TQ is a Twitch variety streamer and Take This Ambassador. Her channel frequently hosts charity streams in support mental health, children’s hospitals, and other non-profits close to her heart. This advocacy recently extended to PAX East, where TQ appeared on the panel “Avoiding Burnout in Creative Professions“, speaking from her experience working 60+ hours a week to maintain her channel and audience. In all her work, she focuses on how our differences as people make us better as a whole, rather than something we should have separate us.
In this podcast, we talk about how to launch a streaming career; separating one’s success and failures from one’s self-worth; using Patreon and Discord to build a community; the offline work that goes into maintaining a Twitch subscriber base; maintaining a healthy work/life harmony; avoiding creative burnout; how emotional support animals are different from service dogs; and the games she keeps to herself and won’t stream.
Stream the audio edition of this interview below or from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Pandora, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive. Click past the jump for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
Voiceover: Welcome to the Polygamer podcast, where gaming is for everyone. Join us as we expand the boundaries of the gaming community.
Ken Gagne: Hello, and welcome to Polygamer episode 89 for Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. I’m your host, Ken Gagne. As you heard on last month’s episode, I was recently at PAX East, which is such a delight to attend every year in Boston. My favorite part of PAX are the amazing panels, where so many insightful, diverse, and brilliant people share their insights and experiences.
We have one of those people joining us today, Twitch Partner, TQ. Hello, TQ.
Ken: How are you today?
TQ: I’m extremely well. Thank you for asking. How are you?
Ken: I’m delighted to have you here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. You are a Twitch Partner. What does that mean exactly?
TQ: I am a full time variety streamer, and essentially what we do is if you’re a variety streamer, you play a multitude of different games on the live streaming site Twitch. Partner just means that you have worked hard to build a community, and are recognized for having a consistent viewership and a consistently growing community.
Ken: Oh, congratulations. How long have you been a Twitch Partner?
TQ: I’ll be reaching about a year and a half. It’s hard for me because I was Affiliate prior to Partner, so I always try to go by how long the oldest sub is, but that’s wrong because the oldest sub is almost two years. I think partners about a year and a half.
Ken: Wow. Somebody has been subscribed to you for two years now?
TQ: Almost two years or one month away from two-year availability for subscribers for me.
Ken: Wow. Tell me how you got started doing this. I know a lot of people start off doing it in their spare time not as a full time job and then eventually make the transition. Was that your story?
TQ: Yeah, actually, I had no idea about any of this. I didn’t even have Twitter until 2014. I was hanging out with one of my friends. I met my fiancé who is in Seattle, and he introduced me to friends here. Those friends are basically the people who started LoadingReadyRun, which is a basically a comedy troupe.
I met more and more people through them and then guested on a stream that was associated to them at the time. People were, “You’re really funny”, and I was, “I’m not, but OK, cool.” Four months later, I booted up Stardew Valley on my MacBook Air from 2010 and did the most low-quality stream ever.
Ken: That’s awesome. You didn’t know that you’re funny? [laughs]
TQ: I didn’t and I still don’t. I refuse to believe this fact.
Ken: What were you doing, if I may ask for your job, if not Twitch streaming?
TQ: I was a sales representative for telecommunications. Then at the time that I started streaming, I was actually managing. I was a full-time 40-hour work week manager for telecommunications company as well as deciding to stream almost full time as well. That’s what I was doing.
Ken: I mean, that sounds like a pretty impressive career with some growth potential. What inspired you to give all that up and play games?
TQ: It sounds so funny, because what I do is basically busking on the Internet, but I hated the fact that I was in a job that focused on selling an item rather than selling an item that was needed. I hated the idea of trying to push my employees to sell things that were the item of the month.
It’s like items that are six-foot charging cables, and you’re trying to sell it to a 80-year-old woman who has a flip phone who doesn’t want to change. I hated that environment. I hated pushing people to spend money on things that they didn’t need. It’s awful for the environment.
I loved people and I love making people happy, but I hated the concept of forcing someone into buying something. It was just so uncomfortable. I just wanted something different.
Ken: I can empathize with that. I used to work at Blockbuster. I loved it when people would come in and get the movies they were looking for. We’d chat about them, but I then always have to ask, “Do you want to get a bottle of Coke and some microwave popcorn to go with that?” If you don’t ask, you get penalized by management. I’m like, “Just let them get their movies.”
TQ: You’re getting so much trouble for the littlest things. It’s not fun. It’s not rewarding.
Ken: Yes, and a job like that, it can be very corporate. There are a lot of rules. It’s not a mom-and-pop shop where anything flies. How long were you doing that?
TQ: I’m going to say six or eight years because my second job was working in electronics and then the third job was moving into telecommunications. Yes, at least six years.
Ken: How long were you juggling that and streaming before you realized, “Wait a minute. I might actually be able to do streaming full time.”?
TQ: [laughs] I think it was about a year after I had started streaming, maybe a year and a half, I asked for time off to go to PAX West. They had given it to me but, then taken back my time off, because it was in “blackout,” which means that it’s back to school and in certain job lines, you can’t have time off if it’s within that period.
I’ve been there for so long and I had been manager and then I had rotated to different stores. I was like, “Oh, my gosh. You promised me this.” I was so tired of everything and I was so exhausted. I just told them, I said, “I will take the time off or I will leave, and I will give you the proper notice.”
I gave them two months. This was two months before. I had given them the request four months before and I was like, “No, if you don’t get me a time off, I’m just going to give you my notice and I will move on to better things. At the time, I didn’t actually plan to start streaming full time. I had planned to find another job.
Long story short, they didn’t give me the time off. They thought that I was bluffing. I was not. [laughs] I took the time off. I went to PAX West.
About a month after PAX West, my community just started throwing financial support at me and being like, “We don’t want you to go back to work. We want you to do this full time. Whatever you need to make it happen, we will do our best to get you there.” It just fell into it, from my community wanting me to be available.
Ken: Wow! That is so amazing that you had this community that rose to the occasion and supported you in that. It must have been a very challenging time.
TQ: It was wild. I did not expect it. I was literally talking to them about I’m going to go job searching now. I’m back from PAX West. I took some vacation time off. I use my savings. I’m going to go look for another job and then a couple people messaged me being like, “What if you just didn’t?” I was like, “What?” [laughter]
TQ: It went from there.
Ken: How did you build that community in the first place? I know you mentioned some potential collaboration with LoadingReadyRun. I know if I were to start streaming tomorrow, nobody would know how to find me on Twitch because I have no established presence there. I could tweet about it, but tweets get a two percent engagement. How did you drive those initial viewers to your Twitch channel?
