– I’m an entertaining person.
This sounds like “one of those things”…you know, where some people are just funny and other people just “don’t have it,” whatever “it” is.
There is no comedian or entertainer in the history of forever that was just “born funny” and was able to rise to stardom with little or no thought or effort into their acts. For every successful show you’ve seen by George Carlin or Richard Pryor, Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Carr or Eddie Izzard…there are dozens of failed shows before it. Being “funny” and learning the art of humor and entertainment is something that requires actual work. I know it sounds a little bit arrogant or self-serving for me to say that I’m a funny person, but I am, and I know it. I’m pretty quick with witty jokes and I’m a fun person to hang out and be around. I know this because it’s something that I’ve consciously worked towards my entire life. All of the awkward and stupid bullshit that occurs in high school aside, being “funny” was something that I felt I always had a knack for, and it’s something that I’d always thought a lot about and worked towards when I was growing up. People, in general, thought that I was a fun person to be around, and I had no problem getting a laugh from anyone.
One of my largest motivators for starting a stream was because I knew that I was a fun person to be around. I thought that bringing in outside people into that experience would be pretty easy, since I tend to get along with anyone. If you’re someone who’s not funny, or you think you’re a bore to be around, you can actively work to change and improve upon that. Practice being funny around friends, practice being funny around strangers. Practice talking to people you don’t know. Practice listening and perceiving people’s reactions to you. I can always tell when a joke I tell falls flat because I’m constantly checking the reactions of the person or people I’m interacting with. You should always be able to stop in a conversation and accurately describe a person’s perception of you, or at least of the material you’re talking about.
This is so incredibly important I’m going to say it three times: do NOT be afraid of failure. Again, you can NOT be afraid to fail. Once more, do NOT let the fear of failure keep you from pursuing what you want. If you are the kind of person who can’t handle being bad at something, or you’re scared of screwing up while doing something, it is absolutely imperative that you overcome that fear. It will destroy your ability to succeed in every single aspect of your life if you don’t figure out how to ignore it.
If you’re getting into streaming or creating Youtube videos and you’re wondering whether or not you’re entertaining, try watching videos of yourself. As much as I hated my voice, I would go over so many of my VoDs and every interview I gave, or every appearance I made on a show. I’d always clear my mind before watching and would just sit back and take in everything that was going on. If I found that I wasn’t laughing at something that I was trying to sell as a joke, or, even worse, I found myself cringing at something I said, it’d be something important that I’d file away in my mind and try to avoid in the future.
– My schedule for streaming was relentless.
The people who are the best at what they do are the best because they sink a lot of time into it. In every single area of your life, whether it’s school, athletics, art or video games, the people who are constantly on top are the ones who are sinking the most time into it. Sure, there are some people who are a bit more talented or gifted in some areas than other people, but ignore it. No matter how talented someone is, they will never out-perform someone else who works harder than them if they aren’t willing to dedicate a lot of time themselves. Also, talent isn’t something you can magically “develop,” so there’s no reason to even concern yourself with it anyway.
If you’re trying to break into the streaming or the youtube scene, you have to be willing to invest a lot of time into it. Keep in mind your competition – thousands of other people who want to be big in the same industry you’re looking to expand into. If you’re only going to invest an hour or two a week into maintaining your channel, there’s no way you’ll make it far in this business. Not unless you have some insanely unique idea or secret that you can utilize.
When I started streaming, I had a very small fanbase. I was 100% reliant on a stream indexing website (http://www.teamliquid.net) for my views. Initially, I had 1, then 2, then 4, then 7 viewers. After days and days rolled on, my viewer numbers climbed and soared into the 10’s and 20’s, and after a month I was hitting almost 50 viewers on an occasion. Getting that first 100, then 200, then 500 viewers took months and months of dedicated streaming. A lot of people talk about how hard it is to break into the streaming scene today, but honestly, in some ways it’s easier. Twitch.tv is an incredibly popular website these days and being listed on the site is a good way to pick up some cheap and easy views. Back then, it took me hundreds of hours to streaming to even crack that 50 viewer number.