Trying to go full-time can feel really daunting but knowing that there are other people out there aiming for the same thing helps a lot! Fortunately, we got a chance to interview local Australian-based streamer Domino Jack who’s doing just that.
We caught her for this interview as she pivoted away from full-time university to pursue her dream career.
Here are some highlights from our interview with her.
Tell us about yourself!
Domino Jack: Hi, I’m Domino Jack. I am an Australian-based streamer. I stream mainly on Twitch. I have tried Facebook Gaming. Didn’t really feel it was for me, so I just stuck with Twitch. I also try to stay semi-active on my Instagram, Twitter. I do also have a TikTok, which has my most amount of followers. I’m not as active on it as I’d like, unfortunately, but it does have my biggest following.
How long have you been doing content creation or streaming for now, out of curiosity?
Domino Jack: I started streaming in October 2018. I’ll actually be coming up to my three years this year in October. Yeah. I’ve only ever streamed casually or part time. I’ve never been able to do it full time. I’ve always had a full time job and I still do. Mainly just because unfortunately, streaming does not cover all the bills or pay as much as people probably think. So just to make ends meet.
What got you started in streaming in the first place?
Domino Jack: When I was about, I think I was about 27-28 then, I was, I guess, wondering what I’m going to do with my life. I spent a lot of my 20s changing jobs a lot, trying different things. I’ve done degrees, I’ve done courses. And I was like, I really just love gaming. I don’t really want to be a developer. I didn’t want to be a coder or anything like that. But I want to be involved in some way in the gaming industry. What could I do? And I was like, well, I can play video games and stream it.
And so I played video games. My first video game, well, the first thing I ever streamed was Overwatch on the PS4. Using the PS4 Sony camera direct to Twitch. I didn’t have a PC or anything. That was it. That was me. I would sit there on my desk chair with an Astro A50 headset with a mic and just the Sony cam on the PlayStation. It was really, really low-budget. That was my first ever stream.
That’s how I started because to me, I just wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t care what it was. I just wanted to be involved in some way in the industry. I also just wanted to make more friends in gaming. I didn’t have a lot of friends in gaming. A lot of my friends outside of gaming don’t game. I do now. Now I’ve got a whole heap of friends in gaming. It’s fantastic. But a lot of my uni friends didn’t, work friends didn’t. I didn’t really have anyone to game with. That was the other reason. I could meet more people as well.
What you do full time? Is it a really intense kind of job? Do you do streaming to take a break from that? What’s that? What’s that energy balance look like between those two?
Domino Jack: For my full time job, I’m currently a legal secretary. Before that, I was working as a project coordinator for the Australian Esports League. At the moment as a legal secretary, yeah, look, some days can be busy and intense. I work at a pretty good firm. I’m pretty happy where I am. It’s not too high-stress, which is really nice. I work with some really good lawyers and some really good support staff. But I’ll admit it’s nice to come home and just disconnect and switch off and just play some games and just chill out, which is what I usually try to do with gaming. I try to use it as a time to just switch off and have a bit of time to myself.
How do you explain your career to those, to family, friends, or anybody that’s not in the space?
Domino Jack: Yeah, it’s challenging. Usually, I try to go for the really common things that people know. Since a lot of people know about Fortnite, I don’t play Fortnite, but I can use it as the connector to explain what I do. Surprisingly, a lot of people have actually heard about Twitch, which is pretty good. You can be like, “You know, Twitch?” and they’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of it.” It’s like, okay, so that platform and kind of grew from there.
YouTube, you can use a bit as well. Even though I don’t stream on YouTube, people know what YouTube is because they watch videos. They watch other stuff and that’s a platform that people will stream on live. But it is challenging every now and then because people won’t get it. They’ll be like, “So you just spend time playing video games and people watch you? What?” It’s like. Yes, but.
How did you get into esports? Or, what inspired you to get into that scene?