TQ: I was extremely lucky. I will not lie. I put hard work into it, but I also had friends that were also having years and years of work. When I started streaming, I had friends that were already in this career that supported me.
When I started streaming, I had other friends that were at the time, 35 or 40 viewers. They would host me. Host means that your channel shows up on another channel in a kind of way. Those people would come and watch me, and then we’d start end up sharing community. From there, I just started socializing on Twitch.
I started just being active in channels that I looked up to, and talking to those communities and hosting those communities. When rating became available, which is actually the people in your chat, will be sent to that other person’s channel when you’re done. I started doing those things. The people that are genuine and kind will reciprocate, which is always the sweetest thing for me.
I was very lucky that when I started streaming, I had about five to six people watching me which sounds like nothing, but it’s absolutely everything because when you start your stream at the very beginning, you will most likely have no one watching you and that is just how it goes.
You might get lucky. Yu might have one or two, maybe you know people from other chats and communities that you’re in. They want to come and support you, but you’re going to be stuck within that five- to six-viewer range for a long time. A lot of people take a long time to get there. I was very lucky that I started in that small little percentile.
I was very blessed to have friends that came from a line of other friends that had been doing this for many, many years. They would be like, “Oh, we’ll come over and hang out on my stream, and we’ll do a dinner stream,” and then more people found out who I was through them. I think it all comes down to socialization and just being genuinely, kind and wanting to see your friends also grow.
Ken: Do you socialize through your community, would you say primarily through what’s happening on the camera or what’s happening in the chat?
TQ: Do you mean typing into chat or talking through the camera?
Ken: Would you say that they are tuning in to watch you or to interact with you?
TQ: I think it’s pretty split. I would say the higher amount of people are there to interact because I’m a fairly interactive streamer. There are differences. There are streamers that are strictly there to put on a show, but I lean more towards interactive for sure.
Ken: Is it difficult to juggle that with playing the game? I imagine some games require more attention, whereas other games let you jump into chat for a moment and not immediately die, like Dark Souls for example.
TQ: Absolutely. It 100 percent depends on the game. I have commands and stuff in my chat that say I’m in competitive mode if I’m playing Overwatch. I’m sorry if I don’t see your message. I always take a moment to scroll back.
I tend to play games that give me at least a moment to look over. After a while, you get used to jotting your eyes back and forth. You’re getting used to, “Oh, I’m playing Mercy, so I’m going to heal.” Then your eyes scan over for a second to see a message scanned back. You miss a couple, but you do learn as you go to do both.
I know that it’s really difficult to start with. I remember the first time that I played Overwatch on stream, which was my OG Game. I was in competitive modes. I would’ve realized that it’s been 15 minutes since I’ve read my chat. [laughter]
TQ: I just go over after the match is over, and I go, “I’m sorry. What?” It’s nice because, generally, if you’re just genuine and you play it off like it’s fun chat, the people in the chat don’t mind. They think it’s funny. They know that you’re trying to win. They appreciate the fact that you care about the game that you’re playing. As long as you acknowledge that you’re a ding-dong, it’s fine.
Ken: [laughs] Do you have moderators or community managers to help you with that?
TQ: I do. For a long time, I have had a couple mods that I’ve stuck around and a few that have been there from the get-go that also had to remove themselves because of work, not now aligning with streams so they couldn’t be around.
Right now, I have about — Oh gosh, how many mods do I have? — at least six or seven, about seven active. I have specific moderators for Discord versus Twitch chat. Some do overlap, but we have specific individuals that focus on Discord and keeping my Discord community friendly, active, attended to, and just a safe space.
Then we have Twitch moderators, which are a little bit different because Twitch is happening in the moment very quickly. It’s open to the public. Whereas my Discord is only specific channels are open to the public. I have about seven mods that work and volunteer for me.
Ken: One of the things I noticed when I was tuning into your stream is that you are very attentive to and very appreciative when people subscribe to your channel. What does it mean of either functionally or financially when somebody subscribes to you?
TQ: Subs are the literal lifeline [laughs] of a channel. Subscribers are individuals that are willing to spend their money on you. How it works is they spend about five dollars every month. You get $2.50 of that from Twitch. The rest of it goes to Twitch. It depends on the streamer because you can select different options.
For me, it allows you to not be affected by chat slow modes. If we’re very busy, like if we’re on front page or if for some reason, get a giant raid, you don’t get affected by that. You can talk as much as you want, whereas everyone else has to wait 30 seconds between sending messages.
You get emotes which are like emojis on your phone that are custom-designed for the channels that you can use anywhere on Twitch. For me, you get special badges. Pretty much every partner has special badges and most affiliates now, about minor potion bottles. You get a potion bottles by your name.
There’s other little things that we do month to month, like you can priority in games and things like that. When it comes to what they mean to me, it means that this person thinks that I am either funny enough, kind enough, or just a decent enough person that they actually want to spend part of their income on me to keep me able to do this. That, to me, is buck wild.
Ken: [laughs] Why is that?
TQ: Well, if you think about it, it’s pretty out of this world that I get to make our in-play video games and communicate with really rad people on the Internet, and then those rad people pay me to do that. That’s a weird concept. I love it, but it’s such a weird concept.
Ken: When you put it that way, I guess it is pretty out of this world. [laughter]
Ken: $2.50 per sub per month, and you got to hustle for that to add up.
TQ: It depends on how you want to run your “brand.” A lot of people refer to themselves as a brand or their brand. I will mention it so often. I’m definitely not one of the streamers that are going to be like, “Oh, we’re almost at our sub-goal. One more sub today.”
Good on them for doing that because I can’t. I wish that I could. I’m getting better because it is necessary for you to remind the people watching that, “Oh yeah, I do like this person. I could support her.” For me, it’s more of my mods remind people in chat. I have a timer command that comes up in chat every once in a while that’s like, “Hey, you could sub to the channel.”
We have supper generous community members that gift subs to people. They will spend more of their money to give other people a sub. It gives me the same amount of money. It provides those benefits to these other people.
That’s super awesome if community members are willing to do that because that reminds people that they can sub. It’s possible that those people go, “Oh, I really like this feature. I really like supporting this person. I’m going to continue that gift of sub that I got for as long as I can.”
I’m always bad at asking for it. I have always been bad at that. I have never succeeded in the ability to be like, “Give me money.” A lot of that comes from being super charity-focused.
As soon as I realized I could use this to raise money for charities — that was my primary goal — I’ve never been super focused on having this massive income from this. I focus on paying my bills, feeding myself, living a healthy life, maybe getting to go on a little vacation once a year. Then the rest of it is somebody else can use this.
