Isreal Overton lives up to his namesake, especially in its infinitive form, “to be real.” He’s a self-described realist who understands the importance of dreams but also believes one must check their limitations occasionally. His philosophy? “I feel like you should follow your dream, but you got to go about it in a thoughtful way. You gotta have steps towards it,” he says. Sometimes, he admits, this practical view involves breaking steps into smaller units that he labels “half-steps.” Above all, he’s assured that dedication is the not-so-secret ingredient to success in our loftiest goals.
Currently, Isreal’s goal is to make someone, anyone’s day. He’s passionate about his main gig, uploading captured footage and commentary for games such as Call of Duty. The sub count on his new channel is steadily approaching 1,000, the halfway mark to reclaiming the 2K subscribers from an older channel that fell victim to YouTube’s often overzealous content moderation system. No stranger to candidness, he lets us know to what extent the loss of his original channel affected him: “That setback? It got me.”
He’s banked on a hefty amount of goodwill, though, so the kindness is repaid as the subscription count keeps mounting. His content has inspired others to create their own “Let’s Play” and commentary videos, and he describes giving back to the online community that hosts his playthroughs as a large part of “exponential growth.” Isreal relishes the confidence that streaming and routine uploads bring to his table. For him, the passion itself is its own reward. “If you do something in life, any type of dream, for the benefit of money or something materialistic, then you won’t get much out of it, especially at the end,” he explains. “You [should] do it for the joy of others because you like to see smiles on people’s faces or make their day better or make any type of difference.”
We ask Isreal where he’ll be in ten years. The no-brainer answer is that he’ll own a studio in the Western United States, a “pretty nice place” that’s not “millions expensive” but is expensive enough for his taste. The other answer is more complicated. “First, I thought about basketball. It would have been a nice dream, man, but you got to face realism,” he says. In true realist fashion, he breaks it down for us: no current name recognition, his current locale isn’t littered with scouts, and he doesn’t consider himself at “NBA height.” We could argue against these points in defense of a professional basketball dream, but it’s not our place to do so. As he tells us earlier, it’s all about focusing on a passion that brings you closer to satisfaction and fulfillment.
When it comes to hypothetical questions, he’s nothing but consistent. His realist perspective puts our “What would you do with a magic wand?” inquiry to bed real quick. “For the sake of generalism, I would say make the world a better place,” he says, “although I don’t believe we could be much better than it is. People are people.” He explains that people are moored by their first impressions and perspectives of others, however skewed they may be, which leads to a great deal of animosity between us.
“I know not all of one person can be the same, but, you know, if you saw ten lions in a row and you had to pick out which one’s gonna bite you, they’re all lions,” he shrugs. How does a true realist tackle the issue? In Isreal’s case, you make them laugh or offer a positive tilt to their day. Besides that, you try to play the best defense on the court or your favorite team deathmatch map. To take a few steps up, you have to find yourself some cover first. What Isreal calls realism may be the best way to exercise our instincts against our worst fears without harming ourselves or anyone else. Seeing the day’s end is the most profound step we can take, which is the Isreal Overton way.