At its heart, Geek Bomb is fundamentally about celebrating, inspiring, and getting to know women in geek. Founded by our Boss Bomb Maude Garrett and featuring a Bomb Squad filled with diverse, talented, and totally badass ladies, Geek Bomb has a mindset much like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Females are strong as hell. And it’s about time we start celebrating that again. So, we’ve decided to relaunch Women in Geek, our interview series that spotlights, shows off, and talks about the wonderful ladies who are leading the geek entertainment field.
Joining us for this round is OMGitsfirefoxx! A self-professed “full time dragon slayer, part time sniper, vodka enthusiast, programmer,” OMGitsfirefoxx has taken the geek world by storm — streaming regularly on Twitch; uploading hilarious unboxings, vlogs, and gameplay clips on her YouTube channel; and even co-hosting the PC Gaming Show at this year’s E3! Read on to find out all about her nerd background, how she got her start, and her biggest inspirations. Geek Bomb: First off, when did you realize that you were, in essence, a geek? What geeky things are you up to now?
OMGitsfirefoxx: When I was very young, I used to sneak downstairs onto my Opa’s computer and play DOS games without him knowing. I don’t even think he knew that I figured out DOS commands and taught myself to navigate the menus and found the games, haha! I used to play Jazz Jackrabbit, Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem, etc. for hours. During my love for gaming and going to geeky, stores I found a love for card games as well. Very young, I’d play and trade Pokemon cards (with my most prized possession being a super cool holo Blastoise!) and as I got older I got deeply into MTG. Nowadays, I collect old-school systems and games, and still keep up with new games as well 🙂
GB: Let’s get our foot in the door by asking how you got your foot in the door. What’s your industry origin story – how did you get started? What advice can you give to those looking to break into your industry?
OMG: I was in a long-distance relationship at the time, and they were streaming constantly, so I thought it would be a cool way to keep up with them and spend time. I started to build an audience and was shocked to see them stick around even while I was streaming and making videos on my own, and things just grew from there!
My biggest advice is BE HONEST AND BE YOURSELF. I am very attached to my community; they are honestly like family to me. I’m very open about myself and my life, and I try to remember things about their lives and try to make it feel like a safe space for them to be a part of, a place where they can be themselves, too. It’s really a two-way street: I can be my weird self and be accepted, as they can, too!
GB: What is the most difficult obstacle that you’ve had to overcome in your industry or maybe even still overcoming?
OMG: I think two obstacles I’ve ran into over the years is burnout and my own mental health, which are very closely tied together. I had become so addicted to my community and so involved with not disappointing them that I was overworking myself brutally. I was streaming every single day for hours and hours and still trying to do daily videos along with living a normal life. (How the heck did I do that, seriously?)
Every time I took a day off and tried to have time to myself, I saw so many messages of people sad, upset, etc. that I [wasn’t] live and I felt disheartened. I couldn’t focus on myself and couldn’t focus on relaxing. In an industry like this, when you’re your own boss, when you take time away, you feel like you’re wasting time. You feel like you SHOULD be working and producing content all the time; it can become very toxic.
This all feeds into my second obstacle: mental health. I suffer from depression, and when all of these previous issues arise, it feeds into my mental state VERY deeply, and sometimes it’s hard to shake. It’s hard to force yourself to be on camera and be entertaining when you’re just not feeling well and not taking the time to relax and destress yourself. If I could give any advice, dream as big as the sky, but be realistic with your expectations of yourself! And take a bath and unplug once and a while!
GB: Picture yourself at ten years old. What advice would you give her? What would she love to know about present-day you? Anything by which she’d be surprised?
OMG: OMG 10-year-old me wouldn’t believe this. Even 26-year-old me doesn’t believe this most days, haha. I would tell her to stop caring about what people think of you. SERIOUSLY IT DOES NOT MATTER, YOU DO YOU BOO! Take care of yourself, do well in school, forget about boys when they come along, and focus on being happy and having a blast! I’d tell her things are well now. We can eat ice cream literally any time we want; isn’t adulthood awesome?
GB: Who are your female role models and/or inspirations?
OMG: Growing up I always loved Beyonce. She’s so sexy and fierce and takes no crap. I wanted to be as strong and badass as her. Nowadays, I look at so many inspirational and hardworking women in our industry, and it’s impossible to pick just one! If I’m pressed to choose, I admire Lilly Singh beyond words. She is so, so, so strong and hardworking and she is KILLING THE GAME. I want to take just one-tenth of her motivation and strength and I think I could take over the planet. She’s insane! I LOVE her.
GB: Who are some of your favourite fictional female characters of all time?
OMG: Oh man, it’s really tough to boil it down to one outstanding fictional lady. I share admiration with so many for different reasons. Growing up I loved Matilda, and now grown-up, I feel like I have a much deeper appreciation for her because I can relate to her. She was beyond her control in a very toxic environment, but still advocated her way to a greater future and overcame adversity. Also she had badass telekinetic powers and messed around with some people in hilarious way[s].
GB: How would you like to see this industry grow for not only women, but within the entertainment space?
OMG: Just overall more support and investment in women personalities, content creators, developers, coders, everything involved. More programs that engage young women looking to be in the industry and show them that we kick ass — and this is our space, too — and encourage them to be involved and follow their dreams.
GB: Where can people discover more about you? Socials/website/podcast or channel links.
Thanks again to the lovely OMGitsfirefoxx for joining us to celebrate the magic of women in the nerd world!