Ken: Awesome. I definitely want to talk a lot more about those charity streams as well. But first, I wonder, given how responsive you are when people give you a subscription, that starts anew every first of the month, right? The subscription lasts a month. Then come the first of next month, you’re basically starting from scratch every month. Is that right?
TQ: Not exactly. If they are using their PayPals or credit cards to subscribe, it auto-renews. Unless they remember to cancel it or choose to cancel it, it will continue on every single month. Some people just let them run. They don’t actually go through and look at their subscriber, like who they’re subscribed to and go, “Oh, I guess, I really don’t watch them anymore.”
It’s not necessarily starting from scratch. You definitely see a hit with the new gift subs though. Gift subs are a newer-ish thing on Twitch. Those only last the one month that they’re given. You could go from, let’s say, 350 subs to 550 subs in one month because people have been very generous with gifting subscriptions, but those 200 people are not going to all continue subscribing to you.
They might not even watch you anymore because it can randomly select from your follower list. You start the next month, and then you have to remember, “OK, this drop was not me. I did nothing wrong, my community loves me, I’m doing great. This is just gift subscriptions.”
This person essentially donated to me…Tipped. I don’t like to use the word donated because technically that’s for charities, and I’m not a charity. They tipped me by gifting these subscriptions. On top of that, it allowed those people to have the emotes and their badges in the chat. It did a bonus for them and it tipped me rather than just directly tipping me, let’s say through PayPal.
Ken: Do you find it hard to divorce your Twitch streams performance, its success, its revenue from your own self-worth? You were just talking a little bit about that, about how, “Oh, this is just a sign they didn’t auto-renew.” At the same time, you’re talking about how great it is that people give you money to do this amazing out of the world thing and that eves and flows.
TQ: It’s absolutely the most difficult thing. If someone tells you that they are perfectly able to take away their self-worth from their current follower, viewer, or subscriber number, they’re probably lying.
TQ: Good on them if they’ve actually done it because, “Hit me up. I want to know how.” We are people, and we are social beings, and we have been taught by a larger society that our self-worth is coming from other people which is incorrect.
I tell myself that all the time, but it is hard if you have an awful, awful month. Let’s say one month, not only do the gift subs drop, but I’m lower than my average subscriptions, and maybe my viewership is down and I’ve only got 35 people watching. Those hit you in a way where your immediate response is, “What did I do wrong?” It can take a toll on you if it’s repeated.
You have to take a step back and remember that these are people. They have lives and something could have gone horribly wrong. Maybe, it’s tax season. Maybe, it was just Christmas. Maybe, a giant charity event just happened, and now, they are low on income. You happen to be the person that they think will understand this or know will understand this, and then they will come back.
Even if they don’t come back, you have to remember that it wasn’t you. If it was you, look back at yourself. Something that streamers don’t do is if they’re not growing or they are losing viewership or they’re losing numbers, you have to hold yourself accountable for that.
You have to look at your VODs. You have to watch it. You have to ask your moderators, “How did the stream go? How was I acting? How was my personality? Did I seem down? This happened today and I’m not feeling great.” There’s a balance between knowing when it is on you, and knowing when it’s not. It’s the hardest balance I’ve ever gone through in any career or life situation.
Ken: That’s very challenging. As you’re saying, there are so many different variables and factors at play that you never know where the line is.
TQ: It’s impossible to see. When it comes down to it, you have to look at a couple things. One of them is, “Can I pay a basic life off of this? Am I making above the average minimum wage, and am I happy doing it?” If the answer to both of those is yes, then the rest of it will fall into place as time goes on.
It’s extremely hard balance. I haven’t mastered it in any way, but I’ve gotten better. I used to strictly think that if my viewer account was low, I’ve done something horribly wrong or people don’t like me anymore. Every young streamer goes through that, and then you start to realize that they’re just people like you and they’re probably busy or their life situation changed.
It’s nothing that you did wrong. Hopefully if it was, someone would call you out on it. There are so many streamers that are called out when they do something completely unacceptable. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes they don’t lose their audience.
If you are looking back at what you’re doing, and you’re holding yourself accountable for your actions, and you are talking to the people that are close to you, and you’re talking to your community, and you’re asking them for feedback, and the feedback is, “No, you’re doing great,” and like, “No, absolutely.” You build this safe environment. They will tell you if something is wrong.
Ken: Despite all that, sometimes you do need to step away to recharge. I remember hearing at a PAX panel last year, Kate Stark, another Twitch Partner, said that when she goes on vacation, she comes back and her subscription numbers are just devastated. Maybe that’s because not everybody auto-renews every month.
Do you find that it’s challenging to step away for even a short or a long amount of time, like that small vacation every year you said you take?
TQ: Who’s Kate Stark?
TQ: No, I’m kidding. She’s actually one of my best friends. [laughter]
TQ: Legitimately, she’s one of my best friends. Speaking of, we are doing a St. Jude fundraiser starting this month together. A bunch of us are getting together and doing a fundraiser. It’s really funny that you brought her up because her brother is part of LoadingReadyRun.
It’s very funny because she’s one of the first people that I started streaming with. We’re doing a big fundraiser this month for St. Jude. We are raising money for the Research Hospital. That’s super, super funny that you mentioned that. Anyway, sorry. What was the question? [laughter]
Ken: Do you find it hard to step away from your channel and not be online for a while?
TQ: I personally don’t find it as hard as others do. I definitely find it difficult. Don’t get me wrong. As of late, I’ve discovered that the people that actually want to watch you and care about your content are the people that will always be there.
I know of a person who has actually taken a complete hiatus from streaming. They had to shut everything down for a family emergency. They’ve been offline for probably a year now. There are still people subscribed to that channel. There are still people supporting that Patreon.
When it comes down to it, they are the people that are always going to be there. They are the people that have been there since the very beginning, and they are people that are still there. Again, it goes back to, “If I can pay for my life, if I can take care of my dog, if I can deal with an emergency, and I can be happy doing it, that’s all that should matter.”
I completely understand the concepts because I have come back from vacations before where I’m down on subs and a little down on myself but it picks up so quickly. Once you’re back, it picks up especially if you’re…I think a part of the big problem is that streamers aren’t as active in their communities outside of Twitch.
That’s a huge problem because if Twitch is the only way that you’re interacting with your community, obviously, you’re going to lose subscriptions. When you’re not there, you don’t exist. That’s a huge mistake.
I think streamers need to be active in their Discords. They need to be messaging on Twitter, and being active on Twitter. If they have any other social platform that they utilize with their community, they need to be using it more.
If you’re away on vacation, post vacation photos, post little blog things to your Patreon, or just talk to these people like they are your friends because when it comes down to it, you have a kind of friendship with them. It’s not necessarily a real-life friendship and there are boundaries that need to be respected. It’s very important that you explain that.
