Before I interviewed Julie, I thanked her for speaking with me—and she thanked me right back for my interest in writing about her. This set the tone for the rest of our chat. After just twenty minutes of conversation, it was clear that Julie’s personality—empathetic, friendly, and impeccably polite—is perfectly attuned to Twitch streaming.
But Julie isn’t a successful streamer just because she’s a cool person. As her gamertag indicates, she’s a gaming wizard, a first-person shooter master who once held the joint record for most Fortnite squad kills in one round. “I love survival games and first-person shooters,” said Julie. “Those are the genres that I kind of gravitate towards.”
Per Julie, battle royale titles such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are the perfect games for Twitch streaming due to their bite-sized nature. “There’s a story being told every 20 minutes, so for the people who are jumping into streams, they will stick around to see what the ending is going to be.” This viewer-friendliness makes these games better for streaming than longer single-player narrative titles, says the streamer.
Image via Instagram/@one_shot_gurl
Julie understands that the games she plays are critical to the community she wants to build. “If you can stream games you love, and also games people are searching for, that’s key,” said Julie. “That’s the ultimate struggle: you want to be having fun, but you also want to be growing your channel, so you have to find that balance.”
Fortunately, the battle royale games that currently dominate the streaming zeitgeist mesh well with Julie’s personal taste. One of her favorite childhood gaming memories is playing GoldenEye 007 with her father on the Nintendo 64, and the pioneering FPS title remains one of her favorites.
Indeed, Julie’s passion for video games stems from a childhood full of gaming and friendly competition. “Ever since I can remember, I have all of these great memories of playing board games and card games and video games,” reminisced Julie. “You name it—if it was a game, we were playing it.”
But gaming remained only a hobby for Julie as she moved to Indiana for college, where she majored in music. (Music is still one of Julie’s biggest passions, and she released a full album under the OSG name in 2017.) After graduating, she moved to New York City, looking for a change of pace as a self-identified “suburban girl” who had spent her entire life in the Midwest.
Anchors aweigh... ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/gMrcpe5p6O— Julie (@ONE_shot_GURL) August 21, 2019
Soon after her move, Julie began a job in customer service at a small Wall Street firm. But the initially pleasant work began to turn into a grind as Julie worked her way up the totem pole. “The more I got promoted, the more miserable I became.”
After a year and a half in New York, Julie realized that life on Wall Street was not for her. “Long story short, I quit my job, I moved in with my parents, and I lived there for a little bit, less than a year,” said Julie. “Don’t worry, everybody,” she added with a laugh. “I’m out of the basement now.”
This was in 2015, before many of today’s most prominent streamers had risen to fame, and a career in streaming was an even riskier prospect than it is now. When Julie called her parents and asked them if she could move home to start a YouTube channel, the first thing her father did after hanging up was get on Google to find out what exactly a “YouTube channel” was.
“They didn’t understand, and to some extent they don’t really understand—unless you’re living in it every day, it’s hard for people to understand,” said Julie of her parents. “But for not understanding as much as they do, they are the most supportive parents in the world, and I’m super lucky to have them.”
Image via Instagram/@one_shot_gurl
When she first started streaming, Julie was far from an expert on the Twitch community. “I literally never watched anybody,” said Julie. “I started watching streamers because I wanted to connect with people for networking, and then I realized I love to watch people streaming. At that point I was already well into my streaming career, which is weird.”
In spite of her relative inexperience, Julie’s natural aptitude for streaming and storytelling carried her through her early days on YouTube Gaming, and her channel continued to grow. In July, she achieved Partner status on Twitch, switching over to the Amazon-owned platform completely for all of her streaming needs. Though she still uploads videos to YouTube, she now considers herself a streamer first and a YouTuber second.
As her star rises, Julie is buoyed by a genuine passion for the streaming world—a passion made obvious by her emphatic praise for other streamers. “DrLupo and Pokimane, I would say they’re two of my biggest inspirations,” said Julie. “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them both in real life—they are just amazing humans, and their streams are full of fun and laughs and positivity. That’s something that I strive to do and be in my streams.”
With esports slowly but surely gaining a foothold in mainstream culture, Julie is confident that streamers like her will continue to occupy an important position within the gaming ecosystem.
“We’re content creators, we’re used to being in front of the camera, we have big personalities. But when you talk to the pro players, they’re not like that,” said Julie. “They’re used to just sitting and doing their thing—and killing it at whatever game they’re playing. So that’s the real difference: You’re talking to people with big personalities.”
Top image via Instagram/one_shot_gurl