For everyone who read my last post from yesterday, I greatly appreciate it. It was a tougher one for me to write as I know it was going to disappoint some of my fans but it just has to be the direction that I take with my show. This post today will not be as tough to swallow for some as yesterday’s but it is in a similar vein as yesterday’s as it too is regarding a decision I made for the betterment of my stream and its future direction.
Welcome to the new NolanTV everyone; featuring absolutely
That’s right, you heard me. The gimmicks are over. The Robe, the suit, the megaphone, the John Cena nipple-kissing, the give-aways, the endless props, and the rest that I have long forgotten have come to an end. The reason I chose to do away with these costumes, and props etc. is truthfully that they do not comprise who I am, rather they are a distraction from my personality; which is what my show is all about. And further,
I don’t need them.
I have enough to bring to my show with my whole being. And that is what I am focusing on this time around. Just like the original K_N9ne stream where it was just my chat and myself, this time around it will be the same. I am not going to bait views by using gimmicks to rope people in, because I found that in the end that actually does not work.
My original plan with all my gimmicks, especially the suit and the robe, was to bring people due to the eccentric nature of my dress (especially with my chest hair visible with the robe) and then convert these new viewers into true blue fans. While my dress code did succeed in bringing many new people into my channel, I found that they were not being converted into true fans of the channel most of the time. More often that not I was becoming
“the robe guy” and the “suit guy.”
This is not what I wanted. My channel is not called RobeTV or SuitTV; it’s called NolanTV. It’s supposed to be about me, not what I am wearing. This was where I realized I made a grave mistake. Props, costumes, etc. can be a great addition to your channel and your overall image as a streamer but when it comes to the point where it overshadows who you actually are, you have gone too far. Maybe some streamers would not have a problem with their props overshadowing their personality, but I do. I know that my personality is the best thing about me and that it is what makes my show what it is. I want to showcase that, not external things I wear, or cheap tricks that are funny for the moment but have no real lasting edifying value.
So this time around I have jettisoned them.
They are gone; at least as a staple feature of my stream. Some of them may return for a show here and there as they are part of my stream’s history, but they will never be more than a special occurrence again. So in memoriam I will write a little bit about each gimmick and what it did for my stream, and whether it will return partially or not.
First I will address the suit. This started way back during my very first twitch streams on the K_N9ne account. I was in my second semester of my Masters Program in Washington D.C. and as such there were numerous occasions where a formal dress code was required. I would dress up in my suit and then after the party or event was over I would return home and stream. But at this point I had become very comfortable in a suit and I did not feel the necessity to remove it instantly when I got home; as most people do. So I would boot up my computer, log on to Counter Strike and commence with my stream. Now, many of my viewers in my channel had never seen someone where a suit and tie to play a video game before, and even further many of them likely had never even worn a suit and tie either. As you can expect it was was pretty special. And this was good because I did not wear the suit everyday. Some days it was there, other days it was absent. My stream was still about me, the suit was just a special treat.
Fast forward to the NolanTV days about a year ago from now during winter 2017 where I had made the decision to wear the suit routinely for my first stream of the day. It was no longer a special feature, it was the main feature and was so much part of my show that when I was recognized in real life at my local Best Buy the man said to me
“Aren’t you that guy who wears a suit to play video games?”
In that moment, I loved it. But now I kind of hate it. Because I was not recognized for me and my show, I was recognized for some thing I was wearing. In hindsight it really is clear to me that the suit was trivializing my show. It just takes away from my character and personality and I know that I can provide more there than wearing a suit ever can.
The Robe was the same thing as the suit, but this time with a wild, sexual nature. For my late night shows I would wear a Robe with my full chest hair in view. (Fun fact, I have never trimmed it even once. Eat your heart out ladies) Further, at times I would put dollars in my chest like a stripper when people would tip me, as I had a fan from New York who was actually a Strip Club Bouncer. He would collect the remaining one dollar bills on the floor as he cleaned up for the night and then he would tip me with them. Pretty hilarious when you think about it, but still the same thing was happening. People were just coming in for the robe gimmick, and not so much for myself.
But the robe worked.
