So I’ve had a few days to ponder over the events of this last weekend. I’ve gotten a chance to check the damage on Twitter and Reddit, and watch part of the show on Youtube. Now, time to share my perspective on everything. Note that this isn’t a post defending myself or Etienne, since we both know where our deficiencies lie. But I definitely want to pen down what went on through my head that day.
We got called to go into the arena at 9:30 am. We were supposed to be there by 12:30 pm, but it was changed due to it being episode one, and they wanted to go through some rehearsals and sound checks with us. We actually waited a good while to get us, since they were still constructing the set.
That was the first thing we saw when we got to the arena was the construction. I think reality set in that we were really doing this, and my nerves took a huge spike. We had been on the microphone at ArcadeStream so many times, but this was most definitely new territory. We were looking at a huge set that was being built by a team for a television event. You can do locals a lot, and do good or even decent at it, and definitely know that you’re in another league when you step into that. Try pulling someone from STL Bar Warz and have them do Evo. Same difference, honestly.
So we sat there in the green room, trying to collect our thoughts before hair, makeup, and wardrobe was done. Basically we tried to distract each other from reality and just treat it like another day, talking events and things that were happening recently, such as the Alex character select glitch. But needless to say, for both myself and Etienne, nerves were high and we were definitely breathing heavy.
We were able to get a run down for how things were going to proceed, and we got hit with something we’ve never done before: a 5-10 minute opening of the show. People who have watched us at ArcadeStream know we have never done this; we typically just pick up our headsets, greet the stream, and jump right in to the festivities. But we were talking about having to give full rundowns before any action was underway. It sounds simple, and yet if you haven’t done that before, you’re going to fall on your face. So we scrambled to try to find a rhythm within which to do so. I think we found a good one, but ultimately what will be known is how it went in practice.
So we did a few sound checks, then suddenly we were 10 minutes to game time. We both looked at each other and said the same thing, “I feel my heart beating even through the headset.” We were so nervous and if you hear us and see us on the replay, it’s readily apparent. We were not ready.
We got through the opening, although a bit bumbling, rather well for the first effort. We kept our rhythm of letting one another handle each segment, and it went well. But ultimately, we were definitely trying to stretch it out, and were running out of content. The solution to doing this right was something we discussed with Drake, and something you will see happen–we’re going to stop doing our cold opens at ArcadeStream. We’re going to put more effort into production, straight down to the opening.
Getting into the matches: we were both trying to give 100% the whole time, and it showed, and it wasn’t a good thing. The biggest complaint has been that we talked over each other too much, almost constantly, and were essentially saying the same things. We’re looking at ways to not bogart the time speaking, and taking turns. I am with everyone, there isn’t excuse for rambling at the same time. This is definitely the biggest glaring error.
All-in-all, we were nervous. I think when the camera was on us, it was apparent. My mom was able to grab a screenshot of us at one point, and both of us looked like deer caught in the headlights. We went from seeing a Logitech webcam in front of us, to seeing a massive stage camera in front of us. We had no idea where to put our eyes. We had gotten advice from UltraDavid saying to look right at the camera, that we took too literally. Finally I realized I was going to lose my mind and started diverting my vision to Etienne at times, but being comfortable in front of that camera has to be something we get used to.
Moreover, I stepped too far out of my comfort zone. I am a good color commentator. Etienne’s the better analyst. I tried to step more into the latter, afraid of letting too off-color a joke creep in. By the end, I was giving some better color commentary, and I need to find a happy medium there, but I feel ultimately, that’s what I do well, and there’s no point in trying to change my stripes.
For a first try after so many amateur nights, we did fine. We have a lot to work on, and I thank people like UltraDavid and Arturo for giving us constructive criticism to lead us there. Rest assured, we’re listening, and we’re going to get there.
I definitely think this is the right direction for the scene. I know this sounds like things people have already said. But this is a good direction. We are legitimate. People know this game because of things like this. Seeing articles about the scene in places like ESPN and Fox only makes me happy. I feel like people trying to hold it back in being community driven only are only hindering how great Street Fighter and variants can actually be. It’s like people who support bands through their grassroots days, then call them sellouts when they get major recording contracts. If you didn’t want the band to succeed, why did you buy their merchandise during the grassroots era? You only fed the notion to agents and labels that they were profitable.
I definitely think we can be true to our roots without being sellouts. Too many times things get called a sellout without any evidence of it other than they can provide for themselves off of doing what they love. I’m just grateful to be able to have some income off of something I love. Whether something like this becomes my primary source of income or not, this is a huge blessing that I don’t take for granted. I feel like people need to start thinking along those lines.