Self-proclaimed workaholic and musician by design, Kristen a.k.a. Find the Rabbit has a story like we’ve never told before. Beginning her professional journey in the dance music space as a VJ, it wasn’t until the pandemic that she learned how to mix music. At the time, her housemate was DJing and she was VJing, so it was only fair that they taught each other their trades.
Rabbit already had an extensive musical background prior to taking up DJing on Twitch. During her teenage years, she competitively played various instruments such as the clarinet and wind ensemble. She even performed xylophone for winter percussion during her last year of high school. Of course, like any teenager, she discovered her personal music taste, which was punk rock. Sum41 and Avril Lavigne are two she fondly recalls.
Her story with VJing began when she dropped out of art school (as most art students do, she says) and got involved with a production/promotion company that was willing to train her to do their visual art. She was hesitant to accept the position as it was a massive opportunity that she feared she’s ruin. However, some words of encouragement paired with the spark inside of her said otherwise.
“Knowing that I am a college dropout, I acknowledged that I have to go hard on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and work hard to keep learning and keep opening doors for myself,” she says. “I already had experience in a musical background, some background in video/tech/coding, and my art knowledge definitely played a big part towards my beginnings.”
Rabbit impressively operated the visual art for the Chainsmokers in 2014 as her very first professional gig, setting the bar high for what she could accomplish. Not to mention, opening those doors she needed. Rabbit went on to continue this career path as a visual artist and video operator where she found much success.
As a content creator, being able to VJ for her own music is beneficial in a number of ways. First, she explains how it helps her stay in tune with the latest tech and trends, up to par with other experts in the field. Not only is she developing the visual experience on stream, but she’s creating the majority of her own video and photo managing for her socials. She’s also able to translate her knowledge into valuable feedback for other streamers and content creators.
She adds, “I know starting off as a content creator, people have to learn a range of skills from managing social media to creating content in all formats.”
Luckily, she has a longstanding familiarity with graphic design, since she’s been making her own anime graphics on forums and AMVs (anime music videos) for most of her life.
Her transition into a DJ could be described as accidental. Rabbit already had deep roots in VJing and decided to take a stab at DJing after being informally trained on the decks by her housemate. Although she had a following and actively mixed on Twitch, it took her a while before she could accept she was a DJ.
She describes what this imposter syndrome felt like, “I was too scared to step on people's toes since the DJ community can be cutthroat and I respected the hardworking DJs around me. I didn't want them to think I started doing it to hop on the trends or anything like that. Even after DJing on Twitch for the first 3-4 months, I'd always say, “I feel like I am not a DJ, I am just DJing!’”
Lucky for her, the Twitch dance music community is one of the most welcoming, uplifting groups you can find on the internet. She goes on, “However, everyone's been supportive and positive throughout my journey and they kept telling me to own it!”
Thanks to this encouragement and Rabbit’s talent, she was able to gain momentum on Twitch and build a brand as a DJ and VJ.
“I continued to DJ because back then, not many people played higher BPM bass music in my timezone and my community kept asking when the next stream would be,” she said. “I felt a little bad having my housemate DJ nearly 6 days of the week for both of our channels just so I can VJ to the songs I like so I decided to learn so I can implement both visuals and music on my own.”
Photo courtesy @ext.photography
When asked about her favorite aspect of playing music on Twitch, Rabbit’s response is that she gets to play the music she loves and find other people along the way with the same interests. Twitch connects people from around the world who are on the platform for their own reasons. However, one thing everyone has in common is their love for music. Rabbit notes that something really special to her is when a viewer expresses their gratitude for her streams.
Rabbit describes this feeling, “It also brings me so much joy to know that every so often people would tell me how much my sets would help them through their day or how the energy during stream or during VODs/Youtube sets help elevate their moods. That is such an amazing feeling! It's what keeps me addicted to keep going.”
Although being part of the Twitch community in any capacity is rewarding, being a streamer really affords people the opportunity to have a stake in its growth. Twitch gives back, too. According to Rabbit, the platform boosted her self-esteem and eased anxieties she’s lived with throughout her entire life.
One factor that contributed to this newfound confidence has been hosting her own Twitch festivals. “As someone who grew up as a lone wolf, I get a little nervous if people will be open to collaborating with me simply due to how new I was or if I was even worthy,” she says. “Not only did it show me that people believed in me, it helped me with my journey of facing my social anxiety.”
Rabbit reminds us that you don’t have to be perfect to be liked–something that changed her perspective for the better once she realized it.
Amazingly, Rabbit earned Partner status on Twitch in 2021. After Affiliate, the Twitch Partner title is granted to streamers who demonstrate a high level of dedication to broadcasting high-quality content. They are also creators who have garnered a substantial fanbase and exhibit room for growth. The process of becoming a Partner requires an application and a selection by Twitch.
We questioned Rabbit about her experience reaching Partner status last year, and she didn’t have your average story.
“So the story is told that most of the time, a staff member usually goes into your chat and tells you to look at your e-mail so you can get a live reaction on stream for reaching partnered,” she says. “I DIDN'T GET ONE LOL. I found out offline and accepted it immediately!”
“However, it did feel unreal just remembering that DJing and streaming, in general, was not something I personally sought to do beyond a hobbyist or outside of just making friends,” she recalls. “I was encouraged to try both and started excelling in both. Makes me happy that everyone can see the potential in me and the partnership badge is always a reminder of those who do!”
Rabbit notes that streaming and content creation come with their challenges. “In general, my challenge is spreading myself too thin or taking up way too many projects that I easily experience burnout,” she says. “I am very grateful for my moderators for assisting me when they can and my community for making burnouts bearable since they're bound to happen as a workaholic. It's also inevitable that my creative inspirations come in waves and there's always innovating what I'm passionate about while maintaining the momentum of keeping up to date with skills and industry standards.”
As someone with so much drive to succeed and push boundaries as Rabbit, she finds it difficult to take those much-needed breaks to avoid burnout. There’s always so much R&D (research and development) to be done, realistically more than enough for one person alone to handle. She looks forward to the day when she can hopefully have a team helping her manage her project.
She also faces challenges with anxiety, especially before stream time. However, she’s able to work through it knowing the amount of love and support her viewers pour out each stream.
Rabbit describes this feeling, “I know that once I go live, I'm in a safe place but it's always the initial push to do so that's the toughest!”
Beyond music, Find the Rabbit is passionate about cosplay, fashion, LED wearables, rhythm arcades/games, collecting Labbits (she currently has more than 20 unique styles!), Digimon fanatic/TCG, and visual arts. She claims that she ends up turning her hobbies professional, which is what many creators strive for.
A note from Find the Rabbit:
Hello! If you are new and reading this, I hope you can join the Rabbit Army! I based the name off of Kerli's track "Army of Love" due to the energetic rush I feel when believing in my fellow "lovebuns". They're the most loving, chaotic bunch I am happy to experience and we'd love to welcome you into the bunny ranks! If you are a fellow Rabbit Army lovebun, I want to thank you for surviving everything in your life and allowing me to exist in your world. Whether you visit frequently or not, I appreciate any time you have given me! Thank you so much for supporting me, especially during the times I couldn't see what you all see in me in my darkest hours.
It's not even 2 years of DJing and I already have a mini tour of upcoming potential events! FanimeCon weekend (Fri-Sun nights - VShojo official party, Senpai Squad, and Official FanimeCon afterparty) to Anime Expo Saturday night closing set (Sunday 1-2am) and 2 more TBA/TBD events during the summer. I wouldn't have these opportunities without you all. If you're able to attend, I want to meet you! Come join the fun IRL!