Content Creator Spotlight: Interview with MorninAfterKill

MorninAfterKill is a primarily Borderlands turned variety content creator who brings attitude to every game he streams.  He also brings a lot of knowledge about the walks of life into every video and every stream that gives a uniqueness to his content.  MAK has been featured on Destructoid and Kotaku for his Grand Theft Auto V and Borderlands 2 videos.  Now, he’s streaming Call of Duty and Fallout 76 plus you can catch him on Instagram posting up pictures of his shoe collection.

Introduce yourself!

MorninAfterKill: Hey, What’s up guys my name’s Jay…MorninAfterKill….lol…seriously though, I’m Jay, 35 years old from New Jersey and I love any games that require looting and or shooting

How long have you been streaming for?

MorninAfterKill: I’ve been streaming since for almost 6 years now, partnered on Twitch for close to 5 years now.

How did you get started?

MorninAfterKill:  It’s a funny enough story. I’ve sort of ALWAYS recorded my gameplay. I remember back in the day on the early 16 bit days I had Mortal Kombat for the Genesis and a friend had it for SNES. His parents wouldn’t buy it for him on Sega because of the infamous ”Blood Kode” that made the game gory, so I would set up my VCR and record all the fatalities for him so he could watch them at his house. As a Youtuber/Streamer it all started when I was playing Minecraft on a PC that was too slow to handle multiplayer servers and I wanted to show off my builds for my friends. So I recorded it in the worst quality you’ve ever seen, seriously it was like 2 frames per second, uploaded it to Youtube and within a week it had almost 20,000 views…so I just continued from there and it just snowballed into where I’m at now.

Could you describe your content for our readers?

MorninAfterKill: Describe my content??? To start, I’d definitely say NSFW…like seriously…bring a headset. I’m from New Jersey, which means that even though I’m not intentionally being NSFW, there’s definitely going to be a copious amounts of F Bombs being thrown down. I’ve tried working on it, but it just happens naturally…but if I could describe my personality I’d say I fall somewhere in between Al Bundy and Howard Stern on the funny/inappropriate level of humor.

What is a day in the life of MorninAfterKill?

MorninAfterKill: My day starts off the same as everyone else I guess. I wake up, check my email, grab a shower and go to work. The only difference is that my work happens to be centered around gaming. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions people have about Streamers and Youtubers. They think that just because we’re playing games, that it’s not work and that’s just completely the opposite. Sometimes it’s even MORE work since you have to work to keep up with the fast moving times on the internet. Sure don’t get me wrong there are times during content droughts where you’re just playing games, having fun and waiting for something new and exciting to cover, but when it’s time to throw down on a new release or DLC drops, there are days when it’s 12-16 hours of non stop, hardcore actual work trying to stay on top of everything. So I’d have to say a day in the typical life of MAK is literally 90% work, then relaxing at the end of the night with my girlfriend on the couch watching some football or cheesy sitcom reruns like FRIENDS or SEINFELD.

What made you decide to take everything full time?

MorninAfterKill: I don’t think there was a time when I sat down and said to myself ”OK IM GONNA DO THIS AS A JOB.” It just sort of naturally happened. Before Youtube, I was self employed for 10 years as a mechanic buying broken down cars, fixing them and selling them for profit, so having a bit of extra time for gaming was pretty easy. Gradually over time I started notice that I was spending less time in the junkyards and more time behind my monitor gaming and editing vidjas. I didn’t focus all my attention on gaming for a living until after Hurricane Sandy hit our state. It was devastating. Entire areas were flooded, houses washed away and a lot of people fell under many hardships afterwards. A byproduct of that is there was a ton of flood damaged vehicles hitting the junkyards and used car market and it totally destroyed the car resell business here for a few years. It was probably at that point where I decided to take a few years off and let the market fix itself and focus on gaming full time. 5 years later I never looked back. I still miss working on cars and going through junkyards for parts but my back definitely doesn’t miss it LOL

I know you always found your thumbnails to be important but how do you come up with the idea for your thumbnails?

MorninAfterKill: I think the most important aspect to a thumbnail is for it to be easily recognizable as YOUR thumbnail immediately. This is something I’ve been very strict about with my channel since it’s inception, which is why I stick to a very specific style of borders that I use as a template for each game I cover. This gives me and easy ability to overlay my border overtop whatever background or character that pertains to the vid overall on a short notice. Each thumbnail that I make is mostly inspired by whatever the topic of the discussion is. If it’s a weapon review or guide, I’ll have the weapon featured prominently or whatever the main topic is. My goal with my thumbnails is to make you feel like you know what to expect when you watch, before you watch, but still make you want to watch at the same time…if that makes any sense.

