A Peek Into Danotage: A Full-Time Streamer With a Philanthropic Side

A Peek Into Danotage: A Full-Time Streamer With a Philanthropic Side

Danotage is one of the most interesting streamers we've interviewed yet. With his academic background and foray into podcasting, Danotage found a golden opportunity to use his set of skills to become a Twitch broadcaster. Read the full interview to find out how he became a full-time streamer and how he gives back to charities he truly belives in.

How’d you get your gaming name?

The original gaming name was actually Sabotage and it wasn’t until I became a personality where it became Danotage.

The story is actually quite simple; during the days of my most active Playstation 2 days I joined a SOCOM: U.S. NAVY SEALs clan and all members were required to create a name that included a military rank in the title. The rank did not ever matter, I guess it was just a way to have a uniform name throughout the clan while also allowing some unique character to each name, individually.

Most of the members went somewhat high ranks, but after some time trying to come up with that sounded cool, I came up with Sergeant Sabotage, or as it was written Sgt.Sabotage. I was thirteen and Sabotage stuck ever since. I used it in SOCOM, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Counter Strike, and Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, competitively. As decided I wanted more of a Twitter personality about five or so years ago I wanted to make it a little more personal, so I simply added Dan to the name, and Danotage was born. It just felt right.

Why’d you start streaming and what’s your favorite part about it?

While I was in school for my bachelor’s degree for Communication Studies, I was focusing on the communication of media in which I was taking a load of film courses, scriptwriting, photography direction, sound, etc. Because I was learning how to use equipment while also trying my hand at stand-up comedy and stage performance, I started a podcast and a YouTube channel.

I started writing scripts, spit balling channel ideas with friends, and just tried to squeeze every little ounce of creativity I could out of myself.Eventually, I started to gain traction with my podcast “Dan Sucks” where I started getting interviews with some big name voice actors, comedians, etc. This was quickly noticed by one of my professors, probably because of how often I referenced it. I was an eager young student and I spoke about it in what I now notice as an extremely annoying fashion. Part of me actually thought about it being pretty annoying, but I loved creating things so much that it was the only thing on my mind.

Anyway, my professor approached me about a program he had been working on revitalizing in the school and that turned into us bringing back a school radio station along with an entire program for media students to get hands on experience with technical equipment as well as the academic concepts behind media production.With the few years of this experience I found the platform of Twitch which quite honestly looked like the golden platform for my set of skills.

I spent very little time thinking about whether or not I should try performing on Twitch and created an account immediately. However, before I started to actually stream I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I decided to pull the trigger, so I just sat on it.

About a month later I was approached by a friend that I met from another gaming clan I was apart of for some time, but that’s a later story, about an event that was being planned and that I should interview the guy setting it up. It was a charity event for Extra Life, a charity I had heard of pretty extensively but I had no idea how to do something significant to help them. The guy that I was meant to talk to was TheOnlyRyann.

Ryann and I had a chat about the event and he was excited to get the ball rolling. In his explosion of excitement, as many may be aware he is known for, his enthusiasm gave me some great ideas. I decided it would be a good idea to start building a community that wanted to join me in the journey of changing the world so I began streaming on my channel right away. Watching donations to a charity for the kids became my favorite part about the Twitch community in general, but letting myself be creative and watch to how many people enjoy the crazy things that come from my head is an incredible high.

When did streaming become a full-time job for you? What did you do before being a full-time streamer?

I became a full-time streamer almost immediately after I started. I was going to school full time and working as a freelance author, but I made sure that I had at least 6-8 hours every weekday to stream something. It was not easy, in-fact it was rather difficult especially with the schedule I was keeping at the time.

I knew that I had to keep a stream schedule and start learning as much as I possibly could about Twitch, so either I was streaming or I was watching and learning. Obviously, just because I was spending full time hours on Twitch does not mean that I was making full time money, especially because of the fact that I was doing it for charity anyway.

