playing and hopefully completing Dark Souls 3 and I will have a couple of things to give away during my portion of the stream, so please stop by if you can. All deets below!

See you tomorrow! Less than three you!

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Extra Life continues on until the end of the year!

Rooster Teeth had a big day for their Extra Life livestream. It is always phenomenal to watch them do their thing, and it’s even better to see the community come together and absolutely destroy the donation goals set by Jack and Caiti.

As you know, many community members, including myself, are raising donations as well. This year, my personal goal is $1500, and I am leading a small team with a team goal of $2000.

I will be doing my own livestream this weekend, mostly likely starting out with the Alien Isolation DLC because you know… I am entertaining as hell when I’m scared out of my mind. I will also be livestreaming Fallout 4 as well. Fair warning, I will probably take two hours just on character creation.

I have currently raised $680 of my $1500 goal and I am still going strong! Just remember, if you donate $15 or more, you will get entered into a raffle for the following prizes:

And very recently, I came into this gem.

It doesn’t have all RT signatures, but it has a crapton of them.

So if you are still able to donate, please help me make it to my personal goal. You can donate here If you cannot donate because you kicked so much ass by helping other Extra Lifers, I humbly ask if you can share my page.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far. You truly made my birthday memorable and wonderful, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time, donating your money, and spreading the word about my Extra Life page to help make my birthday wish come true.

Let’s Play Live – February 20 in Austin, TX. Prepare your bodies

It’s all right if you have to ask “what is Let’s Play Live?”

Take the concept of Let’s Plays (videos that showcase playthroughs/walkthroughs of video games) and combine that with a powerhouse entertainment team who are highly lively and fun. Achievement Hunter, in conjunction to Rooster Teeth, is well known for their online content featuring Let’s Plays, How Tos, team tournaments and a bunch of various series all focusing on video games. They will be hosting a live event on February 20, 2015 at 8:00PM CST and tickets are still on sale! You can purchase them here. Not only will they be taking the stage, but the show itself will be three hours long (whoo hoo!) and there will be opportunities to meet them after the show. Who knows, you may even find yourself being invited on stage to join in on the shenanigans.There is also going to be exclusive merch available at the show, so make sure that you get your hands on some so you can show off that you were there.

See the official trailer here.

As of now, the AH members who will be rocking our socks are:

Gavin Free

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Geoff Ramsey

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Jack Patillo

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Michael Jones

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Ray Narvaez Jr.

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Ryan Haywood

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Prepare for an awesome night filled with video games, fun, laughter, and community love. If you are in the area or looking for ideas for on-the-fly weekend vacations, come on out and meet everyone!  I guarantee you will have a fantastic time and you will be meeting a ton of amazing people. For those who are on the fence about attending, take this as an opportunity to prepare for RTX. Meet community members, make new friends, and become part of the RT family.

For more info or to watch their videos, head on over to their official site and/or their YouTube channel.

Extra Life 2014 with Team N2: Ninja Nerds

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It’s that time of year again where gamers from all over the world, well… game! But it is during this time where we unite as one unit, play video and/or tabletop games for 24 hours in an effort to raise money for children in need. If you are not familiar with the concept of Extra Life, please take a few extra minutes to read up on the Children’s Miracle Network. Extra Life, lead by creator Doc Adams and community manager Rick Heaton,  works hand in hand with CMN to raise money for children who are need of extra assistance. Whether it be terminal illness, physical or mental trauma etc.. these children and their families are backed into a very scary corner and there are so many who have no one to turn to for help. Imagine being a mother and hoping and praying that your child will make it through the night. Imagine not being able to help your child because of financial burden. This is where Extra Life comes in. It is an amazing program that helps these families. Last year, Extra Life managed to raise over 4 million in donations thanks to gamers and their supporters. Imagine what we can do this year.

I started doing Extra Life two years ago, and I was amazed that I surpassed my goals each year. In 2012, I did Extra Life on my own. Even though I had a poorly displayed livestream of Resident Evil 6, my friends and family pushed me to my $1,000 goal In 2013, I joined Team Rooster Teeth, lead by Jack Pattillo (who really is a teddy bear of a man if you’ve never met him). I broke my goal of $1,000 early in the gaming marathon and bumped up my goal to $1,500. While I did not make the second goal, I was still grateful to achieve what I had.

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Rooster Teeth as a whole was (I believe) the top Extra Life team last year, managing to raise over $340,000 in donations. AMAZING. I highly recommend being a part of this community. Because of moments like these.

This year, my aim is to lead a small team (called the Ninja Nerds) with a personal goal of $1,500 and a team goal of $2,000. If you would like to join my team, I will welcome you with open arms. Extra Life is a bit special to me because it just so happens to launch in my birthday month. Rather than giving or sending me presents, I would love it if you could donate to my Extra Life page instead. Even if it’s just a dollar, that is an extra dollar that goes straight to a child who needs to battle cancer or some other horrible illness.