Domino Jack: After I started streaming, I wanted to throw myself into almost anything else I could in the gaming world. I started talking to a friend and stuff who, they were playing high-level Overwatch. I was like, well, I’m not good enough to be a pro player. But I found out there was a thing like team managers. That was a thing. I was like, well, I’m a project coordinator. I manage people. I get paid to manage people in teams. Maybe I could do that in esports. I could just manage the players.
So I started. There’s actually Discords. There are Discord communities of this. So, there’s Overwatch communities and they’ll be looking for a team manager and stuff. I just went and contacted someone there and had a chat with some people and then just started managing teams. I got an opportunity to help manage the Warriors Esports Overwatch team for a little bit. Yeah, which is quite cool.
Their season ended so then I created my own organization. We had an Overwatch team, we had a League of Legends team, we had an Apex team. We had that for a little bit. And then the Australian Esports League had a position available. I’d been chatting with them and stuff. I also have a degree in graphic design so I could also use my graphic design skills with them as well. As well as helping coordinate some of their events with projects and things like that. Kind of a mixed job. It was good fun.
I started that with them. Because I got to work actually in esports, I closed off the org because it was too time consuming to do all of that. But I loved working in esports with Overwatch teams. It was a lot of fun. Every now and then I do miss it. I miss the team environment. Even though I didn’t play. I miss that environment.
How did you explain your esports role to other people?
Domino Jack: That was hard. Again, I’d use the Fortnite example. It’s so bad, but I’d be like, “Hear of Fortnite?” He’s like, “Yeah.” It’s like, “Did you see how that player won all that money at the world cups of that?” “Oh, yeah.” It’s like that. “That, but not that game.” That’s how I’ve explained esports or I’d be like, it’s competitive video games.
People will play online games competitively and there’s a market for it. It’s a lot bigger than people probably realize. Yeah. Especially overseas. Some of the players overseas get paid really well. There’s huge organizations and everything. It’s still a little hard to explain. I’ll admit. I would have people being like, “But why don’t you get a real job?” or “Why don’t you go and do something that’ll?” People couldn’t understand it. It’s okay because give it maybe 10-15 years, it’d be much more common a thing. And I’ve never really worried too much about what other people thought.
I think it’s also really hard to understand because some of the games are not the easiest things to understand. Rocket League’s great because it’s soccer with cars. Soccer is a traditional sport so people understand that quite well. But something like League of Legends can be very complex. Even Overwatch can be quite complex because if you don’t really understand, you can watch it and go, “Okay, it looks cool.” But you don’t really have any idea of the abilities, which makes it interesting, the ultimates, how things work together. That’s what makes the game so much more interesting. I think that’s a bit of a barrier as well is that it’s difficult for people to just start watching the game and understand what’s going on sometimes.
Considering the various options people can look at when getting involved in the gaming industry, how did you approach this question for yourself?
Domino Jack: I went, what are my skills and what does that translate to in the industry? So instead of trying to change who I was or what my skills already were, trying to look up the skills I had and what I could do to make that work. And then thinking, okay, do I need to upskill in any areas, because there’s things I’d like to be involved in.[Playing to your strengths…] I think that’s one of the biggest things. While it’s great to see what other content creators are doing, and maybe you might like something, you might take inspiration, or you might really like the way they do something, at the end of the day, I think you just do what works for you and be true to yourself.
Was there any other really big challenge for you since you first started that you’ve overcome? Or something is an ongoing work in progress that you’re always being challenged by?
Domino Jack: I think the biggest challenge is viewership and interaction and growth. It’s not as bad now because I have an okay following now. But when you’re first starting out, it’s very, very hard. You will have streams and barely anyone in them. It can be very, what’s the word, I don’t know if demoralizing is the right word.
You can feel quite down about it. That’s always a challenge is, I guess, reaching numbers that you maybe want to reach but may not be realistic straightaway, off the bat. Yeah.
With these challenges, how have you gone about overcoming them? What strategies have you used?
