Kelly Nugent, co-host of “ELEAGUE Super Punch” on TBS, didn’t set out looking for a career in gaming.
“I didn’t know a career in gaming was a thing and certainly not that it was available to me,” Nugent said.
But it’s something she has quickly embraced.
Nugent’s parents had a very specific vision for her future growing up — becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Nugent knew that the medical field wasn’t going to work out after taking an organic chemistry class. She then started law school and became an attorney in 2013. It didn’t take long before she realized she needed a change.
“I quit in 2015,” Nugent said. “I said, that’s not for me, goodbye.”
Nugent began voice acting, streaming and started booking TV gigs. The jump from a traditional career might have been scary to some, but Nugent said it was something that she wasn’t
“There were two thoughts,” Nugent said. “One, I didn’t want to be 60 and be like, I never tried anything else and just stayed in this forever? I had to make a change. And two, what, am I going to die if I try? I’ll figure something out.”
It wasn’t easy at first. She picked up whatever jobs she could find as she worked to build her new career.
“Look, it was not a glamorous first couple of years,” she said. “I was helping people move for pizza. I was walking dogs. If there was free food at an event, I was there.”
But, despite the struggles, trying was the most important part of the process.
“I might get embarrassed, I might have to change my mind, but I rather change my mind and go back than to never try,” Nugent said.
Soon, she started to see more opportunities come her way, including “ELEAGUE Super Punch,” a gaming variety show that recently completed its first season on TBS. The show highlighted gaming culture from guest appearances and showcased the biggest moments in gaming.
“I want people to see that gaming is a really big community,” Nugent said. “It’s actually a really cool, big world and that there are games for any type of person.”
Forging a career in gaming can be difficult. But Nugent said for those who are passionate, it’s worth it. Just be ready to reset expectations.
“There’s no quantifier of success,” Nugent said. “You have to be happy with the work you’re doing and the direction you’re going. The happiness is the signifier of success rather than someone saying, great job, you get a promotion.”