My first step toward trying to make a living being in front of a camera was acting, in 2008. I was in one feature, three short films, a handful of a commercials, and a web series.
The web series I was in tried to integrate social media through the cast.
Each cast member had their own social media profile on different sites. We were not all on Pinterest, tumblr, facebook, twitter, and so on, but each of us was assigned one site to interact on.
I was assigned YouTube and given a pocket camera that drained its AA batteries every time I filled the memory, and was apparently stolen from a high school according to the name prison-etched into the side.
After that project ended, I found that I missed making vlogs and started my own channel. I still have this channel, though I rarely update it. I started to catch on that gaming content was doing vastly better than vlogging.
For two years I had rendered 5-20 minute length videos on a laptop that wasn’t powerful enough to even preview the footage. I wouldn’t even know if the footage looked good until after it was uploaded to YouTube and I watched it on my phone.
Rendering those videos took 8-12 hours, and I’d have to leave the laptop upside-down on a crate with a box fan next to it so it wouldn’t melt the carpet. The HDD only had space for one video at a time, and obviously I couldn’t use the computer at all while it was rendering.
I would wait to render a video until I had to work a long enough shift, so that I would never be “rendered incapable” of using my computer when I’m not working.
A year later, I had a stable place to live and a relatively secure job (which I still have), and I decided I would build a PC that would render my videos faster.
First PC Build
I’d penny-pinched and saved up, and eventually also took a small private loan, to build something that would help me output videos faster. At this time I felt that if I just had the output, the audience would be there.
I had a friend me configure this PC. It would be my first build ever, and one of the biggest personal expenses I’ve ever had that didn’t involve me moving somewhere and wishing someone would die horribly.
He’s a twitch streamer, and indicated to me that if the computer is good for rendering youtube videos, it’s probably good for streaming too. He’s half responsible for me being on twitch at all, and entirely responsible for me starting an account.
(I already had a JustinTV account but I didn’t realize that it and Twitch had anything to do with each other, at the time, so that account is probably long gone.)
A New Name
Having to make a twitch account made me realize that the demands of my name here would be much different than on YouTube. I had already decided that [oldaccount]gaming/games/plays was not the way to go. It was too long to type.
I was worried that the gaming audience would be too toxic and drive away the few subscribers I already had.
Finally, I noticed that people on twitch had follower alerts, and this would often be the only time they say the full username.
I didn’t like anything my old username would be shortened to.
I looked at a lot of twitch streams for the games I was interested in playing and noticed a lot of branding revolved around either animals or food.
A stream would have a mascot of some kind, usually, but if not then something the streamer ate/drank often would take its place (looking at you, corndogs.)
For branding purposes I thought I would stick with the same animal I’d been using: horses. I happen to be a horse in Chinese astrology. My mom thinks that’s cool.
No suffix modifiers (“gaming,” numbers, special characters)
If you NEED them because your name is taken, choose another name.
Name should guide streamers you follow to the proper shorthand version.
Most people call me bash without my requesting it.
There should not be too much pause to think about what your name means or how to pronounce it. You’re not a troll.
I would like there to be a pun.
“bashful” sounds similar
I would like to involve horses for branding purposes.
A “foal” is a baby horse.
This is also a pun.
I would like some dark humor.
bashing a foal is kind of a dead baby joke
The name should be easy for most people to type
70% of my name is typed on the home row of a QWERTY keyboard
this is why you should avoid anything requiring Shift
70% of my name is type on the left side of the keyboard
this is “easier” because it frees the right hand to Backspace if there are typos
The shorter the name is in the first place, the better it will fit with larger font wherever it appears.
Short Name that:
has simple words
all lowercase letters
features an animal
is fun in some way (pun, evocative imagery, sounds silly or cute)
If I’m wrong, explain in detail, or I won’t like you. If you agree with me, please continue. Just hating on me is boring, and boring me or my mods will probably get you banned. Hating on my guests will get you banned faster than anything else.
You can complain to me, though. You are absolutely to vent to me about the poor character of your boss/coworkers/family/neighbor’s dog. Knowing I’m not the only one having a bad time is often more helpful than you think. You are not a burden because others have burdened you. Share.
For me, positive energy is productive energy. I don’t need kindness, I need to be enabled. Forward is positive, sitting around jerking each other off is not.
I separate streams into Mentor, Host, Friend, and Chum buckets.
Mentors are very large streams, which I attend to learn some aspect of handling success.
Friends are probably still larger streams than mine, but the chat is slow enough that I feel like I can contribute to the conversation. Hosts are friends who have hosted me.
Chums are small streams which have a lot more direct conversation with the streamer themselves.
Everyone here has had some influence on my stream, even if they’re not aware of it.