It even baited the one and only Shroud into hosting me for tens of thousands of viewers, and it inspired my chat to spend over 600$ to fundraise a Versace Robe for me. The robe really got people going. But alas, it was not making me happy with where it was taking my stream. Again, I wanted my show to be about me, not the clothes I was wearing.
It made me feel like a sexy underwear model who wants to raise awareness for a cause but everyone just wants to see her tits.
Models, I truly empathize.
To this day I still get plenty of comments saying “where’s the suit,” and “where’s the robe.” And when I reply that I don’t wear them anymore, the fans often leave with their unsaid reply of “well then I don’t watch anymore.” And I cannot blame them, I used to offer that and now I don’t. But I set myself up for this problem, and now I have to deal with the fall-out. But I won’t make this choice again, this time around I am just wearing what I normally wear.
Next on the gimmick list is the megaphone and co. Back in the day I had a cowbell, an order bell, a triangle, a harmonica, a bicycle horn, a megaphone, another megaphone, and probably a few others that I forgot about. All you need to know is that
I was loud as all hell.
To this day I am still confounded as to how the cops were never called. Especially when I went full cowbell and double megaphone. I mean, that was insanely loud. And this got the views. People loved it.
But again, then I just became the loud guy.
In fact, it was actually worse. I was that Suit/Robe wearing Loud guy. Multiple gimmicks had fused together to make my stream identity even further removed from who I actually was as a person. And for a little while this was fun for me. But eventually I had become depressed. I knew that I was more than these little tricks. After all, anyone could do these.
All one had to do to replicate my channel was to wear clothes and buy props of amazon.
Not really special is it when you think about it like that is it.
An other old old gimmick from my show was my John Cena poster. I had this poster of John Cena that was just a funny meme back then that gave us all in chat something to laugh about. The poster just went on a wall next to me that otherwise would have been plain white, so it added character to the webcam. But one day, a viewer tipped me with money asking me to kiss the nipple on the poster (John was shirtless in the poster). So I did. And chat loved it. And then more tips came in and all I was doing was licking the nipples on a John Cena poster. It was fun for a while,
but then I realized that I was simply being a whore.
And that didn’t feel too good. Just doing literally anything for views. That isn’t me, and surely isn’t what I enjoyed doing nor what I want to do in the future again.
Now, when it comes to the give-aways that I did years ago (yes it has been years since I did them) you can all rest knowing that I don’t do them anymore nor do I ever plan to return to doing them again. This was a particular low point in my stream, such that it deserves its own blog post. I will write more on this in the future but for now suffice it to say that
doing giveaways was without a doubt the most talentless thing I ever did.
At least with the Suit and the Robe I wore them. While the clothing and props were attracting viewers, at least I was still the one entertaining. When it came to the giveaways I was just giving away free money. That was it. No talent required for views. This era was absolutely pathetic and I will never return to it.
Finishing up this post, the lesson I learned from all these eras of my stream was this. I know that I have something unique I can bring to my show: myself. I don’t need anything other than that to make my show a great experience for people to enjoy and further, when I do add external things to my show such as clothes, props, e.g. gimmicks, I detract from who I am as an entertainer and in the long run this hurts my show. People watch my show for me, not for the crap I wear. And further, when I don’t rely on gimmicks, this forces me to be real with myself and rely solely on my entertainment value. I watch my stream from the last night every single day and I critically evaluate myself as to whether I did a good job entertaining last night.
I am here to entertain and to edify at the same time. I know what I am, and I am more than tricks and gimmicks. To the other streamers out there that are reading this, if you want to use gimmicks go right ahead, I won’t judge you for it. There is nothing immoral about them, it’s just that they aren’t special, and that people won’t be watching you for you. They will be watching you for the stuff you wear or the stuff you use. If you are fine with that then go right on ahead. But as for me, I am not alright with that. I want to proudly say that people watch my show for the value I bring, not for extraneous things.
And sure it may be partly prideful on my part, but I really do believe that I am unique enough to make it on twitch and that if I stay true to myself and make myself the focus of my stream, and nothing else, it will make my stream much more unique and much better than if I ever kept with all my props.
So goodbye to all the old gimmicks, as for the robe and the suit, you may seem them return occasionally, but as far as them being in the show on the day to day, that era is over and we are on towards a new one. But this era will be better.
Mark my words.