Why I replaced cosplay with Twitch
Several months ago, I decided to make a change. I made the decision to shut down my Patreon, take a step back from cosplay, and put more of a focus on streaming. Most people know me by my cosplay and even those who are new to me can see how big a part it plays in my brand. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the most common questions I ever get is: why?
Why take a step back from cosplay? Why place more of a focus on Twitch streaming?
I’ve answered these questions in a number of different places, but I think it’s fitting that it exists here, as well.
I’ve been cosplaying constantly for five years. I learned how to sew, how to craft props and armour, how to pose in photoshoots (I’m still not great), how to create, market, and sell prints, how to run a booth at a convention, and how to contribute to my community. It was whirlwind and it was epic. It introduced me to some amazing friends who truly enjoyed me for me and it introduced me to many, many acquaintances who wanted to use me for whatever they could get (they never got very much).
It also—thanks to social media—gave me a brand image that still lives to this day. When you’re a cosplayer, people consume you as a commodity. You produce a form of art. Whether it’s detail-based, armour-heavy, sewing intricate, or boudoir content, it’s still art. People always want the next new costume, something sexy, and more content and collectibles to consume. For many, you are the sum of your pictures. Assumptions about your character and personality are formed based on these pictures. And it is what it is. People are always going to make assumptions about your character. I was fine with all of this. And then I started streaming.
People suddenly got to consume me as a different kind of commodity—as an on-air entertainer. I’m far from the best and I’m relatively new to the scene, but I do my best to entertain. I tend to put my all into things, and thus so with streaming. My audience grew, bit by bit. People kept coming back. It was an adrenaline rush, having people enjoy my streams for what they were—usually me being a dork, playing games, and being very much myself.
I don’t have the coordination or acting skills to pretend to be someone different on a live stream, nor would I consider trying to be someone I’m not. Knowing people were coming back to streams for pure enjoyment rather than for nefarious reasons was a great feeling. I had put myself—my true self, not the one behind a costume—out there, and people were appreciating it. Sure, I might have less true fans dedicated to my Twitch over my cosplay, but as much as I appreciate fans, I don’t judge my worth by those numbers.
Streaming is a form of creativity in itself. Maybe not the pure crafting form of cosplay, but it’s just as fulfilling, if not even more so. The person in the streams is me. The person in the cosplay, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears went into that cosplay, is a woman in a costume. Cosplay will always have a special place in my heart and I don’t plan on quitting entirely, but I’m ready for the world to enjoy me for who I am—and, thankfully, streaming allows me to do that.