We had an interview with ALEDream! We got to dive into the world of streaming. We chat about dreams, the daily grind, we explored it all. And you know what’s cool? Our Platform All Ages of Geek are rig supporting indie creators every step of the way. So, let’s kick back, grab a virtual drink, and get to know ALEDream’s journey through the streaming cosmos.
Hello, I’m Andrea, but you can also call me ALEDream, pronounced Ah-“lay” – or as I like to say, open your mouth, say “ah,” and munch on a bag of Lays chips. It’s surreal to admit, but I’m 32 years old, and I’ve been creating content for over 7 years now. Streaming on Twitch has been my passion for the past 4 years, and I couldn’t love it more.
The meaning behind my name, which is also my brand and trademark, is deeply rooted in who I am. I like to think of my community as the Galaxy of Shooting Stars, where everyone is unique and special in their own way.
Indie games hold a special place in my heart, and the color purple (not the book or movie) is my absolute favorite – it’s just so vibrant and full of life. And let’s not forget about owls; they’re my favorite animals, wise and mysterious.
So that’s a bit about me – Andrea, aka ALEDream, lover of indie games, the color purple, and all things owls. It’s great to meet you!
What initially inspired you to become a creator, and how has that inspiration evolved throughout your creative journey?
I began my journey as a creator simply for fun, initially streaming on a third-party app called Live.me. However, life took an unexpected turn when I found myself paralyzed and bedridden for six months. During this challenging period, I turned to gaming streaming as a way to cope and connect with others despite my physical limitations.
Signing temporary contracts with other third-party apps became a financial lifeline during times when traditional employment wasn’t feasible, and I was struggling emotionally. It was a dark time filled with feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and a lack of self-worth.
Despite the difficulties, I found solace and purpose in building a community through Facebook gaming. This platform provided me with a sense of belonging and support during a trying period of my life. The opportunity to quickly become affiliated on Twitch was a testament to the community I had cultivated and the skills I had developed.
While I’ve experienced rapid growth and opportunities, my journey as a creator remains a continuous learning process. Each day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth. Through perseverance and dedication, I strive to improve my craft and seize every opportunity that comes my way, knowing that my journey as a creator is one of constant evolution and discovery.
Can you share a specific moment or experience that fueled your passion for your current creative project?
My journey as a content creator began with the emergence of YouTube. I was drawn to the platform’s potential for self-expression and creativity, particularly through singing videos and other content. However, my mom emphasized the importance of education, leading me to focus on academics during my high school years.
Despite prioritizing education, my passion for music and singing remained strong. I pursued opportunities in the entertainment industry by doing background work in movies and participating in talent shows and competitions. Music continued to be a significant part of my life, although the challenges of cost and competition in the industry led me to explore other avenues.
Around the age of 19, I discovered a new passion for gaming through beta testing software and flash games. The experience of immersing myself in gaming culture ignited a spark within me. It wasn’t until my late twenties, however, that I decided to delve into game streaming.
The turning point came when I witnessed streamers showcasing games while engaging with their audience in real-time. It was a transformative moment that solidified my desire to become a streamer myself. From that point on, I dedicated myself to the pursuit of creating content and building a community around gaming.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties along the way, my passion for streaming remains unwavering. It is a testament to the power of self-discovery and the pursuit of one’s dreams, even in the face of adversity. Today, I continue to embrace the journey of being a content creator, fueled by the joy of sharing my love for gaming with others.
What challenges have you encountered as an indie creator, and how have they shaped your approach to your work?
As an indie creator, I’ve faced numerous challenges that have shaped my approach to my work:
- Facing Rejection: Receiving numerous rejections and hearing “no” frequently can be disheartening. It tests one’s resilience and determination to keep pursuing their passion despite setbacks.
- Dealing with Judgement: Being judged by my numbers and facing skepticism from big AAA companies when showcasing their games was discouraging. However, these experiences taught me to focus on building relationships with smaller indie companies that appreciated my efforts and gave me opportunities.
- Overcoming Unexpected Obstacles: Encountering unexpected obstacles like receiving a glitter bomb in my PO box was a memorable and frustrating experience. It taught me to be cautious and resourceful, as well as to find alternative solutions to logistical challenges.
- Navigating Personal Challenges: Going through two breakups while juggling streaming and content creation could have been overwhelming. However, creating content became a source of solace and motivation during difficult times, helping me stay focused and positive.
- Adapting to Remote Work: Filming remotely during the pandemic presented its own set of challenges. Yet, it also provided opportunities for creativity and innovation in finding new ways to connect with audiences and produce content.
Overall, these challenges have shaped my approach to my work by fostering resilience, adaptability, and perseverance. They have taught me the importance of staying true to my passion and values, even in the face of adversity. By embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning, I continue to evolve as an indie creator, driven by my commitment to creating meaningful content and connecting with audiences.
