Ladies and gentlemen, we have a fantastic content creator for you today by the name of Kessel Run! She is a hard-working, talented, charismatic, fun-loving Twitch streamer and cosplayer. While browsing the vast ocean of Twitch we stumbled upon her content and loved every second of it. So much so that we absolutely had to interview her on her career!
The Geek Lyfe: What is your origin story as a content creator?
Kessel Run: You know, I never had that lightning bolt moment of “this is what I should do”. I just have a loud mouth and I like to make people laugh so I started filming game-related skits in cosplay for YouTube, then veered into vlogging and Let’s Plays. It all sort of kept snowballing from there. Now I’m no so much on YouTube, but I’m tearing it up on Twitch these days.
TGL: Out of all the years you have done Twitch/Cosplay, what has been one of your more favorite/proudest memories?
KR: So, wee baby Mae put on her first cosplay in 2012 dressed and Liara at PAX East. It took 4 hours for the makeup and I was so scared my roommates had to PULL me out of the hotel room. After I took a few deep breaths and held onto my friends for dear life I had a day that would actually change the course of my life. People cheered when they saw me! Cheered! I had people chase me down to tell me about how Mass Effect saved their life. Devs stopped me in the hallway for photos, and one of them convinced me to participate in BioWare’s cosplay contest. I won, along with 2 others.
I couldn’t believe it. I was awarded a Mordin statue that I actually ended up giving to another contestant, to bring to another contestant that had to leave due to delays in the contest and light-headedness because her GLADoS was so sick I 100% believe she would have won, AND she was also a bad-ass Mordin cosplayer. I actually ended up waking up a flurry of tweets and texts and Reddit hunting me down because the story went viral as people tried to figure out who I was. Cosplayers, my friends. They have the biggest friggin’ hearts. The reception of the costume, being able to make someone else so happy because my heart was already full… I just. I lack the words. I made some friends that day that I still hold dear and that day sent my life down a very different, happier and fulfilling path.
TGL: Many people online will simply see one of your images or streams, appreciate it for the moment and move on. However, I know that a lot of care and time goes into these projects. Could you describe your process for a cosplay photoshoot or a Twitch stream from the concept to when it hits your fans?
KR: Well, making the cosplay is absolutely the most time-consuming. I’ve done it in as little as 27 days (I *had* to have a costume for launch and basically didn’t sleep for a month to make it happen) but I would say for a large build it’s about 3-4 months. Day of the shoot or convention depending on the makeup required (I do a lot of heavy makeup costumes) it’s 2-4hrs to get ready and into the costume. As for the shoot, they’re typically only about 45 minutes for me, but you also got to consider the effort the photographer also put in for their time, edits, ect. In the end, it’s quite a lot of hours for that perfect insta pic.
As for streaming, I’m always trying to level up my game so a shocking amount of time goes into creating the perfect overlay, new videos/stingers, finding new bots and programs to keep the stream fresh and entertaining. Not to mention you can have everything perfect and then windows decide to update and things are suddenly broken! I stream 3x weekly for about 3 hours each, and I would easily say for every stream there’s about an extra hour of prep to make sure everything’s working, and also going over the videos and clipping them post-stream. I also maintain a very active community on Discord. Streaming is a bit like gardening- you just always have to check in, water things, do some weeding. It’s not super intensive but there’s a part of the working part and it takes vigilance to keep it from dying on you.
TGL: Out of all the cosplays or streams you have ever done which one was your personal favorite even if it was not super well received by fans?
KR: Either I’ve been really lucky or I have a keen eye for what people like, I wouldn’t say I’ve done anything that kind of fizzled? I do have a soft spot for my Cullen Rutherford cosplay and that one was pretty polarizing for people. It certainly didn’t get attention on the floor like my other costumes, and cross-play still takes a bit of fire on social media. I can say that it was a very different cosplay experience from playing female characters, that’s for sure. But I loved being that Blonde cinnamon roll.
TGL: You feature a lot of awesome geeky content, what is your absolute favorite geeky medium? (Video games, anime, comics, film, etc.)
KR: You can’t make me choose. That’s not fair. I refuse.
TGL: Subbed or Dubbed Anime?
KR: I generally prefer subbed, but I know a lot of talented voice actors that have completely NAILED their dubs. If I really like a series/film I’ll generally watch both and see which one grabs me.
TGL: It is apparent that you hustle to provide content for fans but when you actually have a day off, how do you spend it?
KR: It’s a privilege to be able to have both a career and a hobby that lets me live the dream, but the catch 22 is yes, when you love you work it doesn’t always feel like work, but you’re always working. Always. Unless you’re sleeping. So I guess yes, that’s what I do on my days off- I sleep and cuddle my dog.
TGL: You just radiate such confidence and the swagger of a champion. However, a lot of geeks often struggle with overwhelming self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. When you have those bad days and get down on yourself, what do you do to remind yourself that you are wonderful?
KR: I look at my dog! If a floofer so perfect can love me so completely, I can’t be all bad. I also go to therapy. Self-doubt, impostor syndrome, anxiety, depression are all things I struggle with. On the bad days, I tend to ‘fake it till I make it’ put on my game face and head to the gym, hit the go-live button on my stream and just do it. Going through the motions is how I cope.
TGL: What is one piece of advice you wish you received when you first got into content creation?
KR: You’re gonna mess up. Not everyone will like you. And that’s ok! I feel like when I got into it I was a little too cautious- I was really scared I was gonna mess up, and I didn’t fully show who I was or take the risks that I wanted too. So the advice I always give people now is be genuine. Do your best. Let your freak flag fly. You don’t want fans to like someone who isn’t you, so just follow your heart.
TGL: Where can we find you online?