If you are consistently active, then they consistently see you and they want to consistently support you. There’s been times where I’ve gone away for a month. I went away for Christmas. I didn’t stream for the month of December.
I was in my Discord. I was on my Instagram and on my Twitter. I went into my Discord and say, “Hey, remember, I’m away for the month. If you want to renew your subs, please feel free to do that. It would mean a lot to me.” It happened. You just ask them and you remind them that you’re like, “I’m away, but I’m still working, and this is still my job. Your support means the world to me.”
If you’re a streamer and your only income is coming from Twitch and it’s not enough to pay your bills, you need to consider not going full-time. You need to consider other avenues paying for your life. It’s why I have a Patreon, because that is more of a consistent income that I can rely on when I’m not streaming.
I think a big part of why streamers get stressed is not necessarily subs. It’s bits and tips. Bits are like a currency that Twitch uses to give streamers money. Every bit is worth one cent. When you’re not streaming, you don’t get access to bits. You don’t get access to tips. A lot of people don’t realize how much those affect the streamer’s income.
The majority of my income comes from people sending me bits or tipping to my channel. I get way more from that than I do from my subscriptions. That’s the biggest issue when you leave. If someone’s saying, “I’ve dropped subs.” True, but they’ll come back, or they’ll be gifted back, or they were probably going to drop anyway.
I think the bigger issue is that you’re leaving bits and tips behind. All you have to do is remind your community, your consistent community, your Discord, that you are away, but you are still making content and when you come back, you’re going to be refreshed and you’ve got these new ideas. Here’s a sneak peek to an idea. Here is an idea. If you want to support me, here’s where you can do it.
You link your PayPal or you link your stream labs or whatever it is that you take tips from, a coffee and you say, “It would mean the world to me while I’m away if you continue to support me.” People will do it. It’s a matter of just diligence.
Ken: You mentioned that you also have a Patreon. What is the link to that?
TQ: It’s patreon.com/slytq.
Ken: I read that Patreon has some new creator plans coming out — three different tiers. People who are already on Patreon can be grandfathered in if they want to. Do you feel that this is going to affect you at all?
TQ: I don’t think personally it will. Like you say, I get grandfathered into the old plan. I’m not super worried about it. I’ve read into it. I try to be as aware of things even when they don’t affect me personally as possible. I could technically go into one of these tiers if I wanted to, but I just don’t have a big enough base to do it.
I’m OK with that. It’d be nice, obviously. [laughs] Again, I would rather just do good in the world. It’s not going to affect me in a way that I have had to worry about. Some of it, I don’t even honestly understand. I’ve been trying to. Patreon has made a lot of mistakes in the past. I’m just waiting for this to somehow also burn to the ground.
Ken: [laughs] Probably, the best is sit back and watch for now before you make any major changes.
TQ: There’s no reason for me to. My Patreon was public until recently for the amount that I made. I’ve recently take a Patreon hit.
I’ve been very open about that on Twitter where I’ve said, “I’ve lost $75 this month. Last month, I lost $55. I just want to know, what is it that I’m doing? Maybe wrong or right, is there anything you would suggest? Does anyone have any feedback?” Someone goes, “TQ, it’s tax season.” I was like, “Oh, I need to do my taxes.”
TQ: That is a big indicator of, “Hey, it’s life. Life happens.” Yeah, I don’t have the base for needing to move into any of these tiers. I’m happy being grandfathered into what I have. I don’t know if there would ever be a time that I even go into these higher features because the pluses that you get for it are Patreon-created classes or something.
There’s also merch and analytics or something like that. I can do all these myself. Unless I am a company that has…Maybe if I made five grand or more on Patreon, I might consider maybe, but by then, I’m assuming I would just have found a manager. I’m not big enough to necessarily talk on it.
Ken: You said, anyway, that you would rather just be doing good in the world. On your Patreon profile, you describe your channel as, “I focus on how our differences as people make us better as a whole rather than something we should have separate us.” How do you convey that in your streams? How does that come across?
One of the biggest things that I focus on is our physical and our mental health and treating each other with complete respect. Something that I find happens in a lot of Twitch channels is that the chat is left to do as they please or just talk in a way that isn’t necessarily how you would talk in. It’s keyboard confidence. I’m sure that you’ve heard the term before.
It’s because no one can see you. No one really knows who you are, kind of. You become someone a little bit more confident, and maybe a little bit more of a butthead than you normally would be. What we do is we specifically try to give everyone a second chance. If someone comes into the channel and goes, “You look really tired.”
We go, “Hey, I am,” but also maybe think about what that just came off as. Or, if someone comes to the channel and goes…I’m trying to think of a really good example because I know that I’ve gone through a lot of, “Oh, my gosh.” One of the biggest ones — is a great example of this — is playing Minecraft.
Minecraft is one of the most ridiculous games to stream. The amount of people that come into the channel, specifically to target you, is wild. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I do stream under the LGBT+ category, which is a tag you can put on your stream on Twitch.
I know that a lot of individuals who are within the LGBTQ community, they don’t use it because they don’t want to deal with the trolls coming in. I specifically use it because I want people to be able to find me. I want them to come and find a safe space that are within their community, that is within their family.
I don’t mind dealing with people coming in and being like, “What’s the difference between being gay and lesbian?” If I can’t use the word dike or I can’t use the word fag, what’s…It’s only a word. Instead of going immediately blocking or banning them, we try to take a minute to educate them.
Some say it’s not worth it because it’s Twitch chat. It’s for fun and they’re just being a troll, just whatever. Once in a while, you do get the person that asked a question in a way that they didn’t mean for it to come across us. If you give a person one second, obviously, there’s instances where that doesn’t work. Someone could come in directly insulting you. They’re gone, “Bye. Have a nice day.”
If you read a question and it doesn’t quite seem right, we will remove the question, then we will ask them, “Did you mean this?” Or, “Could you rephrase it?” Once in a while, you get the individual that goes, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I was curious about blank.”
It has happened so many times during Minecraft specifically, because it is a younger audience. Younger audiences don’t really know how to phrase things yet, especially people that are maybe not as social as others. They’re coming in and they’re trying to understand something that they have not been exposed to.
It’s not my job or my duty to teach them about this world, but at the same time, I am a presence on the Internet, and I am a presence that could make a difference. It’s up to each individual person. Me individually, I have chosen to give an opportunity, take this opportunity to be like, “Hey, what is it that you really mean? Are you actually just being an ass? Can we explain this to you?”
Ken It sounds exhausting. It sounds like another line that you need to identify for yourself because you could just block these people right off the bat and not try to reach them. That would probably save you a lot of time and energy.
