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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 2, Episode 9 · 2 years ago

2-8. Andrew's Mahomies

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are joined by their good friend Andrew Mahone for a jam packed episode ran by the dynamic trio! This episode covers passion, content creation, and self-love. You don't want to miss this super-episode!

What is up everybody? Welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card Games Premiere podcasting to Oh I'm joint to day by two very good friends of mine, both JW Creewall, who you know and love, and someone I think is very familiar to as well, Andrew Mahone. Guys, how we doing today? Doing great, Riley, I am pretty tired. All right. Yeah, we're trying to keep that energy. Yeah, for sure. We are very thankful that you decided to agree to come on the show. It's just really great to chat with to chat with players. It's awesome to hear some you know, kind of backstories and different perspectives, and so we're really thankful. What was I gonna say? No, yeah, you guys are two my best friends. I mean you good. It just like it just would like reflect under your character. Yeah, and our friendships like tow I was literally in your wedding party. Yeah, you know, there's the least I can do. I'm difference between work and play, you know, glad to be here. I'm glad to be here right, right, and this is this is definitely work that we're up to today, for sure. Yeah, right, all work, no play. This is nothing like any other day that we talk, which is every single day. Right, speaking of talking every single day, you just showed us you're Matt you're pretty Nice House the other day. How's it feel to like completely aside from Pokemon, just be like moving around and like kind of settling down a little doing things? Yeah, I mean, it's kind of like a D job. For a while, I feel like what you say. I was kind of like a Dgen for a while, squatting. Yeah, well, squatting is not something that I am unfamiliar with, I guess. And Yeah, I mean like I kind of been floating and drifting around for a long time. It ever since I graduated college. I actually, you know, funny story. The year after I graduated college, I actually, like, you know, I squatted in a dorm room illegally. I am I lovely Alma Mater, you know, for an entire year free rent, you know, just with my girlfriend at the time. You know, youreretically, that happened for legal purposes. Yeah, you're ready. Definitely, I had a job. Well, I had a job in town. I was a foot apart time photo journalist, you know. So right, I had a job and I was trying to make ends meet and you know, you're just, you know, some part of the time I was living in my girlfriend's parents place. Part of the time I was like blotting in a dorm room, you know I mean. And since then it's just been kind of pop it around from apartment to apartment. I went back home and live with my parents for a year to you know, and then, you know, have been living in northeast Ohio for the last five years and now I'm thirty one years old and finally my life is starting to call them together as a professional Gamer, you know, and and things are steady enough that I was able to convince mortgage company to hip you up and alone. So that's pretty dope. A while you, I know, you were a pretty nervous I was. Well, okay. So the timeline, you know, kind of goes like this. You know, thankfully Natalie did, did sign on with me, so we were able to use our combineding. Comes from a loan, so that was a big help. But I think about two years ago, year and a year and a half ago, I quit teaching. So you're in a half go. I quit teaching to, you know, to to pursue this career. Of content creation and, you know, in the partnership with full group Games, and that doesn't exactly look great. You know, on you know, as far as your work history and things like that. You know, it's not steady. You know, I'm trying to convince own officers and stuff like. Oh, yeah, you know what, I have all these different sources of income. They're like online and and I don't really hey, the bits. You got to look at the bits, the bits right, tryon. So actually, what was huge this here and making it happen was that I needed to report my two thousand and nineteen taxes and I claimed everything. So yeah, you know. So that was like that's me. You know, this is real. You know, this is my real job. It's not a side hustle. You know, we put it all together and, you know, and it looks pretty convincing. Usually they like two years of history, but we were able to get by with basically putting together the two thousand and nineteen portfolio and airline. All right, that's fine, and you know, between that and signing with Natalie, it worked out. It still doesn't feel real. I've been squatting and kind of moved around different apartments for so long that I feel like I'm on vacation in someone else's house. But you know it get there. I feel like I'm playing animal crossing, kind of real life. Yeah, and real life and you will got their life. You gotta go out and weed, and real life animal crossing is like way better, I think. I don't know. Well, you can't get your...

...neighbors with axes usually, that's true. That's true. And you can't force anybody to move right. So it's been a lot of fun and I'm excited about it. It's overwhelming it away, because it's like wow, I have all these real grown responsibilities now, but it's also very exciting. So what's the scariest thing about moving out into a house? Like what are you worried about, like coronavirus, you know, all this like economy stuff happening, or are you just kind of chilling? You feel confident there? I I feel like yes, I mean I'm concerned in a way because obviously, like everybody, everybody has to kind of, you know, wonder about their own financial security in future and especially being, you know, in the gaming industry, you're wondering, okay, you know, how can we survive this? Certainly these are trying economic times. Fortunately, the community for, you know, a tricky Jim and if full full group Games has been extremely supportive and encouraging throughout this entire thing and has really made me feel like we're going to be able to to weather this and come out on the other side stronger than we went into it. So I feel blessed and encouraged by the people around me, the tricky gym community, the full grip squad here and and I feel like I feel like a sense of piece. Like, you know what, at a certain point, worrying is not going to you know, is not going to better my situation at all. I just got to continue kind of working and and doing the best that I can and and trying to stay versatile as well, and that's something that is kind of been a constant property in my own kind of career here and content creation, is that I'm trying to make sure they don't have all my eggs in one basket. Actually have multiple baskets, as you know, and and so long as I have enough baskets to draw from, we will probably be okay. And unfortunately twitch has been very strong and very promising lately. Full grip has been very strong, very promising. You know, Youtube, Patreon, there's all these different kind of avenues. So it's like, even if one of those four things collapses, I still have three legs to stand on. So Pretty, pretty good. That's right. Absolutely. So, with that said, how what's your concern? I don't want to, you know, make this so negative, but obviously you know, with the Times that we're in right now, it's a very trying time for artists. You know, you mentioned gamers. What are your thoughts about Pokemon specifically? You know, with the world championships being canceled, this is one of the things, I think, the farthest out in my life, that's been impacted. You know, we've had looking at my schedule, like my orchestra concerts for maybe the next month or two I've been canceled, but now we're looking into April, or excives me, into August, and that's like the farthest thing out of anything that I've seen. And how does that affect you? Knowing that information, how does that maybe affect your content and what you're trying to produce? The content is is very stressful to produce right now, because one of my favorite things to produce is tabletop content, right, so like having the full group weekly tournament, bringing people together, sitting down with another player and talking about plays and creating content, you know, facetoface over a tabletop game. That is my favorite content to produce and that is kind of being like ripped out from under me. So, like I said, you know, not just from under me, but I mean from everybody, right. So, like, but that is a that's kind of what I've built my channel on, is really trying to, you know, do this tabletop stuff. And now if I'm doing tabletop, it's like pretty much Solo Dolla, you know, or not meeting or gathering in any kind of way. So that's tough and and is kind of forcing me to have to try and think outside the box of how to how to create stuff, how to create engaging contents, and do that without being able to meet up with people, which is tough. And I'm already thinking like, you know, what are we going to do for the next the the the sets and all that to come out? You know, typically we get together, you know, and we do tabletop stuff. Now it's like a little bit, you know, it's not it's not good to be traveling. I mean, it's actually you know, advice if I gets locks. So we're not going to be doing that. Obviously. As far as tournaments go, bigger things like that, I will say, you know, the going to regionals like often, cups, things like that. It's all extraordinarily stressful and puts a lot of wear and tear, not only realities. I was thinking about that today. It's like how I was. You know, we had discussed earlier this season about how is kind of like not feeling anymore.

