This last 5 months have been both the best and most challenging of my life. I say this because working with the Thirst Lounge has offered some incredible experiences as well as some very stressful ones.
When I signed up for the job it wasn’t really clear what the job would entail but I jumped at the opportunity because I saw huge amounts of promise with the Thirst Lounge. The title “Prouducer” was attached to the role, however I very quickly learnt that there were many other roles that would be required.
On a normal day my general roles include managing the team, filming/editing content, managing social media and general logistics (travel, house maintenance etc.)
At times it certainly feels like a lot, however I relish the opportunity and I’m trying my best to make the most of every day.
Now let’s rewind to when I actually arrived. Straight off the back everyone was incredibly welcoming but I soon realised that the project was lacking direction and clarity on what exactly The Thirst Lounge was.
Frankly, everyone had different ideas on the best path forward and there has been countless discussions regarding our identity and game plan.
This was a very challenging period for the project and I’d be lying if I said that it was a whole lot of fun.
My first course of action was to try and get the basics right and to build from there.
For me this meant ensuring the stream went live at the same time everyday, producing Youtube content and entering the social media game in a more significant way. At this point we did not even have an instagram and weren't posting on twitter consistently.
We began making Youtube vlogs and quickly found a rhythm there. I knew this was no brainer for the project, however in doing so it essentially doubled my workload. Filming and editing is a very time consuming process. I have since began training the team on how to use the cameras and how to edit - I regret that I didn’t do this earlier.
So by the 3 month stage we were now seeing a constant output from the project yet very little inroads in terms of growth. In a lot of ways I think we were simply trying to emulate what already existed in the market rather than make something new. In addition to this our team was struggling to make consistent deep runs. Deep runs are the life blood of any successful twitch stream.
Slowly but surely we were starting to see a greater “buy-in” from all members of the team and I was optimistic about where we were headed. However I recognised the fact that we needed to change something if we were to be successful within the year the project was set to run.
Time was quickly becoming the enemy.
With every passing stream I saw the hosts becoming more and more confident and more comfortable on stream. The same can be said for the Youtube videos - the quality and stories being told continued getting better. Things were starting to make sense, yet still we were only seeing limited returns.
I’d be lying if I said I was truly satisfied with the status of the project. I knew I was working hard but probably not smart. Rather than trying to pick up the slack myself I really should have been taking active steps to utilise the team of 10 I had around me. I had essentially created a bandaid fix, yet failed to truly unite the team.
This has always been the big challenge for me - how do you make a team of people who aren’t getting paid put in work? I didn’t have the answer.
This realisation was ultimately very disappointing for me as I deeply cared about the project yet it seemed not everyone cared on the same level I did.
A few months pass by and we had now lost two members - Cat and Kelly. Both for different reasons but ultimately it was good for all parties involved. So we re-cast and found two passionate and hungry new hosts in Payday and Kasey. Once again I was optimistic “maybe some new blood is just what the project needs to freshen things up”.
At this time I was in Las Vegas and had recently been in Costa Rica filming content for the project. In a lot of ways me going to these places was the best play at the time, but it was also a big distraction. At the end of the trip I had concluded the project was at its best when everyone was together in the house.
Upon returning to the house we were met with some external help. A colleague of Bills had taken time to offer guidance and ultimately snap people in to gear. I think the combination of fresh eyes and new hosts was the shake up the project needed.
This was just two weeks ago and the project has been in the best place since its inception. Our output on all platforms is at an all time high, with the team once again producing some really great stuff. Notably the prop bet videos we have been creating have generated a fair amount of buzz and I’m starting to think this is our niche.
People motivations and goals are becoming clearer than ever and so is the direction of the project. I’ve learnt a lot during my time on The Thirst Lounge and have a tremendous amount gratitude for being given the opportunity to lead this team. With 6 months remaining my sole focus is actualising the potential of the project, the people in it and being the best damn Producer I can be.
Ultimately it’s not a question of if the thirst lounge has the talent - it’s whether we have the ability to stay consistent and continue innovating. I for one hope the answer is yes, however only time will tell.