Who are You?My name is Wes Wilson, and I create audio, video, and public entertainment. I have built a name on creative shows, events, parties, and programming. For several years, I was a member of the Dead Workers Party, a group of podcasters and filmmakers who created entertaining shows, videos, and songs. I have continued some of this work with Core Elements, an interview show where prominent personalities in media discuss gaming. I have built several fandom conventions, including Play On Con and GameVid Expo, bringing together amazing communities for a weekend of camaraderie. I was a project coordinator for Mindcrack, helping when I could to expand their ability to entertain people around the globe. I've been a writer, a web designer, a restaurant manager, a fundraiser and an ice machine repairman. Currently, I'm working as a Partner Manager for Mixer!
But primarily I am a family man and father... trying to pursue his dreams while facilitating the personal growth of three little bundles of responsibility. This singular factor has affected my life far more than I would have expected, putting me at scheduling odds with my colleagues and turning all my efforts to work from home into challenge. But I continue to be awed by these amazing people I get to share my life with, and I am lucky to have them.
What do you do?I am primarily focused on four projects right now:
- Mixer - I am currently a Partner Manager for Mixer, Microsoft's streaming service. I'm heavily involved with promoting the community, assisting content creators who utilize the platform, and ensuring there's good communication throughout the community.
- Core Elements - Each episode, we invite a member of the gaming community to talk about their love of games and how their efforts come to life in the products they create. We have been extremely happy with our array of guests, hosting personalities like Brad Muir, Jonathan Blow, Kellie Santiago, Lorne Lanning, Michael Pachter, Edmund McMillian, Roger Craig Smith, & Andy Schatz. While I'm currently swamped with Mixer work, I'm scheduling episodes to be recorded in the winter of 2017. I am incredibly proud of this project, and hope to continue it for the rest of my life.
- Play On Con - Good conventions rarely spawn from the quality of the guest list. Creative people sharing their passions is what makes truly epic events. Play On Con focuses on exceptional shows, extensive gaming, and unbelievable parties. Additionally, we've been hosting it at a summer camp, meaning you can display your cosplay skills and your archery skills all in one weekend event.
- YouTube videos and Mixer Streams - A lifetime of gaming has given me the background to find produce some excellent gaming video. I am friends with some of the most talented content creators in the medium, and I am lucky enough to game with them for my audience. While I have been moving from in front of the camera to behind it over recent years, I still have passion for the medium, and enjoy the opportunity it gives me to share my experiences.
What is your goal with this Patreon?Most of what I make is not profitable in any conventional sense. Podcasting is seldom lucrative, except for a small portion of the field. Conventions are typically labors of love till you surpass several thousand attendees. YouTube is highly saturated, and streaming with a house full of kids is highly problematic. Mindcrack was my primary income for quite a while, but was never enough to meet the needs of my family. If I'm going to continue my projects as a significant focus, I need to meet certain income requirements. Although working with Microsoft has certainly changed the nature of my situation.
For quite a while I have sought larger benefactors to help fund my efforts. I have pursued sponsors and advertisers for my projects. I have even tried building media-sponsored fandom events. Sometimes I've gotten responses, but seldom do I get any offers of sustained support. I would love to find a large entity who could benefit from the work I'm doing, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. So now I'm reaching out in the other direction, to see if those most affected by my work can help.
I'm mostly just trying to get enough funding to supplement the work i put into my hobbies. I would continue to produce on the level I have been, and perhaps find myself able to afford some additional time devoted to some of my projects. I've been lucky enough to get a job in my preferred field, but it's often hard to justify working on MORE projects when you have a family and a full-time job that needs you.