Let's think about quitting and then all see, but all a sudden I'm feeling it again. Then the season is just over right and I just yeah, it feels in a way it's kind of relieving, even though it's like also sad. I don't know, it's extremely sad, but it also I'm constantly kind of wrestling with this pressure of you know, I feel like I should be at events because this is my profession, this is what I do. Right also, since it is it's my profession and is what I do, I need to make sure that all the decisions that I'm making are financially viable. I need to make sure that I'm not just, you know, trying to go to an event because I want to perform well, but because it's financially the best thing to do. This is now my job, this is how I support a household and things like that. So you know all those questions and and pressures that have. Like you know, which events do I go to? I have to get my invite for sure, because if I don't like, you know right and fail, then that is a huge, you know, black mark. I write so like exactly, so I can I cannot fail, right, but I also have to get my invite while while being the most financially savvy about it that I possibly can, because it's my career, right. So it's like all those dresses are all of a sudden out the window, which is nice in a way and honestly, honestly, gone for next year too, I don't have to worry about it, right every next year the invite, you know. Well, they have an announced what what it'll be, but my initial impression is that will be more or less similar to what this year's invite is and there's just going to be a Giganto worlds. It's kind of that was the impression of from the announcement, for sure. Yeah, so you know all those stressors are gone and in a way it's like, okay, now I just get to focus on content creation and all the stressors of the season have kind of been lifted, which is a huge blessing in a way, like I'm very thankful ful for that, because I get to focus on on creation, though creating is harder now than it used to be, so I has like a new set of challenges. But I'm not going to lie, a new set of challenges in some ways is refreshing sometimes when you're just in that like weak de week grind, right. So, so it's nice and that way. Obviously, you know, it's a horrible situation and I'm not trying to make light of the the horrible things that are going on and the people that are affected, and it's obviously terrible, but you know, and and my hearts go out to you know, my heart goes out to everybody who has been affected by it. You know. But as far as, like you know, from the competitive season, I'm not heartbroken that the season is over. In a way it's just like, okay, we've been doing this for eight years. Having a season off outside of my control is like not bad, you know, for sure. So. It's interesting though, because, and I know tag team not to maybe the same degree, but we have thought about this as well. It's the tournaments and our content kind of interplay right. There's that relationship between them and especially you as a full time content creator. You've mentioned thinking of like new avenues to do stuff. Have you have any like developed thoughts or promising ideas that you'd like to share? It all for new content to create in spite of the spite of the situation going on? Yeah, yeah, it's really all still in in progress. Obviously, like I'm streaming a lot right now. You know, ptcg Oh is like the the thing that you're right, there are some people doing different online types of tournaments and things like that. You know, the limit list tournament that they're hosting. I think that's a that's a solid idea and, you know, some sort of organization like that, I think would be very nice. Now, as I've been brainstorming about various things to do, I would love to create, you know, some sort of online tournament series or something like that. You know, pokemon training card game online as a client is not very conducive to doing so, as there is no spectator mode. So how do we record these games? Because, like, my mind is entirely content creation. So I'm not just trying to host a tournament, I want to present a tournament, right. So how do we present a tournaments, a completely digital tournaments, and then not just present one, but it has to live up to my production standards as well, which are probably a little bit too high for my own good. It's probably the church point. It very much is, because I'm aware that you could have, you know, everybody in the tournaments ringcap their own, you know, screen, and you get it together...

...and then all of a sudden we got boom, where it? You know, we're good. You could also do the same thing with sky calls. You know, I gotta you know, I got a Webcam, you got a Webcam and we play tabletop. But like, yes, figuring out how do we get a high production, watchable stream that would make sense not just to the fans of the POKEMON trading card game but to new players. Right, is that, I feel like something that it feels so out of reach right now. So trying to, you know, push that envelope and figure out what can we do while not getting together is it's proven to be an extraordinarily challenging, you know, question and something that I'm still wrestling with. Yeah, yeah, that's fair. That's fair for sure. I mean, especially once you add scalability to it, right, like the more people that are involved, especially in terms like a tournament, the harder and harder gets to have something, especially if something of quality, right, right. And then it's like if you do it like a wild wide scale, like the bigger, the bigger the tournament, you know, you you're now asking like certain matches or pairings to like, you know, screen record and there's going to be inconsistencies, you know, amongst various setups and computers and things like that. And then, and then also, you know it, if you limit it to like I think the more realistic idea is to have like an invite tournament that you then present in a way, right, right, but then you need to you need to coordinate, say, like keeping it real reasonable, eight people, right, have an eight person round robin invite tournament. Then I need to coordinate for all eight people to have the exact same set up in the exact same recording and have it be very consistent amongst, you know, all of the matches that we produce and it would be a gigantic endeavor. Yeah, yeah, and even with eight people right with people, it would be a gigantic endeaver. Yes, absurd. It kind of where I'm at right now. Yes, even getting two people to coordinate their exact setup is a little bit of a tab yes, it is. Yes, so I getting to get it over to put headphones on. Most of you. It messes with the BUN now, right, for sure, and your I'm team. Everybody's getting a man button and in the pandemic because we can't go to the barber. Are you in on that? Yeah, I mean, yeah, we got. We get the flow. I mean, yes, the flow is the filthy salad. Wasn't going to call it that, but yes, the flow of I don't obviously it's like no shade. November just kind of expanded into people. It's see, maybe even longer. It's the isolation flow, for sure. That's right. Yeah, yeah, I mean, and who knows what happens when we get out. You know, it's like we could shade days. Maybe it's stay, maybe it sticks exactly. You know, maybe it just endears itself to myself in the world around me. Now I'm getting it's getting like a little personal now, dude, of you the thing. Maybe the man Bun has taken over. Maybe I am the man Bun. Hard to say, but I digress. contact. So you talk a lot, Andrew, about, you know, kind of the quality that you want to get out of your streams, out of, you know, tournaments that you would potentially, you know, present. How does that kind of production quality influence just the way that you go about your everything? Like, how does it? How does it affect your branding? How does it affect, I don't know, just the choices that you make on on equipment and gear? Talk to us a little bit about that, your high production quality, because I think that's something that's a little bit, I don't want to say different, like I that's not like a put down on anyone else, but I think you've definitely like raise the game in terms of content creators for Pokemon, specifically on what it could look like, you know, the ideal stream. Right. I think it's interesting because when you say like high production quality, it's all a matter of perspective, right, like well, sure, it's all a matter of like well, and for Pokemon, I guess, is what and who you're comparing yourself to and and I guess, like you know, in my you know, in my experience, by production quality is not nearly high enough or where needs to be, because I am I'm comparing myself to, you know, the producers and and the in the channels that I kind of aspire to be like and the ones that I look up to. You know, I'm looking primarily at magic the gathering, right, and I'm saying like, okay, you know, as far as a game goes, like they're and I hope that you know, Pokemon is looking at magically gathering as well and saying like, okay, you know, magic arena, the online client, first of all, that looks stunning. This looks amazing. heartstone, this looks stunning. This looks amazing right and hopefully our online client can be developed to a point where it...

