“Everyone starts from the same place” | Interview with Variety Streamer BamyLeaf
Since the beginning of The Emergence, we’ve been working towards interviewing inspirational streamers and gamers to inspire you. In the 2nd of our interviews, we chat with Bamyleaf (IRL = Amy) about why she started streaming, her typical stream day and her favourite Twitch streamers!
Welcome to The Emergence Amy!
When did you start streaming and why?
I started streaming full time in October 2017. I had done 2 or 3 random streams before this in July when I first got my PC, but they were awful and I stopped suddenly when I got a new job.
So, I started doing proper, regular streams in October when I moved into my new flat up North. Since I built my gaming PC, I’ve got more and more involved with the gaming community on Twitch and Twitter. I made a few friends, and this is one of the reasons I wanted to pursue Twitch full time. I’m also mildly agoraphobic and riddled with anxieties when it comes to getting a job/socialising IRL, so being able to work and chat to my friends from home while streaming seemed perfect!
Where did your username come from?
In high school my nickname was Bayleaf. Lots of people called me Leaf too. Unfortunately when it comes to making usernames, Bayleaf is always taken. So I combined my real name, Amy, with Bayleaf. Hence Bamyleaf!
What is your earliest memory of gaming? Do you remember the game you played?
I remember being around 7 years old round my uncles house, I forced my way onto his PlayStation and played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I started up the game, found a golf club and beat civilians to death with joy. My family thought I was gonna grow up to be a psychopath…
What is your favourite memory or achievement on Twitch so far?
My favourite moment so far has to be our celebration stream for reaching 1,500 followers. We streamed for 9 hours, playing loads of community games and did a load of giveaways. The majority of the community showed up to celebrate together and we had a great time.
I’ll never forget the wonderful messages everyone sent saying how much our streams/community had helped them in their personal lives. I always knew that the squad helped me through tough times, but I never knew how much it helped them, too. It was nice to feel like I was able to help people. Yeah, that was pretty awesome.
So you are streaming for the day, walk us through what this looks like
I’d wake up at 9:15, get myself a cuppa and sit in bed ready to watch Jeremy Kyle in the morning. Yep, I do this every single morning. I want to play Heroes of the Storm eventually on stream but I suck at the moment, so sometimes while I’m watching Jezza I get in some HotS practise.
At 10:30 I start getting ready for the day, have a shower and do my makeup while watching some streams on Twitch. Get myself some Nutella toast and another brew, then it’s stream time! We always have coffee mornings on stream where we just chat for around 30 mins while I drink my tea, then we play games for 5/6 hours.
When I’m done with streaming, we raid one of my buddies and I go get ANOTHER brew. I then chill out in streams for the rest of the night, play some Hearthstone on my iPad then cook dinner for me and my partner Mike. We then sit down with food and watch TV shows for the night.
How long do your normally stream for?
I usually stream for 5–6 hours, Monday to Friday.
How do you mix work/life balance and streaming?
It is really hard to keep a balance between Twitch life and your personal life. There is SO much work that goes into streaming that happens behind the scenes, the actual streams are only half of it.
For a while I was working all day every day with no breaks and it really took a toll on my personal life. This is a big reason for me getting a strict schedule, it’s much easier to know what hours in the day are for work and when to relax. Evenings and weekends I try to spend quality time with Mike and I have the weekdays to work on my channel.
What equipment do you use?
A custom built PC, a Logitech C920 webcam, Snowball microphone and a Corsair Strafe silent mechanical keyboard. I also have a £5 mouse off Amazon and a 10 year old monitor… I really need to upgrade my set up I know.
Which tools do you currently live by on Twitch?
I couldn’t live without StreamLabs and Phantombot! StreamLabs deals with all of your statistics, tips and any widgets you may need on your stream, like your alert box. I use Phantombot for my chat bot and it is perfect, so customisable and has so many awesome features.
Which feature do you wish Twitch had that would change how you stream?
I can’t think of anything that would affect my stream, but I wish that eventually they will get a host button on desktop. It’s a pain having to go onto your own channel to /host or having to go onto your phone to host your favourite streamers.
What advice do you give to others who want to start streaming?
Just do it! Lots of people are hesitant because they don’t think they’ll get anywhere with streaming or don’t think they will be very good at it. The only way to grow your channel is to jump in and start! And also, the only way to get better is to practise!
Any streamer you know and admire now had to start somewhere, and I can almost promise you that they were all pretty bad before they put in the hours doing low quality streams to 0 viewers. Everyone starts from the same place, and you could make it, too.
Another thing I would do is network, make some friends that are also streamers. You can learn so much from other people, make some fantastic friends, and usually if you support someone else, they will return the favour. Just go out there, be active in some of your favourite streams and make some friends!
How do you let your viewers know when you are going to stream?
I have a widget on my twitch page that tells people my schedule, so often people are already on my channel before I go live. I also put out a tweet when I’ve gone live and have an automatic message that goes to my discord channel telling everyone I’m live and what game I’m gonna be playing.
Who do you love watching on Twitch right now?
There are SO many incredible streamers out there right now, some of my favourites are also incredible friends.
My top three would have to be:
What are your future ambitions?
I have a big few years coming up, I’m hoping to get my first house with my partner (and get a puppy EEEK!) and continue with my University degree. Then, fingers crossed, hopefully get partnered with Twitch within the next year or so. I am very excited to see where the next few years of my life are going to take me!
Written by Mark Longhurst.