I’ve enjoyed playing video games since the early days of Space Invaders and now I especially enjoy performing characters for them. I get asked occasionally, if I could only perform in one genre of voice over what would it be? Today I’d say that’s video games. It’s a genre that allows for cinematic acting opportunities and stretches my acting muscles, my creativity and my vocal range. It requires real commitment to the performance and to the process of creating and evolving the character voice that was envisioned for the game.
Expect the unexpected in video gaming voice overs.
In one recent session, I lost 3lbs in perspiration (evidence on the right!) and that was after only 2 hours of a normal maximum of four! In another I was complimented on my world class vomiting and choking sounds! Many entrants to the VO market are here because they have grown up playing games and want to emulate what they hear on screen, but it can be a tough business to break into and can be a lot more physically demanding than at first appears. A lot of folks get their start in indie games, where there are many opportunities. I consider myself very fortunate to have booked a significant role, Locke in Payday 2, quite early on.
I acquired an acting coach, Kevin Patrick Murphy, because of Payday 2. Starbreeze Studios was filming a live action sequence for one of the heists and asked me to be the onscreen actor for Locke as well as his voice. I felt I needed some professional on camera coaching and gave Murphy a call. He got me up to speed with some of the basics of on camera work and what is expected on set. This opportunity, combined with his acting classes, have helped bring additional skills to my voice acting and I recommend taking acting classes to anyone seeking to book gaming work.
This past year, I had enough quality content, from projects I’ve been hired to work on, to create a video reel to showcase my range. It’s a real testament to all the creative minds involved that my gaming demo reel has been nominated for “OUTSTANDING ANIMATION OR GAMING DEMO – BEST VOICEOVER” at this year’s SOVAS awards. I’m grateful also to Troy-Francis Beaumont (Red Archer Live). He was enormously helpful and creative in editing and compiling the finished reel. Many discussions were had deciding what to put in, what to leave out and what order to put them in. Like in so many creative endeavors, it was a team effort.
The 2020 SOVAS awards will be announced December 20th at 6:00 pm EST.
Listen to my SOVAS nominated Video Game reel here