...can it can kind of stand next to those. I think. You know, our game is good game design. POKEMON game design very good and I think the game is enjoyable and has been for years, and I think the properties of the POKEMON trading card game are extremely strong. But as far as my own production quality goes, I'm looking, you know, at a like star city games and their tabletop productions that I spend a lot of time looking at their productions and how they do their tabletop gameplay and I love what they do and a lot of my channel is trying to take inspiration from that and and trying to pour it into a pokemon context. And then, you know, as far as like I've watched some podcasts as well. I got the inspiration for my studio design for one of my my favorite skateboarding podcasts, the nine club, and I think that they do they don't do live stuff, you know, I think almost at all. They do all recorded podcasts and then and they post produce them and things like that, and but they're but the studio lay out of thought was beautiful and so I was like okay, cool, like this is awesome and like I could take some improve you know, some ideas from that. I could take some ideas from star city games and just try to like run them through the creative process and and and see, you know, what I end up coming up with, ed running with, and I think it's been really cool to see in the POKEMON trading card game, like other other channels, you know, rising up and and upping the game as well with their own production and I know that certainly motivates me to continue trying to raise the bar and the and it's like this healthy competition with all of us just trying to create more digestible, more enjoyable content for the viewers. In the end goal of all of it is to create content which is welcoming to new players, that is going to bring New People into the game, and I think that that is probably one of my biggest motivators for creating a high production content or a high production stream, is that when you create something that's welcoming and it looks cared for and that there was lots of thought put into it, it's immediately attractive to somebody who might just be popping in for a second and then they might not know anything about what's going on, but at least it's nice to look at and it sounds nice and wow, okay, maybe I could in the people or friendly maybe I could stick around here and see what's going on, because I've never seen something that looks like this or that this looks this looks like something that I could be a part of. So it's like that that initial impression, that immediate, you know, reaction. I think goes a long way and being in the POKEMON training card game, being so invested into this community, that's got to be. I think us as content creators, are primary goals to try and bring new people into the fold and grow the size of the game so that, you know, so that we can continue doing what we love for for a very long time. Absolutely, absolutely so. What would you say, Andrew? Is your Creator Motto, Your Credo, your kind of directional phrase or whatever that you use to maybe guide yourself as you're as you're creating and as you're trying to improve? That's interesting. I am always trying to do my own thing. I always want to I want to be a little bit off the beaten path. I want to kind of like pave the way. I want to not follow trends, but I guess trend set in a way. I don't want to WHO, you know, I don't want to just bandwagon on something that someone else is doing if it's a you know, if it's not in my vision of what I what I think is a good idea. So I very much want I take lots of inspiration from lots of different areas that I'm not, you know, going to try and hide that. But I definitely want to. I want to, you know, create something new. I want to create something that's never been done before or been or do it in a way that is do it in a way that's not been done before. Right. So it's it's always a matter of not not just, you know, regurgitating something, but how do I how do I represent something in a New Light? You know, sure, so I'm just curious hearing you talk. You know, you have this very nuanced and eloquent take on content creation and what it means to you. What kind of push you into that space? Right, it feels like, I feel like you've always pursued creative endeavors like throughout your life, like, but what made pokemon and POKEMON trading card game? That's going to be your career. That's going to be what you make content creation out of. It's crazy, all right.

Yeah, I mean, I guess when I was, while I was a teenager, I was I had always been creating, right, and it's really all just coming together now, which kind of blows my mind. But like now I can kind of I could kind of weave it all into a tale that makes sense now and it all and it all makes sense. Now that I'm here. I'm like, wow, this didn't just happen overnight. I've actually, if you go all the way back, this started when I was like twelve, you know, and and and I grew up with this and I kind of it all came to be because this is, you know, being creative and creating things and pokemon. These are bit passions of mine for forever, even if twitch streaming was not a thing or even if youtube was not a thing. Forever, you know, I kind of have been on this trajectory for a long time. So, you know, my biggest passions growing up were we're, POKEMON and skateboarding. Those two were like the biggest things, and running and and I created content when I was in high school that had to do with running and skateboarding. Those were the things. I used to make DVDs. Every year I would film videos for my cross country teams and my track teams and I would film and edit DVDs that kind of, you know, followed our seasons and and different races and things like that. And and I would sell them for like five bucks a pop at the end of the season and I would I would hustle. Ou'd make some money, you know, but it was a lot of work. At worked old season to do that right and like hours, hours and hours of editing, you know, and I would make like at the end of the season. Everybody would buy one and I make like two hundred fifty bucks. I like God, that's it. Say So, like, you know. And and I ended up making a skateboarding video with me and all my friends and, you know, we worked on that for years. It took like three or four years and and my local skate shop, you know, helped me produce it. Like he he encouraged me to really, you know, pursue this thing. I talked about the fact that me and my friends were filming a video for a long time and he was like, you know what, I'll throw your release party, I'll sell your video at the store, I'll give you some footage from, you know, for me and some of the skaters, for you do like, you know, me and some of the other sponsored skaters to using your video if you really make this a thing. So I was like, Oh my God, he basically put me on and like helped me produce this video that I had a premiere for. It was super sick, you know, they're like thirty people showed up in the skate shop. We all huddled in and put the DVD on and watched it and like two thousand and seven and and this is the this is the crap that I was doing, you know, as a sixteen and seventeen year old, you know, throwing premiere parties for skateboard video and stuff like that, and uploading videos to Youtube of, you know, me skating to like emo songs and all sorts of all sorts of stuff, you know. And then so, like when my parents were like you're going to college and I was like I would rather just kind of be a skate rat, you know, they were like no, and you know, I'll go. So like that's a that's fine. It one of my my dad is my dad's a doctor and his work is work, cleterally big doctor. Yeah, he's kind of a piece like vice president of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, so like you, which is a brain research department of Johns Hopkins. Like, I mean, it's nuts right. So, like his job, his job, was going to pay for half my college. You know what I mean? That's just one of the perks he has of like his workplace and he was just like you're going, like I don't care what you do, but you're going, you know, because, like he he had worked, you know, his life so that I could go like that was like, you know. So he was like you're going, I don't care, you're just going to go and you learn and you and you grow up and then you do whatever you want. My Dad's always been an extremely encouraging both my parents have, but it was he was very they're very principal that, like you're going. I was like okay, sir. So I went and I originally was like all right, I will do communication arts. And as I was getting into communication arts, I was like this is all having to do with like very. It was against everything that I was very do it yourself, produce it myself. Now all of a sudden I'm in like newsrooms, like mock up newsrooms, run in switchers and stuff, and with other people, having to work with other people. I was like no, no, so then I switched to an art in technology degree with basically they let me do whatever I wanted. So I was like that's dope, you know, but I had to kind of get it, you know, I had to get a degree in something. So I got it in photography and that's how I know how to light a set. And then, you know, I went on to become a photojournalist and art teacher and then eventually stumbled all the while when I when I graduated...

...college, I started playing pokemon competitively because I was done with running, and I was creating during college, but I was creating stuff that was considered fine art, which was very strange and unlike anything I'd ever done before. I basically, when I graduated college, I knew how to do nothing, but I knew how to create. Have you ever shown those like college era photos off? Not often now. All those things I have, they're crazy, they're they're they're funky. I mean they are like intended to hang in museums or something. Is like what they're supposed to do, you know. So it was weird to create like that for a long time, but it did. It was formative, though. I learned and I grew up by you know, I learned a lot and and then going into photojournalism was extremely different, because I was creating during college this art that basically had no purpose other than to communicate and be creative, and then hopped into the workplace and now I have a job where I have to work and be creative, but I have a I have a mission right which is to communicate. So, like now I'm really starting to get into the communication part of like art. And then, like, you know, that was formative. And then, you know, being an art teacher, I learned a hold different set of skills, how to talk at Nauseum for hours on end, you know, and things like that, and hold the floor and gain attention, you know what I mean. Like these are things I learned, you know, how to instruct. And and then, as I was doing all of that, you know, I my photojournalism, my becoming an art teacher, I was, you know, fall in love with a pokemon trading card game and the competitive scene, and I don't really do anything casually. So, like I made it my mission to get as good as that as I possibly could. And then, and then, you know, Opportunity kind of struck in two thousand and seventeen and it all really started to come together. Yeah, yeah, let's talk about that opportunity. So first was Diriam's and kind of talk us through how that materialized. And you know where you went. I mean obviously from there went full grip, but kind of talk us through that process of your various I know, what would you call it? Sponsors throughout the time. Yeah, you've been creating. Yeah, so like, I guess, the very first thing, it was actually two thousand and fifteen, which was like Poka beach, right, so like one regional championship, Polka Beach Road at you know, reached out to me and offered me a article writing position, and that was actually my dream. I was like, Oh, we've got it. Worried or it, because, like I had grown up reading articles and there. That's basically what I did to learn how to play, and I was like this is the end, end game of being a professional poke about player. You can make a hundred dollars to write four thousand words. Yeah, I'm right, sign me. So like that in two thousand and fifteen, that was like the dream come true and then, you know, continued on with you know, with the writing Gig for a long time and then eventually, I think Ultra Reality Games was going to create the first pro pokemon team, right. That was sponsored and things like that, you know, things that it previously seemed like a joke in the POKEMON trading card game and I submitted my appe clate application to it alter reality and they, you know, are actually right down the street here in after you know, they're Madine Ohio, and they accepted me on to the team. I did that for a while, which was like, you know, interesting in its own way. And then, and then, in two thousand and seventeen, the summer, I got top eight at the North American International Championships and Darium, who was like another card shop and he's like a mega viral Youtuber, reached out to me. It was like, Hey, have you thought about trading your own Youtube Channel? I would like you to work for me and like run a competitive YouTube channel. So I, you know, gave up a RG and hop ships to go over to Darium's and we work together for about a year and a half or so, and it was working with Darium was amazing. I mean, I'll have to say it was absolutely incredible, because he here is this like take everything that I told you about me growing up and being like an independent content creator and aspiring to do all that. I pretty much lost all of that throughout like trying to chug through the system of being like a photojournalist and being a teacher. Right, all that like do it yourself, you know, all that creativity and pretty much been like scrubbed off me at that point and now I'm just trying to, you know, fit myself into the machine somehow so I can live my life right. And then I'm at Darium, who is this guy who just doesn't answer to anybody. He lives, he lives just at his house with is with this fiance it. It is kid and they and they just have their own life together and he supports himself entirely with his content. And I was like,...