TQ: There are situations where we do that. There are lines that my mods know sexualized comments for one are not acceptable, specifically geared towards me as a person. I’m not going to censor myself here. Questions that come in that are like, “Are you a boy or girl? You’re gone.”
It’s having a moderation team that understands where your lines are that are very important. Once those lines are drawn and chat sees it happening, they understand it as well. They understand that I’m open to talking about a lot of things, but there are certain comments that are just, “No, we won’t. No, we won’t.”
Ken: One or the other ways that you try to make the world a better place and do good through your stream is by being a Take This Org streaming ambassador. Can you tell us a bit about that?
TQ: Take This is an amazing organization that works on creating podcasts, panels to reduce mental health stigma. I was doing a lot of this prior to becoming a Take This ambassador. I think that’s why they accepted me so quickly.
We have a specific channel in my discord that is focused on…We call it the “safe space.” It’s marked as NSFW because of things that might be talked about in there that are not necessarily sexualized.
I would love to talk about NSFW for a second in the world. 18-plus doesn’t mean sex. [laughs] 18-plus means sometimes life gets hard and we need to talk about our feelings, or the fact that we’re hurting, or somebody dying. I think that people have this stigma that NSFW necessarily means that we’re going to show sex or a tit’s going to be out. That’s not what it is all the time.
Anyway, we have a safe space. That particular Discord channel is where people can go to be like, “I’m depressed and I don’t know what to do.” People that have gone through it can be like, “Hey, I felt that way too. Here are some resources that I find helpful. Maybe, they’ll help you.”
There are specific rules that have to be like, we are not a replacement for professional help, but we are here to listen and we are friends that deal with all the same shit. We want to talk about it and we want to have a community that’s focused on. If we can take this as slogan, it’s OK not to be OK.
You’re allowed to feel shitty and you’re allowed to talk about it. Then once you get it out, you can go back to maybe just having a nice day because if you don’t have anywhere to talk about it.
We have people in our community that are either unable to leave their home or are socially filled with anxiety. Behind the keyboard is much easier for them. I’ve had people that open up because of these spaces.
Take this focuses on allowing the streamers that already want to do this, do it better. What they do is that they give us a page on the website. They promote us when we’re not fundraising for them. They give us access to mental health resources that we might not have known about.
They’re genuinely good people. Every time I want to reach out to them, they’re there. They also deal with my big mouth because I legitimately don’t know what a filter is.
TQ: If something is wrong, I will go in and explain — Why I think it’s wrong? Am I understanding it correctly? We need to talk about it. Never once have they been like, “You need to just let it go,” or, “It’s just life. That’s how it works.” It’s never been like that.
Whenever there’s an issue with how someone’s reacting to something, it’s always, “Yes, let’s deal with this. Talk to the people. Work it out.”
Ken: Well, that sounds very healthy. It wouldn’t seem appropriate anyway for somebody who’s focused on mental health, whether it’s your organization to say, “Get over it.”
TQ: I’m sure that it exists though. [laughs] I’m sure it does.
Ken: Unfortunately. I’m sure there are some people who are in the heat of the moment, or just lacking empathy for others in that moment. They’re like, “This is not as big a deal as you think it is,” and for that person, it is a big deal.
TQ: Yeah, I think that that’s another thing that comes across with streaming as well. There’s so many streamers that say that, “This is one of my biggest pet peeves.” People in my line of work will say that they’re very positive. They’re very aware, and they want to have a happy and healthy community.
They allow words to be said in their chat that should not be said, but it’s because they don’t take the time to actually learn what they mean or really understand it. A good example for that…People disagree with me on this and that’s fine.
I’ve talked about it so many times. I personally don’t like to use the word “triggered,” because triggered is actual term that happens when you have PTSD. I have PTSD from abuse, and I’m very open about that. When someone comes into the chat and they’ve said an insult, or they’re trying to be funny, and I go, “It’s not really funny.” They go, “Haha. Did I trigger you?”
They’re immediately deleted from the channel. They’re not banned, but they’re deleted and explained that that’s not OK. If they even take it lightly for a second, they’ll be banned. Now, not everyone’s going to agree with me that that’s a big deal that it needs to be dealt with. But for me, it is because it’s not funny.
It’s taking light that someone in the world has been through something so horrendous that situations can cause them to go into a panic attack. It could cause them to pass out. It could cause them to relive a situation that was so traumatic that now they’re reliving it.
It’s situations like that that really bothered me where streamers will say that there are a positive community and they’re very focused on making sure that they’re a safe space for people, but then they don’t take the time to learn the backstory to words or learn why something might not be…a correct thing to do.
Ken: It’s very important to curate your community, especially when you are trying to build one that’s focused on mental health. You would be with Take This. You recently had a charity stream for Take This on April 30th. You also mentioned you have one coming up for St. Jude’s. How do charity streams work?
TQ: It depends on the individual. For me, personally, my charity streams are…Generally, I do three to four days because I don’t like to feel rushed or pressured. I will do three to four days or more where I spread out the fundraising. If we reach a certain goal, I will do what I called “causeplays.” When I say, “Called that,” it’s because it spelled C-A-U-S-Eplay for cause.
I’m cosplaying for a cause. I will dress up as a character or some fantasy creature and I will play a game that’s related to that. This past, on the 30th, I did a mermaid cosplay where I just was a mermaid on stream, which was the most wild thing I’ve ever done because let’s be real, I was in a bra.
TQ: It had a lot of shit on it, but it was a bra nonetheless. I was really worried about TOS honestly, but Twitch is really good about understanding the line of…It’s for a reason and you’re doing it very tastefully versus you just decided to stream in your underwear today. That was the last one I did.
Then, in my first take this fundraiser, we actually raised over $5,000 and I cosplayed four different cosplayers over the course of the fundraising. I was Cupid. I was Mercy from Overwatch. I was Order of Souls individual from Sea of Thieves, which is my favorite game right now, and then I was also a Magical Girl OC in the style of Sailor Moon, but what I would look like as a magical girl.
Ken: When you’re doing these streams, in addition to all these incentives and the like, do you have some toggle on your streamer dashboard that says, “Any subs received in this hour goes to this charity instead of me.”?
TQ: I actually give 10 percent of my sub-income every single month to charity as long as my bills and my food can be paid for. I don’t actually have that, but there is a great website called “Tiltify,” which I tend to use when raising money for charity because most charities are on Tiltify and if they’re not, you can ask for the charity to be added.
Tiltify has an integrated system that allows you to have donations go through that website given to the charities. I’ve used that for almost all of my charity fundraising. There was only one that I didn’t, which was during Pride Month.
I was featured on the front page as an LGBTQ streamer. We built a giant rainbow house in The Sims and we built each bedroom based off of different identities. We had a pan, bisexual, ace. We had lesbian. It was so much fun.