So, I was writing as much as possible and was still working at a soda company that kept the bills at least paid. It wasn’t until about a year and a half after I started before I could quit my day job and start paying all of my bills with both writing and streaming.

Is there a specific reason you support and donate to charities and non-profits? And how do you choose the charities you support?

I mean, it’s simple; I want to change the world. There is a reason I enjoyed the tales of Robin Hood and Green Arrow throughout my childhood and adolescence, heck even to this day. I’ve always wanted to make a difference. I almost joined the military after college, but there were a lot of things, such as charity and what seemed like a half million goals that changed my mind.

Now, I spend a great deal of my free time around active and discharged military personnel. After studying terrorism, healthcare communication, as well as building an online presence, I felt I could do much more from home. Charities are rather difficult when it comes to choosing for several different reasons; which of them are trustworthy, which are the most impactful, and especially which ones can you actually help with the limited power that you have?

Those are all questions I ask myself before every event I choose to build and perform. Considering the fact that you can only support so much at one time, it does take a delicate selection process to choose the right ones. Most of the charities I work with are those where I’ve met with their leaders and organizers, or where I’ve seen the results the work myself and my community put forth.

So far, thankfully, I’ve not run into many shady organizations, but doing research is always something that I’ve never regretted.

How did you get into writing strategy guides for games?

Referring back to my days of competition for Call of Duty, I was part of an organization called the Sea Snipers that had been contracted to write several Call of Duty strategy guides for what was then called Brady Games. We were asked to be consultants and give strategy information from a clan’s perspective.

Shortly after I joined the Sea Snipers we were asked to join the team at Brady Games to develop the Call of Duty: Ghosts and I was chosen as one of the members to make the trip out to Infinity Ward studios and consult on the guide. The book came out to be a very successful project and we were approached by a competing guide company, Prima Games, but not about anything specifically. It just so happened that I lived local to their main office, so I was asked meet with one of the associate publishers and project managers.

Almost immediately, they asked me to give them an example of my writing by writing the strategy for one of the Battlefield 4 expansions. So, right away I was just thrown into the fire. They liked my piece and continued to hire me from then on out where I eventually became a lead author on several guides in the past few years.

What’s your favorite hobby when you’re not streaming?

I love a great many things, the question really comes down to whether or not I’m not playing video games. If I’m not streaming, I’m usually playing another game. However, I find myself heading out to the range with my recurve takedown bow and firing off a few dozen arrows to keep my skills up.

I love archery and I’ve had several bows throughout my life and they’ve all been special to me, so whenever I get a chance or just the itch I’ll take one of them out to the range. Shooting helps me focus and feel a sense of accomplishment in honing my skills, almost like leveling up.

What bit of broadcasting would you like to see improved?

A broadcasting audience is delicate. People’s time is delicate, and their attention is powerful. So, I would like to improve on the fact that I could stream for a shorter amount of time while also being even more entertaining and engaging. I would like a higher on average person to be able to watch the entirety of a show and not miss a thing while also not wasting their time.

What's your pre-stream prep look like?

My pre-stream prep is really no different than your average get up and go to work type schedule. I spent a lot of time and effort setting up my show over the years that most of it is automated at this point. The major differences are in the timing; I wake up around 9pm because I start my show at 11 which allows me to stream into the morning.

I shower, I eat, and I make sure I have enough coffee and water to get me through the beginning while grabbing a few snacks and something to eat during my break. This is definitely my full-time job and I treat it that way, if I don’t then I believe that it will be the beginning of me not taking things seriously.

How long have you had the iconic stache?

I started growing my mustache in the junior year in college actually right before I met my girlfriend, maybe that was the trick. I had tried several different types of facial hairstyles previously, but to this day this is the only style that my face can grow; pulling it off is a whole different story, I’m not sure I’ve quite done that yet.

Which games do you play currently? And are you looking forward to any future releases?