Whoa, you know, you are like a you know, a viral Youtuber, and you make your own way in life and you don't have a job. This is your job. Your job is that you you make Internet money. How do you do that? So I was like that's insane. So I just like worked with Darium for a year and a half. It just soaked everything I could while teaching, mind you. So I would like teach during the day and then like soaked information from Darium at night and just try to like learn everything that could about what he did, how he lived, how he managed his finances, how he how he you know was engaging and how he how he lived his online life and I found that absolutely fascinating and at a little you know, after a while the his virality on youtube was starting to wane a little bit. You couldn't afford to pay US and stuff. So like. So we kind of went our separate ways. We still have a working relationship, you know, I still love the Guy, but but yeah, we like professionally we went our separate ways and I approached Jamison full group games in the fall of two thousand and eighteen and it was like on my last leg teaching and was like I'm doing I had burnt myself out and that year and in a half or so, that a year or yeah, between the year and year and a half or so that I work for dairy am, I completely burnt myself out of like teaching, because I was going to graduate school for Special Rafication to so like I was just doing too much and I was ready to throw in the towel with teaching and I confronted Jamison and Jamison basically was like hey, man, just you can work here. You could do some videos like on the clock, but you're going to have to hustle the shop to like help us make ends me, and I was like cool, yeah, you know, and I took a pay cut, you know, for my teaching job to like go work at full grip and, you know, basically it was like that was my kind of step out of the box. And then, after almost less than a year being at full grip, Jamison was like, yeah, you don't need to work at the shop anymore. Just just help us, you know, help us cell cards and we're good, and that was it. So then I was like that was like the umbilical cord was cut, and now it's just like a real sponsorship that it pays the salary and my job is to help promote this store that I love because all of my homies work here. So like it's just a dream come true. And and when I'm like, you know, advocating for full grip, I you know, it's not just I'm advocating for some business because they send me a check. It's like right, I'm advocating for this your friend, believe, but these are my friends, these are these are the people that I love and care about. This is my family now and and it feels very real and it's very satisfying and and I'm extremely blessed and thankful for the the situation that I'm in now. That's awesome, what I mean of that story. What would you have said? Was Your like happiest time? You know, what was the like biggest thing? Was it finally getting like to work for deariums, or was it getting to work for full grip? Was it getting your you know, salary negotiation done? are like, what was the happiest moment of this whole process? Jameson told me that I didn't have to work at the shop anymore. Yeah, that was it. That was it. I mean that was like that was pure creation. Yeah, that was it. That was everything that we had worked for. It was just like this is it. I mean my whole life I had wanted to be like a you know, like a professional skateboarder or something like that, or I'd wanted to be able to make a living just doing what I love to do, and now I'm to work every day and I just do what I love to do and it has it is stressful. Natalie could attest that I come home almost every night just like banging my head against the wall like about various things that I you know, various things that I find frustrating or that I struck because I stressed myself out, is that it's the major thing is because I have I have like absurdly high goals for myself and basically, and I don't ever give myself a break, but I think that that's probably what it takes to be able to end up doing what I do anyway. So like that's that's just fine for sure, you know. So I want to go back a little bit to dairy o, you, dare Um. We've talked a lot about dare I'm and his virality and you know, he has a real mind for like the Internet world. I've heard you say many times. Yes, he is actually more tapped into the Internet than anybody I've ever known. Right, for sure, for sure. So I want to know specifically, if you could choose like your top three ish lessons from day Um, what would those be? You absorbed so much from him. What what's the top three? His big thing? And he did, he did he was amazing at this, something that I would...

...aspire it. It's not. I I've seen dairy Um said this and Casey nine stat has also said this, another gigantic you tuber. Right, but it was just like, don't do second takes, right, don't do second takes. You just hit record and you start going and that's it and you're just young with that right. I son't abide by that, but try. Yeah, but I try as hard as I can. I'm too much of a perfectionist and it probably holds me back, but people like Darium and people like Casey Nin Stat, they honestly there. I could, I can attest to the fact that has has. I recorded audio for like six hours today. It was horrible. I recorded audio for six hours today trying to get ten minutes. Okay, ten minutes of audio, like what for a video, dude? That's the that's exactly my personality to I understand. So like home, my God, right. So, like I sometimes it doesn't matter. Is that they just doesn't matter. You don't need things, don't need to be perfect when you're there is no such thing as perfect, right, like what is perfect? Right? So, like his kind of embracing of this, you know, of his own self, and the content is him. He is the content, right, with all of his, you know, imperfections and personality and flares and all of that. That is the content, right. So having that that mindset of like the content doesn't need to be this. I am the content. This is the content. You know whatever, with all the mistakes and the errors and the whatever and the lived in feel of it. Right, that is the content. So, like that was a major thing. He would he would hound me when I would when I would hand them the memory card, because he used to do the editing. I used to literally just walk over and I'd press record and I do a video clip and I'd give them the SD card and he would edit it and up at to Youtube right and he would get he would hound me if I gave him a d SD card and I was like, all right, brothers, like a few takes on their US take three. He be like what do you mean? There's three takes? It's like that was a huge, huge, huge lesson. Another big thing I learned from him was to live within your means right, and that actually is gigantic as far as content creators go, because a lot of content creators make it big and then they go buy a big house, move out to California. They do. You know, there's these things. You hit a million subs, you move to California. These are the kinds of things that you do rights and a lot of people will kind of see the trend going up and they're like, okay, you know, views are good. You know, add rat is good, things are good. I can afford this now. I can afford this now. Whereas like Darium lives an extremely modest life in northeast Ohio, is bills are very few and he makes way more money than he needs to live, but he saves it, you know, and he saves it for when times are bad or for when you know he may need it. He builds himself a nest dig that he could basically live off of for years at a time if he had to, you know, and that also allows him not only to not only to to have security in being his own boss, it also allows him to take breaks, right, which is which is probably my third thing, right, is to take breaks. Now, Darian will is the kind of person who will like dive into a project and he'll grinding, grinding, grinding, grinding, grind, and like be obsessed with a project for four months and months and months and months, and then he'll take some time off and he'll just you'll just go and he'll retreat and he'll, you know, and he'll give himself a mental break for a while and then he'll come back to the grind, and I think that that is probably one of the biggest things about being a content creator, is to give yourself some mental space, give yourself breaks. Personally, I've committed to only streaming five days a week or working five days a week, because I'm a believer in that as well, that I need to give myself those two days to mentally refresh so that I can come back and bring my a game back on Monday instead of just running myself into the ground seven days a week and being a part of the POKEMON trading card game scene. Fortunately, I am able to do that, and I know that many other streamers in many other games are not able to do that and we'll just stream ten hours a day, twelve hours a day, you know, seven days a week, and that's just it, and that's what they have to do in order to remain relevant. So that, to me, sounds like a nightmare. And you know, and I think that taking breaks is something if you if you want to be a long time content creator, you have to know when to say when and when to take care of yourself, which is something that I've also learned from him. So those are awesome tenants, real good course. For another another...