Domino Jack: Yeah. Definitely managing your expectations. Realizing that it’s not as easy as everyone maybe makes it seem. It’s definitely going to take some time. One of the biggest things that I found helped was obviously, and people always say this, turn off the viewer. That helps obviously so you can’t tell how many people are there. Just ignore it. Just do your thing. I also did have someone once tell me something which really helped. They said to me once, “Whether 100 people show up or one, it’s someone. Someone wants to see your content.” It’s made me had the view now that as long as I have one viewer in my stream, one person liked my Instagram post, I got one engagement on my tweet. I got. Someone liked it. Someone’s interested. Someone wants to see it. So, as long as I’ve got the one person. Obviously, 100 would be amazing. But 100 or one, someone is there to see it and I try to keep it into that perspective.
If I have two people in my chat, and they’re saying hi, and chatting with me, great. I’m going to chat back with you. We’re going to enjoy our time together. It’s still two people. You shouldn’t behave differently because oh, you have 500. Oh no, you’ve only got to two. Two people still showed up. They’re there. They’re spending their time. Make it worth their while.
What’s your strategy for stuff that’s not necessarily on the streaming part? Do you use, for example, other social media channels to drive people to your Twitch?
Domino Jack: Yes. I think social media is really, really important. I think it’s very important to have your social media active and directing back to your Twitch. I actually watched some marketing videos on YouTube about Instagram growth and Twitter and Facebook and things. Actually don’t know if I watched Twitter ones, but I definitely watched, I remember watching the Instagram ones. I actually looked at what marketing and things like that to see what was happening and how you should do things.
I think it’s really important to have active socials which is why I won’t stream every day of the week. I will spend evenings doing content, I will take some photos, I’ll do some videos. I’ll be doing other stuff to fill my social media because if your social media grows, and then when you go live, you posting that you’re going live, that’s pointing people back to your stream. I think it’s really important.
I also just love social media, though. I love that I could, at the moment something I was looking for was a cosplay photographer in Sydney. I love that I can throw that question out into the social media universe on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and stuff, and have who knows will come back to me with an answer. Someone I may not have known and so I love that connection and that link that you have. Yeah, something I love.
For people just starting out, what would be like the one ultimate thing you’d want them to know before getting into content creation?
Domino Jack: Content creation, I found, was harder than I thought it was going to be. It’s actually a lot of work. Not to say it’s bad. I love it. I love the work involved with it. If you want to get into content creation, I’d say just try it. You know what I mean? As I said, I started playing on a PlayStation 4 with a Sony PlayStation camera and just streamed direct to Twitch. I didn’t have any good equipment or anything like that. I was a PlayStation gamer playing a first person shooter game with a controller. I definitely think just definitely go for it. Just try it and just start.
At the same time, don’t feel like it’s forced. Something for me, for instance, as I mentioned, I started streaming and doing content creation when I was 28. I’m now 31. I don’t think I could have done what I did when I was younger. I think I was too afraid. I think I was too scared. I cared too much about what people thought. I was like, would anybody watch me? Would anyone like my stuff? I cared too much about it. I eventually got to a point where I was like, oh well, I don’t care. They’re either going to like my stuff or they don’t like my stuff and they’re just not going to watch me if they don’t like me. I’m just going to do my thing. I think the biggest thing is just to start.
Unless going full time, but I’ve never gone full time, so I can’t advise too much. I’ve spoken to a lot of full time streamers, because I’d considered it once. I realistically can’t just because I’m not a sponsored streamer. I don’t earn a huge amount of money from streaming things. A lot of the full time streamers I spoke to, they’re partners, they’re sponsored. They have a lot of other things going on that they can. They have enough money coming in that they can do it full time. I don’t. I have to be realistic about my life and things like that. It’s definitely like a just give it a shot. You enjoy it, great. If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world.
It’s true. It’s just about taking the jump and just giving it a go. You never know what’s going to work and what’s not. Someone might clip something and it will end up on Reddit and it will go viral and no one could have predicted it. That’s the crazy thing with social media and internet and things these days. You don’t know sometimes what the next big thing is. I don’t know if anyone could predict the Bella Poarch was going to be as big as she is now with her own song and everything. One of the biggest TikTok creators from that video she did with her face and that zoomed in sort of thing. I couldn’t have predicted that was going to happen and look at her now.
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