For that one, we were raising money for Human Rights Campaign, which I go back and forth on. They do good but they have their problems. I also wanted to raise money for smaller organizations in my local area and other local areas.
What I did was I had a Theta Phi for HRC. Then I had my own donation where people would…They have to trust me on this. I said, “If you send me tips today, they will go to these organizations.”
I linked all of those organization donate buttons because I was like, “I don’t need to see this bar fill up, I just want the money to go to them. You can choose, you can donate to HRC, it’ll show up on this bar.”
They can tip me and then I’ll donate it. It shows up on a different bar, which is done through stream labs or the links are down below and in chat. You can go donate to whoever you want or donate to a local charity. I don’t care. Just do it, show us you did it and we’ll celebrate you.
Ken: That’s awesome. It’s really great that you dedicate all that time and energy to supporting these causes and getting other people to support these causes.
TQ: It’s honestly one of my favorite things. I was really worried when I first started doing it because when I first started streaming, I was going through a lot. I had a really big issue with, “How do people perceive me?” I think that’s one of the greatest things about Twitch and doing this as a job. It taught me how to be confident again.
When I first started doing charity, it always goes through your mind if, “Well, are people going to think I’m doing this because I want people to think I’m good? I’m actually trying to do good. What if they think that I’m trying to look good, but I’m not actually being good. I just want the…”
Your brain just goes in the spiral and then you have to just go, “Just do it and it’ll be OK. If it’s not, you’ll work through it later.” [laughs] That’s for future, TQ. “We’ll figure it out. You’re going to be fine.”
Ken: That’s a very tricky scenario you just described because a lot of people do their charity in secret because they don’t want the adulation. They don’t want to think that’s why they’re doing it. By doing in secret, they also miss out on the opportunity to inspire others and to bring attention to their causes.
TQ: That’s more important, personally. I think people are smart enough to see the difference. If people are looking at companies like…I don’t want to name names, but there are larger companies where they’ll donate a lot of money, and you go, “OK, I see why you’re doing it.”
It’s great because, “Hey, that money still gets there, but I know why you’re doing it.” I think people start to see it. People start to understand who you are as a person and they start to really get to know you.
The people that don’t see it, they either will or you just have to do that thing where it’s like the people who mind don’t matter and the people who…What’s that saying with, “People who mind don’t matter and the people who…”?
Ken: Matter don’t mind?
TQ: Yeah, that’s exactly what you have to remember. [laughter]
TQ: I just did it.
Ken: You get to bring attention to these causes, not only through your Twitch stream but also recently offline at PAX East, where you were on a panel. Do I understand that that was your first PAX East panel?
TQ: That was my first panel. That wasn’t even my first PAX East panel. That’s my first panel.
Ken: Wow, congratulations.
TQ: Thank you. It was very nerve-wracking.
Ken: I can imagine but it was also very awesome. How did you get involved with it?
TQ: The panel’s actually a Take This panel. They prompted me. I think it was Doctor B that originally came. It was either Doctor B or Dr. Bill that originally…It was Doctor B that messaged me and said, “Hey, we want to do a panel. Are you interested?”
I was like, “What’s the panel?” Then they were explaining to me, “It’s to avoid burnout as a creative.” I was very nervous, but I decided that was right up my alley because not only am I a partner Twitch streamer, but I am an illustrator as well and I don’t get to focus on that as much as I would like to.
I’ve done so many Twitch emotes for my friends. I’ve done all my own emotes. Most of my art on my channel, if not all of it, is mine. It was very interesting to get to sit up there next to Bill Amend. For one, to be like, “I’m sorry. I’m going to talk about creative if you’ve been doing this for 30 years.” “Please continue telling me how you’ve done this.” It was very cool.
Ken: I know the creator of “FoxTrot” — one of the world’s most famous newspaper comic strips — is just sitting right there. [laughs]
TQ: It was wild. Of course, I introduced myself to him beforehand because I didn’t want to be like, “I don’t know you and we’re going to be on a panel together.”
I went up to his booth and introduced myself before it turns out that he knows my fiancé. I was like, “OK, sure. Why not? The world is small enough.” The whole creative world is smaller than you think it is.
Ken: Wow, that’s amazing. That is a small world. One thing that I noticed that you, Bill Amend, Jacqui Collins, everybody else who was on that panel totally agreed with was how false this statement is, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.” You’re not just sitting around playing video games all day?
TQ: I wish that that were true. [laughter]
TQ: I really do. No. A basic rundown of my week is…
Wednesday, I do commissions on the morning if I have them, which I normally do, which is I’m very lucky for. If I don’t, I’m working on Patreon projects that I stream. After stream, I work out.
Thursday, I will do more art and then I will do stream prep. Thursday stream prep means I will watch other channels and see what they’re doing that I like or don’t like.
Friday and Saturday are review days. Those are the days that I go back and watch all of my old VODs. I will highlight the ones that I like, or I will go in and make sure that ones that are about to get deleted get saved if they’re important.
Sunday is the one day that I try not to do too much. Sunday is D&D Day. What that means is that I have stream, and then I play D&D with my roommates and friends. Sunday morning is the morning that I try to take off.
I try to make sure that Sunday morning is the morning where I’m like, “I’m going to go get my coffee. I’m not going to work while getting coffee,” which is really hard for me. I’m almost always drawing or tweeting or on Patreon while at coffees. I try not to do any of that unless I’m just drawing for me, for myself, then I stream and then I have D&D.
Monday and Tuesday are my “days-off” from streaming, which are actually my busiest days. Monday is my catch-up on commission’s day. My, “What do I want to do for the week?”
My analytics, so looking at everything that’s going on within my channel, researching a new charity, making sure that everything is running on my overlay. How can I make those better? Looking at new games, looking at reviews of games, and this will go into Tuesday. Then Monday night is a specified friend date night.
Tuesday is all work and date night with my fiancé. Then it restarts. Wednesday morning is supposed to be friendship day with my roommate. She’s very, very relaxed about it, which I really appreciate because sometimes I just can’t. [laughs]
It’s not always playing games. I do get lucky where sometimes I can watch a stream, be researching while watching that stream, watching the chat, the moderators. That’s enjoyment for me, but it’s not always that way. Sometimes, it’s looking at streams going, “OK. What do I not like about this stream and why can I avoid?”
Ken: How many hours a week would you say you stream? In addition to that, total, how many hours a week would you say that you work?
TQ: The other week, I streamed for a total of 46 hours.
TQ: Then, I worked about at least three hours a day on top of that because I get up at around 8:30 in the morning, and then I go to bed around 10:30, 11:00.