...thing, another thing so unfortunate, I learned from because there's million, there's like no, I mean keep him rolling as much, but like one of his one of his other biggest things with and he actually didn't think I was cut out for it, which which is hilarious. When with dairy, him and I met, he didn't think I was cut out for the content creation because he thought I was too much of a Softie, right. He kind of intentionally prodded me, impressed my buttons right in ways that he knew he would get to me. So he kind of, like you, kind of intentionally did that to kind of like test me out right to see if I was cut out for the Internet life. And and one thing that Darium does extremely well as he doesn't let negative comments get to him, he doesn't get youtube comments get to them, he doesn't let trolls get to him or anything like that. And that was something that he also tried to you know, tried to drill into me early on, was that you need to be confident in yourself. You're the one with the camera there. They're watching you like who cares what anybody has to say. If it's all positive, forget them. They're going to be those kinds of people. You know, move on and focus on yourself in the community that cares about you. Don't focus on the negativity, and he is extremely good at doing that. So there's also a big thing for sure. Insane. So you talked about as well, playing pokemon sort of out of college is when you came into it. That feels kind of like a late stage of life to pick up pokemon. Yeah, and of course you've been a pokemon fan forever. You played Red and blue. There still your favorite games, much to everyone else's tiger in. So, like Jen weter what and you also call out as well, though, other games that have this really high production value and like much easier to draw other people in. So, with Pokemon having that absent, what kind of drew you in, or was there a piece of content or some sort of avenue that drew you to it? It's hilarious. I was drawn into Pokemon just because it's the world's biggest franchise. Yeah, I guess you know. That probably helped. I could tell you it was nobody's content brought me in. That's for sure. Yeah, that's fair. Of me into Pokemon was the fact that I could go to Walmart and buy a theme deck and there were Pokemon on, you know, on the theme decks that I knew and liked. Right. So, like I was already a fan of the franchise and I think that's if people get into pokemon. That's usually how they're getting into Pokemon, is because they like the franchise. And when you talk about, you know, getting into the trading card game, you got to kind of use start with the franchise. You probably a fan of the franchise. Now, how did you trickle down and find way into this niche community over here, the TCG, because there are all there, even bigger, you know, umbrellas within the franchise and there's the the pokemon go over here, there's like the video game over here, and then I got here there court little corner, you know, we've got the trading card game. Now. I had I've been a fan of the POKEMON trading card game for a while. I used to bring my cards to High Schoy the time I was a senior in high school. I was confident enough to bring my pokemon cards to high school and played during breakfast. I did not care what anybody had to think about me. I was becoming my own man and, you know, wasn't you know, I was single, didn't have a girlfriend or anything like that, nor did I care about impressing anybody. I was just, you know, doing my own thing, living my own life and started to really embrace that as a part of who I was. In College I was very much into the video game because I would travel to events and things like that, you know for cross country and track, and I needed something to be able to do in the long bus rides and things like that, and the nintendo Ds, Pokemon Pearl, those were the things that I did. I logged like, you know, between five hundred and a thousand hours into my pokemon Pearl game. Then the first pokemon official event that I ever that I ever attended was a VGC regional actually, where I finished in the top thirty two. But there you go. Yeah, but but then that kind of like, you know, was my my hook in and then, you know, got into the pokem bought a theme deck with my girlfriend of the time. We bought them decks, we started battling them. Her them deck whooped my theme deck every time. So I started looking online about what cards could I are good, that I could put into my umbre on them deck so that it could be her spiond them deck. And I believe I I probably bought like some tyrannotar Primes, because that's about what was out in two thousand and eleven. Right, that's all right, dude. I bought sometimes I broken and I already I already owned one tyrannutar prime. I already owned one tire Radeo. Just needed three must because I would just like be at...

Walmart and I would randomly bypacks, you know, just because, like throughout college, because I still had a collection and I liked cards. You know, I just don't know long about. What was that? thes beond theme deck whooped the umbre on them deck. That's beyond. was just a stronger card. Yeah, that's unfortunate, though. It was unfortunate, right, so it was wrong. So I had to buy the tyrannatars and when I put the tyrannotars in, you know, to bollish her them deck, and then and then, you know, and then eventually I found my way at six Prizescom, which is where I was like, okay, people play this game and they're competitive about it. You know, and this is about the same time, you know that I graduated college, so I had stopped running competitively and needed something competitive to do to fill that void, right. So, yeah, it's pretty cool, though, that you kind of talk about the evolution of the game and content to where you started with online maybe forums, maybe articles, and it's just only the last two three years where this video content has really escalated to the point that we are now. Are you kind of seeing that this trajectory is very exciting to you? Do you think that we're kind of going to always be in this enclosed bubble that isn't going to expand, or, like, do you think the rapid expansion is something that we can kind of count on as a game? So I guess like clarify what do you mean by expansion of what's what are you of the video content, like, what are you talking about? Yeah, I mean just anything in general, like the the audience, the creators, like is that something that we think will are you think specifically will expand and grow in the future? Like it's obviously there's going to be some expansion, but at the same at the same rate, like are you hopeful for the future of the game and the audience? Yes, yes, or else, you know, I would have a harder time doing what I do. Like I think, like I'm always hopeful, but I'm not counting on there being some sort of balloon of you know, viewership or some sort of balloon of an audience. Nor do I care, you know, I don't. I don't need there to be thousands of people watching the POKEMON trading card game online in order to feel like we're successful as a community. That's just I don't. I do not care personally, and I think it's a you know, it's a niche thing. But like, what encourages me is that, like you go to you know, I love skateboarding. Skateboards one of my favorite things. Skateboarding just became an Olympic sport, right, the one of the yeah, all rightp the Olympics. You know they're moved to next year, but I mean, like in two thousand and twenty it was going to be a summer Olympic sport. So like you know. But but skateboarding kind of has always been this alternative culture thing. That's just what it is. And if you go to like thrasher on Youtube or the barracks, like two of the biggest, you know, skateboarding things. You know, the average video on thrasher gets between like Sixtyzero and maybe a hundred thousand views. That's just like. That's skateboarding, like all of skateboarding right gets that many. I would have thought, you know, no, it's alternative culture. That's just what it is. It's a niche audience for a very specific audience. But they create this insanely high production for relatively low viewership, right, all things considered. And it's because the people who are Indu Skating are rashion and driven and they love it. It's not about the money, right, it's about there doing what they love to do. So I've take that is informed a lot of what I do and a lot about how I feel about the POKEMON trading card game. And I love carts. I love the poke on trading card game. I think this game is great. I believe in it. It's and I think that the act of playing a tabletop game with somebody is something that I inherently believe in. And Yeah, and I think that it will always be a niche thing. It will, it will never be as big as some other things that are out there. But there will always be, and I do firmly believe, a community that loves tabletop games and I think that there will always be a community there for the POKEMON training card game as long as it continues to to go and I think that it, I think, I'm confident that it will continue to grow as a game. At this point I'm thirty one years old. The POKEMON trading card game has been around for twenty years strong. What's twenty more, you know? I think that that's I think that it's headed in a good direction and will continue to do so. My hope is that is that the online client will be developed in a way that shows the extensive love and care there's already put into the game, but that the right developers are brought in to show that same care to the series that we all we all have as well, and and I think that that...

