We’re thrilled to announce November’s Ambassador of the month—PyrosPlayhouse! Xbox Ambassador since November 2015, Pyro has been monumental in any community he wants to be part of—whether that’s the Ambassador community, charitably communities, and more. He thrives on bringing gamers together under one common theme—acceptance and understanding.
What is your favorite, FAVORITE game of ALL time? What kind of memories/feelings does it give you?
I have so many games that I call my favorite, but the first Resident Evil is one of my most cherished and I have so many memories playing this when I was younger. No game has given me chills or kept me on edge like Resident Evil. I used to play in my friend’s basement in the dark, because it was the only way to play it. I will never forget one part in the game you are walking down a long hall and a few zombie dogs jump at you through the windows, I jumped so high and screamed so loud (it gets me every time still to this day).
What are some of your other hobbies? Like streaming! And/or, what are some of your goals as a gamer (like are you stuck on a level in a game) or personally (like a nutrition or fitness goal)?
I don’t get a lot of time to do it as much as I used to, but I love to draw and be creative. As I was growing up, I spent a lot of time drawing cartoon characters or creating my own. One of my favorite things to draw though was monsters and zombies. Halloween was always my favorite holiday, so as I got older, my drawing fascination grew into special F/X make up and practical F/X.
Streaming is my new-found love! When I was a kid, I was the class clown and always wanted to be the center of attention (not much has changed 😉). We didn’t have any of the live streaming services we all enjoy today—instead, we had public access television. I received a video cam one Christmas and I spent so much time making and filming comedy skits and stop motion shorts. Unfortunately, I never got the courage to do public access. Fast forward to October 2016, I saw that the Xbox Ambassadors were looking for people to host streams for their channel, so I signed up. I got an email from Teal himself asking if I could do a pilot stream. This email was both exciting and nauseating because I have never done this before (“nervous” was an understatement). NorthernZoot would say I “nailed it” as I am still streaming two years later for the team! I love the time I spend with the community being silly and failing at the games I play. My goal is simple I want to do good and I want to do whatever I can to help those in need.
Make sure to check out PyrosPlayhouse Mixer channel for amazing streams that engage the community and make all feel welcome.
Tell us about things you’re passionate about, like your Extra Life charity, your Mixer streams, the mental wellbeing of gamers, children in gaming, etc.
I am very passionate about giving back to the community. I use a lot of my free time finding more ways to give back. For Instance, this year for my birthday I spent most of the day streaming to raise money for Gamers Outreach Foundation. I may not have reached my target goal, but I was able to raise over $300. My proudest achievement is becoming a Guild Leader and Event Organizer for my local Extra Life CMN Hospital. The guild is still young, but we’ve already done some awesome things like teaming up with a hotel chain to host a root beer float day. One of the more fun events was when I had the guild come to my house and we streamed table top games for seven hours. The main goal for the guild isn’t about raising money, its more about finding ways to get more people involved in Extra Life. Besides doing my charity work, I like to remind people who are willing to listen that to do good does not just mean donating money but could also mean donating time. Giving back is so easy and for me so rewarding.
Also, the mental wellbeing of gamers is very important to me. This is one of the many reasons I wanted to get into streaming. Life is not always fun or easy for all of us. I struggled with depression growing up. I never really knew how to fit in and felt awkward in most social situations (still do today). My self-defense mechanism was comedy, I just wanted to make people laugh. I think Robin Williams said it best, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” I care about people and I do what I can to treat those how I’d want to be treated. I do my best to avoid toxic environments and some areas of gaming can be very toxic. This is one of the many reasons I created Pyro’s Playhouse. I wanted to make a place where all kinds of gamers can come and have fun and not worry about skill. I wanted to create a welcoming environment where people can laugh and forget about their trials and tribulations even for just a little bit.
Everyone’s story is unique, tell us how you became a gamer!
I started playing vidya games (lol) very young I think, maybe 4 or 5 years old. My dad had an Atari and I was obsessed with the E.T. game (I know, I know, it’s terrible). Eventually, I received a Nintendo for Christmas and I spent many hours with lots of Mario games and Duck Hunt. I have owned every system since then and still have them. It was an escape for me, I’d get lost in all the different stories that were being told.
How do you define community and what makes it important to you?
To me community is people who come together in support of each other. Community is important to me because in life we have many struggles and burdens we may have to face, but if you have the right people around you it makes it a little bit easier knowing they support you and have your back.
You have really made your mark on the Xbox community. What motivates you to make friends and connections within the program?
My motivation is that I love meeting new people from different backgrounds. There is just something that fascinates me about how diverse gaming really is and can be. I want to learn more about my fellow gamers and where they came from. One of my favorite parts about the Xbox Ambassador Program is you have an opportunity to meet and play with people from all over the world.
The Ambassador Program is comprised of different people from all around the world. What do you think brings so many people, from different walks of life together to achieve the same goal?
A good community like the Xbox Ambassador Program, of course! If you bring people together in a positive way nothing is impossible. A good community has no boarders, age, nor does it know distance. All a good community needs is a common goal and the rest of the pieces will fall in place.
Open floor: tell us something that’s outside of gaming, give us some insight into you as a person.
This is a tough one lol, I don’t even know where to begin. I live in the smallest state of America (Rhode Island, and no—it’s not an island or part of New York or New Jersey). Growing up I wanted to be an actor or at least work in the film industry. My plan was to go to Full Sail University to study film. Life had other plans as it always does of course. I became a dad when I was only in 12th grade. At that point all I wanted in life was to be the best parent I could be. I worked many jobs and still managed to graduate with my class. Now I have a decent job working in mental health where I help run day to day operations of a hospital. What I really want to do though is open an esports lounge and arcade with streaming booths. I want to take Pyro’s Playhouse and make it a physical place you can go and be with likeminded folks and maybe even have an after-school program. When I’m not parenting, working, gaming, or streaming, I’m looking into how I can help others. In the last two years I have lost an aunt, mother in law, and most recently almost my wife to some form of cancer. I have begun looking into starting my own charity organization to help fund cancer research, I want to do more to help eradicate it. I could write a book about me, but at the end of the day I’m just a guy trying to do good and make a difference even if it’s just a small one.
We’re stoked to be able to showcase PyrosPlayhouse as November’s Ambassador of the month. Thank you for being an amazing person, Xbox community member, and gamer.Make sure to show some of that Xbox community love to our man, PyrosPlayhouse. If you know of a great candidate for Ambassador of the month, don’t hold it in! Tell your ACE. 😉