Ken: Pretty much every minute of every day is accounted for?
TQ: Pretty much. Sometimes, I get lucky where I’m like…Or you get in that mode where, “You have to do this. If you go, I cannot do this right now. You just don’t,” and then you sit back and you do what makes you happy. There have been times that I just do that where I’m trying to get a commission done and it’s not working. I’m frustrated.
Forcing your way through it isn’t going to work and it never will, so you get up and you do what makes you happy. For me, that’s going outside. I’m a big outside person. It’s really funny. I love being outside and my job is at a desk. I will go outside and use my iPad.
If you are my patron, 80 percent of those posts were made from a coffee shop or my lawn. My dog was probably sitting there. [laughs]
Ken: Speaking of your dog, I understand that Seamus is an emotional support animal. Is that right?
TQ: Yes. I got him when I was going through after a big thing happened, the issues that have caused my PTSD. I got him. Actually, I took him because he was going to be put down. He was a runt. I had never planned for him to be an emotional support animal, but it worked out that way that he just grew up being really, really good at it. I went through all the steps and that’s where we are today.
Ken: Can you give me the short version of what those steps are? Because in some capacity, pets always offer emotional support, but we’re talking about something more official or concrete. Are we?
TQ: It depends on where you live. For certain provinces, they don’t recognize them. Certain provinces — you don’t live in Canada, you don’t have provinces — there are organizations that will give you certification for an emotional support animal.
Now, there is a big difference between emotional support and a working animal. If it is a guide dog or service dogs and service animals, there’s a big difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal.
A service animal is an animal that could stop you from becoming hurt or dying. An emotional support animal is very different. Emotional support animals are there to relieve anxiety. They are there to help mitigate depression. Sometimes, they are known as companion animals. A service animal is very trained in a particular skill. I think that can get very confusing for some people.
For example, Seamus is not allowed in restaurants. Service dogs are. Seamus is not allowed on any specific store that says, “No animals allowed.” Seamus is not allowed. Service animals are. He is allowed to be in airplanes with me. He can be wearing a special vest for that. They cannot ask me to put him in a carrier. He can sit on my lap.
He also does not restrict me from finding living apartments, which is an interesting thing that I have had to deal with many times, because they will say, “Oh, no animals allowed.” They are not allowed to say that you cannot live there for an emotional support dog or cat. Generally, it’s dog, but they can find other reasons to say no.
Once they know you have an animal and you’re like, “Well, he is an emotional support animal.” They go, “Oh, OK.” Then they’ll find another reason for you not to live there just because they don’t want the dog there. It’s one of those lines. They’re being discriminatory in a way — but I don’t use that word lately — while getting what they want.
Because of different provinces, you go to your doctor. You talk to your doctor about it. You talk to your psychologist about it. They will give you the go-ahead to move forward. It’s actually depending on where you live just a form that you fill out.
It’s just an assessment and then they need a mental health exam, which is through a therapist. They go, “Yup, you’re qualified for an emotional support animal. This is your emotional support animal.”
BC is actually fairly simple. It’s a little bit expensive if you’re depending on where you go, what therapist, what psychologist, and what the requirements are. Other places, it’s more in-depth. I think in some places you can just go to your therapist.
They say, “Yes, your dog is an emotional support animal,” and you have a form. That’s it. There’s no fee. There’s no assessing the dog. It’s just, “Nope. This is it. You need it. You need that animal. It helps you.” Honestly, I really appreciate that.
Ken: Given how easy it is, I’ve heard — I’m not in Canada — of some people who abuse that. They have a regular pet that they want to be able to bring places, and so they say, “Oh, I’ll just call an emotional support animal. It’s really easy. I’ll just fill out a form.”
TQ: If you do that, you’re an asshole.
Ken: No argument here?
TQ: Because there are people that genuinely need something to allow them to get through the day. I know that can be hard to understand for some, but it’s true and we need to respect that.
For me, I’ve actually stopped bringing him places because I’m very lucky where I have come to a position in my life where I have managed my PTSD. It will never go away, but it’s managed. My anxiety is managed. I will not bring him unless absolutely necessary. I will not push myself into a space where I feel it is not acceptable, but I will still do it when I know I need him.
There are so many stories of people pretending their dogs are service dogs because emotional support animals, again, they’re not actually allowed in a lot of places. Emotional support animals can’t go into grocery stores. That’s not allowed because they’re strewn there. Service dogs, service animals can. That’s the difference.
People will say that their dog is a service dog. It is wild to me because it’s a big freaking problem. It’s so easy to do because a lot of places have laws that stop the establishment from being able to ask to see a valid ID for a service dog. While I respect that, it also causes the problem of people bringing animals into a space that they shouldn’t be bringing them.
I wish that we could live in a world where people were just good [laughs] and they just went, “Hey, I shouldn’t do that because I’m essentially pretending that I have a bigger issue in my life, that I have a disability and I’m stepping into this space that I think it’s cool to pretend that I have this.”
I don’t understand those people. I don’t understand them at all. I’ve recently even witnessed a woman bring a small lap dog into a restaurant. I try not to because you don’t want to judge. You don’t know the situation.
I can tell you because I have worked with service dogs and I have worked with emotional support animals that there is no way that animal is either based of the way it was behaving. That drives me wild. It is a big thing.
I could just complain and get upset about it forever. I don’t want to do that. It is something that if you weren’t aware of it, become aware of it. If you know someone that does this, please get them to stop because it causes an issue.
One of the biggest issues I think people don’t realize is if you bring a dog in to an environment they are not trained to be in and there’s a service animal there — I’m not saying your dog is going to do this. I’m sure your dog is a perfect baby — they could interfere with a work that a service dog is doing.
That means that you can hurt or cause someone their life because your dog doesn’t know how to respect a service dog’s space. A service dog should not be interacted with. It should not be pet. It should not be talked to. If a dog is in the same environment as a service dog, they might see it as playtime and that dog…
As trained as a service dog can be, it shouldn’t have to deal with that. It shouldn’t have to deal with a distraction of another dog coming in and trying to play, trying to be aggressive, or just interacting in a way that a service dog is not prepared to interact with. Not only are you just overall being a total dickwad, you are causing a possible incident.
Ken: I’ve never had even consider that possible interaction. That’s very true. Wow. I, myself, do not have a dog. I very much want one. I’m working toward that goal. My landlord is not being as cooperative as I want.
Ken: Some people have told me, “Ken, you should just say that’s an emotional support animal.” I’m like, “No, I’m not going to do that.” The closest I’ll come is saying that, “This is my emotional support burrito.”
Ken: A dog, no. That’s completely different. I want a dog. I don’t need a dog.