...will certainly help with broadening the audience and bringing new players into the fold, because getting into a digital game is extremely easy. We're getting into a tabletop game will always be a niche thing that is harder to understand and because it's a little bit harder to understand that is part of what just keeps it always a niche thing. But getting into a new video game, you know, people get into video games all the time. It's very easy. You know, things are very, very easy to digest. We live it at digital culture these days. So I think if we want to grow the game and have it continued to in spit expand, we're going to have to you know, the franchise is going to have to invest heavily into making that a reality. So so what I'm hearing is that you want the Olympic gold medal for POKEMON trading cards. Yeah, I mean, like, okay, so, like I do believe that. Like it, because this is a big thing, like you know, kind of I compare pokemon and skateboarding a lot because they feel similar to me. But there was a big, kind of there's big, I guess, controversial controversy, but kind of almost controversy within the skateboarding community about whether or not it should be an Olympic sport. Right, because skateboarding as a culture is counter culture. So like by so if you go into the mainstream of the Olympics, then you're no longer counterculture. That's it, right or that like how could you possibly judge skateboarding in a just way, right and on an objective level, because it's everybody's unique because skateboarding is a lifestyle, right. Yeah, it's about the lifestyle. How could you judge? How could you just assess a number to it? Right? But certainly there are competitions and things like that. And you know, and I feel the same way about pokemon. So for me, when it's like when the competitions are gone, which they are right now, I am not heartbroken because it's about the lifestyle, right, it's that's what this is about. It's about the lifestyle. It's about playing the game on the tabletop with your friends. That's what POKEMON's about. So who cares the competitions are gone for a little while, that's fine. That's not what the Games about, right. The game is about the lifestyle of playing a tabletop game with your friends and and so on and so forth. It getting to enjoy competition with with one another. So, though, I do hope that pokemon makes it to that that level of, you know, of being big enough that that more people are able to be brought into the fold and enjoy this competition. You know, I hope that the audience grows and that our content is able to grow as well and we are able to grow the game. It's always going to be my goals to grow the game, sure, but but ultimately, you know, I don't really, you know, care if it gets that big. Who Cares? Yeah, right now, and you can't. You can't stress about something that's out of your no, no, where will I. You know, I'm going to keep doing the best job that I can, trying to, you know, communicate my love of the game and spread the love of the game to other people, because that's what makes me happy. But ultimately, you know, if it's just if my channel and all this stays the same size and I do it for twenty years, sure, you know. I know that. I know that I will have communicated the love of the game to a number of people and they got something out of it, and that's all the matters. Yeah, absolutely so. Then, I mean, continuing on this train of thought, then what's the future? I mean, is the future twenty more years of Pokemon, Andrew Mahone sitting behind a desk in front of all his merch streaming, you know, five days a week like. What is the future for you? That's a good question. I ask myself that all the time. Something, something that I have consistently consistent property of my life is that every theory, every three years, I've never been able to predict where I would be three years from that right. It's always been there's been something that comes up and changes drastically my trajectory or the trajectory of what I'm doing right now. This is the most confident that I've ever been that this, you know, content creation, is where I will be, you know, going forward. I was talking to forget I was talking to about this. Maybe it was, maybe it was now is Matt. I was talking about price, about this the other day as he was helping me move stuff into our into our house. You know, he's like, you know, what's the future? What if Pokemon dies? What if like? You know, what if this? What if that? At this point I am very confident that the skills that I have developed as a content producer are are able to be projected onto other things. At this point, my resume of video production and streaming and using multiple cameras and lighting at all of that is well documented and, you know, I could probably take these skills that I've really honed in over the last few years...

...and I could take them the to other efforts if I needed to, but but the hope is that I that I never need to. I mean my goal is to keep owning these efforts into this same thing and to make a you know, I think about this like what I'm going to look back in twenty years and what is going to be my life's work. A lot of it is fleeting. It's just it's live. It just you do it and then it's gone. You don't get to hold it in your hand like I made this. It's just this digital exists where in the cloud? This is odd, right. You know, it exists somewhere, on Google's servers or on Amazon servers, maybe. You know if you clipped it and only after sixty days then a lot of it goes. It's just like it's very odd thing and I think right now I'm in a process of just living, you know, day by day, year by year, you know, month by month, and just saying like okay, this is what we're doing. Eventually I need to get to the point where I start and I just moved into a house. I'm trying to establish myself. Eventually I'm going to want to start a family, but I'm going to also have to start kind of creating that nest egg for myself where I have like some savings and things like that, to where if I want to expand on to other projects, I can or if I want to, you know, eventually retire. I certainly do not want to stream until I die, you know, like I mean, that's kind of a grim thing to think about, but there's no retirement plan for twitch streaming. So, like you know, there's that. Eventually I will have to create a you know, some sort of for one ky and start to really, you know, be principled about what I need to do as far as to like really live off this. But for the time being my job is to is to create content, share the love of the game and help full group Game Cell Cards. That is something that I've see myself doing for a long time. As long as full group Games is here, as long as the POKEMON training card game is here, I could see myself being in that streaming marketing position for a long time, you know, because it's basically an advertising position. In a way, it's a day. It's an advertising position like I would be advertising anything else, you know, for any other business, except the differences that I you know, I know and love this business. I work for a small business, you know, basically advertising for a small business, which, you know, when you put it that way, that seems like a more reasonable life career than that. I'm play over my cards. Yeah, yeah, you know. You know when I'm talking to like, yeah, my doctor, you know, they asked me what I do. I free that way. You know, I advertise for a small business, you know, which certainly is more digestible and normal to your average person. So there you go. I could see myself doing that for a while of you know, but if if things change in ten years and there's no more pokemon or, you know, maybe my skills developed to a point where my skills are needed elsewhere and I get an opportunity that I can't pass up. I don't necessarily think that that's going to be a thing, but maybe you just can't know. That's so long from now. How could I possibly know? You know, in talking with Jamison, me and Jamison are very driven and have a shared vision of what full group Games can be, and right now our minds and our efforts are completely locked in to trying to make that a, you know, a reality. So my job and one of my missions right now is to try and make full group Games. This you know, this this great card store that provides an amazing service to the community. So and that also will help the game grow, hopefully. So it's awesome. So it's super obvious that you're very passionate about everything that you do and that extends beyond content and into even like full grip and developing them as a company. What would you recommend to someone who feels like bear in a Rut right now? They're not doing something that they're passionate about? Use you jumped off that cliff. Would you say to someone else is jumping off the cliff cliff the right move? If they're some steps they should take? Yeah, calculating their risk? Yeah, that's a good question. Riley's hilarious because I don't think that I ever really calculated the risk and I think like with the way that I've always been is like bachiae. I kind of just like hop in both feet and just like let's go, dude, like we're just, you know, we're down or down. Let's just let's just do it right and I'll make it work. However, I need to make it work. That's a that's a really good question, because for years, you know, I was teaching and I was happy teaching, but...