Are there any particular creators who have significantly influenced your style or approach? How do you incorporate those influences into your own unique voice?
I think i’ve developed a strong sense of individuality and authenticity when it comes to doing content creation. I don’t think i can identify with specific creators who have influenced my style or approach. I appreciate the craft and skills of various streamers and content creators.
My perspective on being true to oneself and encouraging others to do the same is valuable. It’s essential to find inspiration from others’ creativity and dedication while staying true to your unique voice and vision.
By observing and appreciating the work of other streamers like BBJESS, DRBeast, PewDiePie, Granny Doodybeard, and many more, I’ve likely gleaned insights into different approaches and techniques. Incorporating these observations into my own content creation process allows me to continually refine my craft and engage with my audience authentically.
My commitment is to be genuine and encouraging others to embrace their individuality sets a positive example in the content creation community. Ultimately, staying true to yourself while appreciating the talents of others is key to building a meaningful and impactful presence as a content creator.
How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and adapting to feedback from your audience or collaborators?
Navigating the balance between staying true to my artistic vision and adapting to feedback from my audience or collaborators is something I grapple with daily. I often find myself plagued by imposter syndrome, questioning whether I truly deserve the attention and support of my amazing community. It’s humbling to think that viewers dedicate their time to watch my content and engage with me.
Feedback from my audience and collaborators can be both enlightening and challenging. I encounter questions about why I don’t play certain games or why I approach games in a particular way. While I appreciate feedback, I firmly believe in the importance of maintaining autonomy over my content. Backseat gaming, for example, is something I discourage because I value the freedom to play games according to my own preferences and style. My motto reflects this: “I play anything, not everything.”
I have a deep appreciation for indie games, considering them underrated and among the best in gaming. I’ve ventured into writing reviews and blogs about the indie games I’ve played, although I admit it’s a challenge to find time for everything I want to do.
Positive feedback is incredibly gratifying and fuels my motivation to continue creating content. On the other hand, negative feedback is taken with a pinch of salt. I see it as an opportunity to reflect and consider how I can enhance the experience for my audience while remaining true to my vision.
Ultimately, my goal is to strike a balance between honoring my artistic vision and being receptive to constructive feedback. It’s a continual process of growth and adaptation, driven by my passion for gaming and my dedication to providing meaningful content for my community.
Can you recall a memorable success story or milestone in your indie creator journey that stands out as a turning point for you?
Yes, there have been several memorable success stories and milestones in my indie creator journey that stand out as turning points for me.
Firstly, filming a reality show during the pandemic was an incredible experience. To have the opportunity to showcase my talents from my bedroom in NYC and have it available on Amazon Prime Video was surreal. It highlighted the power of digital platforms and opened doors for me in unexpected ways.
Participating in a panel at the 2022 San Diego Twitch Con was another significant milestone. It was a surreal experience to share insights and connect with others in the gaming community on such a large platform. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in similar events at future conventions, as it was a valuable learning and networking opportunity.
Additionally, receiving opportunities to interview celebrity voice actors and small indie game developers was a pivotal moment for me. It allowed me to expand my content beyond gaming and build confidence in public speaking. These experiences helped me diversify my content and connect with a broader audience.
Looking back, there are countless memorable moments that have shaped my journey as an indie creator. Each milestone serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come and motivates me to continue pushing boundaries and striving for new opportunities in the future.
What role do setbacks or failures play in your creative process, and how do you overcome them to keep moving forward?
Setbacks and failures are an integral part of my creative process, serving as catalysts for growth and improvement. While I strive for excellence and aim to be the best in what I do, I also recognize the importance of enjoying the journey and finding solace in the process itself. My community can see that I genuinely enjoy what I do, beyond any measure of success or achievement.
To navigate my creative endeavors effectively, I rely on tools like TwitchTracker and HowLongToBeat to plan ahead and set schedules. Despite the inevitable changes that come with real-life events, job transitions, or relocations, I remain adaptable and resilient. Planning ahead helps me maintain clarity and focus amidst the unpredictability of life’s challenges.
Even with a solid foundation, there’s always room for improvement and learning. That’s why I recently acquired a copy of Twitch for Dummies as a birthday gift to myself. It’s a reminder that there’s always more to learn and explore, no matter how familiar I may be with the basics.
During moments of frustration, especially when faced with technical difficulties, it’s crucial to stay resilient and maintain perspective. It’s easy to feel discouraged, but I’ve learned that reaching out to my ISP and taking breaks when needed can help rejuvenate my motivation and keep the creative spark alive.
Ultimately, I continually remind myself that I’m giving my best effort and that with dedication and perseverance, I can overcome any obstacle. It’s about keeping the passion alive, fueling the creative process, and staying true to my vision despite the challenges that may arise along the way.
How do you manage your time and energy to sustain a consistent creative output while juggling other aspects of life?
