On a recent Trash Taste podcast episode, Peter Macy of Premier Two (though he simply goes by Pete online) entertained listeners with his experiences as an English teacher and the various odd jobs he’s undertaken in his 12 years of living in Japan. One time he accidentally did some voice acting for a cult and had to imbue the presence of every religious and festive figurehead, including Buddha, Jesus and Santa Claus. Listening, I found myself heaving over with laughter in public, much to the confusion of the people around me. 

In an age where attention spans are mere seconds, where TikTok reigns supreme and where elevator pitches are the only way to communicate ideas, there is something magical about Pete’s lengthier and richer performances. Now a full-time streamer, you can usually find him on his Twitch channel, where stories run deep, anecdotes are relatable and the satisfying punchlines make it all the more worth it. 

Putting on a Show

Premier Two began two and a half years ago as a live basketball podcast between Pete and his friend. The channel eventually transitioned into a unique blend of gaming and heavy chat interaction with some comedy thrown in. Having been professionally trained in acting, Twitch does seem like the platform most naturally suited for Pete. 

“Compared to other platforms, Twitch gave me an opportunity to provide content in a performative and improvisational way,” he says. “The way that streamers are able to bounce off of their chat, took me back to something I really enjoyed. The gaming aspect is a companion piece. It gives you something to talk about, to help distract you as you get ready for your next bit. Luckily, I’ve been playing games for the last 35 years and it’s still one of my favorite things to do.”

Pete and Chris Broad from Abroad in Japan

Friends Over Fame

While he might be relatively new as a creator, Pete has been a long-time fan of Twitch.

I’ve been a Twitch viewer for over a decade, back when it wasn’t even called Twitch,” he says. “I made previous attempts to stream but they weren’t great, and the platform was nothing like it is now. It’s transformed so much in the last few years, into this space that feels built for the performing arts.” 

He began streaming consistently for several months to an intimate community. However, his big break came when he was featured on long-time friend, Chris Broad’s Abroad in Japan YouTube channel. Pete appeared in an episode where the two drove to Hokkaido. Through his wit, humor and down-to-earth nature, he captured new audiences that began flocking to his stream. Numbers have been growing rapidly ever since. Today, he easily hits over 1,000 live viewers on his channel and has been featured on several other prominent creator platforms.

“I’ve always tried to be myself and believe in the modicum of talent that I have,” says Pete. “I’m grateful for every opportunity and really have to thank my friends for taking that risk and putting me on their channels. The fact that we’re always friendship first and business second is why, I believe, our collaborations are successful. These are often people who have tens of thousands of viewers and not bowling a strike could mean that this will be my last stream. I’m fortunate that thus far the audience has enjoyed my work, but I would not even be in this position if other creators did not give me a chance.”

On average, Pete streams 115 hours per month, with each stream lasting about seven hours. This doesn’t include other incidental hours that come with being a full-time streamer, such as preparation time, working on other platforms such as YouTube, business meetings and staying engaged with his community on Discord. While hitting ‘go-live’ is a big step, for the average streamer it can often be the least of their concerns. 

Premier Two

Playing the Long Game

Passionate about honing his craft, Pete reviews his past streams every week to analyze his performance. He pays particular attention to any nervous ticks or habits and takes notes of dips in visuals and audio quality, to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future.

Finding the motivation to improve has been critical to my growth,” he explains. “This can mean letting go of things that you love about your stream but unfortunately aren’t working for your audience. This also means innovating and keeping it fresh. The risk of changing and upsetting your viewers can be scary, but it’s part of the process.” 

Longer streams can also be an entirely different game. Pete recently participated in a multi-day RV stream across Japan alongside other streamers. Trying to stay interesting and entertaining for 12 hours at a time is certainly no easy feat.

The most important thing with these types of streams is to have trust in everyone,” he says. “We all acknowledged that there will be peaks and valleys in viewership, technical difficulties and lulls where things just aren’t as engaging. But we’ve all also experienced entertainers and we have that rapport with one another that comes through the stream. During these streams, I try to stay hyperaware of the people around me, to make sure if someone is tossing me a joke, I’m ready to hit it home. You have to be an extraordinary listener, so you’re always ready to react and perform. As for the camera, I treat it as another person and create opportunities for those watching from home to feel part of the experience.” 

Producing internet-based content is a far cry from traditional forms of media such as film and television, which is what Pete studied at college. He sees them as very separate entities.

With Twitch and YouTube, the relationship between the content creator and the audience is far more intimate as you get to know them for their personalities and their likes and dislikes,” he says. “It’s different compared to a movie star who communicates very formally through interviews. There’s a greater sense of familiarity with internet creators.”

Premier Two

Living in the Moment

Pete, however, attests that relevancy can be easy to obtain, but even easier to lose as an online personality. One might be popular right now, but that could go away tomorrow. The content that internet creators craft is also just as ephemeral. 

“No one is going to reference a stream from two years ago, no matter how incredible it was,” Pete says. “It’s a very ‘you had to be there’ feeling and content ages very quickly unless you’re doing something like a huge event that has an impact on the medium itself. With film, you can build a legacy. Citizen Kane, for example, came out over 80 years ago and it’s still cherished today. The Godfather from the 1970s will forever stand the test of time. Streaming, as we know it, doesn’t have that long-lasting effect yet.”

The name Premier Two is a nod to the original Premier1, a pub located in a Tokyo suburb that Pete used to live in. For six or seven years, it was often the last stop after a night of gallivanting around the town with friends and where quirky regulars could often be found. As Pete and his Twitch channel continue to evolve, the premise of Premier Two has stayed strong as a place that friends can always come back to for a good time.

Check out Premier Two on Twitch.