A bit late, but I kinda wanted to write up a recap of what my 2016 was like, where I was, what I've done, and where I'm going.
When 2016 started, I was probably at the lowest point of my life. I didn't have a job, no one was hiring me, even retail and delivery, and I felt extremely isolated. The people I had known in Dallas professionally had kind of moved on from me. I couldn't continue any of my own projects due to lack of money, and all the people around me, I didn't feel like I was one of them, or more accurately, I didn't want to be a part of them. The only thing that really kept me going was making content on my own channel, and being friends with all these crazy people in the Let's Play Community. When I say that doing those things and knowing those people saved my life, I might not be exaggerating. the point was, I felt more at home doing all of that and with those people then I did at my own home.
And so, I did something rash, and honestly, last minute. In the summer of 2015, while filming something for Rooster Teeth, I met some fans at the event. I talked with them and had a great time, even followed a few of them on Twitter. one of those people was Danzer, aka @Ijuycra. We talked online, and I had even traveled down to Austin to record a couple videos with him on my channel. In January, I had finally given up and asked if I could stay at his place for a few weeks, as I wanted to find a job down in Austin and move down there. I slept on his couch for awhile and those few weeks turned into 4 months. I owe Danzer a lot.
During those 4 months I was a delivery driver for Favor, a food delivery service. I definitely didn't enjoy it, but I could set my own hours. I got a couple PA gigs while I was there, but I wasn't making anywhere near enough money. I continued to focus on making content from Danzer's couch. Then, one night, something happened that made me break down. While on a delivery, my car got booted, and the thugs outside the restaurant wanted over $150 to take the boot off. I wasn't making anywhere near that that night, and I only had $60 in my account, and Favor didn't help me out. I showed them on my phone how much money I had, and they took the boot off for $60, taking all I had. I had a major panic attack that night and could hardly breath. When I got back to the apartment, I broke. Being honest here, I haven't cried like that in a long time, and it wasn't just because of that night and the booting, it was just a culmination of a lot of things that had been building up both over the years, and particularly since last fall. I recorded myself, in tears, talking through my issues, mostly because Danzer was out of town, and I just needed to talk, so even though I knew the video would never be released, it helped that I pretended I was talking to an audience, making videos has helped me with so much. Remember how I said the beginning of the year was the lowest point of my life? That was a lie, it was right then, in an empty apartment, crying my eyes out, talking to no one.
But then a weird thing happened... I got better. In a way, talking about things and getting all that off my chest helped. I won't lie and say that I approached the next days with optimism, I didn't, it took a bit to recover from. But it was after that that I found that I couldn't get any lower, so things could only go up from there. And it did. Shortly after that, I got a job as a freelance video editor for the Daily Dot, and it kept me busy and gave me a paycheck. I started making money and because of that, me and Danzer were able to move into a new apartment. At first, we moved into the place with @RJ, a really good friend of mine who was a part of my first videos on the AH Community channel.
of the AH/Let's Play Community, I say they're my family for a reason,
because through all of this, they were a constant, and were a
real community. At
first we were a small skype group of a small number of the channel's
creators. I don't know what compelled me to do it, but I wanted to
bring on more people into the group. Because of this, I started the
Discord server for us, and we quickly started growing in number,
becoming more organized than the channel had ever been. It's been odd
for a lot of the original group seeing so many new faces around, and
it can feel like it's not the same, because the original skype group
was a small selection of chosen friends in a private group. It's
definitely alienating, but that same group is replicated other
places, while the discord has brought so many of us together. I'm
pretty proud of what it's become, mostly because of how it's brought
so many creators and potential creators of the channel together, all
of us very like minded, and even collaborating on so many of our own
When the Extra Life Community Stream happened, we jumped at the chance. We created a whole Let's Play Community group, I bought parts to upgrade my computer just for the stream. While we couldn't use the name “Let's Play Community” or the logo, we still went ahead with our plans. We didn't get featured on Rooster Teeth's main stream, sadly, as ready as we were for that, but we still streamed for 12 hours and raised almost $500 for Extra Life. That may not sound like as much as other groups, but we were a small group, with almost no promotion, and we weren't featured on any other streams. Even so, we raised that much, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
So now, I guess I'm in a better place right now. I have a great place, a great roommate, and I've made new friends with like minds here in Austin that I didn't have in the first half of the year. I've even gotten a couple gigs editing for Zach Anner, who is an amazing guy, and it's been a great experience.
I'm not in the best place, though. I love working with the Daily Dot, but freelance is freelance, and man, am I gonna get screwed with taxes. Hopefully I can find a place soon that's more permanent this year, but until then, I'm gonna have to keep eating cheap ramen and pizza.
I won't say 2017 will be better, but holy hell, if it could just not be as bad as some of last year, I'd really appreciate it.