Do you ever plan to do podcasts?

MorninAfterKill: I would love to do a Podcast. There’s nothing more that I love more than to just chop it up and shoot the breeze with my peoples. In fact I feel like my livestreams are mostly in a rather laid back casual conversation aspect, rather than focused on the game in general. I can talk at length, in detail about pretty much anything and everything as long as the conversation itself is being reciprocated. Sometimes that works out well and other times, well…sometimes I get a bit too descriptive in detail and the conversation takes a very awkward turn…but that’s just who I am, I hold nothing back, I have absolutely ZERO filter from my brain to my mouth and I do not sugar coat anything…so it’s hard finding confidant, bold personalities to stand up opposite to the conversation without it devolving into someone becoming mad, offended or even just outright wishing they could crawl out of their own skin. That’s probably the reason why I haven’t started a podcast series myself at this point but you never know what the future holds.

Who were your inspirations for all of this when you were first starting?

MorninAfterKill: Inspirations…man this is a tough question because I started back in 2010, 8 years ago and a lot has changed since then. When I started Youtube it was really pretty much in it’s infancy, so gaming channels with like 10-20,000 subscribers were considered MASSIVE and even then those were few and far between, so it was slim pickings in terms of who to really watch in the gaming world. With that said, I’d have to say my biggest inspiration to actually WANT to give a try making content was a guy I used to play COD with a lot at the time, Dhoop17. We used to play Modern Warfare 2 for about 8 hours a night and he’d record his gameplay and upload it with some commentary to Youtube…so I signed up on Youtube under the name MorninAfterKill because it was my gamertag at the time and I wanted to make it easy to comment and show my support on his vids under a name he’d recognize. Eventually I got bit by the content creation bug and decided to center my channel around Minecraft and Fortresscraft at the time, instead of Call of Duty and the rest is kinda history, but without Dhoop I’m not sure I’d ever have WANTED to give it a shot. He eventually got married and had a few kids, that cut into his gaming time and he hasn’t made a vid in years, but we still keep in touch on social media after all these years.

Any advice for people starting out?

MorninAfterKill: I’m not sure I have any technical advice for anyone starting out since, like I said before, it’s a totally different climate than it was before. Gaming content creation is so saturated that it’s going to be even harder to gain a fan base these days. I will say though, that if you are starting out and you’re trying to make a space for yourself on the internet, be prepared to deal with doubt. Along the way there will be people that will doubt your process, they’ll doubt your numbers and eventually they’ll doubt your success and it’s really easy for that doubt to poison your own confidence to the point where you’ll start doubting yourself. Self-doubt as a content creator can really be a potent de-motivator since it’s just you, your monitor, microphone and computer. If you start second guessing yourself then it’s going to have an effect on the quality of your content overall. There’s always going to be ups and downs, sometimes you’re on fire, sometimes you’re stagnant or even worse, sometimes there’s gonna be so much content you’ll wonder if you can cover it all and sometimes there will be dry periods where you’re struggling to find anything to upload…the most important key to riding those ups and downs is to keep your self confidence. How can you expect anyone to believe in and support your dream if you don’t yourself. I’ve seen it make and break channels over the years but as long as you keep your head up and move forward, eventually you’ll get to where you want to be…even if it’s not where you originally thought you were heading. Life is funny that way.

Shoutouts!

MorninAfterKill: lol can I shout out CyberpowerPC??? I know right, it seems cliche but Cyberpower was a huge catalyst in helping me get the setup I need to pump out content and stay on top of the news as fast as possible over the years, so big shoutout to CPPC, Geno, Joey and the rest of the dudes behind the scenes…also shoutout the old COD homies, Dhoop, Blash and Atone…can’t forget my man Twiztd, Dfilment, Zambie and Numbers from the Destiny days, of course Mitsu and Gothalion from the Borderlands days and finally, shoutout to the old Skype crew from the TGN days, Itani, ShakeNBake and Kodi for keeping things interesting over the years….anyone else I missed, DEAL WITH IT…lol nah, you know I love you – MAK

Thanks for the interview!

MAK’s Social Media:
twitch.tv/morninafterkill
https://www.instagram.com/morninafterkix/
youtube.com/morninafterkill
twitter.com/morninafterkill

The Interviewer Geno:
twitter.com/genocast
twitch.tv/genocast
youtube.com/genogaming

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