So please help me celebrate my birthday, and as always, I will write a story for the person who pledges the highest donation. Two years ago, a friend donated quite a bit and asked that I flesh out the Assassin’s Creed 3 ending, and I came up with this. Last year, I had to write a more personal story for a good friend of mine, but you get the idea. This is the only way I am able to give something back to this awesome community.

If you would like to join the team, please go here. 

If you would like to donate to my personal page, please go here. 

Thanks for reading! Game on, fellow nerds and geeks!

RT Vegas Recap! A month and a half later…

On June 15th, I hosted the second RT Vegas and I was ecstatic to meet more people and see some RT Vegas veterans as well! The first leg of our journey took us to Pole Position (no, it’s not what it sounds like). In honor of Mario Kart 8 launching, I thought it would be fun for the group to go gokarting! Behold, my 2014 RT Vegas friends.

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We were a small group, but we came together because we are fans of Rooster Teeth and the 15th of every month was dubbed RT Community Day. It only seemed right that we have our gathering a few weeks before RTX (Rooster Teeth’s annual con). This community amazes me and I love that age, race, and gender do not matter. We love Rooster Teeth. It’s as simple as that.

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Afterward, we had lunch and I really got to sit down and talk to these people. All of us loved different parts of RT. Some of us prefer the video podcasts, others enjoy watching Red vs Blue and RWBY… It was great to hear what each preference was. Most of us were raised/born in the same city, but we never met and honestly, we had no reason to meet until now. And I also have to admit that I was stoked to see two young women attend! While I didn’t mind being the only woman present for RT Vegas 2013, it was refreshing to have Chey and Sam attend this year, so thank you very much ladies! I will always remember turning around, seeing a RWBY shirt and going “OH MY GOD, YOU CAME TO RT VEGAS!” and giving you guys big hugs.

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We did have a side adventure that I didn’t plan at all and it ended up with us playing hours of Mario Kart at Anime Revolution. Other than it being an awesome game, we had the motivation of receiving 20% off our purchase in the store if we could beat the owner in a complete game of MK8. Only one of use could accomplish the task. Huge congrats to Chris on his new backpack and thank you the Anime Revolution for being a part of RT Vegas!

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The next day, we found ourselves going to the Circus Circus midway, and we won a ton of stuffed animals (after spending a crapton of money). The most important thing is that we had a blast. I set my mind to obtaining a unicorn plush, and I got my damn unicorn plush.

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People have asked me how to host gatherings like these since Rooster Teeth encourages their fans to meet and become friends. The best answer I can give is to just do it. The forums are open for you to coordinate times and schedules and if you run into a snag, there are tons of people to ask for help and advice. One thing I will say, you have to be active. Interact with people, connect with them, let them know who you are and what you’re about.

You don’t have to be the most popular community member on the website, but you do have to make an effort to get your name out there for the sake of being recognized as someone people can look up to as a host. And even if you don’t have a lot of people show up for your gathering, who cares? You are doing this because you are part of an amazing community. If you aren’t comfortable hosting an event, throw the idea out there. That’s how RT Vegas started. People asked “hey, how come Vegas doesn’t have anything like this?” and I thought “well, it should!” Then bam! Here I am, two events later.

These things can only happen if you take the initiative. And understand that you don’t have to do this alone. Rooster Teeth has fans all over the globe. If I can make an event happen in Vegas (a town not exactly known for its geeky culture), anything is possible. I don’t have a ton of experience, but I will share everything I can to ensure that you (my fellow community member) will have a great time and will meet new people.

To my attendees, thank you for coming out and it was awesome meeting you and seeing some of you at RTX! Dustin, I cannot believe you flew out here again, so thank you for your continued support. If you’d like to keep tabs on these lovely people, you can, of course, find them on the Rooster Teeth website.

Mowhat22, XanderGrimmMichaelG0mez, Scraggys, BunnyFairy, Imdead630

Until RT Vegas 2015!

 

Go for it! A fantastic chance to lend your voice in Dragon Age: Inquisition!

This week, Bioware’s lead community manager, Jessica Merizan was quite busy launching Bioware’s new Youtube Channel and social site. Along with the awesome new look Bioware is getting, the Inquisition team is also having a voice over contest, allowing Dragon Age fans to submit audio recordings or videos to win a chance to have their voices immortalized in DA: Inquisition (being released later this year). The rules are simple and can be found here.

Will I be participating? Hell yes. After my fangirl moment died down, I took a step back and wondered why I was even interested in this opportunity in the first place. Five years ago, I would never have imagined that I would allow my voice to be heard on the internet. Now here I am, almost impatient to record the lines needed for this contest. I’m not a professional by any means, but I do like to have fun and dabble in areas that are creative in nature.

Years ago, I was involved with the creation of a machinima series and we were looking for voice talent. It was a simple set up: here’s a script, here’s your direction, show us what you got. For fun, I submitted my own voice for one of our male characters, and it was surprisingly well received. I, of course, did not get selected as the lead male because I have a very feminine quality to my voice, but the project lead did want me to lend my voice as an A.I character. I was hooked on voice/audio work since then. Just for fun, I narrated my favorite children’s book “The Giving Tree“, one of my favorite poems by Frost, and helped out on a friend’s radio ad parody for a podcast. All received positive feedback, and it has boosted my confidence tremendously. For the record, I still dislike my voice, but I am learning to accept it, love it, and work with it because it is a part of me.