TQ: I think that that’s a really good boundary to have. I understand wanting one. I understand wanting to have that companionship, and especially adopting one and taking it out of an environment that is unhealthy for it.
But it will only cause problems in the future. If you do say that it’s an emotional support dog — let’s say you do say that — and if at any point the landlord finds out that’s not true, they could sue you.
Ken: Oh gosh, I haven’t thought of that.
TQ: You’ve lied about the situation of an animal that you have. Now, they find out you have an animal that is not an emotional support animal. You have gone under false pretenses in your lease.
Ken: Right. For it to be legitimate, I would have to get a psychologist to sign off on a condition that I do not have and do not want to claim to have because that is just exacerbating the situation even more.
TQ: Psychologist or therapist depending on where you live. That is correct, yup.
Ken: Thank you for bringing all that to life. These are a lot of things that I had never thought about. I really appreciate it.
TQ: I am glad to open my big mouth. [laughter]
Ken: One more question before we go. You play a lot of games on your Twitch stream. You are a variety streamer. Are there some games that you keep for yourself, games that you’re like, “I’m going to play this and not share it because this is just for me”?
TQ: Absolutely, yes. I have not played any Zelda game. I have not played any Pokémon game on my Twitch stream. There was one time I did try to do a Nuzlocke Pokémon run, but I am a giant baby. I don’t want them to die, so that didn’t last very long.
TQ: Absolutely, there are games that I keep for myself.
Ken: Why don’t you play Zelda with everybody?
TQ: Zelda was a game that I grew up with. It means a lot to me. I love my community. However, at any point, someone could come in and completely put me in a mood that I don’t want to be in while playing this game. Then I will forever or could possibly forever associate a moment in this beautiful game with that.
I don’t ever want that. I don’t ever want the memory of the first time I played Breath of the Wild and cooked to be followed up with someone spouting a homophobic slur.
TQ: I keep certain things for myself, certain things I share with the community. I do share a lot of it with Discord. If you’re in my Discord, there are times where I’ll be playing a game offline, and I will show a screenshot, or I will explain that I’ve done something or go, “This is really beautiful. I highly recommend you check it out.” It’s not necessarily that it’s all kept me.
I talk about Pokémon all the time. I’m actually going to be playing Pokémon for the first time when the new ones come out, Sword and Shield. It’ll be the first time that I ever fully play a Pokémon game on stream. But, I’m going to play one version on-stream and one version off-stream. [laughs]
Ken: Oh, that’s a great compromise. When Breath of the Wild came out, I don’t stream, but I do have a YouTube channel. I did 120 videos about Breath of the Wild, one for every single shrine. I don’t regret that. It was a lot of fun, but it came with compromises.
For example, if I was sitting on an airplane, and I was playing Zelda, and I found a shrine, I had to stop playing because you can’t record to YouTube unless your switch is docked. I had to wait until I got home to play that shrine.
TQ: It is a interesting back and forth when it comes to creating content for online, and then also it being the thing that you enjoy. It’s a weird concept to me, but there are streamers that don’t play video games off of Twitch or do so very infrequently.
I’ve always played video games. It was always a hobby. It’s always very interesting to me. A big actual game category that I play in are fighting games. I do not stream them because the one time I played a fighting game on stream, the community that came in from that was absolutely disgusting.
I don’t blame any type of thing on the whole community because that’s never the case, but it’s a completely different type of person that is going to watch you play a fighting game. I don’t want that. Fighting games are for me, specifically, because it can be so gross.
I’m currently playing Mortal Kombat 11. There are so many issues with it that are coming up. You’ll be playing it. It’s interesting what games are specific to people coming in and spoiling things, or people coming in and trying to create memes, or people coming in to be homophobic. Fighting games are a big one.
Minecraft is a big one, which is shocking. I try to keep those to myself or to a minimum just because I want the community to be the best that it can be. Sometimes it’s because I love it. Sometimes it’s because I want to protect the community.
Ken: Those are two very different reasons, but it’s important to identify them and know which games are best kept off your channel. Speaking of your channel, tell me about any upcoming events you have going on. You mentioned a Saint Jude’s charity stream?
TQ: Yes. I am going to be raising money for Saint Jude from the 8th until the 30th. We are doing it in a team effort. The actual team is Chatloaf & Friends. We are all going to be going into this team together. We each have our own individual fundraiser, but they all go towards this one team to see how much as a friend group we can raise.
I don’t know all who’s playing in it, but I know that it’s Kate Stark that started it. I was talking to her along while about it. I was going to do one on my own, and then we both had the same idea. She put it together so well. I was like, “Absolutely.”
It’s her, me…I know that our friend El_Funko is going to be on it. I think we have bombardactyl, busy Mountain_Man. Our friend, Tom Dyke, is on it, I think. There’s a bunch of us that are getting together to raise money throughout the month. Mine officially starts on the 8th and will go until the 30th.
My incentives so far are temporary tattoos. I’m going to stick temporary tattoos all over me, mainly in my face, and then the other one is wig changes. $50 or more, I’ll put a wig on, and then I’ll switch the wig after 20 minutes depending on how many more come in.
More incentives will come throughout the week, because Saint Jude is this big charity event that happens. They give away items. The more you raise, the more people that have sponsored Saint Jude for fundraising you get.
At $2,500 raise, they are giving a SteelSeries headset to the streamer if you raise that much money. I’m going to give away that headset if we reach the $2,500 mark.
Ken: I can see that you already have a SteelSeries of your own.
TQ: I do. I have two, technically, but I lent the other pair to a friend of mine because I don’t need two. [laughs]
Ken: This stream starts on May 8th, which is the day this podcast is airing. Where do people go if they want to watch it?
TQ: They can go to my Twitch channel which is twitch.TV/slytq. You can also get to it by typing in slytq.love, because that will take you to my Twitch channel. Everything is done through Tiltify. If you do want to find the information on that you can check my Twitter which is @SlyTQ.
You can go to my twitch channel we’ll have panels and commands in the chat. You can find me almost everywhere under the handle of SlyTQ, except for Instagram.
Ken: What are you on Instagram?
TQ: I have two. One is art, which is @tqdraws. Then, one is a personal one, which is @slybovyu, which is S-L-Y-B-O-V-Y-U. There’s a reason why that that’s not branding because that was a personal Instagram and I just don’t feel like changing it. It’s not really anything curated. It’s just me posting dumb shit. [laughter]
Ken: That sounds great. I love it.
Ken: Awesome. TQ we have covered so much ground today. I really appreciate you sharing all these insights and experiences. It was great to meet you at PAX. I look forward to seeing you at future PAXs and on future panels.
TQ: Thank you so much for having me. This was a blast.
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