Right now, I’m playing a ton of early access games. I don’t mind too much early access because I love watching games grow and develop, especially as the community voices their opinions and concerns. I just recently got back into Oxygen Not Included just to see all of the updates, and it’s crazy fun. I still play one of my favorite games, Darkest Dungeon, even though it still stresses me the heck out. I’m sorry for swearing, but it’s true. One of the games I enjoy most is Factorio, because it is nearly impossible not to get lost in it for hours upon hours while still feeling accomplished.

What’s your setup look like?

My setup is a very organized mess. I have a problem with upgrading equipment, I tend to do it way more often than I should. Because of my problem, there’s always quite a bit of equipment on my rack (Ikea bookshelf) that is currently being unused and sitting there waiting to be boxed up.

Ever since I moved from my old place in Northern California, I’ve been without an office; so, a corner in my living room is where I’m currently set up. I have a two PC setup and I’ve recently downsized from a large audio mixer to a simple usb interface, so I’m close to have a much cleaner and compact setup.

The perk about being a contractor for Prima Games for as long as I have been, I’ve received a ton of books and extra copies of them which I used to prop up my three monitors. The strategy guides, especially the thick ones, keep the monitors at a natural eye level; people always get a kick out of that fact when they come over and glance at my setup.

Top 3 favorite games of all time?

Wow, this question is always tough; do I go with the games I know I’ve spent the most time on, or the ones I know I’ve had efficiency in fun? Well, just as natural gut feeling, I’ll just go what comes off the top of my head.

I think Darkest Dungeon is a perfect game with a great balance and everything I love in a video game, except for a good shooting mechanic.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is still one of the best star wars game as well as RPGs to ever be released. That is not to say that there haven’t been great Star Wars RPGs to be released later, but KOTOR just hasn’t been beat in my book just yet; I believe that day will come soon though.

Finally, I have to add Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to the list. There are many reasons for COD4 being on the list, like the fact that it helped me bond with my cousins, it introduced me to the world of esports in the modern era (although even since then a ton has changed), and to the deep friendships I gained over the years of gaming on this piece of software.

Are there any particularly memorable moments that happened on stream?

There are plenty of moments that I remember, but one that really sticks out is the 72 hour broadcast my charity team and I organized on my channel in order to raise funds for military personnel overseas for several countries via Stack-Up. I was not yet a partner on Twitch and neither were a lot of the members that were involved, which is why I was so impressed with the money we were able to raise.

It was one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced on my stream, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Where do you see yourself and your community in a few years time?

Well, I see a thousand possibilities for the entire community on the internet as far as entertainment, and specifically us. As we grow, opportunities grow; this means, we become something bigger than just a community on Twitch, we can become something that it literally a group that changes the world.

Anything else you want to mention before the end of the interview?

I only ask that you point out the charities I work with: Extra-Life, Stack-Up, Game Changers, and various wildlife foundations.

Bonus Questions

Which great wonder of the world would you want to visit the most?

I would love to see the Pyramids one of these days. I mean, this may be due to the fact that I’m currently playing through Assassin’s Creed Origins, but I would like to think that I am actually curious. I can hardly fathom how big they actually are and the fact that they were build by the human hand. I can only imagine my jaw would drop without my control.

What’s your favorite meme?

Memes themselves are memes, I don’t have a favorite meme to be honest. I’m the ultimate anti-meme. Just like an anti-joke I will break down the meme until it isn’t funny anymore, that in itself is what cracks me up.

Would you rather fight 1 duck sized horse or 100 horse size ducks?

1 duck sized horse, definitely. Although, I would definitely try to tame it first because that would be the most adorable thing ever.

If you were to move to another country, where in the world would you move and why?

I would like to move somewhere in Northern Europe, possibly Sweden, Denmark, somewhere I could stare at nature and just hang out with my pets all day. Obviously, that wouldn’t last long because I would want to continue to be creative, and frankly I love it where I am now in San Diego, CA.

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