I didn't know I did I was in a way. Yeah, yeah, I could have. I could have been a teacher and I could have been happy doing what I do. I was unhappy working for the system and I felt constantly held back by this system and and that was extraordinarily frustrating to me. But I think that I think that is like, okay, how do you know that you need to make a major change in your life and pursue something that you're passionate about? You know how everybody's situations are different. You know, I've been I've been fortunate enough that I'm a thirty one year old man with no kids. It's no family, no wife, you know, the only person I got to take care of his myself. So for the most part I could just do whatever I wanted to do and I didn't have to answer to anybody. So other people's and you know other people, you know, if you got you got a situation, you know, you got priorities number one to it. You got your you know, your wife, your kids, your husband, you know, whatever you family got to take care of first. So, like some people are just going to have to do what they need to do in order to make sure that they are taking care of their families and things like that, like and that's that's certainly reasonable. But like, as far as if you have the opportunity right and you don't have any anything holding you back, if the only thing holding you back is yourself, you know, then who cares? Just just pursue it, I mean because, like, at the end of the day, life is just what you make it. You know, there is no grand scheme or rules or rigid set of things that you have to do or trajectory like we're kind of taught. You know you're going to go to college, you're going to get a career, you're going to start a for a one K and then you know you're going to retire, and this is the things that's gonna that's gonna happen in your life. But that's just not true. I mean you could just you could actually do whatever you want. You can make a huge left turn if you want to, just go all that way if you if you want to, and you know, I mean no would actually the go stop. You like physically hold you back. So, like you could do whatever you want to do in your life. You just got to make it happen. And in order to make a career out of something that you're passionate about, you have to be obsessed with it, and that is the that is the short of it. You have to add. Is that what the book Tenzero Hour, you know, or something like that. It's kind of crap, but yeah, but basically that there's a good idea. Yeah, it's a good idea, but it's not true. You know, whatever, I don't know. Tenzero hours, how long is that? But like or outliar? What about that? Is that outliers? I liars? Is kind of crap to but but I yeah that I point the core concepts for more concept is that you have to be obsessed. Yeah, you do. You have to be obsessed with what you want to do in order to make it happen. You can't just be like, oh well, I kind of like this right, you know. Now you got to be obsessed with it. And for me personally, like I said, like looking back on the things that I have been, you know, obsessed with since a teenager, it is all kind of led me to hear. So my life wasn't this like, Oh, I quit my teaching job when you it's about how you portray I quit my teaching job, made this crazy left turn and became a professional gamer. Nah, I kind of have been developing this sket of the set of skills to be this content creator my entire life and realized what I was capable of a few years ago. Right, and it sounds like, you know, that realization. It sounds like right place, right time, with the right preparation. Yeah, writ and so I think right, and you can just take that and expound on that in any situation. You know, because you were given these great opportunities. I don't even you know you would say that Dariam is coming ahead and full grip, like great opportunities, but at the same time, you took those opportunities and you ran as fast as you possibly could with them. Yeah, I mean like you gotta, it's exactly you got to recognize opportunity when it's there, right, and you got to shoot your shot when it's there. Like the relationship with daarium didn't come out of nowhere, like I used to go to daarium shop and sort bulk and it talked with him like all the time. Right, for there was an entire summer, that entire summer where I got top eight and nats that entire summer. So I was a teacher. I was hustling at the car shop, just trying to make, you know, like ten bucks an hour, you know, under the table, you know, sort of bulk that just because, like that's just I was just hustling. But then, you know, we grew that relationship and then we, you know, we kept our eyes open for opportunities and things like that and that, you know. So keeping your eyes open for opportunities is important. You know, I confronted Jamison a full grip and I was like, abrol, I want to put my job, what's up, you know, and you know, he didn't come up to me. He might not have ever offered me a job. You might not ever thought that it was going to be a thing,...

...right, you know. So like, you know, keeping your eye open for opportunities and and believing in yourself and and also just yeah, and and just knowing what you love to do and and ask yourself, what are the opportunities within this thing that I love to do? And if they don't exist yet, what can I make happen right, to make them exist, right, I guess. Yeah, no, I think that's very insightful. So, kind of branching off this a little bit to the side, if you could give one piece of advice to everybody who's listening, and this could be about pokemon cards, this can be about pursuing your passions, this can be about content creation, whatever you so choose. What would that piece of advice be? Just a oneliner, not very good at oneliner. Some more good. You know, it could be a one liner with exploday. It could be two. Will Give you two as a treat I swear, though, if you go beyond two sentences, like friendship canceled, the one, the one one, okay, okay. The one liner is that you got to love yourself and believe in yourself, you know, in order to be successful. That's I mean, like that's kind of you got to have self love and you gotta you gotta believe in yourself in order to in order to be able to pursue your passions. So, like, there's a lot of things in the world that you know, they can try to beat your ideas down, or you know people. They can try to beat your ideas down or make you feel certain type of way or whatever. But you need to believe in the validia validity of your own ideas. You need to have an open mind and and and be able to learn new things. But definitely, definitely say that self love and believing in yourself, you know, is going to be that that driving motivation for you to continue to succeed, because it's very easy to get down on yourself, stressed out and, you know, and and and really you really doubt yourself. And I'm certainly you know what I'm what I'm saying. It's oneliner things that I believe in it since that I hope, aspired to believe right, because I because, because I kind of need to remind myself of this all the time. Right. Sure, DEFINITELYAT MYSELF UP A lot. It's interesting too, because, like you know, learning new things and pursuing your passions and, you know, treating yourself right, those are all different forms of self love, right, like even the simple act of learning something is you caring and like looking after yourself. So I think that that can really expand all sorts of like different territories. I think that was really good answer. Even even like working out, talking breaks. It's all, it's all of that, I mean, because like that's another that's one of the biggest struggles is, you know, even self love as far as physical standpoint, making sure that you take care of yourself, you know, those kinds of things, which is really hard to do as a streamer. So yeah, it's tough. It's tough, for sure. Cool. What are some of the things, Andrew, that you find that you enjoy doing outside of Pokemon? Obviously, right now the big thing is the house, so you're doing all those home improvement projects or things that need to get done. Your Natalie was talking about getting a new Washer, dishwasher or something just like probably need. You know, what are some of the things that you really enjoy outside of the POKEMON trading card game that help you be refreshed every time you come back to the studio? Running and skateboarding. It's like not much has changed. You know, running and skateboarding are like to my to my biggest outlets for sure, and and they kind of like help satisfy the physical, you know, desires that I have as far as like, you know, needing to be active and needing to stay healthy, because certainly the pokemon trading card game does not do that very much. They know satisfies like the mental problem solving, you know, aspect. But rock climbing was another big one that I that I enjoy as well, and a pokemon go actually was cool because it was a little bit of a crossover, you know, and that I could get some you know, physical effort expanded well, also enjoying the the franchise that I love. But yeah, a lot of a lot of staying active and doing doing health doors the kinds of things, which is cool because within the realm of Pokemon there are these you know, in the the kind of a fantasy realm, there are different trainers who have different personalities, right, and that's kind of always one of the things that's drawn me to the series is I can be my own person or identify myself within the pokemon universe and I don't have to be a certain way. I could be whatever kind of trainer I want to be, right. So that's that's always been kind of cool to me as well. Are there as good of running trails around your house as there were around timbertop? That is going to be a hard note. It just it's not possible. It's...

