Like many other local musicians, Julie Legner of Valrico needed to find a way to continue performing and earn a living during the pandemic.

The recent pandemic has caused the creative to become more creative. Artists and musicians have turned to virtual platforms like Twitch and Virtual Tip Jar to continue performing, just not to a live audience, but a virtual one.

“I went with Twitch TV and it’s owned by Amazon,” said Julie Legner of Valrico. “My handle is ThatPianoChick, all as one word, and it’s a little bit like a Facebook live show, but it’s way more positive and interactive, as well as being more geared toward musicians to make more money.”

Legner is also one half of a local music group, The Wonder Twins.

The way musicians make more money on Twitch TV is by becoming an affiliate.

“You can join and you don’t have to become an affiliate,” Legner said. “You create your account and they have three different goals you have to meet if you want to become an affiliate. Once you meet your goals, you fill out a W-9 and then link your account for a direct deposit payment when people tip you money virtually while watching your show.”

Gamers mostly used Twitch when it started back in 2011. Now, Twitch is where millions of people come together live everyday to chat, interact and make their own entertainment together.

“More and more musicians are moving to Twitch because of the pandemic and needing an outlet to do our craft,” Legner said. “We can’t play out in public where a person can tip you in-person, so the virtual shows and tipping are the best for us. Twitch is geared more for musicians, whereas Facebook is more social. We are here to entertain and not have a political discussion. We rarely talk about the pandemic on Twitch, we are there to have a good time and so is our audience.”

Performing virtually has even increased Legner’s fanbase.

“I have definitely gotten more people following me and watching my performances online since the pandemic,” Legner said. “Because of Twitch, I now have friends all over the world and I also log on and watch their shows as well. It’s great to still have an opportunity to do what I love, even if it’s virtually.”

If you would like to check out some of Legner’s Twitch videos or catch her performing virtually, you can visit her Twitch page at http://twitch.tv/ThatPianoChick.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.