And this was all done because I just wanted to try it out. I learned how to use the basic functions of Garageband on my Macbook Pro, bought a decent mic, and pushed the record button. I cringed at the sound of my voice the first time, I choked on air, I swore at my AC unit for kicking on at the wrong time (that mic picks up EVERYTHING), and I barked back at the loud dog next door. But all of this was experience and it has served me well. And the best part is, I found another piece of myself to love through these experiences. My point to the wall of text above is if you are interested in something, just go for it. Who knows where it might lead? You may love it, you may hate, you may be indifferent, but at least you will have satisfied that curiosity.

If by some miracle, I am one of the chosen voices for the DA contest, I have my machinima project and my curiosity to thank for it. If I am not chosen, I am still thankful. Why? Because they created my confidence to try. And making that first step on a journey is precious. So go forth, warriors of Thedas. Lend your voices and conquer.

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write…

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write

What would I jot down?  Many nails did I bite.

And then it hit me, so I began to type

Hurriedly, quickly, the ideas were still ripe.

 

Here, let me tell you of my adventure so far

The start of the year was less than sub par.

For I was broken, but not of bone mind you

My heart was in pieces, blackened and blue.

 

I was hurt but not lost; I trudged on ahead.

I was down but not out, I was far from dead.

Over few months time, I could smile once more.

May opened up my first happiness door.

 

Hosting RT Vegas was a dream of mine

Rooster Teeth Vegas fans, ‘twas our time to shine.

Thank you Dane, Daniel, Dustin, Michael and Nick

You guys are so awesome, my very top pick!

 

And extending my thanks to the very group

that threw our party for such a huge loop!

What group you ask? Why it’s the B Team!

It took much willpower not to fangirl and scream

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But my thanks for Rooster Teeth ends not in May.

July 5th is marked as such a special day.

I’m an RTX Guardian, hip hip, hooray!

My happiness level is more than I can say!

 

I was a noob but paired with a great crew.

Surrounded by friends some old and some new

Thank you so much to our leading lady

We couldn’t have done it without you, Caiti!

 

A fantastic con, my words are at a loss

Demarais, my fav Hobbit, you’re such a cool boss!

Such great memories I will cherish forever

My love for these people will never be severed.

 

Parts of 2013 had also brought tears.

Two friends were taken, too early in their years

Always remembered, their legacies live on

Through those they are still here, never truly gone.

 

What to learn from this, answers there are many

I say cherish loved ones, more than dimes and pennies.

Mike and Knuckles you are thought of every day

You both are missed, so much more than I can say

 

And then in August, my dad became dog sitter

For I was off to DragonCon thanks to friends from Twitter.

A weekend full of panels, drinking and more

So many cosplays I saw were seriously hardcore!

 

I could not believe how happy I felt.

I met new friends, they made my heart melt.

Dauna, Emma, Kelly, Eric, Kathleen,

DA2 cosplay group, best cosplays I’ve seen

 

Karissa, Liz, Miranda and Scott,

Best roomies ever for the con ticket I bought.

Tymber, Adriaan, Amanda, Eric, Susanne…

HUGS ALL THE FACES, as many as I can

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Aaryn, Aidan, Dave, Bioware men I adore

Team Fangirls sends kisses, hugs and more! (as in love ya pervs =P)

I drank with Steve Jaros and Chris Avellone

Leading men in the industry, mind = blown

 

And to my leather making friends Misty and Lance

Heart your faces for giving cosplay a chance.

Dragon Age Tallis debuted at this con.

Be proud you guys, many hearts it has won.

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And as it does annually, my birthday was here

This one was special, the best in many years.

So grateful for all who came to celebrate

Shots, bull riding, beer pong… God it was late!

 

Looking back on everything, I couldn’t believe

How I started the year in sadness and grief.

But how that has changed because of family and friends,

I want to hug all your faces, my lovely godsends.

 

Shortly after I found myself in a pinch!

Surely this would make me a Grinch!

I lost my job, but I held my head high.

Company merge be damned, I refused to cry.

 

I feel liberated so it’s a blessing in disguise.

Seriously, don’t feel bad for me guys.

I’m keeping busy, finally raising life’s bar

A writing project called Fallout Lonestar!

 

Many doors will fly open, at least… I hope.

Writing is medicinal for it is how I cope.

But life is a mystery, destination unseen

You continue being better than you have ever been.

 

And now here we are on Christmas Day

I want to tell you one more thing, if I may.

My dad has worked for the last twenty plus years

Through this day but now we’ve switched gears!

 

He has the day off and now we can spend

The holiday as a whole family again!

So comes an end of my twenty thirteen tale.

It was full of win and of some fail.

 

How you spend today, I wish you this

May your holiday season be full of joy and bliss,

So to you my loves, I raise my beer

I say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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I know it’s not beer… work with me here…

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