We’re reaching out to some popular creators to get their best tips and tricks for success and better understand the ups and downs of life as a trailblazer on the internet.
This week, we caught up with award-winning Twitch partner DEERE via email. DEERE is known for combining drag and horror games. She is also the founder of Stream Queens, an all-drag troupe of creators on Twitch. The drag queen and creator has more than 74,000 subscribers across Twitch, Twitter, Instagram ,and YouTube.
What’s the first thing you do to start your day online?
I usually check Instagram & Twitter and doom scroll for a little while!
What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out as a creator?
I wish I knew that to capture an audience you need to be first easily accessible! The best thing any creator can do is immediately register the same name or a very similar name on all social platforms. The worst thing we can do is have different names on every app. That way we are invisible.
When did you realize you’d broken through and become a successful creator?
I think the moment I realized was when I’d start being recognized off my Twitch channel. In other people’s chats, in games, or on other social media platforms, I would engage and people would say, “wait, you’re DEERE??”. It’s a very surreal thing! I’ve even been recognized in-person at cons, and even out of drag at the mall!
If you hadn’t become a creator, what would you be doing right now?
Previously I was a professional makeup artist with years of experience, so I think I’d still be doing that!
What’s one thing you do to manage your relationship with your fans?
Since Twitch is my bread and butter, it’s most important for me to make everyone feel welcome and thank everyone for showing up. Without their love and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
What do you think of the idea of cancel culture?
I think on one hand, it promotes accountability which I feel is important. On the other hand however, it can encourage an atmosphere where one cannot grow or learn and once you’ve made a mistake that’s it; it’s over, you’re done. I think it’s best for us all to try to remember that humans make mistakes and the best outcome of a mistake is realizing how one can do better next time. I think we should all assess situations like, can this person grow from this, is there a potential for learning here, or is this the point of no return? And judge from there.
How much of your true self do you show online?
I try to be as authentic as I can while being painted like a big glittery gorgeous monster! Something cool about drag is that I wear all this glitz and glamour and fakeness, and yet it allows me to feel comfortable and be a different version of me than I am without it. I am very introverted without my queer Drag armor, and so I suppose that’s the version of me that is private!
What’s one of the best interactions you’ve ever had with someone who follows you?
At TwitchCon 2019, it was amazing because it was the first time that DEERE was sorta a big deal. It was my first outing as a Twitch Ambassador and they made a meet & greet for me. It was immediately after a panel I was on which featured the Stream Queens, the all-drag troupe of content creators on Twitch. I met so many amazing people, and they all shared stories with me and let me know how I’ve impacted or inspired them and that is the coolest thing. Putting on drags and appearing on camera has the ability to show others, wow this person can be loud and unapologetic about who they are and so can I. Visibility and representation for diverse communities is so important because it can urge social change and help people feel comfortable about who they are.
The most heartbreaking side of this is every once and a while, I get people in my Twitch chat or in DMs that say, “thank you so much for making this content, thank you for being an example and entertaining and putting yourself out there, because being gay/trans/queer/enjoying or doing drag is illegal or frowned upon where I’m from. I’m unable to be myself and this is my only outlet and exposure to the community and you make a space where I can be myself” This is such a beautiful commentary but it’s also so heartbreaking that they’re unable to express themselves safely in their surroundings. The fact that I can be involved in their queer community and make them feel seen and embraced is just a small example of how drag truly helps make the world a better place despite at it’s base level just being glittery and entertaining.
What is your most treasured tool?
I’m a drag queen, many things are important to the process, but I think the most treasured tool at the end of the day is social media. It keeps me informed, keeps me connected, and keeps me motivated to try new things and keep at what’s fun or what’s working.
If we are talking about streaming or content creation, the most important tool is the internet! Without that, I’m at a loss.
What holds you accountable?
My boyfriend keeps me accountable, he keeps my head in the game and keeps pushing me to be better and better and trying new things and keeping at what I’m enjoying and what’s working!
Thank you, DEERE, for talking with us!
We’ll be featuring a new Q&A with a creator every week, so shoot an email to [email protected] for a chance to be included.