You know, someone asked me the same question the other day, Andrea (that’s my real name, by the way). They asked, “How do you manage to work early mornings, spend 8 hours in front of a computer, and then stream for another 5 hours?” I’d say it’s a combination of faith, belief in Jesus, and definitely a bit of caffeine – maybe more than a bit.
But in all seriousness, managing my time and energy is a constant juggling act. I take short naps when I can, and there are days when I have to cancel streams because unexpected things pop up. My mother always says, “Health is wealth,” and she’s right. Some days, I need to prioritize taking care of myself, especially when real-life stuff becomes overwhelming.
Finding balance is key. I’ve settled into a routine of streaming 3-4 days a week, reserving the other days for myself or to work on creating content outside of streaming. It’s important to acknowledge that there are times when I need to step back and take a break. I’ve learned the hard way that pushing through burnout or ignoring my mental health only leads to more significant setbacks.
So, if my body tells me it needs rest, I listen. Taking two months off streaming due to mental health concerns was a tough decision, but it was necessary for my well-being. It’s a reminder that while consistency is essential, so is self-care. Listening to my body and mind allows me to sustain a consistent creative output in the long run.
Have you found any unexpected joys or rewards in the indie creator community, and how has it contributed to your overall experience?
Absolutely, without a doubt! The indie creator community has brought unexpected joys and rewards into my life that have enriched my overall experience in countless ways.
First and foremost, the opportunity to receive free games, conduct interviews, and see my name in the credits of several games has been incredibly fulfilling. It’s a tangible reminder of the impact and contributions I’ve made within the indie gaming industry, which I consider a significant accomplishment.
Moreover, being actively involved in the indie creator community has allowed me to dedicate time to learn more about the industry and the profound love and passion that developers infuse into their games. This deeper understanding has fostered a profound appreciation for indie games and the creative minds behind them.
One particularly rewarding experience was being selected to be part of the Twitch Women and Latin Guild. This opportunity opened doors to new connections, collaborations, and opportunities that I hadn’t previously imagined. Meeting open-minded creators and learning from esteemed partners like ChelseaBytes, CocoConfession, Jubby, and Elix has been invaluable. Their insights and guidance have enhanced my understanding of streaming and have inspired me to continue growing and evolving as a content creator.
Through these connections and experiences, I’ve had the privilege of being united with creators from all walks of life, especially Latinos and women. The sense of community and camaraderie that exists within these groups is truly special and empowering.
While there are too many individuals to mention, each one has played a vital role in shaping my journey as an indie creator and has contributed to the richness of my overall experience in the community. Their support, mentorship, and friendship have been invaluable, and I am incredibly grateful for the connections forged and the lessons learned along the way.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be based on your own lessons learned?
My advice to aspiring creators is simple: If you have a phone, use it to record content. Whether it’s gaming, vlogging, or sharing your passions, take advantage of the tools at your disposal.
If you love video games, enjoy talking, and have a unique personality, give streaming a try. Even if you only have 1-5 people watching your streams, that’s an achievement! Don’t be discouraged by numbers. Keep pushing forward, network with others in the community, and focus on creating content that resonates with you and your audience.
Above all, stay true to who you are and follow your dreams. Authenticity shines through in your content and builds genuine connections with your audience. Embrace your uniqueness, be consistent, and never underestimate the impact you can make by sharing your passion with the world.
What are your thoughts on All Ages of Geek? What are some things we should change/do? What are something you enjoy about our website?
In my opinion, All Ages of Geek is a fantastic platform that offers a wide range of content catering to various interests and age groups. The website’s layout and design are visually appealing and easy on the eyes. The accessibility of the website makes navigation seamless, allowing users to explore different content effortlessly.
One thing I would suggest is incorporating more purple into the website design, as it adds a vibrant and engaging touch that aligns with the brand’s identity. Purple can help enhance the overall aesthetic and make the website even more visually appealing.
Overall, I enjoy the diverse range of content available on All Ages of Geek. From gaming to entertainment to educational content, there’s something for everyone. The platform’s commitment to inclusivity and fostering a welcoming community is evident in its content and engagement with its audience. Keep up the excellent work!
(adding purple was a joke)
Goals for 2024?
My goals for 2024 are ambitious yet achievable. First and foremost, I aim to complete 300 more games throughout the year. January alone has seen me complete 9 games, setting a promising pace for the rest of the year.
Another major goal is to reach Twitch partner status and end 2024 with 15,000 followers on Twitch. Additionally, I’m aiming to reach 10,000 followers on TikTok, leveraging multiple platforms to expand my reach and engage with a broader audience.
I’m determined to achieve Twitch Partner status before Twitchcon 2024 and hope to be selected to speak on a panel at the event. It’s an exciting opportunity to share insights and connect with fellow creators and enthusiasts in the gaming community.
Lastly, I’ve set a personal goal to lose 30 pounds, prioritizing my health and well-being alongside my professional aspirations. With dedication and perseverance, I’m confident that I can make significant progress towards these goals throughout the year.