We had the good fortune of connecting with Jammy Whammy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jammy, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Perhaps, aside from cracking up at puns and dad jokes 99% of the time, my “success” has come from maintaining a positive attitude throughout my years of streaming on Twitch. I am in no way saying that I am positive all the time because that would be tiring and false. I am a school counselor by trade and I remind my students as much as I remind myself that it’s ok not to be ok. I even make it a point to include that in my channel so my community is reminded of it as well. On hard days I try to think back to why I started streaming in the first place and that is to ensure I built in a break in to my day to separate my mind from my counselor-work brain. Seems silly to create more work to escape work but it allows me to keep being “successful” in my own right. I can then continue to maintain a place where people feel comfortable enough to bring their own life experiences if they want, escape from any burdens of the day, or laugh with me as I do something foolish.
I have always been a pretty positive person so it is easy enough for me to just be myself on stream. Smiles are contagious and I try to bring that energy with me wherever I go. On the days where I feel a bit drained the community will crack a joke or say something that brings me right back and that is such a wonderful relationship. My community is such light and love and I think that streaming, though a lot of work, has been such a blessing and a joy. I am so happy to know some of these wonderful people for many years. Knowing that “the Jammily” (Jammy + Family) as they so lovingly call themselves, can carry my positive energy with them and I can perhaps make their day a bit brighter is why I keep doing what I’m doing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been many things before a school counselor. I have been a school administrator, a special education aide, manager of a music production company, and have done music clearance for a TV show. All of that somehow led me to my true passion and that is helping people through counseling. I’ve been a school counselor as long as I’ve been a streamer and it has reinforced what I’ve always known about gaming as a safe space to be yourself. I have connected with my students by revealing that I am “a gamer” and have used games like Minecraft in sessions to discuss layers and pressure. It has opened the door to conversations since many of my students had been shamed for using games to escape or deal with problems; they seem to assume adults cannot understand the importance. There are plenty of titles that really dig deep in to mental health and even ones that help process grief and emotions. Even on a really simplistic level, when the students learn that I play games you can see them physically relax and you know that they are ready to talk about why they are acting up in class or what is bothering them.
Students are not the only people who need this kind of judgement-free zone. The Jammily and other chatters on Twitch often want to feel seen and to know that they are not alone. I have links to mental health resources from all around the world as well. Because my stream has been a slow grow, I have been able to interact with my community and really get to know them. It has definitely been a journey and it has not been the easiest but I am not in it for the money. I am in it to play games and interact with some of the most lovely people in all of Twitch. There have definitely been times where I struggled with extreme “imposter syndrome” with regards to my streams. This, in turn, has made it sometimes difficult to feel confident enough to promote my own work. Through the inspiration of those around me and other streamers encouraging me I have been able to do what I do for over 4 years. Overcoming that and pushing myself forward has really shown me that what I do matters to people.
I think that the Jammily also finds it novel that I don’t curse during my streams and that I find fanciful alternatives. It has just become a habit because I figure that if a student of mine stumbles across my stream (knock on wood that it hasn’t happened yet), I won’t feel like I’ve set a bad example. Some people coming through have said that they’ve curbed their own cursing which gives me a little chuckle.
What do I want the world to know about me? Please, World, know this about me: I am a half-Japanese ENFJ who has embraced my face full of freckles (my “chocolate camouflage”), who loves to laugh and sing as often as possible, who loves to support my fellow streamers, who loves to be a counselor or just an ear for a friend, and who just wants to make my little sphere of the world better every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am not a California native so much of the touristy things are so novel to me so I must share them with my friends! Drive through Hollywood to show it all off (my mom was a tour guide so I have to represent) and then drive on over to North Hollywood because that’s where I spent most of my time.
Though it may seem cheesy to some, I love to take my friends to CityWalk if they’re feeling up for some amazing people-watching and fun times. Definitely also hanging out in Santa Monica and getting some shopping done and a bite to eat, walking the boardwalk. When I first moved to LA I had no idea how close Malibu actually is but I love to also spend some time there to see the beautiful houses and hang out at the beach. I love Santa Monica as well but the beach there can get crowded depending on the day.
Definitely spending another day hiking the canyons! It feels like a whole other world! There are so many magical little pockets in LA but one fun little spot I found was Alcove near the Griffith Park Observatory. Unfortunately so much has been taken down from the pandemic but there was a Rock and Roll Sushi place in North Hollywood that I loved going to. I love the little improv comedy venues as well because you never know who will show up and what comedy gold you will witness!
In conclusion, my friends will be tired when they come to visit. I’m all over the place!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many wonderful people who inspire me regularly but I think that the Jammily (my lovely community) has truly inspired me and has kept me going through hard times and good. Hearing their stories of overcoming obstacles, seeing them greet one another and ask how they’re doing, watching as they lift one another when they’re feeling down through a well-worded reply or a virtual hug, laughing with them as they share their favorite joke, or even knowing that some just have me on as background noise because they say my voice (and random singing) is “soothing” are just some of the many ways that the community inspires and helps me every day. I never thought that I would have such an opportunity to entertain and be entertained in my life and the Jammily is really to thank. Much love to the moderators of the channel who help keep it a safe place to hang out and perpetuate the positive spirit. Also, big shout out to Katy Bentz for believing in me and thinking that what I’m doing is worthy of note. I am forever grateful.
Other: Twitch: www.twitch.tv/jammywhammygames