...not possible. It timber top is right in the heart of Akron. There is a lake by my house, which is awesome, and there is this this like Quick Stop Little Mini Mart, which is like less than a half mile from its walkable from my house, and it is just insane. They have all meverages you can possibly want, all the snacks. Oh my amazing, and I'm definitely a big gas station kind of stret there's a lake, there's a lake by the house. I'm sure that there probably is some trail somewhere. Yeah, I haven't found it yet, but the metro parks in downtown Akron are phenomenal and next to almost none. So like it's just going to be impossible for there to be trails that are as good as the miles and miles and miles and endless miles of trails that are in the downtown acren here. So yeah, so, as a gas station communist or Connoisseur, how does this rate amongst them? Is this like top three? Is this number one or well, the best thing about it is that it is. It's one of it's just a quirky independently owned little mini mark. Outside the mini mark there's a gigantic statue of a hot dog who is squirting yeah, to its forehead. Let's good. That's good. That's good. About the size of myself right. And the mini mart. You know, they've got everything you want. I was able to pick up some frozen Popye, they had frozen chicken pop eyes. You know, they have all the snacks, all it is, all the candy and it's just this little and they also have like a deli. I think the Deli is closed right now because the coronavirus, but they have like Deli to her and so I'd say it's a very high tier. High Tier because I love the you know, the independently owned mini marts. You know, it's not like going to like your seven eleven or whatever. I love the character right. So I'd say it's definitely an steer stire many mark. Yeah, what do you think? The best one you've ever been to? Well, there's this one that that is actually right next to my parents current home in downtown Baltimore. They live in a row home and the row home is like the third row home on the row and the first row home on the row is literally a mini mart. So it's like it's literally three doors down from the mini mart. That's like, I mean I could throw a rock at it right it's it's right there. And this one is just this little, you know, this little little mini mart, and you know, and the Guy, I'll sell you whatever. I'm convinced the guy would like whip out the ACCID. He'd sell you like two sprays of the extraodorant, like if you asked to be makes. That's a whimsical guy and he just makes up. This is for you know. He never types things into the register. He just looks at the things and he's like I you know, it had to be about six hundred and fifty, you know, and you're like yeah, you got it, you know, and it's just like that is the best convenience store I've ever been to and I love it. Are Tale convenience store, Yo Muhammadan Chauchi. They run an incredible business. Ever, this is not a sponsored podcast. Yeo, the as grocery so nuts. I mean they even sell they sell the the Mexican coke. You could get it with the real story. Yeah, Oh my God, I mean like they sell everything there. It's insane. So that's like the best one I've ever been to. This one is like a hard second place next to the you know, because convenience is part of part of the way you rate a convenience store is how convenient in it is it, you know, so proximity to home, you know, and this one is walking this so I have to say, you know, it's a pretty HIPA. Yeah, that's pretty convenient. Right. And what is a convenient store if I have to drive to it? Oh right, that's your store. We used to do it all the time. I mean, if you have to write and timber top, I had to drive to the convenience store. Yeah, now I cook. Let's be nice. Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. Well, I think we're getting to the time of the cast where we open it up to viewer question. So, guys, if you have any things that you've just been dying to ask Andrew, we love to field some questions for you. that. This is just always one of the best one of the best times. Natalie says here that the place is severely epic. That's how she describes your current convenience store situation. The pit stop severely epic, critically epic. The fact that I can find the the frozen chicken pop eyes there. That's how I knew it was. It's one of my favorite snacks. They're like a dollar for all snacks. Yeah, ok, there's not. They're small. They're small. They're like little frozen chicken pop eyes. You put it in the mic away for for. You talking about a pasty? No, a chicken pop pie. Yeah, you talking about a pasty. I don't know what that is. I handheld chicken pop hie from northern Michigan. I've never heard it called that. No,...

...it's a pasty. Row, you're sure there's on you and grind right now. It's certainly does not a pasty on the package is banquet at the top and is as chicken pop pie at the bottom. That I wasn't. Never buy anything that's had pasty on it. That's for sure. Definitely, definitely not. That isn't that sounds gross. Yes, that's well. Well, you're right, but I mean I think generally chicken pop pies are gross. All right, dude, you're canceled, for sure. So the Alaskan hero, says Andrew favorite animal crossing villager, beer do. HMM, beer do is awesome, ex stremely underrated. He's like this, like creepy old bear, you know looking thing. You know, he's got like a pop belly and just like very, very hilarious. Right, pretty sure you can get him for free, you know, if you just look all Lin and probably people trying to get rid of him right now from their village. Yeah, beardo rocks, for sure. counterculture, yes, as part of it, as part of the whole shack. Right. Trainer Joe, ask what is one mechanic you would like to see pokemon implement into the trading card game? One mechanic? Yeah, I think he's talking maybe, like, you know, the tag teams were a thing. Yeah, I think thing. I think it'd be cool to bring legends back. HMM. Yeah, yeah, I'll say that. And they're still nostalgic, right. That's like right when you're getting into the game, dude, like, yeah, I never got to play with legends, I think right. Part of what makes me mad is that I was never I'd ever played in a format with legends, so I never got to like slap down my two cards like Whoa, you know, quick ball for bottom Lugia, football for top LUGIA. Well, technically, technically you couldn't do that because they're not basic pokemon on the rack, pokemon communication for there you go. There, legend box man, the legend box. Oh yeah, legends, like look at the top ten or something. Sure, yeah, basically, dude, I'm justtalgic for leges and I never even remotely played. Back then. I was even interested in the POKEMON trade card game, but I remember hearing about these two part cards like that. That's not real, that's that's fake, dudes. Right there, that's a ugio stuff right there. No, I was playing you, you at the time like that. That can't happen. You Yo has that breach that ground. So definitely POKEMON has. What are some of what are some of the best times and best memories that you have playing the POKEMON trading card game? This can be tournament based, this can be you know, I know that you have a huge affinity for just getting the boys together with the Cube. Talking about some of your favorite times in Pokemon. Wow, I mean like yeah, over like the eight, you know, years I've been I've been playing some of the best times. Obviously, like the regional win was an amazing time. That was really hype, you know, getting to see other friends do well. Your regional win amazing time you're referring to who your regional wins. We're also amazing times. I was thinking JW's is obviously you know, just recently I looked definitely cooler and more impressive, probably yours also. I actually bubbled out a cut at both your regional wins. So like kind of kind of rough times for me. Very excited to see both of you guys the regional wins. Natalie's, you know, second place regional was one of my one of my favorite times was getting to see her do so well and I remember, I think I was just like the happiest I'd ever been in a tournament, you know, watching her, you know, whin round after round, you know, winning her top a winning or top for was just like on you oncloud nine. They're those are like, you know, tournament experiences, some of the more, you know, intimate, you know, experiences that you might not expect. But like, yeah, like you, like you mentioned before, just like getting the boys together and and cube drafting is, as one of my favorite things to do and something that I hope, you know, we get to continue to do for a long time. Testing with Natalie actually leading up to various tournaments, Natalie has been one of my testing partners leading up to just about every big finish that I've ever had, so that, you know, getting to kind of put our heads together and and come up with decks. You know, thinking specifically about that week with me, Riley and Natalie heading up to Natalie second place finish, where we came up with a busted buzz garb carbank deck like that was just fun. You know, also leading up to Raley's regional win, you know, button all our has together. I've Riley had this filthy ZARC deck and I remember we literally had this like take with that was crazy.

It's it's table my small one bedroom apartment where there was like eight games, you know, probably between the two rooms, like it's a pokemon trading car game having at the same time and we're all playing ZARC mirrors and then at the last second I decided to play Buzz Rock. It would like we literally had the regional wedding deck, you know, right there and I was like can't do it, like nobody understood the this Ark Mirror like Riley understood it. I felt like he was just like on this other plane of existence. So, yeah, the common theme is is like they're all going to be times that I spent, you know, with you guys, are my best friends, or and and getting to really problem solve and have those hangout sessions, you know, really are kind of what makes this so fun and it's really amazing to see a game like this bring together people. You Know Me, obviously we would have never met ever, you know, or ever crossed paths. You know, me, a skateboarder, and and you know, crucial dude bro from, you know, Baltimore, Maryland. You know jw a, the Studist, it musician, and Riley I, fancy pants engineer. You know, would have probably at not very you know, cross paths in any sort of way if it were not for this thing that we all we all share together and now we're like best friends. So like that is pretty epic and very cool, and getting to kind of have those shared experiences through this common thing is is obviously the best part. So cool. That's I mean, that's that's an exciting way to end it, I think. I think I'm just one more closing question for you, Andrew. Yeah, can you give us just a one liner of your thoughts on Malamar? Oh, one lighter. MOMM ore is just such a heartbreaker, dude. That's a heartbreaker. It just constantly makes promises it can't keep. That's so true, man, that's so true. Well, Andrew, it's been so awesome having you this is Super Fun. I can't express our appreciation enough and hopefully our viewers got some really awesome stuff. Not as much a Pokemon, but I think the insight transcends all sorts of boundaries, you know, it goes beyond Pokemon, beyond content creation and stuff that like really is the core of passion and what we enjoy doing as a whole. So thank you so much for that, JW. As always, thank you for your for your time and your effort. Your man buns looking fresh, dude. Appreciate it. My thanks to all of you who listen and watch. We appreciate you all more than anything and it's really hard to express that accurately, but you all power what we do and I'm sure Andrew feels the same way towards all of his viewers and all of yeers here at tech team. So that will bring us to a close today. Thank you all for listening and we'll catch you all next time. Peace. See Yea later.

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